How to Relocate Your Furniture and Cars From Nigeria To Canada


How to Relocate Your Furniture and Cars From Nigeria To Canada

Congratulations! Your application to move to Canada was successful. Now, your next big step is moving from Nigeria to Canada. Among other things, you might want to bring your furniture and cars along, rather than buying new ones. While relocating your furniture and cars from Nigeria to Canada can be a challenging and overwhelming task, with careful planning and preparation, you can do it smoothly. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to relocate your furniture and cars from Nigeria to Canada, along with other relevant information.

Notably, for long-haul flights, many airlines include one checked bag at no additional cost. However, if you plan to bring very heavy items that can’t reasonably fit on an airplane, such as furniture and cars, you might want to consider shipping them to Canada.

How to Relocate Your Furniture and Cars From Nigeria To Canada

1. Plan and Prepare

Before you start thinking about moving your furniture and cars to Canada from Nigeria, thorough preparation and planning are essential. Preparation involves conducting in-depth research about shipping companies and understanding immigration rules regarding shipping. You should also plan your budget because international shipping can be quite expensive. Consider taxes and any other fees that may apply. It’s advisable to read reviews and compare prices of shipping companies to choose the one that suits your needs best. Additionally, take note of key dates for packing, shipping, and the expected arrival of your furniture or cars in Canada.

It’s helpful to measure your furniture to provide accurate information to the shipping company. You may also consider disassembling large pieces for easier transportation and label all items for clarity.

2. Complete Relevant Forms

Although these forms can be filled out later, it’s better to complete the BSF186 forms for your items before arriving in Canada. You’ll need two copies of the Personal Effects Accounting Document (Form BSF186 or Form B4) and the list of imported goods (Form BSF186A or Form B4A), one for yourself and one for the border services officer. The former is for items you intend to bring with you when entering Canada, regardless of whether you have any goods with you upon arrival. The latter is for items that will arrive separately, either when you arrive or later. You’ll need to present these forms to the officer at your initial point of entry in Canada, which could be the connecting or layover airport, so keep them readily accessible.

Both forms should provide details such as the value, make, model, and serial number (if applicable) of all items being brought in. If you need more space to list your goods, you can create a separate list and attach it to the main form. However, only the items listed on the original form will qualify for duty and tax-free import if they arrive later.

How to Fill Out the BSF186 and BSF186A Forms

The BSF186 form:

  • Fill in Personal Information: Provide your name, address in Canada, country of origin (Nigeria), and country of export (Canada). Leave fields marked grey, such as Accounting document number and Date of landing, for officials.
  • Itemize your Goods: Create a detailed list of the items you’re bringing with you. You can group similar items and provide their total value in a single row. Items like footwear, kitchenware, personal accessories, and children’s toys should be listed separately, as well as your furniture.
  • Indicate Vehicles to be Imported: Include details of the vehicles you intend to import into Canada.
  • Additional Goods: If you’ve shipped extra items to Canada that will arrive separately, mark “Form BSF186A” and indicate “Yes” for “Goods to follow.” If you have no additional items arriving, select “No” and leave the remaining cells empty.
  • Classification Type: Most permanent residents would choose “Settler” (bottom-right square) for classification. However, read the descriptions for each category and select the one that best fits your situation. Fill in the blank space with your landing date.
  • Signature: Write your city, country, date, and signature in the provided space next to “Signed at.”

For the BSF186A form:

  • Fill in Personal Information: Do not fill in the “Document no.” and “CBSA stamp” columns; officials will complete these sections. Write your full name, and if you’re using multiple pages, include the page number. Check the box for “List of goods to follow.”
  • Itemize your Goods: List each item with its value in Canadian dollars. You don’t need to attach extra documents or spreadsheets with a detailed breakdown; grouping similar items under a single category is acceptable.
  • Signature: After completing all the necessary information, sign and date the form. If you have multiple pages, sign and date each page.

Remember that you’ll need the stamped copy of form BSF186A (or B4A) when visiting a customs depot to claim your shipped items in Canada. The officer will compare your list with theirs and release your goods without taxes or duties if there are no discrepancies.

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3. Self Declaration

Completing the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Declaration Card is mandatory for all travelers entering Canada through a Canadian port of entry, especially if you arrive via commercial aircraft. The card requires you to provide comprehensive details about the items you’re bringing. If you have any questions or uncertainties, you can ask the border services officer upon your arrival. Failure to declare or providing false information may result in CBSA seizing your goods, possibly leading to permanent loss or requiring a penalty payment to retrieve them. The CBSA penalty can range from 25 to 80 percent of the seized goods’ value, depending on the goods and the situation.

To declare your goods, submit the filled-out forms (BSF186 and BSF186A) to the officer at the airport. They will review, complete the remaining fields, stamp the forms, and assign a file number. You’ll receive a receipt in the form of a completed form copy.

4. Pay Duties

The government imposes duties on certain goods brought into Canada. As an individual relocating to Canada, you can bring in personal and household belongings without paying duties. However, remember that duties apply to brand-new items that have never been used. Furniture and vehicles for personal use are exempt from duties, but business vehicles are not.

Currently, the import duty for vehicles into Canada is 6.1%, and the GST (Goods and Services Tax) is 5%. The value of your vehicle is determined by its purchase price if you have an invoice or bill of sale. Otherwise, the Canadian Black Book is used to determine the value, which you can check on their website.

To permanently import a vehicle into Canada, it must be more than 15 years old unless it was manufactured for sale in the USA. Even a US-manufactured car may require modifications before it can be registered for use on Canadian roads. If you’re uncertain, it’s best to check with Transport Canada.

Cost of Shipping Your Furniture and Vehicles to Canada from Nigeria

When it comes to sea freight for shipping household goods, you have various options. For vehicles, you can choose to ship by RoRo (Roll on, Roll off) or by container, with a full container load providing approximately 12 meters of cargo space. Half containers are suitable for smaller loads or vehicles.

Shipping a full container from Nigeria to Canada typically takes 4-6 weeks and costs between ₦2,516,500 and ₦4,138,200. However, this cost is not all-inclusive. It’s recommended to work with an international moving company to obtain an accurate estimate that reflects the total cost of your move, as this information can be challenging to obtain on your own.

How to Claim Your Shipped Furniture and Cars in Canada

Upon the arrival of your shipped goods in Canada, the logistics carrier or moving company will notify you. You’ll then need to visit a customs depot and present the stamped BSF186A form to proceed. Customs officers will verify your copy with theirs, and if there are no discrepancies, they will release your goods without charging duties or taxes. However, if there are any mismatches, you may need to pay duties or taxes accordingly. Once your goods are cleared, you can either hire a moving company to deliver them to your address or collect them from the warehouse in person. Keep in mind that once you take possession of the goods, you cannot sell, give away, or dispose of them for at least one year.

What Happens When Your Goods Arrive in Canada Before You?

If your goods arrive before you, they will be held in a bonded storage facility for up to 40 days before being considered unclaimed. If you can’t claim your goods within the 40-day period, you can request an extension from the local CBSA office before the time limit expires, and it may be granted. Without an extension, the Customs and Border Services Agency (CBSA) office will provide you with a Customs Notice – Unclaimed Goods (Form E44). To avoid forfeiture to the Crown, it’s necessary to make a claim for your goods within 30 days of the date of issuance of Form E44. Once goods are forfeited to the Crown, they will be disposed of and cannot be claimed by the owner.


Relocating your furniture and cars from Nigeria to Canada may not be easy, but this article has provided a straightforward guide to help you do it with less stress. Additionally, make sure to check the Canadian Border Services Agency’s website for updated information, as regulations may change regularly.


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