Moving to Canada


If you are in need of help to organize your relocation from Thailand or elsewhere to Canada, Siam Relocation’s team can help you deal with it. We can handle your logistics and relocation needs thanks to our experience in this domain. This article presents relevant information about the customs, the procedures and aims to give you details about our best services and about your future life in Canada.

flag canada

1. Customs clearance in Canada

When arriving in Canada, you will inevitably have to go through customs and this procedure can scare you. It should not. Our professional team can handle custom clearance for you if you want and will prepare it all so that the procedure is as simple as possible.

1.1 Customs process

For relocations, the customs procedure in Canada should not be too complicated. The documentation required can be impressive, but the procedure is not. It only aims to ensure the safety of Canada.

Here are the documents needed:

  • A copy of your passport
  • A detailed inventory in English or in French
  • Another detailed inventory in English but valued
  • Ownership, possession and proof of use
  • Receipts for any new item in your shipment
  • Previous airport declaration papers
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • Work permit (if applicable)

*There are several taxes to which your belongings can be subject.

SIAM Tips: You want further information about the regulation in Canada ? Check directly the official website: Moving or returning to Canada

First, the import duties. Not all goods are dutiable. In particular, goods made in the NAFTA zone (USA, Mexico, Canada) are not.

But the most important here is that for immigrants, personal effects and household goods are free of import duties if they were used and owned by the importer for a minimum of 6 months before the importation. If the item is brand new, you will probably pay a duty on it.

As for a student or someone under a work visa, all items imported are duty free if they are for personal use during the stay. They must be exported when the importer’s visa/status expires.

The second tax is the GST: the Goods and Services Tax. At importation, most goods are subject to a 5% Federal GST. The rate can vary according to the goods, but it should not vary too much for a relocation.

PST is a sort of GST which is different according to the provinces of Canada.

*Now, let’s have a look on the procedure at the arrival (air)port.

First, you will follow the signs to the first Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) checkpoint (primary inspection). There, you will give some documents, including the Declaration Card filled in on board to a border officer. He may also ask you some questions in order to determine your status in Canada and if your goods are subject to duties. This conversation with the officer also is the moment when you declare your dutiable goods like recent purchases, food, plants or animals for instance. If you don’t declare these goods, they can be seized at any moment of your stay in Canada.

After the primary inspection, you need to pick up your luggage and head to the second CBSA checkpoint, where you will need your Declaration Card. The officer can choose to direct you to a secondary inspection area where your luggage is likely to be examined.

*After that, keep following the officer’s instructions but the process should be over.

1.2 Taxes exemption

As mentioned above, in the case of a relocation, you should not pay many taxes as the Canadian customs exempt household goods and personal effects from duty if they are for personal use and if they were already yours the 6 months preceding the importation.

For returning Canadians, the goods need to have been used for 6 months before importation, but you also have to have lived abroad for at least 12 months.

Other goods are exempted from duty like goods crafted in the NAFTA area but generally, this information is more relevant for commercial importations.

tax exemption personal effects canada

1.3 Vehicle importation

Importing a vehicle from outside the U.S. into Canada often is complicated and long.

It is a criminal offense to import a vehicle that does not meet the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act so you should better have a precise look at your car’s information and at the Canadian regulations.

SIAM Info: You want further information about the vehicle importation in Canada? Feel free to check directly the official website: Motor Vehicle Safety Act

First, your vehicle can not be younger than 15 years old (based on the date of its manufacture). It must be classified in one of the categories of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act or be imported as a non-regulated vehicle.

Canada is one of the only countries where a modified car (even if it has been modified to comply with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act) can not be imported.

Here is a list of taxes you will have to pay to import your vehicle:

  • Import duty is applied at 6.1% of the value for non-NAFTA area made vehicle. Else, no duties are payable.
  • GST of 5% is payable on any imported vehicle as well as on any vehicle purchased in Canada.
  • PST when you register your car in your province.
  • Air conditioning tax of 100 CAN$ if your car has an air conditioning system
  • Excess weight tax if your vehicle weighs more than 2,007 kilograms.
  • Gaz guzzler tax according to your car’s fuel consumption (if above 13 litres per kilometres). From CAN$ 1,000 to CAN$ 4,000.

SIAM Info: For more information on importing vehicles, contact the Motor Vehicle Safety Department at this email address :

1.4 What duties and taxes will I pay for my personal effects?

Warning SIAM: For there are many variables settings to be taken into consideration, it is complex to anticipate how much duties and taxes you will be charged. For instance, your personal situation, the nature of your belongings, the method of shipment… Fortunately for you, our SIAM moving consultants can help you if you fill our online form in 1 minute !


Customs contact in Thailand

thai customs

Official name: Thai Customs Department

Official Website: Thai Customs Website

Customs contact in Canada

customs department canada

Official name: Canada Border Services Agency

Official Website: Canadian Customs Website

Customs process

customs clearance process

Our customs broker inform you

Prohibited & restricted items

Remark SIAM: If you have one of the following item, you should check directly with our SIAM Moving consultant. Some of those items are restricted or even totally prohibited, it is important to anticipate such shipment to avoid any problem.

Drug contraband

prohibited drug


prohibited ivory


prohibited poison


prohibited explosive


prohibited batteries


prohibited porno


prohibited biohazard


prohibited combustible


prohibited knife


prohibited chemical


prohibited firearms


prohibited cigarette


prohibited corrosive


prohibited prescription drugs


prohibited gambler


prohibited counterfeit

Counterfeit notes

prohibited notes


prohibited hazardous items

Siam Relocation - Best price moving company in Bangkok !

Due to our attractive pricing, many customers trust our services and we thanks them.

Stop to overpay the services and save money with our tailored package matching will all type of removals, from small volume to full house, let us find the best and cost-effective option.


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2. Method of transportation

From Thailand, you don’t have a large choice to join Canada. You have to choose between air or sea freight.


ship icon

Ocean freight will be the best deal for you if:

  • You move a full house/condo
  • The goods you need to ship are greater than 3 CBM
  • You’re not in a hurry to receive them

SIAM Advice: To have precise rates and transit times for your Sea freight from Thailand to Canada, don’t hesitate to contact our SIAM Experts.



Remark SIAM: Sea freight between Thailand and Canada will probably be the most effective way to ship your personal effects (mainly if you have a big volume).

For Canadian West Coast (Vancouver, Calgary) is by the Pacific Ocean, sea freight is a very good option to link it to Thailand. Else, going through the usual Suez Canal and the Atlantic Ocean can be an option to reach the Eastern part of Canada (Toronto, Montréal, Québec City, Halifax, Ottawa).

Main ports in the Canada

There are four very big container ports in Canada. All four have been reinvesting in their infrastructure for the last years.

Port Metro Vancouver handles more than a half of the container cargo moving to Canada and can count on a quite smooth traffic compared to other ports of the same size.

Then, the ports of Halifax, Montréal and Prince Rupert complete the picture of Canada’s container ports network.

Transit times

Find below the average transit time from Bangkok to Canadian big ports:

From To
Estimated Transit Time
Bangkok Halifax 27 days
Bangkok Montreal 34 days
Bangkok Prince Rupert 30 days
Bangkok Toronto 34 days
Bangkok Vancouver 25 days

*Please note that those transit times are just indicative timing between Thailand and Canada

**These times only take transit into account. You have to add a few days to obtain the total delivery time.

SIAM Advice: To have precise rates and transit times for your Sea freight from Thailand to Canada, don’t hesitate to contact our SIAM Experts.

Sea freight rates

It is hard to anticipate a sea freight rate because they are sensitive to many matters. For instance, the price can vary a lot according to the departure and arrival ports, the current price of oil or the volume of your shipment.

We generally propose to choose a FCL (Full Container) if you ship more than 15 cubic meters and a LCL (Consolidation) if less. Our experts will obviously guide you in this choice.

*According to your budget, we can adapt our solution (with or without a packaging and/or loading service) which could have huge influence on the quotation. 

Remark SIAM: You want further information about our packing service ? Contact our SIAM moving consultant or check our dedicated page: Packing service

Why choose us?

For many years, SIAM Relocation has been providing a dedicated service to respond to the specific needs of our clients. Our moving consultants build a special relationship with you to accompany you through your project.


airplane icon

Air freight will be the most efficient solution if:

  • Your goods are smaller than 2 CBM and 200 kg
  • You’re in a hurry to receive/send the goods

SIAM Advice: To have precise rates and transit times for your Air freight from Thailand to Canada, don’t hesitate to contact our SIAM Experts.



*From Southern Asia, choosing air freight to join Canada is obviously really common. Canada is a big air hub.

Air freight is of course the fastest freight mode and will be very relevant and profitable to ship small volumes. All Canadian big cities have airports able to receive your shipment.

Remark SIAM: Air freight can be the most adequate solution (even in terms of budget), it depends on your goods dimensions.

Airports in Canada

*Here are Canada’s biggest and best noted (by Skytrax) airports. They all are both big passenger and commercial airports.

First, Vancouver is said to be the best airport in Canada. Skytrax named it best airport in Northern America recently.

Then come the airports of Toronto, Calgary and Montréal.

Remark SIAM: You want further information about airports in Canada, check the listing on Wikipedia: List of the busiest airports in Canada

Transit time

Find below some estimations of the flight time from Bangkok to major Canadian cities:

  • Bangkok to Toronto 19 hours
  • Bangkok to Montréal 21 hours
  • Bangkok to Ottawa 21 hours
  • Bangkok to Calgary 17 hours
  • Bangkok to Vancouver 17 hours 40 minutes

Remark SIAM: This is only an estimation of the flight time which does not include all the logistic procedures before and after the freight. The total shipping time should be around 5-7 days maximum.

*Note that the flight does not include the whole logistics process, some parcel could be stuck in customs for X or Y reason.

Air freight rates

Air freight prices are very inclined to vary because many factors have influence on it. The most important for you to remember is the volume. The volume and weight of your shipment will determine a big part of the final price. Of course, the destination, the service delay or the nature of your shipment can also alter the price.

SIAM Info : For volume and weight matters, it is important that you understand the difference between actual weight and volumetric weight. If the volumetric weight is higher than the actual weight, the quote will be based on the volumetric weight. This explains how the nature of the product can make the cost vary.

Why choose us?

Since we started in business, we have accumulated a lot of experience and credit among other freight forwarders and national customs agents which make us legitimate to handle your shipment.

Let’s see together how air freight are calculated. The most important aspect that you have to understand is the difference between actual weight and volumetric weight. Once you get it, you can understand your air freight quotations.

calculate gross weight
classic air freight volumetric weight

*If the volumetric weight is higher than the actual weight of your box, the carrier will quote based on this weight. You can use online chargeable weight calculators to make it easier, now that you understand how it works.  

International move canada

3. Additional moving services

Analysing our experiences with our customers, we figured out that the more services we propose, the better the clients feel about their shipment. That’s why today, we have a developed range of offers to fit your needs.

3.1 Moving insurance

When your goods are transported from a point A to a point B, they will always be submitted to a potential risk. This risk is inevitable. Which does not mean that it will happen but that we can’t predict it as it can be a weather incident for instance.

Remark SIAM: Our insurance program is charged 3% of your declared value.

That’s why insurances exist. In freight domain, we call them marine insurance, cargo insurance or freight insurance. They usually cover basic damages like weather issues, bad storage and fumigation services. But each insurance has its specificities. Some will cover piracy, other won’t, etc.

To subscribe an insurance, we can help you. Or you can go to your personal bank, to a specialized insurance broker or a general insurance company.

*Our consultants will guide you in this choice. Don’t hesitate to contact them.

Info SIAM: You want further information about our Insurance program? Feel free to contact our SIAM moving consultant or check our dedicated page: Moving Insurance

3.2 Moving with your pet to Canada

If you try to bring your pet into Canada, you will have to be very cautious about the procedure. Indeed, the Government of Canada can refuse the entry of any animal that does not meet the national import requirements.

First, any animal must be inspected by a Thailand’s government veterinary before leaving Thailand. Thus, precisely three days before the day of your departure, you must head to the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport and then look for the Custom and Animal Quarantine Office. Your pet must have all its vaccinations up to date. During this inspection, the vet or an officer will ask you to produce several documents:

  • The (English written) rabies certificate, with the complete contact details of the veterinary who made it. The pet also needs to have passed a blood serology test in order to check for rabies antibody levels minimum 30 days afterthe date of the rabies vaccination. The test results must be minimum 0.5 IU/mL.
  • A copy of your passport
  • Your flight information
  • Your pet’s micro-chip number (if your animal is chipped)

Afterwards, you will need to fill in an export request form once at the office.

After he conducts the health check, the government veterinary will hand you the document needed for your travel and charge you about 50 Baht for each pet. Finally, you must remember to bring the following documents when you get in your plane: the export permit, the vet certificate from the airport and your own original pet health certificate.

Remark SIAM: All of this is what you imperatively must do regarding Thailand authorities and law.

*Now, let’s see what the Canadian laws and requisites regarding pet importation are.

Actually, the procedure followed in Thailand simplifies the task in Canada.

If your dog or cat is younger than 3 months, it will not be submitted to any requirement from Canada.

From Thailand, it is very important that you have a rabies certificate to produce at any moment during the procedure. More, all dogs should be vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and parainfluenza. These vaccinations must have been done after the 6 first weeks of the dog.

When arriving at the airport, an inspection will be led on your dog. It will cost $30.00USD for the first animal and $5USD for each additional pet.

Info SIAM: If you want further information about this subject, feel free to contact our SIAM Moving consultant or check directly the government website: Importing or travelling with pets

*Be careful, in Ontario and Winnipeg, American Staffordshire Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier are banned breeds. Their crosses are banned too.

3.3 Packing service

Remark SIAM: A secured logistic process is a shipment in which goods are packed, and well packed.

For an international relocation, most of the goods have to be packed to be protected during transit. It is essential to the security of the logistic process.

We can help you pack and provide the materials.

The first, basic, material is packing boxes. Made out of cardboard, they assure a rudimentary but often sufficient protection. They can be highly resistant if the cardboard used is of good quality.

Bubble wrap paper is used to pack fragile items like glasses or crockery for instance. It is easy to wrap around any item that you want to protect better.

Wooden boxes can be used when a large packing size is needed and are more resistant than cardboard boxes. For this reason, wooden crates can be handled by machines and are useful in the storage process. They also resist humidity better.

SIAM Plus: SIAM Relocation proposes you to take care of all of your packaging needs. Our packing team is able to pack whatever good you want to ship. Some items have uncommon dimensions? We will pack them ! You don’t own packing furniture and you can’t pack? We will do the job!

Info SIAM: If you feel like having further information about our packing service, feel free to reach our SIAM Moving specialist or check out our dedicated page: Packing service

3.4 Warehousing service

In some situations, a warehousing service can be of great help for a shipper. It allows you to leave before your shipment or arrive a few days later for instance. It is very helpful in any case of setback or emergency.

SIAM Plus: Our warehouses are secured. They have an alarm system and benefit from a 24/7 guard presence. We want you to place all your trust on us. Check further on our dedicated page: Warehousing services

3.5 Office moves

Please take note that we also have a department specialized in commercial moving for companies, associations and government agencies.

4. Our moving packages

As is said in the previous part, our experience with our customers conducted us to create packaged offers to better fit your needs.

packages international move thailand

SIAM Plus: We base this information on our knowledge of the market and of the client’s needs. This is only for guidance. Each case will be dealt with individually and the result of the offer may not correspond to one of the three packages but should be more adapted to the client’s needs.

5. Life in Canada

5.1 Visa & Business


For long term residence in the country, here are the relevant visas:

  • Federal Skilled Workers Program.
  • Provincial Nomination Program
  • Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers Program.

*Obviously, for a durable relocation, a working visa or a family visa are the most suitable.

Info SIAM: To find out further information about the immigration and specifically about visas in Canada, feel free to check the official website:  Immigrate to Canada


Canada is the 10th biggest GDP in the world and as in any western country, the economy is dominated by the service industry. There are a lot of business opportunities in the country thanks to the proximity (both cultural and geographical) with the US and the development of some sectors.

5.2 Living in Canada


What defines Canada must be its size. This is the second largest country in the world and it presents very different climates and seasons. Diversity also is a key point in Canada where some regions speak French and some cities are well known for being very cosmopolitan (Vancouver and Toronto). 67% of the Canadian population is Christian.

Cost of life

Globally, consumer prices are 35% higher in Canada than in Bangkok, depending on where you live.

Here are some stats for Montréal.

Below, our table compares Canada and Thailand costs of basic needs and leisure based on September 2018 data:

  • Consumer Prices in Montreal are 24.23% higher than in Bangkok
  • Consumer Prices Including Rent in Montreal are 16.33% higher than in Bangkok
  • Rent Prices in Montreal are 1.60% lower than in Bangkok
  • Restaurant Prices in Montreal are 105.02% higher than in Bangkok
  • Groceries Prices in Montreal are 19.77% higher than in Bangkok
  • Local Purchasing Power in Montreal is 154.71% higher than in Bangkok

Info SIAM: To find out further comparaison and check in details on a large panel of products, check this page:  Numbeo – Comparaison between Bangkok and Montreal

5.3 Local contacts

Here are some precious contacts that you must know if you are to live in Canada.

Fire Engine : 998

Emergency Ambulance: 997

Police Emergency: 999

Here are some well reputed real estate companies in the Canada. They can be of a great help to guide you through your relocation.

Century 21

Royal LePage

+1 604 606 2100

+1 877 757-4545

On the website

On the website

Here are some visa agencies to help you with your administrative procedure.

Visa First

Sidney Migration International


+61 13 0065 5094  

+61 2 8005 0487

+61 7 3261 1388

 You will find below four of the most famous international schools in the Australia.

St Paul’s School

The Kilmore International School in Melbourne

Australian International Academy in Sydney

+61 7 3261 1388

+61 3 9998 2981

+61 2 9642 0104