How to Relocate Your Furniture and Cars From Nigeria To Canada

Congratulations! Your application to move to Canada is successful. The next thing on your mind would probably be moving to Canada from Nigeria. Among others, you may want to relocate your furniture and cars to Canada without going through the stress of shopping for new ones. Although relocating your furniture and cars from Nigeria to Canada can be challenging and overwhelming, with careful planning and preparation, it can be done smoothly. This article provides a guide on how to relocate your furniture and cars from Nigeria to Canada among other relevant information.

Noteworthy, on long-haul flights, many airlines include one checked bag at no additional costs, but if you intend to carry very heavy items that can’t reasonably fit in an aeroplane 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 of moving your furniture and cars to Canada from Nigeria you have to prepare and plan properly. Preparation in this sense includes doing in-depth research about shipping companies, immigration rules on shipping etc. You should also plan your budget as international shipping can be quite expensive. Hence, consider taxes, and any other fees that may apply. You may want to check reviews and compare prices of shipping companies to choose the most preferred for your move. You may also need to take note of the key dates for packing, shipping, and arrival of your furniture or cars in Canada.

It would be helpful if you measure your furniture so as to provide the shipping company with the right information. You may also disassemble large pieces for easy carriage and label all items.

2. Complete Relevant Forms

Although these forms may be filled out later, it is better to fill out the BSF186 forms for your items before you come to Canada. It is necessary to have 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 necessary for items you intend to bring along when entering Canada, regardless of whether you have any goods with you upon arrival. The latter is used for items that will arrive separately, either when you arrive or after you arrive. When entering Canada, you will need to present the BSF186 and BSF186A forms to the officer at your initial point of entry. This could potentially be the connecting or layover airport in Canada, so make sure to have them readily available on your person or in your carry-on baggage.

It is important that both forms provide details such as the value, make, model, and serial number (if applicable) of all items being brought in. In case you require additional 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

1. The BSF186 form

The items included in this form are ones that you owned in Nigeria and plan on using for your personal and household needs in Canada. This list will aid border officers in determining whether or not you are required to pay duty on any of the items. To fill this follow the steps below:

  • Fill in Personal Information

You should fill in the following fields importer’s name which includes your first name and last name, importer’s address which should be our address in Canada, your country of origin which is Nigeria our home country or the country from where your goods are being transported and lastly, country of export which is Canada.

However, you should leave the following fields blank which are marked grey as they are meant for the officials — Accounting document number, CBSA stamp, Cargo control number, Port of entry, Date of landing and Unique Client Identifier (UCI).

  • Itemize your Goods

You are required to present a detailed list of the items you will be carrying with you. Similar items can be grouped together, and their total value can be provided in a single row. Also, you can list items such as footwear, kitchenware, personal accessories, and children’s toys as separate items. This also applies to your furniture.

It is also recommended to attach additional pages that offer a comprehensive breakdown of each category listed on the form. You can create this in a text document or even a spreadsheet and print it out to attach to the main form.

  • Indicate Vehicles to be Imported

You should also include the details of the vehicles you intend to import into Canada.

  • Additional Goods

If you have shipped extra items to Canada that will arrive separately on the same day or a later date, mark the box that states “Form BSF186A” and indicate “Yes” for “Goods to follow.” However, if you do not have any additional items arriving, select “No” and leave the remaining cells empty.

  • Classification Type

Regarding the “Classification type,” most permanent residents would match the criteria specified for “Settler” (the bottom-right square). Nonetheless, it is recommended that you go through the description given for each category and select the one that best suits your individual circumstances. You must fill in the blank space provided with your landing date.

  • Signature

Finally, write the name of your city and country in the space provided next to “Signed at,” followed by the date you fill out the form and your signature.

2. For the BSF186A form

Failure to fill out this form could result in you having to pay a duty for importing your items into Canada if they arrive at a later time. One of the primary advantages of completing form B4A and having it stamped by the CBSA is that your items will be eligible for duty- and tax-free importation into Canada.

  • Fill in Personal Information

Do not fill in the columns for “Document no.” and “CBSA stamp” as CBSA officials will complete these sections. Write your full name in the space provided for “Name of Importer” and include the page number in the top-right column if you are using multiple pages. Additionally, check the box for “List of goods to follow.”

  • Itemize your Goods

Make sure to provide a list of each item, including its value in Canadian dollars. Unlike Form B4, you do not need to attach extra documents or spreadsheets with a detailed breakdown. You can group similar items under a single category (line item) and specify their total value.

  • Signature

After completing all the necessary information, sign and date the form. If you have multiple pages, ensure that you sign and date each page.

Please note that you will need to present the stamped copy of form BSF186A (or B4A) to the customs officer when you visit a customs depot to receive your shipped items in Canada. The officer will cross-check your list with the one on file and then release your goods without any taxes or duties.

3. Self Declaration

Completing the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Declaration Card is compulsory for all travellers entering Canada through a Canadian port of entry, especially if you arrive via commercial aircraft. The card will ask you to provide comprehensive details about the items you are bringing with you. Should you have any queries or uncertainties, you may ask the border services officer upon your arrival. Failure to declare or intentionally providing false information about your goods may result in the CBSA seizing them. This could mean that you lose the items permanently, or you may be required to pay a penalty to retrieve them. The penalty imposed by the CBSA can range from 25 to 80 per cent of the seized goods’ value, depending on the nature of the goods and the situation.

To declare your goods, when you arrive at the airport, submit the filled-out forms (BSF186 and BSF186A) to the officer. The officer will review the form, fill out the remaining fields, stamp it, and assign a file number. Finally, you will be given a receipt in the form of a completed form copy.

4. Pay Duties

The government charges duty on some goods when they are brought to Canada. As an individual relocating to Canada, you can bring in your personal and household belongings without paying duty. Nevertheless, it is important to bear in mind that duty will apply to any brand-new item that has not been previously used. Noteworthy, furniture and vehicles for personal use are exempt from duty but vehicles for business are not.

Currently, the import duty for vehicles into Canada stands at 6.1%, and GST (Goods and Services Tax) is 5%. If you have an invoice or bill of sale, the purchase price determines the value of your vehicle. Otherwise, the Canadian Black Book determines the value, and you can check it 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. However, even a US-manufactured car may require modifications before it can be registered for use on Canadian roads. If you are unsure, you should check with Transport Canada.

Cost of Shipping Your Furniture and Vehicles to Canada from Nigeria

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

Shipping a full container from Nigeria to Canada will take 4-6 weeks and cost 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 a reasonable estimate that accurately reflects the total cost of your move, as this information can be difficult to obtain on your own.

How to Claim Your Shipped Furniture and Cars in Canada

You would be notified by the logistics carrier or moving company about the arrival of your shipped goods in Canada. Then you must visit a customs depot and present the stamped BSF186A form to proceed further. The customs office will verify your copy with the one they have on file, and if there are no discrepancies, they will release your goods without charging any duties or taxes. However, if there is any mismatch or inconsistency, you may have 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 personally. It is important to note that once you have taken 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 are unable to claim your goods within the 40-day period, you can request an extension from the local CBSA office before the time limit expires and be granted. In the absence of 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 is necessary to make a claim for your goods within 30 days of the date of issuance of Form E44.Once goods have been forfeited to the Crown, they will be disposed of and cannot be claimed by the owner.


It is usually not easy to relocate your furniture and cars from Nigeria to Canada. However, this article has provided an easy guide on how you can do so without much stress. It is expedient that you also check the Canadian Border Services Agency’s website for more information as they may update it regularly.

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