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FAQ: Canadians Buying iPad 2 from the USA; What You Need to Know

by on March 9th, 2011

Updated – March 10, 2011. New questions at the bottom.

iPad 2 is released this Friday in the US. However, given the close proximity Canadians are to Apple Stores near the Canada/USA border, it’s going to be Christmas for Canucks too. If you’re looking to buy an iPad 2 from the US, here are some tips that you need to know about.

Most of this info is modified from our first FAQ about buying the first gen iPad from the US. We’ve updated the FAQ to help out the next generation of early iPad 2 adopters. Let’s get started!

How much does an iPad 2 cost in the US?

– WiFi models: $499/16GB, $599/32GB, $699/64GB
– WiFi + 3G models: $629/16GB, $729/32GB, $829/64GB
– Add on local State tax to the above purchases.

How much are iPad 2 Smart Covers in the US?

– Polyurethane: $39; Leather: $69

How much is the Apple Digital AV Adapter for streaming 1080p to my TV?

– $39

How much is the iPad 2 dock?

– $29

What colours do the iPad 2 come in?

White or black.

What other stores are selling the iPad 2?

Best Buy, Target, Walmart.

Can I use 3G iPad 2 models in Canada on Rogers, Telus, and Bell? Are they unlocked?

Yes. We confirmed they are unlocked. However, you MUST buy the AT&T GSM version for it to work in Canada.

Does my US iPad 2 warranty extend to Canada?


Do American Apple Stores take Canadian credit cards?

Yes. You’re in luck too, since the Canadian dollar is above parity!

Will I have to pay duties on my iPad 2? What about HST?

From iPadinCanada.ca reader Cal:

The 10-digit harmonized system (HS) code for iPads is:

* 8471.30.01.00 in the U.S.
* 8471.30.00.00 in Canada.

Both countries use the World Customs Organization tariff item description of β€œportable automatic data processing machines, weighing not more than 10 kg, consisting of at least a central processing unit, a keyboard and a display”. The iPad falls under this tariff classification, as do computer netbooks and notebooks.

So, no duties on iPad, but Canadian taxes, yes.

Will Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) care how many iPads I bring back in one day?

No. As long as you declare, you’ll just pay Canadian taxes on the total value of your iPads. I called CBSA to confirm this.

Is there a limit on iPad 2 purchases? I want to bring back 5 for my friends and family.

Apple last year had a limit of 2 iPads per person/credit card. That might happen again this year. Bring an “iPad wing man” to help out if you need more. We’ll find the limits soon, and update this FAQ.

Will I have to create a US iTunes account to use iPad 2 in Canada?


I really, really want an iPad 2 from the US this Friday (and weekend). How should I prepare?

Prior to leaving Canada, Google the numbers/addresses of Apple Stores, Best Buy/Walmart/Target stores, and also Starbucks locations (for free WiFi–and calling via Skype plans). Bring a lawn chair as you might be prepared to wait in line.

Will Applecare purchased in the US work in Canada?


What time will US Apple Stores sell iPad 2? What about ordering online?

5pm local time for stores. Online ordering starts at 1am. Canadians cannot order from Apple.com. I suggest you find an “Amerifriend” to order for you. Or, try a mail forwarding service; although last year orders from Borderlinx were cancelled by Apple. Best bet, get a friend to order for you that lives in the USA.

Will I pay Canadian tax on the total before US State tax, or on top of it?

You will be charged Canadian tax on the US total that includes taxes. So if you paid $546 US for iPad 2 from Washington State ($499 + 9.5%), coming home you’ll have to pay HST on that amount. So, $546 x 12%. Boo!

If there’s a relevant question we missed, please let us know in the comments and we’ll include and try our best to answer it. Anyone heading South this Friday and the weekend?

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  • Anonymous

    Ill be going to walmart supercentre in Plattsburgh to buy an iPad 2 16gb 3G model in white although do you think theyll have it in stock? I’ll be going on Saturday… Can we reserve it on Friday?

  • Anonymous

    Ill be going to walmart supercentre in Plattsburgh to buy an iPad 2 16gb 3G model in white although do you think theyll have it in stock? I’ll be going on Saturday… Can we reserve it on Friday?

  • i doubt they’ll have them on Saturday anymore and I don’t think they’ll do reservations or bring new stock. Apple Store is your safest bet. I’ll be driving form Vancouver to Lynnwood Apple Store. Gonna be there around 9 – 9:30 AM. Hope that’ll be early enough to get one at 5 pm πŸ˜›

  • Ah, good ol’ Alderwood Mall.

    Apple Stores typically stagger stock per day. The iPhone 4 is an example.
    Hopefully iPad 2 will be the same!

  • are you going Gary? πŸ˜€ do you think I’ll be safe with a 9:30 arrival?

  • You’re going Friday morning right? I think arriving at 9:30am would be safe,
    but I’m sure people will be camping out overnight. Good luck, and be sure to
    let me know how it goes.

    I have a friend picking one up for me, so I should have mine by Friday night
    or Sat AM. πŸ™‚

  • Fastrace24

    I’m so jealous! Having our first baby recently means that I won’t be able to buy one… I waited for iPad 2 instead of going with the original. Good luck, Gary! And everyone else for that matter! I hope to hear good news from you all!

  • Anonymous

    Hey Stefan, I just sent you a message on Twitter.

    Maybe I can keep you company?? I know this is weird, but I’m… well it’s apple!! πŸ˜‰

    Let’s commiserate as the kids say these days πŸ˜‰

    That said, I have read a lot of sites which say the lineup for the iPad 2 isn’t going to be nearly the same as the first iPad. I tend to possible agree, since it’s not a new “phone”.. Also, I’m aiming for the 64 gig wifi model, which was the one model that hung around most last time…

    This is the first and only day one purchase I’d like to make…

  • Mick232mick

    i have a question. I would like to go to the us this weekend to buy an ipad 2…. but if i buy a 3g model… wiil i be able to use it and to get a plan with telus or bell? i just want to make sure that i understood everything.

  • Chris

    Can a Canadian order one online from the US Apple Store? Or is their shipping such that it wouldn’t be any time saving? With the Canadian dollar where it is and relative pricing, it may be worth it to pay for shipping if that is an option.

  • Ex


  • Stefan Zafiratos

    it will worj here fine since it’s noy locked to at&t plus it won’t be subsidized anyway so the short answer is yes you will be able to get a plan in Canada

  • Yes. Buy the AT&T version though.

  • DM’ed you on Twitter

  • CornflakeGirl

    FYI to all the Canadians bying iPad2 in the US…. you can’t return it in Canada ! If you need to return for any reason, you have to return in the country it was purchased in… ask me how I know !! hah AND keep all the packaging, they will not take it back (or at least charge you a 10% restocking fee).


  • Dsimp

    FYI , I bought mine in the us last year , and I bought the extended warranty , and they took it back here in Canada with no problem, and I confirm this with apple store .

  • Dgft

    I return mine without problem at my local Canadian apple store, and they exchange it, and I got it from the states.

  • Jm Boily

    I plan on going to Plattsburgh NY to buy an iPad tomorrow or this weekend but I have a few questions…
    1- When we come back to Canada do we pay taxes on the before-tax value (499) or do we have to add state and county taxes to the declared value?
    2- Plattsburgh is a relatively small city all three non-Apple retailers are there. Which one should be getting the largest number of units: Best Buy, Walmart or Target ?
    3- Walmart is open 24hrs… Do they start selling at 0:01 on friday ?

  • Hi guys, I’m heading to Watertown tomorrow to pick up my iPad (leaving from Ottawa and passing by on my way to Toronto). Is anyone else planning on doing this?

  • Mlena095

    I’m thinking of heading down to the Carousel mall Apple Store in Syracuse, but I’m not sure how early I’d have to be there. Do you think they’d sell out if I got there at like 3pm to wait in line?

  • Not quite sure, but going to the Apple store is definitely your best bet. I would ideally go to syracuse but I can’t leave Ottawa until 3pm πŸ™

  • Infra

    I’m a little confused on the tax situation. I understand that we have to claim it coming back into Canada, but what about actually purchasing it from the store? Will there be tax incurred on the purchase *at* the store? If so, then it might be better to wait until it’s released here in Canada. I’d be leaving from Vancouver.

  • Ex

    State tax + your province tax

  • Infra

    Thank you for clarifying.

    I’m not sure about the tax rate in Washington state, but I’m not willing to pay the premium to get it a couple of weeks earlier. I’ll just have to show a little patience and pick one up at a local Best Buy or Apple Store without the hassle at the border, the double-taxing, and the burning of gasoline at $1.30/litre! πŸ˜›


  • Keep in mind, for those crossing into Washington State from BC, the tax rate varies by county:


    Bellingham – 8.5%
    Burlington – 8.2%
    Seattle/Bellevue – 9.5%

  • Why not make sure you’ve read all the best full page iPad2 reviews before buying?

  • Tim

    I’m doing the same thing and thinking the same questions for taxes. They won’t sell before 5:00 pm.

  • Mick232mick

    I plan to do the same thing πŸ™‚ and i would also like to have the answer to your question. But walmart will probably not sell them at 1am ….it supose to be at 5pm on friday

  • Hasanc786

    Any body getting the accidental/extended service plan from best buy in US? if so which one, 2 year, 3 year?whats your thoughts on getting it plz, thank

  • Ex

    You can get AppleCare if you want. Stay away from bestbuys own warranty

  • Hasasnc786

    why you say that? coz with best buy, anything goes wrong, your fault or not, they’ll change it, but apple is more pickey and wont help if the prduct is physically damaged? correct me if im worng plz. also for apple care, you have to buy from apple store only, thats why.

  • Ex

    Best Buy/Future Shop warranties are shady. AppleCare can be purchased anywhere, even online.

  • Hasanc786

    oh thanks for the info but i did not know that you can buy apple care while purchasing your product elsewhere, but how is apple care, i know for software issues or buttons not working etc etc, they must be good, but what about the physical damage, im not talking about cracking the screen on purpose, bur you know what i mean, thats where bestbuy accidental warrenty sounds interesting, they’ll change it…

  • Post your results when you guys come back tomorrow! According to an online Plattsburgh tax calc, they charge 8% on goods. So for example if you get the 32GB wifi only (600).. Then walking out of Walmart/BestBuy/Target will bring you up to $648 USD tax included. Now bring that over to Canada they won’t charge Duty (exempt I think), but they will charge full taxes… So in the end it’ll come out pretty much the same as if you were to buy it here March 25th. One way to get around that is if you stay longer than 48 hours in the states. Then you are exempt 400$ USD. You pay taxes on the difference. Another way around is if you drive to New Hampshire where there’s no sales taxes at all, and stay there 48 hours or more. Then you can potentially just need to pay taxes on 200$… it’s a tough choice. One that I’ve been weighing the pros and cons about for a few days now lol!

  • Grantsviews

    can u get the washington tax back when back in canada?

  • Decker9000

    Only if you have an american address to ship it to.

  • Ex


  • Mark

    I’ve heard reports that the 3G model’s micro SIM is not accessible — Can anyone confirm?? This would stop us from putting a Canadian Sim in πŸ™ Apparently there is a US version and an International version. Any confirmations??

  • Anonymous

    Yep, it happened to me with an iPhone, tried to return in Canada, but since the purchase was made in California I had to go to US to return.

  • Macbear

    Not worth it at all. I hit the Plattsburgh best buy at 1530hrs and they had like maybe 20-25 iPads in stock. No 3G, no 64 Gb. I was wholly disappointed at this overhyped crap, really just better and easier to wait a bit, then order from the online store. Stock was really low. I heard the Target next door had 6 iPads at launch.

  • Macbear

    Probably state taxes and then GST or HST on the before fax price of your iPad at the border. There is no duty as iPads and other electronics are included in the agreement between Canada and US. Hey that info is listed above man, read up!

  • Jimmoss

    Can you use Canadian Apple Gift Cards to Purchase online from within the USA? IE Amerifriend with US address orders for me but uses Canadian Currency Apple Store gift cards to pay for them?

  • Mfigx

    Re: will I pay Canadian tax, the actual amount is 13% HST, not 12%

  • MacBear

    Best Buy/Future Shop warranties are an effing joke.

  • Dave

    Hey James

    I am also from Ottawa and we got ours today at the Carousel Center in Syracuse. We lucked out as they still had a couple left. Did you get a chance to get yours?

  • stephpup

    I am currently living in the U.S. and plan to purchase a 3G iPad2. I’ll be moving back to Toronto in May – will I be able to use my iPad while im in the U.S. and when I later return to Canada? Will there be complications with my iTunes account?

  • 2flea

    Hi, I am German citizen and I’m going to visit Canada in June. I plan to go to Montana (US) to buy an iPad2 and bring it back to Canada and after to Germany. As far as I understand I pay 499USD for the 16GB Wifi model, MT has no state tax. Do I need to declare the iPad on my way back to Canada? Do I have to pay any tax in Canada? Back in Germany we can import up to 430€ (> 500USD) tax free.
    Thanks for your help πŸ™‚

  • Tdz_81

    BC is 12%

  • Nguyen M Thu

    I have the same question with ‘2flea ‘ below. I will visit Canada in June for 1 week. If I buy Ipad 2 there, Can i claim back tax when i go back to Europe?

  • Ex


  • Nguyen M Thu

    why not?

  • Amanda Secord

    Quick question… I’m in Canada and if I win an iPad2 from the US and they ship it to me, I still have to pay the tax even though it was won right?

  • Laurie

    This may be a stupid question but here goes. I’ll be in the states for 9 days in October. If I buy an IPad while I’m down there will I have to pay BC taxes when I come back to Vancouver?

  • Ex

    Really depends on the total $ value you bring back into Canada.

  • JS

    I live in B.C. We voted down the HST. Do we pay tax on the Wa tax again?