Canada Customs revisited...AGAIN
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jlo mein

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Just got my latest package from the UK and lo and behold another E14 slip. I got 2 pillows shipped to me, description being "Fabric, Made Up Articles". Marked value was 19.98 pounds ($45.01 CDN).

The first thing CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) slaps at me is an 18% duty rate equalling $8.10. Then its $3.72 for GST, and again for PST. Finally the lovely handling fee of $5.

I'm normally used to the taxes and handling, but this duty thing is new to me. I've ran through the Customs site and the only explanation I can find seems to be that duty is to protect the economic interests of Canadian industry? What?

I'm curious to know how CBSA gives this a value of 18%, and how exactly my duty money is protecting economic interests, and how its being distributed.
 
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dffman2001

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Duty is collected to protect canadian industries by preventing canadian consumers from buying foreign goods. Depending on the type of good, duties applied may vary. I believe fabric and clothing related articles are a little sticky with Canada because there is a production of similar goods in canada. If it was, say stone carvings, then Canadian industries aren't really suffering because there aren't all too many stone carvers.

The money that was taken from you doesn't go to anything directly, but to stuff government coffers. The duty is supposed to disuade you from purchasing certain foreign produced items as the price will be higher than comparable canadians goods after the duty is levied.

Items from certain countries may be exempt from duties due to certain trade agreement which removes tariffs from goods thus promoting competition between manufacturers of both nations - which means that the canadian factory may have a tougher time because it actually needs to be more efficient and produce goods of such good quality and at such a low price to compete with foriegn manufacturers.

Apparently, the UK does not have such an agreement with canada and the way that the item was declared was a likely cause of the duties charged. Fabric, having a canadian industry, as well as specifying that this was a value added product may have resulted in catching the eye of the customs inspector and thus leading them to tag your item to be charged.

GST taxes consumers on consumption - the driver of the economy - and is purported to be used for various government funded activites; ie. paying sponsership firms and creating a gun registry program. Dispite continued promises that the GST would be removed, the federal government continues to levy a tax of 7% to every good and service sold in Canada.

PST is what your provincial government uses to earn extra cash to fund provincial programs, such as medicare and education. Luckily, Alberta is PST free - mainly making up for this loss of revenue from royalties earned from the sale of crude oil and petroleum products.

Better luck next time - or move to the cayman islands/monaco (low taxes, i hear)
 
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dj_mocok

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Damn... taxes for pillows ? Those damn customs are sure bunch of d*cks..

Australia has tough custom laws, but at least we're not getting taxed for pillows...
 
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jlo mein

In some place that's not Canada ....the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
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ya they're really cool pillows called Cushties haha...they're squishy and soft...

EDIT: what I like most about the CBSA is that on both the E14 slip and the website, there is not a single phone number listed for them.
 
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dj_mocok

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No phone no. ?
Nice move by them, or else they'll be getting tons of "what the *beep* do you think you're doing, charging me that much you *beep*ing moron...." call everyday...
 
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Thrasher

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jam_Master_J
I just ordered $40 of paintball accessories from the US and customs charged me nearly $10.


Yeah, that handling fee is ridiculous. I once received a Chaintech AV-710 sound card worth US$20 and I had to pay $3 tax + $5 handling fee, that means $8 for a CDN$25 item.
 
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KevC

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jam_Master_J
I just ordered $40 of paintball accessories from the US and customs charged me nearly $10.


That's not bad at all. I think $5-10 is the standard duty charge. The worse is Fedex Economy or UPS Ground. I got charged $40 on a $40 item.

The trick is, either ship USPS and hope to dodge the customs (highly unlikely) or suck it up and pay for a better shipping method. I now only ship UPS Expedited. Sure, its' expensive, but I'd be paying that extra $40 anyway. Besides, I get it in 3 days instead of 4 weeks. And UPS Expedited covers all customs handling charges in the fee itself. Something to remember
 
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gshan

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Can any or all of the import taxes be avoided by simply shipping the package as "GIFT" ?

I'm curious because I need to ship something from US to Canada soon.
 
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KevC

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Quote:

Originally Posted by gshan
Can any or all of the import taxes be avoided by simply shipping the package as "GIFT" ?

I'm curious because I need to ship something from US to Canada soon.



Usually that works, only for lower priced items though. If the value is declared high (if you want insurance), then it's possible taxes be tacked on.
 
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gshan

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Very good to know. Now only if retailers would do it - not legal I'm guessing. Thank you.
 
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aerius

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This is why you should bribe your friendly Customs agent, send a few bucks my way and I'll wave your stuff right through.
 
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jlo mein

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Quote:

Originally Posted by KevC
And UPS Expedited covers all customs handling charges in the fee itself. Something to remember



??? So when you pay UPS Expedited, it includes any duty, handling, AND taxes?


BTW Gifts: The story goes if an item is marked as a gift, it will pass with no charges up to $60 CDN. Over that amount, the gift will be charged duties/handling/taxes on anything over $60.

If the package is not marked a gift, it can pass without charges if under $20CDN.

Note that the $20 exemption and $60 gift exemption cannot be combined.



ARGH!!! One of the Cushties i got is defective...i think i'm exchanging it...now i get to go through the wonderful process of trying to prove to CBSA that the item was returned and I should get a refund for the duty and taxes.
 
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DrOctagon

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Garrr...Canada and customs, what a headache. Every time I've ordered/bought something from the US, it's always a hassle with those guys as well. Glad I found this thread since there's some good info here I'll be putting to use in the future. I too am curious about UPS Expidited. It was ages ago, but the one experience I had with UPS resulted in me paying MORE in taxes/duties/fees/whatever than the item I had purchased (some computer part). Haven't used their 'services' since.

USPS + 'gift' + lowered value listed for the package's contents has been about all I've done for ages now. But if there is a way to pay one flat fee for much faster delivery time, and get away without all those extra costs, then I'm all for it.

Thanks for the info too, dffman2001; I wasn't aware of all that until now.
 
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AlanY

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jlo mein
??? So when you pay UPS Expedited, it includes any duty, handling, AND taxes?


No. The only thing it includes is the ludicrous UPS "brokerage fee", which is inflated to begin with. UPS is still responsible for collecting tariffs ("duty") and taxes, so they'll still sock you with UPS' equally ludicrous "disbursement fee" and "COD fee" on that amount.

Occasionally, if you have things shipped via UPS Expedited, they end up going under the radar for some reason and you don't get charged anything. This happens with FedEx too on occasion. You can't depend on it though. UPS and FedEx are legitimately supposed to be collecting tariffs and taxes.

In my opinion, UPS Canada's myriad of fees (often as much as $40 for a $40 item, excluding tariffs and taxes) are completely dishonest, particularly their claim that "our published rates are among the lowest in the business," which in my mind amounts to false advertising. Their published rates are several times higher than any of their competitors. Don't encourage these kinds of business practices by patronizing UPS, even UPS Expedited. USPS and FedEx are always cheaper when you tally up the sum total of shipping and brokerage and other costs, so there is no reason to put money in UPS' pockets.

You can avoid paying tariffs ("duty") by buying products manufactured in Canada, Mexico, and the US. Products manufactured elsewhere but sold by a retail vendor in Canada, Mexico, or the US are also usually exempt from tariffs ("duty") because the retailer or his suppliers paid the tariffs when the item was originally imported into the NAFTA zone.
 
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