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Thread: Dealing with Canada custom

  1. #1
    Smart Canuck Purdee's Avatar
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    Not sure where to post this. Half ranting half needing help. I've ordered stuff online from other countries before and this is not the first time I have to deal with the outrageous duties and taxes fees. Most recently, I ordered the following from China:
    2 scarves
    1 chiffon dress
    1 sweat jacket
    cost: $33
    shipping fee: $22
    Total: approx. $55
    The box was shipped through DHL express and I had to pay $22.55 in duties and taxes. Their phone # is no help; does not matter which option I chose, they all refer you to the website. You cannot talk to a live person. DHL already paid for the custom fees so in order for me to get my package I need to pay it then take it up with Canada custom. Which I'm planning to do because this they've charged a 68% in duties and taxes. Has anyone had similar problems? Would like to hear your story or solutions. TIA.

    PS: I shopped at Sammydress as advertised on SC website here. Paid the $22.55 using DHL website - was going to use my credit card but their website did not use *** for the CVN (3 number on the back of credit card) so I used paypal instead. Also had to book another deliver date for April 9th.
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    Last edited by Purdee; Mon, Apr 7th, 2014 at 06:49 PM.


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    Canadian Guru Midnightly's Avatar
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    it's disgusting what they charge for customs... they should break it down for you often the shipping company will charge a flat fee ontop of the government taxes... UPS was the worst! when i purchased stuff off ebay i wouldn't buy anything that shipped via UPS
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    It sounds like DHL charged you a processing fee which they call a "brokerage" fee. That is for handling and collecting the customs fees. Call Canada Customs and I am sure you will find out that you only paid between $5-$7 in duty/taxes and the rest was the shipping company.

    I order all the time and ensure that my shipping is only done through the country's postal service and not any package delivery i.e. DHL, UPS because of the brokerage fees.
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    Smart Canuck Purdee's Avatar
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    grrrr brokerage fee??? this is the first time i heard of this. Well I will never use DHL again. Do other shipping companies charge brokerage fees too?

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    Last edited by lecale; Mon, Jan 19th, 2015 at 07:07 PM.
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    Canada Customs are the worst...ofcourse the courier companies also play into it.

    Lot of surprise and hidden charges ..the funny thing is you don't even know what they are ..till the stuff arrives at your door step.

    There is no clear cut calculations or charges..different people get charged different amounts for the exact same product & price..almost like they use their own discretion & make up their own rules to charge duties & taxes..and don't seem to follow their own guidelines/rules

    I even know people who order using Canada Post and they have been charged different fees at different times for the same product from the same country .
    Last edited by tjthemanto; Mon, Apr 7th, 2014 at 09:05 PM.
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    Dancing bean paste bun Ciel's Avatar
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    UPS collects brokerage fees too. It's like a service charge for collecting/storing/delivering your parcel-UPS acts as your agent in order to collect your parcel from Canada Customs.
    Clothing made in other countries might have zero-rated duties (meaning no additional charge is added to cost of goods) but there are things depending on agreements between Canada and other countries that might add duties to products exported from other countries into Canada; also if there are industries in Canada that are protected, then products from other countries' same industries might hit the duty/tariff wall.

    If you feel intrepid, you can explore Canada Customs' website and read the fine print to see what numbers are indicated for your goods from China.
    Customs Act
    http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-52.6/
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    .
    Last edited by lecale; Mon, Jan 19th, 2015 at 04:02 PM.
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    I heard that any time a purchase exceed $20 Canada Customs may charge duty taxes handling fee ect. Looks like you got hit by CC randomly. DHL is sometimes handled through Canada Post though. You could ask for a detail bill from DHL or when they deliver they can give you the detailed receipt.

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    Smart Canuck Purdee's Avatar
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    thank you guys. I did check out the calculator and that's why it does not makes sense until I found out about the brokerage free. I won't be home for the package but my hubby will. I'll ask him to ask the delivery person for a detailed receipt. I want to know, this is bugging me. Well, if anything this is a lesson for me.

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    Junior Canuck Gazpache's Avatar
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    I work for a Customs Broker, and deal with CBSA every day. What you got dinged was a brokerage fee. Just an FYI the items you bought.... clothing items have some of the highest duty rates in our tariff. Anything fabric gets dinged big time. It's supposedly a way to promote buying Canadian.

    If you ever buy anything from another country, see if they'll send it via their local post office (USPS if you're buying from the US) Other companies such as DHL, Purolator, UPS, Fed Ex etc will charge a brokerage fee which usually is in the realm of 20-40% of the value of the goods.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lecale View Post
    Check out http://www.dutycalculator.com/, it will let you see how the duty is calculated on the different classes of items that you can import from all over the world

    E.g., ladies clothing, e.g., a $30 dress made in China: it does not matter whether you are importing that from the US or China, duty is about 17%. However if the dress was made in the US and imported from the US, the duty is $0 due to NAFTA. Made in China and imported from China OR the US, duty is about $5.40. Send it through the mail to Canada, Canada Post won't bother checking for the duty on that for such a small amount. Send it by DHL, and they will calculate $5.40 duty, plus $4.60 tax/GST, plus a fee for figuring that out, plus a fee for paying that amount for you in advance of you paying them back and all of a sudden they've got you for $25. That's how it works.
    Just to correct some information that was posted here: Canada Post does not calculate any duty fees. They only collect for CCRA.

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    I live at a border town and frequent U.S. shopping weekly. Most "duties" payable are actually based on the HST that is charged in your province. For example, my fees for anything I buy is 13%. The customs officer informed me a few years ago that they don't charge "duty" but charge 'taxes".

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    Ugg! I learned that the hardway too. I ordered from Gymboree and it was shipped DHL. The "duty" was 50% of the order! DHL and UPS are the worst. I won't buy if they use that. I recently ordered from Gymboree and chose their "express" shipping option because it was fedex. I paid more but the duty was lower.
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    Junior Canuck Gazpache's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjwbuster View Post
    I live at a border town and frequent U.S. shopping weekly. Most "duties" payable are actually based on the HST that is charged in your province. For example, my fees for anything I buy is 13%. The customs officer informed me a few years ago that they don't charge "duty" but charge 'taxes".
    That's incorrect. Yes they will charge you the taxes on the item, which would be your 13%. Duty is a completely different program. Duty is based on the Harmonized Tariff code assigned to the item you're bringing across. Some items are duty free no matter where they're made, some like clothing can have up to 18% duty rates or higher. Any item made in the US or Mexico that states that it is made in that country is duty free, however it is not TAX free.


    This is taken directly from the CBSA tariff book. If you bring across Sunglasses, they are subject to a 5% duty rate AND your tax rate. So your sunglasses that were made in say China have 5% duty and 13% tax. If they're made in the USA/Mexico they're only the 5% duty.
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