Personal Finance

Custom duty on tickets to an event held out of the country?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 7th, 2019 7:14 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 29, 2010
5 posts
Edmonton

Custom duty on tickets to an event held out of the country?

Ordered a festival pass for Sweden and they said the only option was shipping it to me in Canada. They used DHL, labelled it merchandise, and DHL said they need to collect $30 customs. Doesn't Sweden have a postal service? How do I say in Swedish that I want to pick up the tickets at the box office? Is my pass eligible for Canadian duty? What should I do? Thanks!
8 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
8195 posts
4908 upvotes
Edmonton
I don't think DHL has a choice... They just act as a broker for the government customs collectors. The company shipping it to you marked it as merchandise, so that's how it was handled.

Keep in mind that there's often 3 parts to an international customs charge. There's a broker fee (for DHL to do the work), there's GST, and there's duty. You may want to get a breakdown of what was charged.

As far as what you can do now, do you have the tickets in your sweaty hands? If so, take a look at this form?
https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/import/cour ... o-eng.html

It doesn't seem like you should be charged "duty" or even GST on an event happening outside of Canada, so maybe if you can clarify with the CBSA that it wasn't actually merchandise, you can get some of your money back.

C
Jr. Member
Aug 25, 2015
145 posts
227 upvotes
Victoria, BC
From my experience English literacy is very high in Sweden so I doubt you'll have any problems talking to them in English. However, if they already shipped you the tickets then there isn't much they can do now.
Deal Addict
Sep 24, 2018
1008 posts
464 upvotes
I get this all the time, I recently sent an expensive watch back for "SERVICE" the package even said "REPAIR/SERVICE/WARRANTY", Canadian customs ended up screwing me for a small fortune(Rolex Daytona, AND i got it back with scratches and a bunch of finger prints, I guarantee you ROLEX DIDNT DO IT), some shipping companies will invoice you, some want money before you get it. Is the fighting process worth it? Its up to you, but theyll always win :)

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Last edited by Mars2012 on Jan 7th, 2019 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: leave politics in the OT forum
Member
Jun 19, 2007
416 posts
131 upvotes
Halifax
About 10 years ago I flew Calgary to Houston for work, and being Tx I forgot my heavy winter down coat there. Called the hotel for them to ship it back. No problem. Then a week later I get a call saying they want almost $100 fees from UPS. Apparently half of that was for "brokerage", and the other half was GST/Duty. I tried telling them it was my own bloody coat to no avail, and they said my only other option was to go from Calgary to Winnipeg and handle the "brokerage" myself. From the states anyways, never EVER use UPS. Always go with USPS.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
16313 posts
3391 upvotes
Toronto
seadog83 wrote:
Jan 7th, 2019 11:55 am
About 10 years ago I flew Calgary to Houston for work, and being Tx I forgot my heavy winter down coat there. Called the hotel for them to ship it back. No problem. Then a week later I get a call saying they want almost $100 fees from UPS. Apparently half of that was for "brokerage", and the other half was GST/Duty. I tried telling them it was my own bloody coat to no avail, and they said my only other option was to go from Calgary to Winnipeg and handle the "brokerage" myself. From the states anyways, never EVER use UPS. Always go with USPS.
UPS and FedEx both have free brokerage, if you ship by the right method. The method often would only cost a little bit more, but brokerage is included. The smart etailers already do this.

Like you, a random hotel worker wouldn't know any better though. Also, the taxes are a separate matter. No guarantee you could have avoided taxes with USPS if the document was filled out similarly.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 12, 2005
8366 posts
1099 upvotes
Victoria
I never thought of it until now, but I guess that's why TM prints their tickets in Canada (even when you buy tickets for an event in the US). They don't have to make the item cross the border. TM does have the ability to cancel and reissue tickets. I know your festival aren't using TM, but maybe the ticket agency has similar options?

I suppose everything that cross the border through mail is subject to taxes. I had a WD Hard drive I sent in for repair a few years ago get dinged for tax on the way back. I'm not sure what the exemptions are or under what circumstances. I kind of get the feeling there may not be any?

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