• Last Updated:
  • Dec 15th, 2017 1:12 pm
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[OP]
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Aug 11, 2009
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Disputing CBSA Duties

Hi all,

I purchased a t-shirt from USA for $32.75USD which was converted to $43.32CAD.

I am surprised that I was actually charged duties/taxes/and brokerage for this t-shirt. First off, the seller inputted the value incorrectly as I paid less than what was declared. Furthermore, this is the first time I actually had to pay for something shipped via CP.

I had multiple products with much higher declared values and never had to pay a dime..

Is there anyway to dispute this or am I SOL? I can't believe I got such a picky CBSA officer.
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25 replies
[OP]
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Aug 11, 2009
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GeeCee wrote:
Dec 13th, 2017 10:59 pm
You'll want to file a request for an adjustment: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/import/post ... g.html#_s2

BTW, the value declared is supposed to be the market value of the goods, not necessarily what you actually paid, so that may explain the difference.
Thanks for that. I had to pay $24 for the duties/brokerage/fee which was more than 50% of the value of my item.

Regarding the adjustment dispute, what can happen? It was declared $3 more so I'm not sure if an adjustment will even offset any of the duties paid..I'm just stunned that CBSA charged me for this t-shirt.
PSN: RunOrDie226
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Jan 3, 2014
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RunOrDie wrote:
Dec 13th, 2017 11:04 pm
Thanks for that. I had to pay $24 for the duties/brokerage/fee which was more than 50% of the value of my item.

Regarding the adjustment dispute, what can happen? It was declared $3 more so I'm not sure if an adjustment will even offset any of the duties paid..
If you think it worth your time to get a correction for taxes and duties on the $3, then go nuts. It's your right and if you can provide evidence of what you paid - and it's ressonable - then you'll likely be successful.
I'm just stunned that CBSA charged me for this t-shirt.
You shouldn't be. You bought something from outside Canada and all such purchases are subject to duties and/or taxes if not covered by exemptions.

"I don't think I should have been charged because it's a t-shirt" doesn't cut it for a reason to dispute these charges.
Proud RFD member since January 31, 2007. Feel free to add 3,034 to my post count.
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Dec 20, 2004
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Port Coquitlam, BC
RunOrDie wrote:
Dec 13th, 2017 11:04 pm
Thanks for that. I had to pay $24 for the duties/brokerage/fee which was more than 50% of the value of my item.

Regarding the adjustment dispute, what can happen? It was declared $3 more so I'm not sure if an adjustment will even offset any of the duties paid..I'm just stunned that CBSA charged me for this t-shirt.
To be honest, I don't think it's going to be worth your time. It's hard to say without you posting the breakdown, but I imagine that you were dinged for duty on top of taxes (and IIRC clothing and textiles have a rather punitive duty rate on them) in addition to Canada Post's brokerage fee ($5 or $10?). A percentage of $3 difference probably isn't going to hurt any less.
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Feb 19, 2017
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RunOrDie wrote:
Dec 13th, 2017 11:04 pm
Thanks for that. I had to pay $24 for the duties/brokerage/fee which was more than 50% of the value of my item.

Regarding the adjustment dispute, what can happen? It was declared $3 more so I'm not sure if an adjustment will even offset any of the duties paid..I'm just stunned that CBSA charged me for this t-shirt.
Any purchase over $20 can be taxed. Clothing (if not made in NA) is also subject to heavy duty. Based on online calculator, your final price should be $55.63 (cad) plus any brokerage charge. The fact you havent been dinged before is really just luck.

Also note that state tax is also taxed so if there is a difference, remember to include any state tax and shipping.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 3, 2007
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Toronto
Which courier delivered the item? If it was UPS, then it's likely their brokerage fees which you need to take a closer look at.
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Dec 20, 2004
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appleb wrote:
Dec 14th, 2017 4:07 am
Which courier delivered the item? If it was UPS, then it's likely their brokerage fees which you need to take a closer look at.
It says CP/Canada Post in the OP.
Deal Guru
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Mar 6, 2003
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They are supposed to charge you duties and taxes over $20. The fact that they don't most of the time is mainly due to laziness on their behalf as the unwritten rule that lets a lot of stuff under $100 through. This time you got unlucky as some CBSA officer had time to kill and assessed your package.
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Jan 9, 2011
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GeeCee wrote:
Dec 13th, 2017 10:59 pm
BTW, the value declared is supposed to be the market value of the goods, not necessarily what you actually paid, so that may explain the difference.
Are you sure about that?
18% = GTA residents as a proportion of Canada's total population
97% = chance that an RFDer lives in the GTA when he posts something location specific, without giving a location

Were you hit with surprise customs/import fees on an Amazon.ca purchase?
Deal Guru
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Oct 5, 2008
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duty on clothing is 13%, as is HST. Add in $9 or $10 for CP brokerage fee and it adds up quickly.

I still don't get to $24 though.
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Jun 3, 2010
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I can only say welcome to the world of international shopping. Anything over the $20 mark can be assessed duty. Most of the time, the duty charged is not really that bad. The times that I have been assessed, it was really like sales tax.

The part that hurts is the brokerage fee. OP, you are lucky this time it is only Canada Post. If it was UPS, they would want your first born.

My sister ordered a coffee mug for our dad one year. It was one of those custom graphics mugs, I think she had the company put a photo on it. But when it arrived, they needed him to pay an additional $30 for the duties and brokerage fee. He just declined it and had it sent back.

That's the way it goes with International purchases. The brokerage feels is the part that kills the most. It is one of the reasons that I would rather just ship things to a location in the US and then drive down to pick it up to bring back myself. I just treat it as a day trip / getaway. YMMV, but you may not even be charged duties for your item as long as you declare it when you cross the border.
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Aug 2, 2003
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Swerny wrote:
Dec 14th, 2017 10:21 am
duty on clothing is 13%, as is HST. Add in $9 or $10 for CP brokerage fee and it adds up quickly.

I still don't get to $24 though.
13% hst + 18% duty on clothing if made outside NAFTA + 10$ CP fee + hst on that = $24~

Here's a quick cheat sheet on duty on page 3
https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publication ... 01-eng.pdf
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Jul 5, 2004
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You can't really file for an adjustment due to not being charged in the past. If you overpaid and can prove it, that's one thing, but it sounds like you want to file for an adjustment on grounds that won't hold up in the appeal. Consider it a lesson learned and move on. Anytime you buy from another country, you risk taxes, duties, brokerage, etc. If you get charged nothing, be flag you came out ahead, but don't expect that every time

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