Shopping Discussion

Disputing customs on discounted items... Do I have a case?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 27th, 2013 1:25 am
Tags:
None
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 8, 2013
1 posts

Disputing customs on discounted items... Do I have a case?

I recently bought goods from a U.S. retailer during Black November sales and everything was heavily discounted (45% off). However, Canadian Customs has charged me duty on the FULL price. So, while I only paid around $200 for my stuff, I am being charged duty on close to $400... a lot more than I expected!

I would like to dispute the charges. Does anyone know if I have a case? I have the invoice as proof of purchase.

Thanks for your help!
10 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 24, 2005
1408 posts
125 upvotes
MrPinson wrote:
Dec 20th, 2013 9:35 am
I recently bought goods from a U.S. retailer during Black November sales and everything was heavily discounted (45% off). However, Canadian Customs has charged me duty on the FULL price. So, while I only paid around $200 for my stuff, I am being charged duty on close to $400... a lot more than I expected!

I would like to dispute the charges. Does anyone know if I have a case? I have the invoice as proof of purchase.

Thanks for your help!
I dispute every customs levy and so far they have refunded 100% back to me, my last dispute I claimed only a portion like yourself and got the entire amount back within 30 days, just do it.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 30, 2007
3036 posts
208 upvotes
Surrey
MrPinson wrote:
Dec 20th, 2013 9:35 am
I recently bought goods from a U.S. retailer during Black November sales and everything was heavily discounted (45% off). However, Canadian Customs has charged me duty on the FULL price. So, while I only paid around $200 for my stuff, I am being charged duty on close to $400... a lot more than I expected!

I would like to dispute the charges. Does anyone know if I have a case? I have the invoice as proof of purchase.
My first question would be why were you charged on the higher retail price? Did you not have the invoices with you at the time? You do have a case, so if you have the original invoices and proof of payment (credit card statement, receipt, etc) you can include copies with the documentation. Depending on where the import was processed, you may already have a copy of the form you need to submit. If the item was shipped to you, contact the shipper if you don't have the form, or you can contact CBSA directly.
Alan lost his fight against cancer at just 5 years, 2 months old. I'm riding to Conquer Cancer, in memory of Alan.
Please donate toward my fundraising efforts and support research into childhood cancers.
Simply scan my avatar to go straight to the donation page!
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
5700 posts
1363 upvotes
BC
MrPinson wrote:
Dec 20th, 2013 9:35 am
..... However, Canadian Customs has charged me duty on the FULL price. So, while I only paid around $200 for my stuff, I am being charged duty on close to $400...
If we are talking about a land port of entry and you were asked to go into the office, you should have ideally been watching as the CBSA person checked your receipt.

For some stores, the bottom line on the sales receipt can be hard to figure out and he/she may have looked at the sub-total before the 45% was taken off.

Just like the checkout at a grocery store, it is up to you to monitor what you are being charged, because it is inconvenient for you to have it corrected later.

Are we really just talking about duty, or did you mean HST?

They don't often bother with assessing duty, but maybe in your case their interpretation of the Act was the value for duty is based on their estimation of the value based on the normal selling price.
Deal Addict
Dec 26, 2005
2798 posts
24 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
MrPinson wrote:
Dec 20th, 2013 9:35 am
I recently bought goods from a U.S. retailer during Black November sales and everything was heavily discounted (45% off). However, Canadian Customs has charged me duty on the FULL price. So, while I only paid around $200 for my stuff, I am being charged duty on close to $400... a lot more than I expected!

I would like to dispute the charges. Does anyone know if I have a case? I have the invoice as proof of purchase.

Thanks for your help!
And if the items(s) was shipped, did the shipper value the item at $400 for insurance purposes? If so, that value would have been used for customs clearance and you charged accordingly.
Newbie
User avatar
Nov 26, 2013
58 posts
30 upvotes
Mississauga
Provide them with a copy of your invoice. Explain everything in a letter as there is no sufficient space on Customs form to do so. Make sure that you clearly state what you paid after 45% discount. Also, shipping should be excluded of any Customs/duties, only the amount (converted in Canadian $'s) is subject to being assessed and taxed.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
5700 posts
1363 upvotes
BC
nole73 wrote:
Dec 25th, 2013 11:41 am
...... Also, shipping should be excluded of any Customs/duties, only the amount (converted in Canadian $'s) is subject to being assessed and taxed.
That's not actually true. It depends. In the OP's case, it is entirely possible that CBSA estimated shipping costs of the items to the location in the U.S. where OP picked it up. But I doubt that accounted for the high valuation.

See: http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm- ... -3-eng.pdf
Deal Addict
Nov 18, 2003
2455 posts
307 upvotes
macnut wrote:
Dec 25th, 2013 1:28 pm
That's not actually true. It depends. In the OP's case, it is entirely possible that CBSA estimated shipping costs of the items to the location in the U.S. where OP picked it up. But I doubt that accounted for the high valuation.

See: http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm- ... -3-eng.pdf
Yeah, an older CBSA agent told me that technically it's the total cost to obtain the item that is subject to customs, which includes shipping cost and US taxes. Also, I recall also being told they can assess customs on the market price of an item, overriding what was actually paid.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 30, 2007
3036 posts
208 upvotes
Surrey
InvisibleSoul wrote:
Dec 25th, 2013 9:55 pm
Also, I recall also being told they can assess customs on the market price of an item, overriding what was actually paid.
Generally speaking, I think this element applies if the price is unreasonably low. Someone presents a receipt, for example, of $1 for a $500 item when they actually paid $450.
Alan lost his fight against cancer at just 5 years, 2 months old. I'm riding to Conquer Cancer, in memory of Alan.
Please donate toward my fundraising efforts and support research into childhood cancers.
Simply scan my avatar to go straight to the donation page!
Deal Addict
Nov 18, 2003
2455 posts
307 upvotes
iamnotamerican.com wrote:
Dec 26th, 2013 1:13 am
Generally speaking, I think this element applies if the price is unreasonably low. Someone presents a receipt, for example, of $1 for a $500 item when they actually paid $450.
Yes, that's probably true, but just saying they do have the right to charge customs on market price, not the price paid.

Otherwise, as you said, you can ship everything you buy from the US to an Amerifriend, and then "buy" the item from your Amerifriend for $1.
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2003
4091 posts
105 upvotes
Tahsis
InvisibleSoul wrote:
Dec 26th, 2013 8:14 pm
Yes, that's probably true, but just saying they do have the right to charge customs on market price, not the price paid.

Otherwise, as you said, you can ship everything you buy from the US to an Amerifriend, and then "buy" the item from your Amerifriend for $1.
Fair market value... which basically preempts the buying things for a dollar from your friend. If it was available for sale and you happened to get a good deal you should pay on the actual sale price.

Top