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Ridiculous experience crossing border to ship an item - charged "truck fee"?

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Ridiculous experience crossing border to ship an item - charged "truck fee"?

I crossed the border today into the USA to ship an item via USPS that I'd sold on ebay. I didn't want to ship it from Canada for various reasons but that's beside the point. I've done this plenty of times and never had an issue before. When I pulled up you could tell the border guard was on a power trip as he was searching every single vehicle, opening all the trunks, taking about 5 minutes with each car and then sending them all off to further inspection. When I finally got to him and I told him what I was doing and he got all upset. He pulled me over and long story short he forced me to fill out a "Inward Cargo Manifest for Vessel under Five Tons, Ferry, Train, Car, Vehicle, etc". Then he charged me a $5.50 "truck fee" and a $7.55 "APHIS truck" fee. Total of $13.05. Took about 40 minutes at the border and wasted a lot of peoples time. You could tell he was really happy he had caught someone going down to ship $200 worth of stuff via ebay and had a chance to make their day as miserable as his was clearly going. I've had ridiculous experiences at the border but this one was especially fun. Thought I'd share incase anyone else dares think of crossing the border to ship something. I know this isn't shopping related per say but it is shipping/ebay related. Anyways I'm sure this thread will end up with me being blamed for being stupid and crossing the border to ship something. Blame away. But this kind of power trip useless time wasting crap from border guards gets a little bit old after a while. Wannabee cops.
Last edited by adamtheman on Oct 21st, 2016 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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You should have gone to another inspector.
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adamtheman wrote:
Oct 20th, 2016 6:40 pm
Anyways I'm sure this thread will end up with me being blamed for being stupid and crossing the border to ship something. Blame away. But this kind of power trip useless time wasting crap from border guards gets a little bit old after a while. Wannabee cops.
If you're crossing the border with commercial goods, you're going to have to use the commercial lane and provide paperwork and pay the fee.

The good news is that the US duty free import limit is now $800, so it's possible to ship stuff across the border using a private courier service that delivers packages directly to the US Postal Service or UPS/FedEx. The one I use charges $1 for packages under 4 lb.
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retrothing wrote:
Oct 20th, 2016 6:44 pm
If you're crossing the border with commercial goods, you're going to have to use the commercial lane and provide paperwork and pay the fee.

The good news is that the US duty free import limit is now $800, so it's possible to ship stuff across the border using a private courier service that delivers packages directly to the US Postal Service or UPS/FedEx. The one I use charges $1 for packages under 4 lb.
For the record I am not disputing the fact that he was allowed to do this or I should technically use the commercial lane. But you could say that about a lot of things at the border. They have a right to pull you over and fully search your car every time and force you to produce receipts for anything on your person and so forth. Hope you brought proof of purchase for the wrist watch you're wearing, or your iPhone. Of course none of this happens on a daily basis because most border guards have some common sense. But clearly others do not. This is a case of a border guard being a dick, and trust me, he was a dick about it. Could hardly contain his smile. Seemed to make him really happy.
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You know they sometimes have reasons for doing things like that. They are there to make sure the laws are being followed and secure the border. Not.to provide customer service or be friend. Sound like the guy was doing his job. Your the one who wasn't doing what they should have. Maybe it was the end of his shift and he was tired of dealing with stupid people all day.
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So you knew what you were doing was wrong and that you should have paid additional fees. But it's a "ridiculous experience" because they enforced it? I am sure you can see this is a little confusing because it seems like you knew you were breaking the rules and are just upset you finally got caught.
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I've sold items on ebay in the past and have always shipped them via the states because USPS was cheaper and faster. Fortunately, I never had any troubles at the border. I always told the border agent what I was doing and they would ask if I was running a business. I wasn't - I was just selling to get rid of clutter. So now I wonder if the fee you were charged is for commercial transactions?
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That's alright, next time just use the commercial lane to bypass traffic (assuming it's not backed up). Tell them you are shipping stuff from the U.S. and were told you had to use the commercial lane to do so. I've done it before, well worth the $12 to bypass traffic. Got some dirty looks but smeh.
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Feb 13, 2013
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What is with these border guards and their odd crackdowns lately?

Ihad a strange experience last time I crossed as well. Hubby and I went across to pick up an item that was being held by a freight forwarder. Value was about $3000 and it was for our business. We were planning on going through the commercial crossing on the way back into Canada. We regularly import items and have done this many times before. When we got to the border heading into the US, we ended up taking the nexus lane. (Best $10 a year we've ever spent, by the way!). We had nothing to declare going into the states, so we thought it was all good. Officer asked where we were going, value of the goods and if it was for a business. We have him all the answers and told him we were going to go back into Canada through the commercial crossing. "Technically I should make you go through the commercial crossing going this way as well", he says. Say what? We have nothing to declare!? Should we have gone through a regular lane instead of through Nexus? "Nope. Doesn't matter" he says. If the purpose of your visit is to come into the US to do "commercial business", you should use the commercial lane."

Luckily this guy was a lot nicer than the one you got. He let us through with no problems.

Maybe they are just bored?
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adamtheman wrote:
Oct 20th, 2016 6:40 pm
I crossed the border today into the USA to ship an item via USPS that I'd sold on ebay. I didn't want to ship it from Canada for various reasons but that's beside the point. I've done this plenty of times and never had an issue before. When I pulled up you could tell the border guard was on a power trip
Well...this is the first example of your crappy attitude.

Perhaps they were doing a 100% search on all vehicles from that lane (or even others) as mandated by their decision makers? Perhaps the decision makers directed that agent to do more extensive checks during his time on that lane?
Wannabee cops.
...and here's your second example.

You do know that they actually have more authority than police officers, right, and their authority is quite justified?

If you don't want to deal with border guards, don't cross borders. No-one's making you do it, you know.
He pulled me over and long story short he forced me to fill out a "Inward Cargo Manifest for Vessel under Five Tons, Ferry, Train, Car, Vehicle, etc". Then he charged me a $5.50 "truck fee" and a $7.55 "APHIS truck" fee. Total of $13.05.

Speak to the US Government. Obviously they have decided to mandate this charge - it's not as if the BSO is just arbitrarily making the charge and keeping the money himself.
You could tell he was really happy he had caught someone going down to ship $200 worth of stuff via ebay and had a chance to make their day as miserable as his was clearly going.
Well, if you showed him the crappy attitude you displayed here, you were deserving of any joy he may have received. Generally speaking though, I think they're mostly indifferent about it all.
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adamtheman wrote:
Oct 20th, 2016 6:40 pm
I crossed the border today into the USA to ship an item via USPS that I'd sold on ebay. I didn't want to ship it from Canada for various reasons but that's beside the point. I've done this plenty of times and never had an issue before. When I pulled up you could tell the border guard was on a power trip as he was searching every single vehicle, opening all the trunks, taking about 5 minutes with each car and then sending them all off to further inspection. When I finally got to him and I told him what I was doing and he got all upset. He pulled me over and long story short he forced me to fill out a "Inward Cargo Manifest for Vessel under Five Tons, Ferry, Train, Car, Vehicle, etc". Then he charged me a $5.50 "truck fee" and a $7.55 "APHIS truck" fee. Total of $13.05. Took about 40 minutes at the border and wasted a lot of peoples time. You could tell he was really happy he had caught someone going down to ship $200 worth of stuff via ebay and had a chance to make their day as miserable as his was clearly going. I've had ridiculous experiences at the border but this one was especially fun. Thought I'd share incase anyone else dares think of crossing the border to ship something. I know this isn't shopping related per say but it is shipping/ebay related. Anyways I'm sure this thread will end up with me being blamed for being stupid and crossing the border to ship something. Blame away. But this kind of power trip useless time wasting crap from border guards gets a little bit old after a while. Wannabee cops.
Why do people always call the border officers names like wannabe cops?

US border officers are federal law enforcement, would you call the FBI or US marshals wannabe cops as well?
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Blame Reagan. He was the one that created the "truck fee". A few years back it was $10.50ish. It sucked because we were going on a trip and my brother had sold some items on ebay that we were shipping before our flight out of Seattle. Had to spend about 1hr just to pay the $10.50USD fee.

Side note I found out. If you cross by foot, you do not have to pay said fee. Not sure about the rules by boat or by air however.
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ALLCAPS wrote:
Oct 21st, 2016 12:40 am
If you don't want to deal with border guards, don't cross borders. No-one's making you do it, you know.

Well, if you showed him the crappy attitude you displayed here, you were deserving of any joy he may have received. Generally speaking though, I think they're mostly indifferent about it all.
Yeah totally my crappy attitude that caused all this, gotcha. Next time I'll bring some baked goods to the border for the guard, sweeten him up a bit. Bad idea. "Sir, where's your Form B72 export permit for those donuts? You don't have one????! PUT YOUR HANDS ON THE STEERING WHEEL! WHERE I CAN SEE THEM! NOW!!!"
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kayden wrote:
Oct 21st, 2016 1:56 am
Blame Reagan. He was the one that created the "truck fee". A few years back it was $10.50ish. It sucked because we were going on a trip and my brother had sold some items on ebay that we were shipping before our flight out of Seattle. Had to spend about 1hr just to pay the $10.50USD fee.

Side note I found out. If you cross by foot, you do not have to pay said fee. Not sure about the rules by boat or by air however.
Interesting to know. Thanks.
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Sep 15, 2011
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Wanna be cops? Lol buddy these people have way more power then your local police and can make your life a living hell if you act all entitled. You have no rights to enter the USA and they can turn you around for pretty much any reason they want. You only have a right to enter your own country as a citizen.

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