Shopping Discussion

Way to avoid outrageous UPS/FedEX brokerage fees !

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 7th, 2017 11:03 am
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Newbie
User avatar
Apr 8, 2010
26 posts
4 upvotes
Kitchener, ON
I just self-cleared a package from the US.

UPS wanted to charge me $22-ish in duties, plus $10 in "brokerage fees" (despite it being UPS Worldwide Express which supposedly has that included), plus $8 and change in taxes. A little over $41 in total.
I had to call them a few times, but they were actually very helpful.
One of the agents expressed his surprise that I would go through this "just for $10, since you will have to pay the rest anyway", but he didn't try to make things difficult.

I just came back from CBSA office, where I paid $16.22 in total. This is just weird!
I could understand not having to pay brokerage fees, but why are duties/taxes higher when UPS does that????
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
5202 posts
1024 upvotes
BC
Did the CBSA office charge you just HST for the $16.22 or did that include some import duty component?

Either way, deciding the appropriate amount of import duty for a particular item, if any, can be open to interpretation.

In fact, CBSA agents have complex Interpretation Bulletins to work from, which they may elect not to use depending on how busy they are or how charitable they feel.

UPS brokers similarly may just take a stab sometimes but probably err on the high side, unlike CBSA.

So I don't find it surprising you save a bit more than the brokerage fee and miscellaneous UPS advancement fee plus HST on all those "services".
Newbie
User avatar
Apr 8, 2010
26 posts
4 upvotes
Kitchener, ON
It looks like I was only charged HST, and duties were $0.
On the documents I got from UPS there are two different HARM.CODE values, for two different items.
On the receipt from CBSA it is all combined and just described as "toys", with "0.0" in "rate of duty" field.

Oh well, another reason to go through this instead of paying UPS! :)
Deal Addict
May 23, 2009
1626 posts
452 upvotes
Mississauga
Who is the lesser of two evils for self clearing? UPS or FedEx?

I have family in the US that wants to send $300 worth of electronics.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
5202 posts
1024 upvotes
BC
I think it depends more on the individual in UPS or FedEx that assists you rather than corporate stance on self-clearing.

UPS being bigger should be more familiar with the process so I tend to think they are the lesser of two evils - if you get the right person.

I have found that because FedEx more distinctly separates their Air and Ground operations they can be difficult to work with in matters like this.

OTOH, in contexts other than self-clearing, I have found Purolator to be much more accommodating in things like billing a shipment to the recipient's account number.
Limited presence in the U.S. but if they were an option for you I suspect they would be the most helpful in self-clearing.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 11, 2004
8241 posts
293 upvotes
Toronto
rant!!!!

I got a RMA replacement part from Corsair! the dummies at corsair priced the part for $100, more then the price i paided for the computer case I was ordering a part for. of course they ship me the wrong part a 5.25 computer case cover! so pissed becuase I got charge $70 for a this stupid part! and I wasn't home to denied the package with a handling fee of $70! this is UPS!!!!!!
@#$%^@#$^#$^&@#&#@#$^#@$ CORSAIR dummies! $W#$^#$#%@#$%#

any way to get a discount or a return??
"When operating the viewfinder diopter control with your eye to the viewfinder, care should be taken not to put your finger in your eye accidentally."
Deal Addict
Feb 29, 2008
4469 posts
674 upvotes
What about shipping from the UK? It makes no sense to me how we still get dinged for shipments from the UK.

I was looking at buying a piece of art for $350 pounds. I calculated what I'd have to pay with taxes and fees, it's an extra $200. Outrageous.

My only shot would be for the seller to write a lower value.....but not sure if they'd go for it.

I don't know if Canadians are just used to getting short end of the stick or not, but this kind of stuff is nonsense. I have been dinged in the past a whole bunch of duty for a $50 item. We seem to allow companies to take liberties because they know no one will complain.
Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
15978 posts
1882 upvotes
akito925 wrote:
Dec 15th, 2016 8:08 am
rant!!!!

I got a RMA replacement part from Corsair! the dummies at corsair priced the part for $100, more then the price i paided for the computer case I was ordering a part for.
Yes, you can contact the CBSA and request a refund - returns are usually exempt from taxes. Takes about 6 weeks, Just mail your courier invoice and RMA paperwork to the CBSA refund office.

Here is the form: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications ... g-eng.html

However, you won't get the clearance fee back from the courier - they keep that.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
5202 posts
1024 upvotes
BC
JayLove06 wrote:
Dec 18th, 2016 11:34 am
What about shipping from the UK? It makes no sense to me how we still get dinged for shipments from the UK.

I was looking at buying a piece of art for $350 pounds. I calculated what I'd have to pay with taxes and fees, it's an extra $200. Outrageous.

My only shot would be for the seller to write a lower value.....but not sure if they'd go for it.

I don't know if Canadians are just used to getting short end of the stick or not, but this kind of stuff is nonsense. I have been dinged in the past a whole bunch of duty for a $50 item. We seem to allow companies to take liberties because they know no one will complain.
Not sure of your thinking in expecting everything from the U.K. to be free of duty and tax?

Original artwork, wherever it comes from, is duty free. Non-original artwork is typically a duty rate of 7% at most.
http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/trade-commer ... 13-eng.pdf
Not sure how you got quoted $200 for duty, tax and fees on about $570 worth of art.

Reputable sellers will not under-declare - because they know the law and consequences for them breaking it to suit you.

Which 'companies' do you have in mind that are taking liberties? Shippers, postal corporations, vendors?
Sr. Member
User avatar
Nov 25, 2007
915 posts
1238 upvotes
Toronto
Can I self-clear after I received my package?
Fedex sent me a letter afterwards regarding a payment...
Newbie
Aug 25, 2008
34 posts
5 upvotes
Edmonton
That's FedEx ground for you ^^^

As I understand it, FedEx Ground is automatically cleared from the US, and the bill is never provided at delivery but will provided later. Also they must attempt one delivery before it is taken back to the depot.

So I have conflicting answers from FedEx!!

Can you instruct FedEx that you will self clear the shipment once it is in transit as long as you have the tracking number?

Or do you have to reject delivery, and then tell FedEx you will self clear and to hold at the Depot for pickup or delivery once the B15 form is provided?

Or can the US FedEx form indicate customer broker without providing the broker information. This way FedEx may contact the recipient and ask them what they want done?

My shipment has to go ground because it contains Lithium batteries in a large amount.
Newbie
Jun 6, 2010
57 posts
4 upvotes
fml, ordered a $150 item that the seller told me they would ship usps of course they didn't, they sent it fedex. Item arrived about a month ago no bill or anything.
Today i get a letter from fedex wanting $75 including a $10 advancement fee and $45 clearance fee!
Anything i can do or am a ffff'd at this point :( ugh
Member
User avatar
May 24, 2007
282 posts
62 upvotes
British Columbia
662drsdn wrote:
Jan 6th, 2017 12:20 pm
fml, ordered a $150 item that the seller told me they would ship usps of course they didn't, they sent it fedex. Item arrived about a month ago no bill or anything.
Today i get a letter from fedex wanting $75 including a $10 advancement fee and $45 clearance fee!
Anything i can do or am a ffff'd at this point :( ugh
Call and complain that you wanted to self clear it but weren't given the option. Then just don't pay it. They can't do sh**.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 19, 2006
9513 posts
1725 upvotes
Toronto
Got some BS Fedex charge as well. So my grandma whom resides in California grows Persimmon fruits in the backyard and decided to dry them this year which was a success and sent us some to enjoy. We got dinged $30 for some homemade dried fruits?!?!! WTF.
Newbie
Jan 18, 2017
2 posts
2008rav4ltd wrote:
Jan 5th, 2017 1:53 pm
That's FedEx ground for you ^^^

As I understand it, FedEx Ground is automatically cleared from the US, and the bill is never provided at delivery but will provided later. Also they must attempt one delivery before it is taken back to the depot.

So I have conflicting answers from FedEx!!

Can you instruct FedEx that you will self clear the shipment once it is in transit as long as you have the tracking number?

Or do you have to reject delivery, and then tell FedEx you will self clear and to hold at the Depot for pickup or delivery once the B15 form is provided?

Or can the US FedEx form indicate customer broker without providing the broker information. This way FedEx may contact the recipient and ask them what they want done?

My shipment has to go ground because it contains Lithium batteries in a large amount.

Well I'm in a pickle.

The seller used a Global Shipping Program (from Ebay), and the package has been hopping state to state until it arrives in Toronto. None of the Fedex call reps can see when/if my package is coming to Toronto - so they are not allowing me to self declare. The seller has confirmed the address they used is correct, I don't doubt them. The package is supposed to be coming with Fedex Ground as well.

Anyone know if I can just go to the CBSA and pre-pay using this tracking number? Or should I wait for the package to arrive, refuse it, and tell the delivery man I'll be self-declaring???

Any help would be great :)

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