Shopping Discussion

Less, more, or same chance at duty fees during holidays?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 1st, 2019 8:26 pm
[OP]
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Apr 8, 2017
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A Turtles Dream in O…

Less, more, or same chance at duty fees during holidays?

With such a large amount of things being shipped for the holidays, and customs guys having a lot more packages to sort through, does anyone have an idea as to whether there is less of a chance with getting hit by import fees? Will agents try to keep things flowing as fast as they can, or will they let things get backed up and operate as normal? Do they have more people working to keep things moving?
Can you spare some cutter, me brother?
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Feb 7, 2017
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OutsideYourWorld wrote: With such a large amount of things being shipped for the holidays, and customs guys having a lot more packages to sort through, does anyone have an idea as to whether there is less of a chance with getting hit by import fees? Will agents try to keep things flowing as fast as they can, or will they let things get backed up and operate as normal? Do they have more people working to keep things moving?
International Parcels by mail (ie ... USPS to Canada Post) are handled in part by 3 different channels
USPS hands off to CBSA / Canada Post
Where the parcels end up at one of the CBSA Inspection Points (the BIG 3 are ... Montreal - Toronto - and Vancouver)

No matter what time of year there is a bottle neck of sorts to go thru the CBSA Inspection
It’s more pronounced at the holidays ... strictly cuz of volume

Canada Post definitely hires extra staff for the Holiday Season
So once thru Customs ... there’s a system in hand to get the parcel on its way to you ASAP

The unknown factors here are ... how much of a bottle neck / back log due to the volume of the season
This is the part NO ONE can realistically know ahead of time
Or account for ... because no one has a crystal ball to foresee how much any person ... or all Cdns
Are going to buy / use online shopping from outside of Canada in Q4 of any given year (Oct 1st thru Dec 31st)

What is known... is each year, it seems to be greater than the last
But how much greater ... no one can accurately predict
Hence the fact that the bottle neck can be a real PITA

And cuz manpower budgets are set a year in advance based on last year’s numbers (or the year before)
Any increase in volume makes the bottle neck / backlog more pronounced

Then add in any other unpredictable situation (last year’s Canada Post Strike)
Or a shift in resources or focus (like the current Fentanyl Crisis)
And things can get bogged down even further

MY BEST ADVICE ... IF it’s imperative you have it by Christmas
Then seriously look at other ways of International Shipping than going thru the post
Couriers are expensive ... with their added costs of Shipping, Brokerage Fees ... and definite Duties & Taxes
BUT it may be worth it if the item is a gift you want on time

As to CBSA and things not getting dinged for Duties & Taxes
Christmas has very little bearing on this
Things operate the same at CBSA year round
So be aware of the worst case scenario (ie the true math of what you SHOULD PAY) ... and be happy if you don’t have to
[OP]
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Thanks for the info. I don't mind how long it'll take, i'm just worried about the possible fees. Always seems to be complete gamble whether i'm hit with them or not.
Can you spare some cutter, me brother?
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Feb 7, 2017
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OutsideYourWorld wrote: Thanks for the info. I don't mind how long it'll take, i'm just worried about the possible fees. Always seems to be complete gamble whether i'm hit with them or not.
Lol ... just like crossing the border in person

Sometimes you pay, sometimes you don’t

Declare truthfully, and plan for the max.
Be happy if it’s less
Smiling Face With Sunglasses
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Aug 22, 2006
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OutsideYourWorld wrote: Always seems to be complete gamble whether i'm hit with them or not.
Easy. Plan on paying them.
If you don't, you win. If you do, you break even.
[OP]
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PointsHubby wrote: Lol ... just like crossing the border in person

Sometimes you pay, sometimes you don’t

Declare truthfully, and plan for the max.
Be happy if it’s less
Smiling Face With Sunglasses
Is there any "duty calculator" you trust the most? I get different quotes from each differing one. I guess the one on the government site should be the most accurate?
Can you spare some cutter, me brother?
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Feb 7, 2017
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OutsideYourWorld wrote: Is there any "duty calculator" you trust the most? I get different quotes from each differing one. I guess the one on the government site should be the most accurate?
Most accurate info on the CBSA website... “I Declare”

https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voya ... e-eng.html

It has a Calculator under the heading Duty & Taxes Estimator
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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PointsHubby wrote: Lol ... just like crossing the border in person

Sometimes you pay, sometimes you don’t

Declare truthfully, and plan for the max.
Be happy if it’s less
Smiling Face With Sunglasses
Or drive away confused after you're sent inside to pay $2 worth of GST.
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Nov 25, 2004
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if its coming though the post office there is always a very good chance it passes though with nothing charged of course the higher the value of the item the bigger the chance it gets caught. if its coming ups fedex dhl ect its 100% u will pay up.
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Dec 3, 2009
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No, your plan at importing things during holiday months isn't going to get shoed-in because the border gets "overwhelmed" with parcels. If anything expect more delays.
Remember to be an RFD-er and NOT a degenerate.
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Oct 26, 2008
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BC
OutsideYourWorld wrote: ..... Will agents try to keep things flowing as fast as they can, or will they let things get backed up and operate as normal? Do they have more people working to keep things moving?
CBSA will operate as normal. Canada Post bringing in temporary staff is one thing, trained border service officers quite another.

Their primary concern is catching illegal imports. So if your package is in a cart from a country known to falsify declaration stickers, they are not going to go out of their way to locate, indemnify and expedite your unsuspicious-looking package.
One bad apple identified in the cart slows everyone down.

You might think that they would help the CP people working alongside them by going easier on how many packages they put a duty/tax sticker on,
but they know CP gear up to handle the extra volume and have someone prepared to hang around in -20 weather on your doorstep to collect money from you.
If it's your regular mailman who does a good job all through the year you might even throw in an extra envelope for them.

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