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Old March 11th, 2011, 11:55 PM   #1
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B&H Photo - Shipping to Canada?

I'm sorry if this has been posted before.

Because of this forum I discovered B&H Photos which, for a particular monopod I am interested, is listed cheaper there then here in Canada. After doing some research I read that Camera Equipment does not get charged Duty costs.

With that in mind I chose B&Hs Purolator Ground option because it was the cheapest shipping AND I had read that it automatically calculates all costs.
The price breakdown is as follows:
Details of Duty Charges

* VAT:$0.00
* Duties:$17.55
* Other Taxes:$0.00
* HST:$35.10
* GST:$0.00
* Brokerage:$1.56
* Disbursement:$1.58
* Security & Handling:$0.00
* Carrier Surcharge:$0.00
* Total:$55.79

I was a bit surprised to see that $17.55 in duty fees. I anticipated the taxes but though there was no duty fee on camera equipment.

Also, I understand Brokerage Fees but not Disbursement.

Finally, I suppose, what is the cheapest way to get this order here to Canada to still make it such a great deal if not Ground Purolator?

Thanks,

RJ
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Old March 12th, 2011, 02:30 AM   #2
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Re: B&H Photo - Shipping to Canada?

Well, I gotta laugh, really I do!

Here is Canada, one of the USA's (if not the largest, certainly closest) trading partners and it's citizens don't even know about the supposed "free trade agreement" (for what, I ask myself) which has been in place for the last decade?

Heck, and I was worried about shipping stuff to NZ?

Being a Canuck myself I'm sort of embarrassed for you my friend.

Have you asked B&H about the "Duty Fees"?

That's always a courtesy before airing it on DVinfo, as they haven't at this stage actually done anything wrong (and they very rarely do!).

So, I would suggest clarification of the fees and set out from there.

Then ask you're local elected representative what a "free trade agreement" means in todays "new speak" in Canada (ie: the USA shafts us at every turn, type thing).


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Old March 12th, 2011, 07:54 PM   #3
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Re: B&H Photo - Shipping to Canada?

Some years ago when I checked with Canada Customs on an order I was about to place with B&H, I was told that duty fees on camera equipment was 2% on purchases for which NAFTA did not apply. NAFTA, at least at that time, did not apply to items that were not manufactured in North America, even if they were purchased from the US or Mexico.

Based on your HST charge (which varies depending on the province you live in) you've paid at least 6% duty. Call Canada Customs and ask them about it.

I don't know if your method of shipment was the cheapest or not, but I can tell you don't be fooled by the seemingly lower charge of UPS versus FEDEX for comparable shipping times. UPS will add on their brokerage fee after the B&H published rate, making it more expensive than FEDEX. Again this goes back several years but I'd be surprised if that has changed.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 11:52 PM   #4
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Re: B&H Photo - Shipping to Canada?

Robert,

Not sure where you live but for B&H stuff I use a letter carrier just across the border and bring it in myself.

Monopods are, as far as I remember, about a 100 bucks. Is it really worth all the trouble to bring it in from the States to save that kind of money? If it's a business expense you have all those entry bits of data entry as well.

Most video/photo things are duty free. Not all but most. Most of the countries that produce the goods come under "favoured nation trading status" so if you are bringing in something made in Europe should come in duty free. Parts of China have a duty imposed when brought in.

If you bring it across the border yourself, the Customs people are generally a bit liberal and will often wave you through without having to pay GST/HST if the good is a couple of hundred or less. It's their discretion though so if they are feeling poorly they could send you inside to pay taxes and duties, if applicable.

If the Monopod is a Manfrotto one, I can't see it having duty on it but arguing with B&H isn't going to get you far. The way around it is to send it to a letter carrier and bring it in yourself. Again is it worth the trouble.

Might want to spend some time on the Canadian government website looking at importing goods from the US.
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Old March 14th, 2011, 11:08 AM   #5
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Re: B&H Photo - Shipping to Canada?

Robert,

My experience with B&H into Canada has been very good. But i live on Vancouver Island, and seriously it is very difficult to buy anything that is a camera specialty product. B&H ships quick, and calculates all costs for me, and so far never had any unexpected charges.

I've bought items on ebay before and had surprise brokerage fees (especially with UPS), that were higher than the value of the product.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 08:45 AM   #6
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Re: B&H Photo - Shipping to Canada?

As others have stated, the process is pretty painless but there are some gotchas.

NAFTA is only a benefit for goods MADE in the USA if you're importing to Canada -- goods produced overseas might be subject to duties depending on what the deal is with their producing nation; buying them from an American seller doesn't change their basic status. That said, the only time duties are high is when there is a domestic market to protect -- the amounts for photo & electronics have never been staggering.

Some shippers are awful for fee gouging; beware of 'brokerage fees' that can exceed the value of the goods. UPS was one of those in years past, I haven't stayed up to date on their policies but the best deal has always come from the United States Postal Service -- USPS is usually fast enough. For those products I wanted yesterday, FedEx has always been fast and cost efficient -- at times so fast I thought there'd been a mistake.

Sometimes when you have goods sent via USPS the extra charges 'fall through the cracks' and you miss out on the HST (or GST/PST depending on your location) -- these charges are always due, but not always collected.

Cheers,
GB
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Old March 21st, 2011, 11:10 PM   #7
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Re: B&H Photo - Shipping to Canada?

Here are a couple of good webpages on the Canadian Government website if you want to find out if a good is on the favoured nations status list for import, as well as explanations and forms allowing you to broker the stuff yourself:

bsf5079 Importing Commercial Goods Into Canada

Customs Tariff
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 12:45 AM   #8
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Re: B&H Photo - Shipping to Canada?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jase Tanner View Post
UPS will add on their brokerage fee after the B&H published rate, making it more expensive than FEDEX. Again this goes back several years but I'd be surprised if that has changed.
That's only for UPS ground. Brokerage fees are including for "free" with the more expensive UPS shipping options. B&H doesn't do UPS ground to Canada at all (last I checked, this may have changed), so all your UPS options from B&H will include the $45 brokerage fee.

I will not use UPS at any cost though. They're slower than the post most of the time, and do really hose you on brokerage fees. USPS wins.
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