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Old May 14th, 2008, 01:30 AM   #1
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Duty/ Customs Brokerage fees - Canada

Hi folks,

Does anyone know what the Canadian Duty/ Customs Brokerage fees are when buying from U.S. companies.

I would like to make a major purchace from B&H Photo and have it delivered to me in Canada. What can I expect to pay in Duty and/ or brokerage fees?

The guy at B&H tells me that if they ship with Fed-Ex..... the duty/ fees are cheaper but can't say for sure.

Any thoughts?

ASAP please :)
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Old May 14th, 2008, 12:02 PM   #2
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Hi Jonathan -
Your best bet is to check with the shipper or the vendor.
I sell a bit to Canada over eBay, and I've gone back to the plain vanilla postal service... they don't have "broker fees" which I found were are obscene from bad experience with "OO"PS (UPS), and so I've not tried FedEx...but I think they also have a broker fee? This basically is an extra charge for taking the parcel through customs, and they don't warn you about it when shipping... then charge the receiving party - not a pretty situation.

Duties/taxes are a whole 'nother issue, especially with Canada, but I can tell you to expect to pay your local authories their "pound of flesh" on incoming shipments, which they seem to have become rather strict about, even on used merchandise... I'm sure this depends on which provence to some degree, but you should count on it...

Not a complete picture for you, but that's the little information I've collected along the way, maybe it will be of some help. There are really two separate issues, the "actual" cost from the shipper, and the governmental "freight"!

HTH
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Old May 14th, 2008, 12:32 PM   #3
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Well said Dave.
Thanks. You confirmed most of what I figured.

Maybe best to just purchace the gear here in Canada and pay the higher prices rather than getting hit with the unknown "fees".

I hear they "fees" can add 30% to your purchace price.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 11:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Bland View Post
The guy at B&H tells me that if they ship with Fed-Ex..... the duty/ fees are cheaper but can't say for sure.
We use UPS "expedited" or "worldwide saver." With these UPS options, UPS pays the brokerage charges. As far as i know duty is unaffected.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 12:05 PM   #5
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That depends where you are. Most items are duty free, it will depend on what you are buying. Almost all electronics are duty free. How far are you from the can/us border? When we purchase items we are 45 minutes from the border, so we ship it to a depot on the US side and bring it across as an importer. This way we are only charged 5% gst. If you use UPS they will rape you. I had a $700 brevis shipped to my house and UPS charged me $200 in broker fees, Bullshit! I have also heard that if shipped USPS there is no broker fees as well.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 12:27 PM   #6
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I just had a package sent from B&H USPS.
We'll see what happends.

It actually cost more to send it USPS than FEDEX/ UPS
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Old May 16th, 2008, 01:28 PM   #7
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USPS is more expensive on raw shipping fees, and if insurance is added, it goes up fast on high $ items... BUT if "OO"PS tacks on a broker fee, it quickly becomes obvious which is cheaper (I had a $100 item they tacked a $40 BF on... insane!). I think I was able to negotiate with them since it was undisclosed, but I've shipped USPS since when going to Canada!!
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Old May 18th, 2008, 09:33 PM   #8
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Duty depends on where the item is manufactured. U.S. made equals no duty, import made eg. China,Taiwan equals duty required.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 07:57 AM   #9
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I've never been charged import duties on items ordered from the States but you are supposed to be responsible for GST. Haven't had any brokerage fee hassels with Fedex or Purolater, nor UPS Expedited. UPS Standard is another story - outrageous fees, avoid them like the plague.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 12:19 AM   #10
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This has been covered extensively on DVinfo, a search will give you many threads, but just for the heck of it, here is the breakdown:

Duty: you pay 0% on US items.

Tax: you still pay either GST/PST on items coming from the US that are over $20.

Brokerage:
-USPS charges nothing (some small exceptions)
-UPS/FedEX/DHL all charge $35-$50 (and UP!) PLUS the cost of tax, REGARDLESS OF THE AMOUNT THEY COLLECT. I've paid a $50 brokerage fee on a $30 item with $3 in tax. You don't KNOW what mad is... :)

Exception: UPS/FedEX have "brokerage included" services, as Henry stated. These are usually their higher end, more expensive (but faster!) services. Still, if you add in the potential $50 for brokerage, it can make it worthwhile... or make USPS look like a bargain.


That's the gist. I've been buying off the internet from the US for about 10 years, and tend to only have my stuff shipped USPS. I've had less horror stories with the good old post office than I have with couriers.

Also, I'll give props to B&H. They are solid, and you'll save a bunch over buying from Henry's (as close as Canada gets to B&H).
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Old March 12th, 2009, 10:20 PM   #11
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Here is a link I found in Ebay. It helps explain it a bit better....

eBay Canada Shipping Centre and Online Shipping Tool
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Old March 14th, 2009, 01:53 PM   #12
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As everyone else is stated;

UPS Standard is brutal.. its seems as though the determine the brokerage fees on what day it is. I have had 2 identical items shipped to me, and the brokerage was different both times.. explain that one.

Everything I have purchased from B & H, I go with the UPS expideted, as others have said, the brokerage is in the price, and you get it within a couple of days.

I've made some pretty significant HD purchases from B & H, and all we have ever had to pay is the GSt.
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