Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For Canadians wishing to order parts from the US, it may be useful to know that you do not have to pay the exorbitant UPS, FedEx, and other courier brokerage fees. If you can get someone to ship via USPS to Canada, the brokerage charges are much cheaper.

UPS, FedEx, etc. charge a brokerage fee, which includes a bond fee and a COD fee, along with the duties and taxes that they collect for the government. The brokerage fees can be quite high, UPS wanted $45 or so on a $185 bike frame that i bought off of craigslist (thats in addition to the duty and taxes).

I researched how to pay the duties and taxes on the item myself at a local customs office, and was able to avoid the brokerage fees. It takes ALOT of patience and perseverence to deal with UPS as they will try to prevent you from doing it, but it is completely allowable to "self-clear" your own items through customs. You need to have a customs office in your area that allows self-clearing for the Courier Low Value Shipment program, and your goods can be no more than $1600 value.

If anyone is interested in learning more about that, check these sites:

http://trueler.com/2010/11/24/self-clear-shipment-cbsa-avoid-ups-brokerage-fee/
http://trueler.com/2010/09/13/ups-brokerage-fees-total-scam-fraud-cheating-avoid-it/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
In general, if a product is manufactured in the US, it will be duty-free under NAFTA. If it is not considered to be manufactured in the US, then duty is ordinarily about 6-8% on auto parts. Even where there is no duty, though, you still have to pay the GST/provincial sales tax, and for that they will charge you the bond fee and the COD fee.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
In general, if a product is manufactured in the US, it will be duty-free under NAFTA. If it is not considered to be manufactured in the US, then duty is ordinarily about 6-8% on auto parts. Even where there is no duty, though, you still have to pay the GST/provincial sales tax, and for that they will charge you the bond fee and the COD fee.
In order for that good to benefit of the NAFTA preferential duty rates, a NAFTA certificate of origin from the shipper or manufacturer must be in hand and a NAFTA claim declared at the time of entry. If the commercial value is less than $2,500, then the entry can be treated as informal entry, which is more flexible in regards to documentation requirements. In addition, the tariff classification must be given to properly calculate the duties and taxes and fees of the imported good as well as for record-keeping (import statistics purposes).
For informal entries a customs broker is not required.
Now, going back to the NAFTA benefits, in order for a good to qualify, an analysis in the bill of materials of the good must be made and tariff classifications need to be assigned to the constituent components to determine eligibility.

If duties and taxes are being charged and paid at the time of entry, then there is no need for a bond to be used.


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,310 Posts
Here is my post on this topic from another forum.

UPS/Fedex Brokerage fees are typically 5 times the GST (customs)

What you need to know:
Beating cross border brokerage fees | CTV Calgary

With the above news story I decided to clear my own customs.

UPS came to my house and left a notice that they wanted to deliver a package and charge me $71.21 in brokerage fees.. So shipping was only $24.00 and the customs (GST) on the package was only $15.00 and UPS wanted to charge $56 to clear that for me. It is an automated process that costs them fractions of pennies.

I self declared and it was really, really easy and it took less than 2 minutes to do and staff was excellent.

What you need:
Waybill Number (on the UPS notice)
Copy of invoice. I just had a printout of the 'ebay' invoice email. (Manifest?)
Driver's license, you have do to this in person.
They will ask what it is and the country of origin if you know.
Credit/Debit card or cash for the GST on the item.

Where to go:
Canada Border Services Agency Offices Courier Low Value Shipments Program The Calgary office is easy to get to, Barlow and 32nd Ave NE.

What you Get:
A Casual Goods Accounting Document, showing you paid customs.

Present this when you either receive or pick up your package and they cannot charge you anything, regardless if they ask or demand. They do NOT prepay your customs. It is illegal for them to withhold your package after presenting them the CGA document.

In any case this may be a hassle for some of you depending on the cost of the product, closest CBSA office etc.. and it may be more convenient to pay the brokerage fee, but at least this is an option at your disposal.

Canada Post and US MAil is looking really good right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
In order for that good to benefit of the NAFTA preferential duty rates, a NAFTA certificate of origin from the shipper or manufacturer must be in hand and a NAFTA claim declared at the time of entry. If the commercial value is less than $2,500, then the entry can be treated as informal entry, which is more flexible in regards to documentation requirements. In addition, the tariff classification must be given to properly calculate the duties and taxes and fees of the imported good as well as for record-keeping (import statistics purposes).
For informal entries a customs broker is not required.
Now, going back to the NAFTA benefits, in order for a good to qualify, an analysis in the bill of materials of the good must be made and tariff classifications need to be assigned to the constituent components to determine eligibility.

If duties and taxes are being charged and paid at the time of entry, then there is no need for a bond to be used.


Sent from AutoGuide.com App

I haven't purchased anything over $2,500 from the US before. I've ordered Made in the US goods from Amazon, Cabelas and Keen Footwear etc and they came duty free, I never noticed any special NAFTA forms, just the usual commercial invoices.

Some retailers charge an Import Fees Deposit at the time of purchase to cover any duties and taxes and so shipping via UPS etc will come with no additional brokerage fees. If the retailer does not charge at the time of purchase for the duties and taxes, or if it will be duty-free then just the taxes, and it is shipped via UPS, Fed-Ex etc, then they will charge you the bond and COD fee in addition to duty/tax amounts owing.

I even tried to call UPS ahead of time, as soon as the package was shipped and before it reached the border, to prepay the duty/tax charges to forego any need for COD and bond fees, and they said I was unable to do that. Only a commercial shipper with a UPS account can do that. They wouldn't take the payment over the phone via credit card, and said I had to wait until my package arrived and then pay the bond and COD as well as the duties and taxes. I paid the duties and taxes at the customs office instead and dealt with the UPS delays (they hold your package hostage for a while).

What did you mean by "For informal entries a customs broker is not required."? If taxes are owing on the item, then a customs broker is necessary is it not? In any event, UPS will charge the brokerage fees to collect those taxes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
I haven't purchased anything over $2,500 from the US before. I've ordered Made in the US goods from Amazon, Cabelas and Keen Footwear etc and they came duty free, I never noticed any special NAFTA forms, just the usual commercial invoices.

Some retailers charge an Import Fees Deposit at the time of purchase to cover any duties and taxes and so shipping via UPS etc will come with no additional brokerage fees. If the retailer does not charge at the time of purchase for the duties and taxes, or if it will be duty-free then just the taxes, and it is shipped via UPS, Fed-Ex etc, then they will charge you the bond and COD fee in addition to duty/tax amounts owing.

I even tried to call UPS ahead of time, as soon as the package was shipped and before it reached the border, to prepay the duty/tax charges to forego any need for COD and bond fees, and they said I was unable to do that. Only a commercial shipper with a UPS account can do that. They wouldn't take the payment over the phone via credit card, and said I had to wait until my package arrived and then pay the bond and COD as well as the duties and taxes. I paid the duties and taxes at the customs office instead and dealt with the UPS delays (they hold your package hostage for a while).

What did you mean by "For informal entries a customs broker is not required."? If taxes are owing on the item, then a customs broker is necessary is it not? In any event, UPS will charge the brokerage fees to collect those taxes.
Hi,

You would not see the NAFTA form as it is a document that is used between the exporter and the importer to be presented to Customs upon request.

As far as retailers charging/holding import fees makes sense as the duty free status is granted provided the importer makes the claim and has the NAFTA certificate from the supplier/producer, then these fees are either reimbursed/released or increased, hence the reason for not allowing you to prepay for these items. Depending on the import requirements and forms completed their fees are assessed.

Informal entry is when the import is less than $2,500 USD is made whether or not you are a person or a commercial entity. A customs broker is not required for personal imports or for imports where you are the owner/importer of record and you do your own import clearance. There are some things that the importer must know in order to prepare the entry documentation such as tariff classification of the goods, determining and assessing the customs import value, etc.

Taxes are separate than duties, taxes are fixed the state/province and federal taxes. Duties are imposed based on whether or not the item is a protected item. For example, in Canada the cheese has high duties because dairy is a very important industry. By imposing higher duties on items the government will promote the internal production rather than Canadians importing cheese and hurting the domestic goods. The duties are assigned by industry/product interest. Cotton is a product in abundance in North America (US, CA ad MX) so products made of cotton have more strict whereas silk is no where to be found in North America.

If you don't know/are not sure how to go about importing goods and preparing/submitting documentation hire a broker as Customs transactions can turn pricey if they are not done correctly and you may end up needing a broker/customs lawyer to make the correction. Do I see any personal shipment of allowable goods into a country causing issues, I don't, but just make sure with your local customs office/customs port (border cross point, international airport, etc.) to double check.

Again, asking a question or two prior may make the difference in having the good imported correctly and not getting surprises.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
For High Value goods that is some good information. For low value, which is what probably would cover most auto parts and other personal purchases, the forms are pretty straight forward. You don't need any special NAFTA forms for those, and most things nowadays being produced in Asia or elsewhere will not fall under that anyways. UPS can supply the commercial invoice if you don't already have it, and that has the tariff classifications already on it. When I went in to self-clear, the Border Services officer looked up the codes anyways to confirm they were correct. She even gave me a little break by using a related code that ended up having a lower duty rate (I think she felt sorry for me for all the crap UPS was putting me through).

If buying something from a forum member here or elsewhere, or maybe on Craigslist, I'd recommend putting the forms together yourself. The UPS site is useful for helping with that, you just fill in the blanks for the most part. Ask the seller what the Country of Origin is, or email the manufacturer of the item and they can tell you. Finding the correct tariff classification can be a pain, but can be figured out using the Canadian government website:

http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/trade-commerce/tariff-tarif/2013/html/tblmod-03-eng.html

Once you put the forms together you can also pay for the shipping yourself, if you have the dimensions and weight of the package. Download and save the customs forms and shipping label and you can email those to the sellers, and they can print those out and put them on the package. For one item I bought off of Craigslist, all the seller had to do was put the package on his back step. I was able to arrange online for a UPS brown truck to pick it up free of charge (it was covered under the shipping method I chose, which would have been the standard ground international shipping to Canada).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
One thing I would say about UPS though, aside from their brokerage fees and hassle, is their delivery service is fast and accurate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
As far as retailers charging/holding import fees makes sense as the duty free status is granted provided the importer makes the claim and has the NAFTA certificate from the supplier/producer, then these fees are either reimbursed/released or increased, hence the reason for not allowing you to prepay for these items. Depending on the import requirements and forms completed their fees are assessed.

The Import Fees Deposit i was referring to is not related to NAFTA per se. Amazon and others will estimate the taxes and duties owing on a particular item at check out, and you pay for them at that time. So UPS then has no reason to collect anything from you, so they cannot charge the bond, COD and brokerage fees. They'll just leave the package at your door.

The reason for UPS not allowing you to prepay the import fees when you don't pay them directly to the seller has nothing to do with not knowing what the fees will be or anything to do with NAFTA. UPS will have all this done before the item even gets to the border. They know what the fees are, and the goods are already cleared to move across the border before they even reach the border. They just won't let you pay for them unless you have a commercial shipping account with them.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top