Sunday, 13 March 2011

Part 8: The Almighty B-15 Form

This is part of an ongoing series of posts starting here.

The form given to you by the Border Services Agent is called a B-15  and it is the penultimate goal of this process, actual receipt of your goods being the ultimate. The B-15 proves that all required taxes, duties and fees have been paid to the government for a given shipment. You need to provide this document to UPS and ask them to release your shipment and schedule it for immediate delivery.

I faxed the B-15 to the Richmond warehouse at the number given to me earlier. I included a cover sheet stating my tracking number and the request that they accept the B-15 as proof that all expected government fees were paid and to schedule my package for home delivery asap. It's very important that you quote the UPS tracking number on this fax.

If you were unable to get a specific number to fax the B-15 form to from UPS, call the 1-800 number again and select the brokerage department. Don't stop calling and escalating until someone gives you a number to fax the B-15 to. You need some way to send UPS the B-15 form.

I called the brokerage department again and told them I had faxed the B-15 form to the Richmond warehouse and asked if that was all that was required. I also wanted a confirmation that with the receipt of my B-15, my package would be released and delivered to the my house.

After yet another round of "you can't…" conversations, she finally understood the situation. After reading through the history of my shipment and seeing I had faxed in the B-15 she agreed that I had, indeed, cleared my shipment at a local customs office, contrary to what she had been told was legal or possible by supervisors and training. She seemed genuinely surprised to realize this.

After that, she confirmed that they had received my documents and, barring some other issues, would be scheduling the package for delivery.

I logged onto the UPS site later that night (March 11th 2011) and the status of my shipment had indeed changed to "CLEARED/SCHEDULED FOR DELIVERY" after a few hours.

As of March 13th, 2011, the package is en route from the Richmond warehouse. Almost home.


This blog is not legal advice. It is a diary of my own experience and research. You cannot avoid paying legal duties and taxes on goods imported into Canada. This is not about avoiding taxes or duties. In fact, part of this process is paying them as required directly to a customs agent. This is about avoiding the UPS brokerage fee which is nothing more than a ridiculously large service charge paid directly to UPS for a service you neither asked for nor necessarily require.


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  2. I know this blog is super old but hoping you can answer my question anyway. Is there any way to pay taxes yourself once UPS has already done it and is demanding brokerage fees? Thanks