Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Part 9: The Final Outcome.



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

On March 14th 2011, around 3:30PM the UPS van pulled up outside my house.

I walked downstairs and opened the door. The driver emerged and retrieved a box from the back of the van and walked it to my door.

The driver politely greeted me and gave me my package. She quietly stood and waited while I opened and inspected the package and when I was satisfied it wasn't damaged, I thanked her and she left.

Victory.

No brokerage or additional fees and my item was undamaged, delivered as expected.





Final Notes:
CBSA
In my specific experience, the CBSA was, without exception, professional and interested in helping me out on the phone and in person.

I spoke with both the Ottawa and Kelowna office multiple times and was dealt with in a fair and direct manner each and every time.

Even when my wife and I went to the office in the evening and were unable to complete the B-15 process, it was not due to the agents not trying or wanting to help. I suspect that this process is very infrequently performed and as such, benefits from either yourself or the CBSA agent having done it before. In hindsight, I think that if I had mentioned the fact that all I was looking for was a B-15 form, it's quite possible they may have understood that process rather than trying to help me "self-clear".

That being said, my personal research has shown that CBSA can be a hit or miss proposition in this. Even though the CBSA webpage indicates that the service is offered, some offices will simply refuse or be unable to perform it for any number of reasons. Most often, the problem is that the agents are unfamiliar with the option to self-clear. My advice is to phone CBSA in Ottawa and ask to be connected to the local CBSA office you plan to use. Once connected to the local office, just ask them about the process of self clearing a personal shipment. You will find out quickly if that office will be able to help you.

UPS
The UPS representatives were, for the most part, reasonably pleasant. No one ever hung up on me or threatened to end a call or anything like that. I honestly think that getting mad at them is pointless. I heard the line about "you must be at the port of entry to self-clear" so often that I cannot escape the thought that they are all trained to say that, whether it's true or not. Like I said earlier, once the final UPS agent I spoke to on the phone realized that I had actually done what they insisted was not possible, she was genuinely surprised.

If anyone important from UPS is reading this: I would be far less inclined to be upset about a flat $5-$10 brokerage fee.

Thanks for reading and I hope I saved you some money.

If you have a story about this process or can shed more light on some of the details, feel free to comment. If you are from UPS or CBSA and I have gotten something incorrect here, also feel free to let me know.





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.

30 comments:

  1. Wow, I really wish I had known this a few years ago. I ordered an item that cost less than $200, and it shipped with UPS. When it arrived they charged me a $100 brokerage fee, and wouldn't give me my package until I paid up. In fact, they told me it would immediately be returned to the sender if I didn't pay. The UPS carrier who delivered it seemed a bit embarrassed about it actually; I think he felt bad. I felt worse though.
    I was a student at the time and I really couldn't afford to give UPS $100 for a service I didn't agree to. I called their customer service line, but I was told that it was all completely legal, and since I had given them the money and signed off on it I was out of luck.
    I never used UPS again. Thanks for writing this. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. You could always ship with FedEx, they only charge a 10$ brokerage fee

    ReplyDelete
  3. The brokerage fee can be worse than you think.
    If you have insured an item like I did, my own radio transceiver, out for repair in California,insured for 500$ (remember this is my item bought and paid for).

    The brokerage fee was based on the insured value.
    and UPS ALWAYS collects HST on behalf of the Canadian goverment so I paid HST on a radio that I owned
    Paul in Guelph ON

    ReplyDelete
  4. This posting on the Blog is so nice, I appreciate for your work. Thank you very much for your information, nice job keep it up.
    broker customs

    ReplyDelete
  5. nobrokerage,

    Thank you very much for such an informative story. I tried to fight with UPS in 2011 in this regard. I live in Edmonton, I am an IT specialist but my hobby is car repairs/maintenance and so I order car parts very often. At first it was not to bad, when the items were grouped in 1 category: Auto Parts. 1 entry is +$4.50. Considering the orders at around $1000 the COD fees weren't significant.
    But then, later, UPS got "somewhat" greedy. They started breaking down every possible car part into a separate category they could relate it to, to get as many categories listed as possible. I lost it when they classified the small plastic button from the seat belt (the buckle stopper) as a Safety Restraint/Seatbelt System and charged additional $4.50. The piece of plastic cost me 25 cents.
    Unfortunately I was unsuccessful back then. They would throw their scripted answers all the time and every time I was transfered to supervisors, I had to argue over and over again and hear same lies. Then long conversations with CBSA, and back with UPS. I didn't know back then all the details and the further I was getting down their supervising hierarchy, the more different termas and stories I would hear. I gave up.

    Yesterday I received a UPS InfoNotice for the car parts I bought. I paid $250 for a pair of control arms and 2 LED lights. The delivery via UPS Standard was around $27.
    The C.O.D. due is... almost $75.

    I am willing to follow your way. This time I want to get to the bottom of this. If you don't mind, I will be updating my day-by-day experience in the comments section..

    Again, thanks a lot for a wonderful research and post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Max T, Thanks for your comment. Please do keep us updated with the outcome of your story. I haven't performed this process since I wrote this blog almost 2 years ago so I am curious if all the steps are still doable.

      Delete
  6. I removed my previous post since I forgot to mention a couple of things. The following is the updated post.
    Ok, so here I go:

    01/17/13
    UPS InfoNotice: 1st Delivery Attempt.

    01/18/13
    Called UPS @ 1-800-258-4393 > option 1(for engligh) > option 0 (for agent).
    Asked to be transfered to UPS Brokerage Department.
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    I want to repeat what the author of this post has already said - save your time, ask the UPS rep to transfer you to the Brokerage Department.
    ----------------------------------------------------------

    The Brokerage Department:

    I was preapared for the worst - I had all the details running over and over again through my mind, all the CBSA documentation, info and procedures I could refer to at any time during the conversation.

    The rep answered the phone and I told her that I wanted to self-clear the package myself. I also mentioned that I needed the Cargo Control Document and the Commercial Invoice emailed to me. The rep said: "Ok, no problem, just give me a couple of minutes to go through the procedure steps since this is an unusual request, we don't get them very often."

    After 2-3 minutes she got back to me saing that she could find the Commercial Invoice but not the Manifest (Cargo Control Document) in their system. She also mentioned right away that this was weird since all the LVS packages are accompanied by the Cargo Control Documents.
    Then she asked me to stay on hold for another 3 minutes.

    After the hold, the rep returned to me. She said that she has placed a request in the system for _CBSA_ to send me the 2 documents. The documents were supposed to come in 2 business days.
    I wanted to double check if it was the UPS or CBSA that was holding and was supposed to fax/email me these documents. The blog says it is UPS. The rep said it was CBSA.

    This was the only concern I was left with after ending the conversation. Anyways, as per rep, the package was marked as "Self-Clear" and the request for emailing the documents to me was placed.

    It is worth mentioning that when I asked the rep if the package was going to be sent back to the port of entry, she said: "I don't see the reason why it should go back to the port; it will just wait at the local warehouse waiting for pickup".

    Another thing worth mentioning is that I was talking about clearing the package at CBSA office. By mistake, I said "clear at Port of Entry". The rep replied: "No, you don't have to go there. Just clear it at your local customs office". I was pleasantly surprised.

    At the end of the day I saw another UPS InfoNotice for the 2nd Delivery Attempt. I had to wait the Sat, Sun to pass and then Mon and Tue (2 business days).
    I didn't get anything emailed to me.

    ReplyDelete
  7. 01/22/2013

    After not receiving any emails from either CBSA or UPS I called UPS again. Called the same number on the info notice: 1-800-258-4393 > option 1 (english) > enter my infonotice # > option 0 (agent).

    I asked the agent what was the status of my package. She said "waiting for pickup, till Jan 25". If it wasnt picked up till Jan 25, the package would be sent back to the sender.
    That was a surprise for me. I asked the agent to transfer me to the Brokerage Department. Got transfered..

    Provided the Brokerage Department Rep with the InfoNotice# and asked the rep to go through the logs/comments on account, mentioning that I havent received any documents on my email yet.

    The agent asked me if I didn't receive anything as of Jan 21 (yesterday), since that was what she had on the records. I said NO. The agent put me on hold. After some time, she told me she had resubmitted the request and the email should reach me the nex day (Jan 23).

    I asked the agent if it was UPS or CBSA who was possessing the documents and supposed to send them to me.
    The agent tried to explain (and this is where she lost me) that this depends on the delivery scenario (the author of this blog has also described them in Part 5):
    1) I declare the self-clearing AFTER the package reached your door.
    2) I declare/perform the self-clearing prior to UPS handing the papers to CBSA at the border, when the package enters the country.
    This is at least how I understood it.

    I also asked the agent about the hold for pickup till Jan 25. I explained that I was ready to self-clear 4 days ago, but I am still waiting for the documents, which is not under my control. The rep said I could call them to extend the hold period. She also mentioned that there were some fees associated with holding the package at their warehouse. If this is the case, I will find more details and post here.

    So far, I am waiting for tomorrow, for the email.
    I will keep you posted!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, and a quick update I forgot to mention (again..)
    This is the direct phone number of the UPS Brokerage Department that the rep gave me:
    1-888-520-9090

    Also, this is the Fax number where the B15 form should be sent at (UPS):
    1-506-447-3706

    As per rep, this is the logical process I should follow after I have the stamped B15 form:

    1) Send to the fax number from above (this is the UPS number)
    2) Call the Brokerage Department and let them know that the fax of the stamped B15 has been sent.
    3) The Brockerage department will compare the account# from the form B15 with their database, and mark the package as cleared.
    4) I can pick up the package at hte UPS center.

    ReplyDelete
  9. 01/23/2013
    Guess what?
    Today I receive the e-mail from UPS with a Commercial Invoice attached.

    "Please bring the attached invoice with tracking# 1Z4XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX and any other documents you have for this shipment to your local customs. Pay your taxes there and obtain your B15 form from them"...

    I have 2 more days till the package goes back to the sender... Getting the Cargo Control Document is tough... I even don't know who has it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. 01/23/2013
    After writing back to UPS that I needed the Cargo Control Document, I got an email reply from UPS within 30 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised again.

    The e-mail said the folowing:
    "Hi Max,

    I think there is some confusion here. It is my understanding that this only applies for shipments that are not released and are at the port of entry into Canada this is the procedure we use. In this case your goods have already cleared customs in Winnipeg and you are only “casual self accounting” for the goods and paying the taxes so we can remove the cod after you have the B15. In this case you should only need to bring your invoice to customs with your tracking#. We do not have a cargo control document to give you. For the first procedure you would have to be in Winnipeg and go to customs here.
    I hope this helps you. Sorry for the confusion.

    Also to add to that this is a Low value or “LVS” shipment they do not have manifests. Only High value “HVS” has a manifest and in the case of any high value we do not allow casual self accounting on those shipments it is only for LVS."

    After this e-mail I called CBSA @ 1-800-461-9999 > Option 1 (english) > Option 1 (Personal matter) > Option 0(Agent)
    The agent confirmed that the tracking number of the pakage + the commercial invoice is enough as far as the package documentation is concerned.

    I also would like to mention that the first email with the commercial invoice said that I could bring the B15 form right to the pick-up facility and they could remove the COD tag right there. This is a new procedure and the facility may not know it yet very well. In that case I should ask for the supervisor and explain what I need.

    The UPS representative that was helping me over e-mail was very profesional. I am very satisfied and surprised. You may have noticed that I keep saying here about the great UPS service. It was, indeed. And I am surprised myself, because compared to my experience from 2 years ago, when the UPS supervisor was literally insulting me over the phone, saying that I was stubborn and lacking any knowlege, and that I was frustrating everyone.... there is a huge difference.

    So tomorrow, I am waking up at 6:00AM and going to the Airport because this is where the local CBSA office is. I have printed out the Commercial Invoice with the tracking number, checked my ID and money =)

    Wish me luck!

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  11. 01/24/13
    I am holding in my hands th form "B15-1(FLAT) (07)"! Finally.
    In case anyone from Edmonton reads this - the CBSA office that you need to go to is NOT IN THE AIRPORT BUILDING. Save your time and outrageous parking costs. I spent 10-15 min in the airport to learn that there were 2 CBSA offices - one for travellers and another one, called "commercial", located outside the building, where the warehouses are.

    After finding the office, I had to wait approximately 15 min although I was the only one there. The officer was finishing some other procedures.

    So I brought with me only one document - the Commercial Invoice sent to me by UPS.
    Also The UPS tracking number is required. It starts with 1Z 404 XXX XX XXXX XXXX. In my case the UPS tracking number was printed on the Commercial invoice itself.

    The officer explained to me that indeed, there is a difference between the 2 scenarios that I mentioned above - when the package is at the UPS warehouse and when it is in the port of entry. From what I understood, if the package is in the port of entry and you self-clear the package, then you also need to provide the manifest with the unique shipment ID, so it can be sent to the port of entry. In my case however, UPS has already provided that document at the port of entry when the package was being imported. So now, all I needed to do is pay taxes and GST and "report" to UPS that all was taken care of so they could remove the COD charge.

    This is what I am going to do right now. Scan and e-mail the B15 form.. Or, as my email from UPS rep said, I could just take the form to the warehouse and remove the COD and pick the package right there, at once..

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  12. Just to add - for my 10-15 min in the airpot I payed $4.00 :(

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  13. Hey Max, thanks a lot for taking the time to document your story. It sounds like you're almost there!

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  14. Thanks nobrokerage! And I have the package!!! Yay!
    01/24/2013

    I arrived at UPS at 6:00PM, one hour before it closed.

    I could have emailed the B15 to the UPS Brokerage Department throughout my work hours, but I decided to take the risk and try out their new UPS procedure which, according to UPS email to me, allowed us to bring the B15 document right to the pick-up facility. The local agents were supposed to photocopy/scan the B15 document, fax or email it to UPS Brokerage Department, remove the COD label themselves and hand the package to the customer.

    As my gut was whispering to me the whole day, nobody at the facility knew about this new procedure. After presenting the tracking number, B15 and my ID the person at the counter said that I should have emailed/faxed the B15 to UPS Brok Dept so they could release the package from COD.

    Since I was expecting such scenario, before leaving my work, I decided to print my email conversation with the UPS Brokerage Dept agent, where she was describing the procedure and what needed to be done if noone at pickup depot would know what to do (ask for the supervisor or contact the UPS Brok Dept).

    I presented that email to the person at the counter and he called the UPS Brok Dept explaining the situation.

    At one point the guy says "could you please explain this to the customer himself because I have a lineup growing here?" and passes the phone to me.

    Now that was unexpected. Central UPS office not knowing the new procedure... oops!

    The Brokerage Dept agent introdused himself and tried to explain me the old procedure. I told him about the new procedure and made the reference to my previous e-mail conversations, also giving the name of the person I was talking to. He asked me to wait on hold and got back to me after 2 minutes.

    Then he said the following. This is important because the wrong interpretaion of the procedures on UPS side can lead to a lot of confusion. So he said:
    "we don't hae any updates or new procedures in our system yet, but according to our current porocedures you should bring your B15 to CBSA and they must fax/email it to us and we will remove the COD charge". Doen't make too much sense, does it? Bringing the B15 to CBSA when I just got it from them? And then CBSA faxing/emailing UPS???
    I explained this to the agent and he deicded to read (cite) the procedure as it was written in their system:
    "the customer should bring the B15 to CENTER and the CENTER must fax/email it to UPS Brok Dept and remove the COD".

    The CENTER... To me it clearly sounded that they meant the "Pick-up Center", not "CBSA"! Once I suggested that to the agent, he stopped for a sec and then asked me to pass the phone to the guy over the counter.
    In another minute the phone conversation was over, my B15 was photocopied, COD label removed and package handed out to me.

    The only thing I needed to provide was.. my signature =)
    So now the package is with me and I am very happy that I finally made it. All thanks to you nobrokerage!

    This is the end of my story, but it's just the beginning of plenty other self-clearance procedures, because now that I know it works, I hope I will never ever pay COD's anymore!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi thank you for this site, I've learnt quite a bit. I just got a UPS InfoNotice informing me that I have to pay $101 in brokerage COD due. My package was worth $350. Outrageous!

    I called UPS asking to self clear but they informed me of the cost break down of the COD due: $45 for tax, $40 for customs, and $16 for UPS. Is that right? Am I really paying that much for customs and that little for UPS?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Joshua, all that is required for an item to be legally imported into Canada is that you have paid (and can show proof of payment of) the taxes and duties required by CBSA. I would assume that what they mean is that the tax amount due is calculated at $45, the duties are $40 and they say their fee is $16.

    I don't know what you are shipping but to come up with the ACTUAL amounts, you should calculate the expected taxes and duties and see if they line up. In actual fact, there are very few items that incur a duty so pay particular attention to that number. If your research shows that no duty is required for your shipment, then everything apart from the tax is actually a UPS fee and their breakdown including the $45 'customs fee' seems to be in error.

    Good luck!

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  17. Hi! I wanted to say thank you for this blog post - it helped me out just recently. I hadn't had issues with UPS brokerage fees in a long time (the last time it happened I paid not knowing I had other options) but a package I ordered from the States arrived this past week with a $90 COD from UPS (value of package around $200). I was surprised but remembered that I'd heard if you refuse to pay and then call UPS may lower their fees. Then I googled it and found your post! I followed the instructions starting with calling the UPS brokerage department - they gave me no trouble at all! They had someone call me and then email me the required invoice with a page of instructions to follow. I then called CBSA to confirm which office could process my request - there is one downtown Toronto - so convenient! I dropped in, paid my HST, emailed the stamped B15 back to UPS and then called to follow up (without my call the package may have sat at the local UPS office for a while awaiting my pickup - but I have no way of driving there): I confirmed that my paid duty had been processed and the package will now arrive Monday with no money owing! I'm so impressed that this went so smoothly. Thanks for your help!

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    Replies
    1. How much did you end up having to pay?

      Delete
  18. Does this work for CanadaPost as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as my reading it doesn't work for Canada Post... But you never know. If anyone can try it with CP and report back I'd love to know.

      Delete
  19. First off, let me say a huge Thank You to "nobrokergae" and "Max T". These steps and information was invaluable.
    So let me tell you of my experience.

    First off, I am in Edmonton, so if you are looking for the new CBSA location, the address is 1727-35 Ave East. When you are coming into the YEG airport on Airport Road, you will turn left (S) on Airport Perimeter Road,
    (if you miss it, just go to the lights at 31 S and turn L there, go past Jetset Parking, L on 24 Ave E, then R on Airport Perimeter Road)
    then R on 21 St East, now left at the 4 way stop (Purolator, DHL, Cargo Jet are on your right) onto 35 Ave East. The CBSA is the building on your right, the next building over is STARS, and AHS. Sorry,, I had a map picture but couldn't figure out how to load it onto this posting.

    The CBSA is at the end of the building on the right.
    Sorry,,, I had a pict of the map, but couldn't figure out how to post it here.

    So the only challenge I ran into with my experience was the agent requirements when he scrutinized the supplied documentation I had received from UPS and the shipper.
    In a nut shell, as per CBSA when I called back and spoke to the supervisor, "you as the importer are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the documentation, so it is incumbent upon you to satisfy the agent that everything is correct. Not the carrier, and not the shipper".
    Great,,, I wasn't the one who filled out the paperwork, I wasn't the one who was the shipper and am now holding it in a warehouse,,, but I am the one who has to fix the errors!
    In my situation, the CBSA agent had an issue with:
    1) I did not provide proof that I had actually purchased this item (a Pioneer stereo head unit for my vehicle off of E-Bay). Yes I had the invoice that was supplied with the shipment, but that didn't mean that's what I paid. Nor did it show the shipping costs
    2) The Country of Origin was marked as USA. In the agent words " I highly doubt that Pioneer made this unit in the United States, most likely it was made in China, Taiwan, or somewhere else. Certainly not the USA"
    3) The shipper used the UPS tracking number as their reference # (for some reason that was a problem in his eyes for inventory tracking purposes ??)
    4) He went on about some rant as to how these people get a shipping program and just plug things into it and then everything is good. But it isn't (but I was wondering if this is the same documentation that UPS would use,,,would they be having these same difficulties ??But when I asked them the price for UPS to clear,,, I thought I would keep persevering and figure this out)

    So faced with these roadblocks I left to do some more research and gather more documentation.
    I emailed back to UPS to ask for more info. They said this was all they got from the shipper. I emailed back the shipper, but never got any response. I guess once you paid for it on EBay they are not to interested in helping after the sale.
    I tried contacting Pioneer to get information on where this unit was made. No response.
    I went to Visions, and photographed similar packages that showed were it was made.
    I tried Googling "where are Pioneer car stereo's made",,,, nothing,,, just referring me back to Pioneer. So I'm feeling I haven't made any progress on filling in the gaps.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The next day I go back to CBSA office armed with what I could gather.
    1) A print out of my EBay order; a copy of my Paypal receipt; a copy of my credit card statement all showing what I had paid for and how much.
    2) I had pictures of similar Pioneer audio products (speakers) showing on the back the country of manufacture; I explained that I had tried Google, I explained I had tried contacting Pioneer; I had pictures from another EBay listing where they showed all of the sides of the box and nowhere did it show the country of manufacture.
    **Here is the frustrating part,, he accepted that I tried my due diligence in getting the information, but in the end, the Country of Origin wasn't going to affect any aspect of any duty or import fees.Virtually all electronics no matter where they are manufactured are duty free into Canada! It was only to ensure accuracy, not to assess fees,,,, grrr*****
    3) & 4) nothing more I offer on these, as neither UPS or the seller gave me anything more response.

    So finally in the end,, I got it stamped. Paid my GST, got my B-15, they emailed the Port of Entry in Richmond, I emailed the B-15 back to UPS. Package is now released and on its way here.
    So the total costs from UPS would have been:
    APPROX CHARGES:
    $ 32.65 GST
    $ 69.60 BROKERAGE
    $3.48 BROKERAGE GST
    TOTAL CHARGES: $ 105.73 CAD.
    My cost: $31.71.
    Now, if I look at the research time and two trips out to the Inland CBSA, was it worth it? Yah, I still think so since the first time is always a learning curve. But knowing what I know now,, the next time will be a breeze.
    So hopefully others can learn too, that this is not a difficult task at all and easily accomplished.

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  21. footnotes: finally got a reply back from Pioneer, incase it might be of use to anyone:
    ProductSupport@pioneer-usa.com
    Thank you for contacting Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.

    Although Pioneer North American headquaters is located in the USA the
    AVH-4100NEX units are manufactured in Thailand. I hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Safely transport cargos with cargo restraints
    Cargo restraint systems are helpful in transporting cargos safely and securely to another place. The most important type of cargo restraints which are in demand by various industries is the interior cargo restraints. The interior restraints helps in securing cargos within the back-seat of the vehicle, thereby helping to make proper use of the rear portion of the vehicle for storage purposes.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks so much for this post! Just a 2016 update for anyone wanting to clear their own packages..

    Everything I've read has made it seem like this may be a bit of a tedious process, and that not many UPS or CBSA employees know about the LVS self accounting procedures. Either UPS and the CBSA have really streamlined the process, or I just got lucky on my first try..

    Anyway, here's my experience. I'm in Brampton (just outside of Toronto)..bought something from the US worth about $80 after shipping costs, and UPS made a delivery attempt. They left a 'we missed you' note at the door, with a brokerage fee of $45. No way I wanted to pay more than half the value of the item, so that got me started looking up what the brokerage fee is even for, and if there's a way around it.

    I made a call to UPS and spoke to the brokerage department requesting my commercial invoice, saying I wanted to pay the taxes and duty on my package at the CBSA rather than pay for UPS to do it.
    He said he'd put in a request for someone to call me back within 24hrs..since my (limited) research of the self accounting process told me nobody at UPS would know what I'm talking about, I assumed he was just pushing me off the phone, so I said thanks, but I still need the invoice. There was some trouble emailing it, but I pushed a bit and after a few times on hold, it was sent to me.

    The next day I did actually get a call, from Shelley at Fort Erie (the port of entry). She was very helpful and asked for my email address, then sent me a copy of my commercial invoice as well as a sheet titled "Casual LVS Self Accounting Procedures"
    So..turns out the first guy I talked to wasn't pushing me off of the phone, he was just putting in a request to the proper department, so I didn't need to hassle him at all to get the first copy of my invoice (woops)

    Shelley explained that she'd send me the invoice and instructions, and that I would take them both to the CBSA, pay taxes and duty to get a B15, then email the B15 back to her. Then someone would call me to arrange the pickup/delivery

    I took the papers to the CBSA, and again everyone was very helpful and knew exactly what to do. Paid my $9 in tax and got a B15, and emailed the copy back to Shelley.
    The next day I got a call from the local UPS warehouse, scheduled a delivery, and I now have the package. not bad.

    So from what I had been reading, this whole thing sounded like a much bigger process. Now that I've done it, it's actually very straightforward. For anyone like me who was just googling how to avoid paying UPS so much for brokerage fees, I'd suggest this method for sure, as long as you can wait an extra day or two for the package.

    I used to drive down to my US mailbox in Niagara Falls to avoid paying UPS, but this is definitely easier (and saves the hour and a bit of driving each way). The only time I'll use my US mailbox now is when something ships free in the states

    ReplyDelete
  24. I recently did this (today).

    1.Called the Brokerage Dept and got them to email me the Shipping Invoice and Manifest when it arrives at the Port of Entry.

    2. Got the documents, went to a CBSA Inland Office, told the reception that I was looking to get a B-15 form and pay duties on a shipment.

    3. Got the form. Called Brokerage Dept again and they gave me a fax number and email to send the documents too (I can do either).

    4. Said they will wait for the backroom to check the documents and clear it. I told them to automatically clear it for dispatch when it is cleared. The UPS operator noted that recorded it into my case file.

    5. Currently refreshing my Tracking to see if it changes. If not, I will be calling them to remind them to check their email.

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  25. Thank you so Very much for this post! I was already paying rediculous shipping from the states and flat out refused to pay them to broker for me. They luckily let slip that I could self clear but insisted that I had to go to the regional port of entry office which was way far away. That just didn't make sense to me in our digital age and seemed set up to have the citizen fail and UPS triumph when I was sure CBSA didn't care about making things difficult but just wanted to get their fees and maybe even make it as accessible as possible.

    I'm going to try this procedure and already called and asked UPS to send me the required documents... They took my email address without question.

    Of note one of the ladies I talked to at UPS before reading this article wanted to know why I didn't want to pay the fee since it was a legal thing. I had told her I wanted to self clear which was in no way avoiding my taxes... But she tried to guilt me anyway. This article has made it so I know what to ask for and where to go without having to try and get it out of them. I AM TRULY GRATEFUL!

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  26. Maybe I'm just unlucky but unfortunately my experience with UPS has been incredibly frustrating so far. I told the representative I spoke with on the phone that I would self clear and she accepted that with no issue and told me that I would be receiving my paperwork shortly. ...However after seven emails (so far) back and forth with the brokerage dept, they are still telling me that I need to go to the port of entry and are trying to avoid sending me ANY kind of documentation, telling me that "the port of entry would be the contact that would be sending you the paperwork." How does UPS get away with pulling this? I am so grateful for this blog and I will not be backing down.

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  27. Hi! Thanks for this post... very helpful (a little bit of a hassle if you ask me though). I just want to point out however that you should not have paid these charges in the first place. It is the sellers responsibility if they are selling through amazon.ca to a Canadian customer the seller is responsible for these charges! I read the whole thig... prepared to fight with UPS and then came upon this thread... https://forums.redflagdeals.com/amazon-ca-customs-import-brokerage-charges-2161386/ going to try this first!

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