UPS/FedEx Brokerage Fee – avoid scam (Canada)

Here is the legal way to avoid brokerage fee when importing goods from USA into Canada with courier companies like UPS, or FedEx, without driving hundreds of miles to the port of entry. CBSA officially replied that UPS forces customers to pay outrageous customs brokerage fees illegally.

When you want to order some goods for personal use from US into Canada, you want it to be delivered fast and cheap. It can be orders from eBay, and many other stores across US. Many eBay sellers do not deal with UPS anymore because of outrageous customs brokerage fees. Usually buyers face this fee only at the door, when package is delivered.

It is called C.O.D. (collect on delivery) invoice which includes duties and taxes for imported goods, and UPS customs brokerage fees and other UPS fees like collect on delivery fee, bill integrity fee, taxes on the fees and so on. This C.O.D. bill is usually about 50% of the item’s price! Of course duties and taxes must be paid, but it is usually from 5% to 15% for casual goods (no alcohol, or tobacco, or other goods for which duties applied) depending on the province.

When importers see the invoice to pay extra 50% of the item’s price thay order, some of them just refuse to pay, and item is shipped back to the seller. The sellers do not like this as well as importers, and ship items with more expensive and pretty slow USPS mail service. It goes through Canada Post to the addressee in Canada, and they charge $5 for customs clearance. But USPS delivery can take up to 6 weeks, and theirs delivery cost is higher than for UPS Ground.

Depending on the order’s price, UPS Customs Brokerage Fee varies up to 50%. For example, for the order of $40.01 the brokerage fee is $19.45 + tax, according to the table at UPS website.

If you still want to use advantage of pretty fast, guaranteed, and trackable UPS ground service to ship your imported goods from US into Canada,

You do NOT have to pay UPS brokerage fees!

I’m not advising you to use other courier services, like USPS, or driving hundreds of miles to the port of entry in order to clear items by yourself as UPS forces you to do, otherwise paying brokerage fees.

You do NOT have to be in the port of entry to clear your items!

I’ve ordered some auto parts from California, and UPS forced me to pay brokerage fees. They told that there is absolutely no ways to clear items by myself in local CBSA office other than port of entry. I have spent almost two months to investigate and escalate this issue with UPS and CBSA (Canada Borders Service Agency). Finally I got a call with apologies about the incident and official reply from CBSA which indicates the following:

You are allowed to self clear your personal shipments and pay any duty/taxes owing at an office other than where the goods are being held.

UPS SCS (Ground) was also incorrect to inform you that you had to present yourself at the office where the goods were located.

CBSA also advised me that they are going to inform courier company and CBSA offices to ensure they are aware of the proper procedures.

There are local CBSA (Canada Borders Service Agency) offices in GTA (I’m located in Toronto) where you can pay applicable duties and taxes for imported goods. There is absolutely no need to drive into Windsor or Fort Erie to clear your items. There are also a lot of CBSA offices across Canada, so you most likely may choose one which is pretty close to you.

Here is the way how to avoid UPS brokerage fees:

(Important note: this information is outdated, please see update as of October 17, 2010 below for required list of documents, according to which commercial invoice is not required by CBSA. That list is final and allowed to self clear many shipments successfully)

  • Place your order at US store with UPS delivery option
  • Print out your commercial invoice (PayPal invoice, or e-mail receipt from the store). You may want to make sure that shipper will put the correct price on the package for customs (just send them a note about it)
  • Wait for item to be shipped and get your tracking number
  • Call UPS, give them tracking number and tell that you want to clear your items by yourself in your local CBSA office. They should instruct you what you will need to do

Note: this mechanism can be only applied for Low Value Shipment program (LVS),when order’s price does not exceed $1600 CAD. In case of more expensive goods you will need to present yourself at the port of entry to clear your goods, or find a broker to do this for you.

If for any reason UPS still tells you that you can not clear items by yourself in local CBSA office, and you must go to the port of entry in order to pay duties/taxes – it is illegal! Insist on your rights. Tell that they violate the law. Mention that there is an official reply from CBSA. If you get the refusal from UPS, write down the name of the person you talked to, time, and phone number you called in. Please describe your case to me and I will forward it to the person in CBSA who investigated my case and replied to my inquiry. I’m not posting his contact information here to avoid spam. He advised to contact him if this issue is repeated again.

I believe that it should be applied not only to UPS, but to all other courier services. For example, FedEx brokerage fees must be avoided in the same way.

Updated information as of October 17, 2010.

Canada Customs (CBSA) officially replied and provided procedure of self clearing process which UPS, CBSA offices, and importers should follow:



How to pay duties and taxes for imported goods

If you are planning to have future shipments sent to you by courier from outside Canada, you do have the option of refusing the accounting services offered by the company, choosing instead to clear the goods yourself through your local CBSA office. If you choose to do this, you will not incur any brokerage fees. The two options available to you are the following:

1. Prior to receiving your shipment, you can contact the courier company and inform them of your wish to self-clear any shipments that are addressed to you and on which brokerage fees are applicable. The company will explain their procedures to you.

2. As an alternative, when a casual shipment is delivered to you, you can refuse delivery and advise the courier company of your intention to self-clear directly with the CBSA. In this case, please ensure that you take note of the unique shipment identifier number on the package, as the shipment will be returned to the courier’s warehouse.

With both options, you will need to visit your local CBSA office and provide them with specific details, including the courier’s name, the unique shipment identifier number, a description of the goods and their value so that the CBSA can correctly assess the goods. This information is usually indicated on the shipment’s invoice, which will be provided to you by the courier company. When you have paid the applicable duties and/or taxes to the CBSA, you will be given an official receipt indicating that the goods have been accounted for. You will need to present this receipt to the courier’s warehouse where your shipment is stored, in order for the courier to release your shipment to you.

Thank you for contacting the CBSA.

Internet: www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca (http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/)

Canada Border Services Agency

Ottawa, Ontario

K1A 0L8

Government of Canada – Gouvernement du Canada


(Some personal information has been omitted, and CBSA e-mail address also to avoid spam. Some key phrases has been highlighted by editor, not by CBSA)

We may conclude, that in order to self-clear goods in local CBSA office we need following:

The final and proven way of how to avoid UPS brokerage fees:

– Courier’s name: UPS

– Unique shipment identifier number: UPS must provide

– Shipment’s invoice: UPS must provide

– Place where the package is being held

Let’s stop UPS outrageous behavior and lawlessness, and force them to obey the simple law and allow importers to self-clear without paying brokerage fees!

Tell about this procedure to all people who use UPS (or other couriers with high brokerage fees) to import goods from US into Canada! If UPS will hear about it from importers hundreds/thousands times per day, they will definitely start to use new procedure.

The exact procedure of self-clearing with scanned documents is given here:

How to self clear shipment at CBSA and avoid UPS brokerage fee

545 thoughts on “UPS/FedEx Brokerage Fee – avoid scam (Canada)”

  1. I am in the process of getting my parcel and getting them to release the c.o.d from my package this blog really helps i really appreciate it! I posted on UPS’s fb page letting them know how angry and upset i Am. and i’ve just emailed the city tv news in Toronto and see if they can intestate a little on this. Because this brokerage fee is just plain outrageous!!

  2. @Customs
    The value of my goods was less than the personal exemption so I did not owe any duties. Canada customs used the E24 form as a self declaration form. I did not owe any tax or duties and fulfilled all requirements for Canada Customs. The E24 form was stamped by Canada Customs, Faxed to UPS, package released by UPS after removal of COD, then delivered to me. About 2 weeks after delivery in February UPS sent me an invoice then started harassing phone calls asking for their money trying to say they made a mistake and should not have released my package. I tried explaining “their mistake” to them with no success. I have ignored UPS to this point 3 months later. I suspect they will try sending this “illegal bill” to collections.

  3. I came to this site because the eBay seller sent my purchase by UPS and I didn’t know and I had to manage with my problem now that it was delivered to my home and that I had refused delivery. That was last friday the 17th of may. Because of the long week-end I had to wait until this morning to contact UPS. Well, just got in touch with UPS for follow-up with my parcel. On the UPS site it said on the 17th I did not accept C.O.D. charges, witch is wright, and refused delivery.

    I Just now finished talking with U.P.S. dailed 1-800-742-5877 #3 and talked to a lady that absolutely refused to lower the cost of their brokerage fees. I then started to talk about self clearing and proceeded to ask for a copy of the commercial invoice but again I tried to tell her that if they would lower the fees I would, maybee, accept them as clearing agents. Again she said a BIG no and she asked me if I wanted to proceed with my self clearing proceedures, I then asked to speek to her superviser, she said it would be the same because it is normal proceedures and fees that were applied to my delevery, I kept on asking to speek to her supervisor and she asked me to wait that she would put him on the phone. After 3 minutes she came back offering me to cut the cost of the brokerage fees by about 60%, I then accepted the offer. Instead oh paying $34.14 I paid $14.14 they cut $20. The fight was worth the money.

  4. If you don’t live near Montréal but close enough to any USA border and if you search around your area I am sure there are other similar businesses that offer same type of services as Freeport Forwarding does.

  5. I have had my share of arguments with UPS and I quit using them all together. I live near Montréal and I am only 30 minutes from Lacolle QC border(Champlain N.Y.). What I am about to share with you has saved me hundreds of $$$ in the past couple of years. I am a good eBay user and I buy all kinds of stuff from my Harley motorcycle tires to my Kenmore fridge water filters.

    All eBay users know that when you buy on eBay shipping is very often free to the lower 48 states and when you look at the cost of shipping to Canada it is almost all of the time very expensive so expensive that, it discourages you to buy what would be an tremendous deal. Well here is my trick…

    There is a warehouse in Champlain N.Y. that is called “FREEPORT FORWARDING” their web site is http://WWW.FREEPORTFORWARDING.COM they are 1/2 mile from Lacolle QC/Champlain N.Y. border, exit #43 off of I87.

    What you do is register with them(free) and have your stuff shipped to the warehouse in Champlain N.Y., they will hold the packages for you until you go get them. All they charge is $3 for boxes or packages under 2 pounds, $5 for parcels 2 to 69 pounds so forth and so on. If you go on their web site all info needed is there.

    I have ordered tires for my Harley from Chaparal with free shipping in the states, I saved over $100 on the cost of the tires, declared my purchases coming back in Canada, paid GST and PST, that I would have paid anyway had I purchased my tires in Canada. Saves over $100. all I did was drive 30 miles back and forth, spent $10 gas and I had a good time. I even fullup my gas tank and saved even more. That is only a small example of my savings cause I have purchased many many things that I wait for not being in a hurry to have, picked them all in one trip, paid the small warehouse fees, declared my purchases at the Canadian border and saved a bundle in shipping.

    What is fun with all of this is that I don’t have to deal with STUPID UPS and their durty expensive unfair fees.

  6. All of this advice was really helpful, and now, although the responses are myriad, I feel obligated to share my experience as well.

    I am located in Vancouver and one thing I cannot stress enough is that UPS will give you the run around, and not everyone within the Canadian border services agency knows what they are talking about.
    CALL AND ASK EVERYWHERE YOU ARE DIRECTED TO ENSURE YOU HAVE BEEN DIRECTED TO THE CORRECT PLACE AND HAVE SUFFICIENT DOCUMENTATION.

    I ordered a turntable from the states and chose to ship ups thinking I was saving myself some money. They wanted to charge me about 160 dollars (half being taxes and half being the brokerage charges) I wasn’t home to pay for the parcel and another member of my house told them to come back. I came across this post on accident when i was looking for a way to calculate the fees they were charging me and boy am i glad i did. I followed the aforementioned steps, got what i thought i needed from ups and was off cbsa. Although I was eventually successful the problems I encountered were as follows.

    **********UPS employes must be well trained to only release documentation to you if you use the correct name and inform them its illegal for them to retain it from you. They will probably tell you once you have told them you want to self clear to wait for “the port” to contact you within 24, although they did you can call them and ask them for the information beforehand. They might tell you they do not have access to documents as of yet, but stay on the phone and tell them its illegal for them to withhold that information from you and you want to speak with someone who can release this to you if they cannot, repeat this until they give in.

    I called CBSA to corfirm a location I could self clear at, the agent on the phone directed me to a downtown location, When I got there they informed me they could not assist me at that location. WHEN YOU CALL SBSA ASKED TO BE TRANSFERED BY TELEPHONE TO THE LOCATION YOU HAVE BEEN DIRECTED TO GO TO SO THAT YOU CAN CONFIRM WITH THE PEOPLE WORKING THERE THEY WILL BE ABLE TO ASSIST YOU.************

    All in all it was a bit of a pain in the ass! but im really glad i was able to save a little bit of money! I could understand a 5 or 10 dollar brokerage fee, but and amount equal to the amount i was paying in customs?….. please!
    Thanks to everyone who has posted here, I found all of your stories and advice helpful!

  7. @Eric,
    How much was the value of your goods? The E24 form, I believe, is only good for the amount of your exemption. And only good for items you have purchased while away, not for your personal luggage. If the value of the goods were above the Personal Exemption amount, say $700, then you can still be charged duties and taxes on the remaining amount. If determined that these were your own personal effects/luggage, then you should have self-cleared.
    If I were you and you were within your Personal Exemption for items purchased while abroad, I would make sure I have a copy of the E24 and keep contacting supervisors at UPS, keep explaining the situation.
    I don’t know how much your bill is for, but you don’t want to continue to be harassed by UPS when you have done nothing wrong.

  8. Hi there,
    I also work for Fedex Express and wanted to clarify a couple of things. @Cari; the Duties on clothing made in China is approx 20%, ($52 on $260) the tax is 12% ($31.20) and our fee is $10. So even if you took the time and effort to self clear, your cost would have been $84 as opposed to $94 that you paid to Fedex. You also would have had to come down to the station, retrieved the documents, taken those documents to CBSA (well before 4pm when they close) and then bring those stamped documents back to us. The majority of Fedex customers that are given this option choose Fedex to clear for them, and have the package delivered to their door, with no fuss.
    Also the story at the very top of the page regarding the shipment cleared in Calgary:
    Your shipment originally came in as what’s called an LVS shipment, this is a type of entry (most shipments under $2500CAD). Once you choose self-clearance, this removes it from the LVS program and now a formal-entry is needed. A Cargo Control Document / Manifest is required to have this shipment formally cleared through CBSA, they were absolutely correct in requesting this. UPS is horrible and they were absolutely WRONG in denying you this form. In fact, a co-worker had the misfortune of having something shipped through UPS from the US. She knows the procedures and was still given the run-around by UPS Customer Service, was was beyond annoyed. I don’t know how they stay in business anymore.
    I don’t know what else to tell customers other than never ship UPS for international shipments into Canada. I know I never would!

  9. I’m sick and tired of dealing with UPS. I never use them, but some people use them to ship to me. Other than their brokerage fee scam, lying about attempted delivery, etc, everything about their company makes it the worst company I’ve ever dealt with.

    With the brokerage fee scam, mentioned here as illegal by CBSA, shouldn’t there be a class action suit? They are stealing millions of dollars from Canadians.

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  11. Hey Guys, Just want to explain something a little more. I work for FedEx Express (not the same as ground) we have our own in-house brokerage. We DO NOT charge a brokerage fee for shipments entering Canada from where ever. If you do not have a FedEx Express account # (which can be obtained by calling 800-463-3339 & linking the account to your credit card) there is a 10$+tax(11.50) fee that is applied. this fee is an advancement fee. The only other charges that you will see are the ones we give to Revenue Canada (duties & atxes) All lvs shipments (2500$ and less, it changed about 2-3 months ago) are put on delivery. Shipments with a value of less than 60$CAD will be billed for duties & taxes at a later date. For shipments over 60$CAD we have a dept that calls the clients in advance to let them know the amount that is payable on delivery. This is when the 10$ fee is applied. If you have the account the duties & taxes will be applied to that account. Anyone can call to open an account! All shipments that enter the country are subject to duties(if applicable) & taxes. Take note….that for casual importations….and the Country of Origin (not the same as where the shipment was sent from, but where the goods were made) is USA or Mexico, NAFTA is applicable without actually having the form. Not the same for commerical shipments. Anyone can call 800-463-3339 & ask to be transfered to the customs dept. Each port of entry (where our planes land) has a customs dept ie, Calgary, Edmonton, Van, Mirabel (MTL), Ottawa….& we will help with any problems!!!

  12. I encountered a problem with UPS. I purchased goods when I was in the USA. I had them shipped via UPS after leaving to my address in Canada, as they were large and bulky. I declared these goods at the airport, as unaccompanied good acquired abroad. Canada customs provide me a declaration form (if I recall correctly E24, which indicated that no taxes were due). UPS attempted delivery with a COD bill for brokerage and taxes. I called UPS, had to escalate to a supervisor who asked me to fax the customs form to UPS. UPS subsequently removed the COD and delivered the package. About a week later UPS called me and asked me to pay the COD bill, they said they should not have released the package. I explained things to them. The did not bend in their request for me to pay. They subsequently sent me a bill which I threw away. Now they call and leave me messages asking me to pay them. I feel they are wrong. I declared the shipment, sent them the documentation, now they want more money. Any suggestions?

  13. I told UPS to give me the package, to send me the bill which eventually ended up in the trash!

    Never heard from UPS again and never used UPS for international shipping again.

  14. Thank you so much for this guide! I followed your guide and it seems both CBSA and UPS Canada are very helpful with this.

    I ordered a car part which cost $50 and UPS wanted $40 for brokerage fee + tax.

    Once I received the first delivery attempt message, I called UPS and asked the package to be put on hold at their warehouse.

    I was having difficulty with UPS, but that’s because my Vonage phone was connecting the 1-800 number to UPS in USA. They have no clues about this. (The easiest way to tell if you’re connected to UPS in USA is that they have Spanish language as an option and there’s no option to contact brokerage department).

    After using a different phone, I was able to be connected to UPS in Canada and pressed 3 to be connected to Brokerage department. I then asked for the invoice associated with my tracking number and the person faxed it right away. I also emailed UPS (while I was having problem calling UPS with Vonage) regarding the invoice and they also emailed it to me the next day.

    I went to CBSA in Kitchener-Waterloo Airport and the person there was very helpful and she really understand what is this all about. I paid $6 for the tax and received the B15 form. The agent was also offered me if the form wanted to be fax on CBSA behalf, unfortunately, I don’t have the fax number at the time.

    I then called UPS (pressed number 3) and asked for the fax number where B15 form should be sent. They give me 506-447-3706 to fax the form.

    I waited 1 business day, and called UPS (again pressed number 3) and they confirmed they have the form and they dropped the C.O.D charge on my package.

    I will be going to UPS warehouse and pick up the package.

  15. Hi There,
    I just stumbled upon this site trying to find out what “Package data processed by brokerage Waiting for clearance” meant in my tracking history, and am appalled at UPS’s business practices! When I ordered my item, I was asked to confirm that I may have to pay taxes and/or duties to get my shipment. No mention of brokerage fees – I chose UPS as it was $20 to ship, whereas USPS was $35. Now when I go to UPS’s website, it says brokerage fees for an item with a $50 value will be about $20. Highway robbery! That’s DOUBLE the shipping fees I agreed to when I purchased the item, and nearly the cost of the item itself all together. Even if I clear the item myself, which I definitely intend to do, I paid UPS to deliver to my door. I am not receiving the service I paid for if I have to run around YVR going to Customs and then to UPS. Absolutely ridiculous. I will let you all know how it goes.

    Worth noting, I order items from the states about once every couple of months, often through UPS. I’ve never been charged duty, even though it sometimes seems I should have, and never been charged a brokerage fee by any company. I will definitely be asking UPS about the complete lack of consistency in this.
    Laura

  16. Morning All,

    Thanks for all the info you provide.
    I ordered something from amazon (but sold by other company) and worth a little over 100, and by self calculation I will end up paying like approx 50 extra or more.

    So I just called them this morning and the guy answers the phone was nice and he did something in their system, and ask my phone number said UPS will call me back in 24 hours with instruction on how to do the self clear.

    I get up like 7:30 in the morning to do this so I was kinda of in my sleep while doing this…….

    So just wondering is manifest still required?
    and I saw ppl mention Unique shipment identifier number, my guess is, that’s not the tracking number is it?

    Well, anyway I am waiting for UPS to call and will report back when this is done.

    God, Montreal is snowing in the morning :(, go back to sleep.

  17. Hi All,

    I wish I would have known about this earlier. I just received a bill from a Brokerage company for $32.36 for product that cost $48.11. I already received the package several weeks ago. Just wondering if its too late to self clear the package now that I have received my package, even though I didnt sign for it. I had it shipped to my work and the mail room signed for it. I willing to go do a self clearance now that i see how much UPS want to screw me with this Brokerage fee. The tax is only $2.41.

    Thanks
    Jean

  18. Wow. Great information to know but it may be too late. I ordered a First Communion Dress for my daughter from China thinking I was getting a high quality gown for a fraction of the price but when I saw the COD fee I nearly passed out! An order of $260 CDN cost me almost $100 from FedEx. When I researched the reasoning for this insane price (wondering how custom/duty/taxes could be so high) I came across your website.
    Now this morning I paid for this via credit card with FedEx in order to receive my pkg. Is it too late now that I have paid the invoice to change the delivery process and hopfully save myself maybe $60 dollars??

    Looking forward to your reply,
    Cari

  19. Thanks Truler for the advice in this thread! I just started a small business and found the perfect packaging for my product from a company in NY. They have an exclusive agreement with UPS for shipping and refused to send any other way. My first shipment arrived with a hefty brokerage fee that increased the cost of my packaging by a whopping 60%! Last week I needed to order more and found this blog. Armed with the information above, I waited until I saw that my shipment had crossed the border then went to the CBSA office at the Hamilton,On airport. I had called UPS and received a copy by email of the waybill.
    The officers at the Hamilton CBSA were extremely kind and helpful! Even gave me the CRA 800# to call when I did not have the import license # I needed to pay even less tax (as I am a business). Needless to say that I would have paid approx $200 on a $321 shipment, in the end I paid $16.24!
    My advice to all, wether you just ordered something off eBay for yourself or you are a small business and can’t afford hire a large customs broker, is to follow the advice above.

  20. I made an order costing $48.98 and the shipping and handling is 23.99. I have since received an email requiring my phone number and informing me of the UPS brokerage and import taxes. I answered the email and cancelled the order and hope I am not too late. I have read many of the posts and find them very helpful. I doubt if any will make any difference to UPS. I am surprised that no one has mentioned or written to the provincial Minister of Consumer Affairs or the Federal Minister. If there is enough complaints there ( especially at election time) perhaps UPS might change their ways. That’s where my complaint is going.

  21. Hi I just received an order from the states for 300 and had to pay 120 on top although shipping was FREE! All taxes and brokerage fees. The fed ex guy delivering item told me that next time i should claim my parcel as gifts and they cannot charge brokerage fees? I have been online with fedex as he suggested and cannot see any info on this….help…..should i go about the above process or is there an easier way as he indicated

  22. I got a package from Saudi Arabia. My family sent it from there to San Francisco, CA. I found a paper that it says ” We coud not leave the package because you owe a C.O.D. amount of $225.15 for Brokerage fee” I didn’t understand what is it because my parents already payed. I don’t understand why I have to pay if it’s already paid. What can I do to avoid paying $225? I don’t know what to do…

  23. My ordeal with UPS – SCAM by courier company is true!

    UPS agents gave me conflicting instructions, from I could do my self clearance to I could not do my self clearance. The most frustration is that among about 10 UPS agents I had spoken to, only one was able or willing to provide me a fax number to fax my E24 form (personal exemption declaration issued by CBSA) to UPS. It appears to me that the agents located in Canada are knowledgeable but unhelpful (one tried to trick me paying the fees upfront and claim back (I would end up paying UPS the brokerage fee) and the agents out side Canada are less knowledgeable but very helpful

    Jan 7: The first agent took my request for self clearance and phone numbers. She could not provide me a fax number but told me to wait for calls from UPS for instruction to fax in my Form E24 to UPS.

    Jan 10: The worst agent, is a manager or supervisor named Mary (ext 2308) located in New Brunswick. She portrayed to be very helpful, told me that it was too late to do my self clearance because their broker already assessed a charge of around $168 on my $700 shipment, she suggested that I pay first and claim back from CBSA later. But she did not tell me that I would end up paying UPS the brokerage fees of around $90! My shipment is exempted under E24 form. How dishonest the UPS manager is! I did not give up, called again an hour later (see below)

    Jan 10: The best agent, named Nadin (outside Canada) gave me the fax number, told me to notify UPS after faxing in the E24 form. The charge on my shipment will be reversed and the package would be re-scheduled for delivery free of charge.

    Jan 11: E24 was faxed to UPS, the agent on my follow up call told me that self clearance request was only entered into UPS system a day ago (some agent must have altered the data on my file) and told me that Port will call me within 24 hours. I am still waiting and waiting…..

  24. I would like to let everyone know there is a service out there I have been using for a while now called “ClearSmart Online Customs Clearance”, they are able to dramatically reduce the cost of UPS, FedEx and other courier import fees, like brokerage and C.O.D. Just call your courier company prior to your next shipment & let them know ClearSmart is now acting as your customs broker. It will save you hundreds each year if you buy stuff outside of the country.

    This discount clearance service is only for Canadians by the way.

  25. Thanks for all the information. I live in Edmonton and was faced with a similar situation of being billed $47.76 for a items valued at $91.00. I had already paid almost $30 in shipping costs. After reading these posts I contacted UPS and indicated I would like to self clear my items. The lady was very friendly and said she would email me the necessary documents. When I attended the CBSA office it tuns out they did not include the commercial manifest. I contacted UPS again and the lady I spoke to did not seem to know what that was. She said it was not scanned in and she could not send it. I told her that did not help me and what was she going to do to satisfy my concerns. Magically she was able to waive the brokerage fee and said I would only have to pay the taxes and duty when I picked up the package. It turned out that $41.76 was the fee. In the end I only had to pay $6.00. It is appalling that UPS continues to gouge the consumer and so many of us blindly pay these extortionists. It took me an hour of time and a few bucks in gas to save $41.00

  26. I didnt proof read, so apologies for spelling and grammer errors.

    So I went to the CBSA office in Mississauga with the commercial invoice of my first package (I had 2 coming at different times). They started asking me for the manifest and I said UPS gave me this document when I asked for the manifest, but CBSA said this document is just an invoice, we need the manifest or cargo print. So I called up UPS again right then and told them CBSA is asking for a manifest, and by law you guys need to give me it if I’m asking for it.

    The UPS representative started telling me how my package does not have a manifest document because it is a low value item, so its in the LVS program or so, and all CBSA would need is the commercial invoice to clear my goods. I told CBSA this is what UPS is telling me, and CBSA started saying there must be one. I was on the phone with UPS for 30 mins, while still in the CBSA office, trying to get them to fax me the manifest. Finally I requested to speak to the supervisor, soon as she came on the phone, all she asked me was “Ma’me, are you at the CBSA office?” I said yes and she said “May I please speak to the officer, just incase we are not aware of the policies, I want to just double check with the officer.”. I asked the officer to speak the the UPS supervisor. He was on the phone with her for less than a min, and all he said was “yes..yes…oh…yes…okay”.

    He gave me my phone back and started filling out the B-15 form with the commercial invoice. He didnt even say anything about the manifest after that, and I was out of there in 10 mins after paying my taxes of 7.93$, on my 65$ item.

    I took the B-15 form to UPS where my package was held (I didnt fax it), and the young girl and guy there were so helpful. I gave them the form and they brought my package out in a min and handed it over to me. She told me to make sure I fax the B-15 form to the head office soon as I can, and I said I surely will. Then I asked them if this package has a manifest document with it, and the girl said yes it does. I then told them how when I called UPS they said it doesnt because of the LVS program and whatnot, and they both rolled their eyes saying “ya we get that alot, next time just come here and ask us for it, we will print it out for you”.

    I discussed with both of them that your company (UPS) was charging me 32$ for something I bought that has a value of 65$. Whereas I only had to pay 7.93$ for it. They both started laughing and said yeaa this company has its ways of making money, we only work here, we dont agree with it either. The guy showed me that the 7.93$ I paid in taxes, UPS wouldve charged me 11$ for taxes, 8$ for duty, and then ontop of that the brokerage fee of 32$. He told me its a good thing I went to CBSA, he would recommend everyone to do so, but since he works there he cant tell the customers that. The girl didnt even know about all this. She knew about the B-15 form, and if anyone brings it in, what she is to do, but she didnt know about how UPS robs people to this extent. She started asking me details of where to go to pay taxes and stuff. LOL

    Then somehow, it came up that my 2nd package has also arrived and they have it. I didnt want to go all the way back to Mississauga to get another B-15 form for it, so I asked the guy how much do I have to pay for it. He told me the bill says about 40$ brokerage fee, plus 11$ taxes and 8$ duty, totaling 58$. My item only cost 52$. I told them to keep the package with them, while I go get another B-15 form. As I was leaving, the girl asked me if I wanted her to print the manifest document for that package. So I took the manifest and headed back to CBSA.

    Once I get there, I told the officer that this time, I have brought the manifest!!! He takes a look at it, and says this doesnt havent all the information we need, infact the commercial invoice that you brought in earlier would have been good enough, and the office is closing in 2 mins so if I dont get the invoice in 2 mins, he wouldnt be able to help me. I look at the time and it was only 3:57 pm, and told him how the office closes at 4:30 pm, not 4. He said well we need to do paperwork afterwards too so we stop taking customers at 4. Im like but the hours outside say 4:30, which is for customers, and he started giving me attitude. At this point I was gonna blow up at his face. Somehow I stayed calm and I called UPS and asked them to fax me the commercial invoice as soon as possible, and I gave the fax number of the CBSA office. They received the fax within a minute and started filling out the B-15 form, I paid taxes of 6.76$ and I was out of there in 15 mins. Kinda felt happy that I kept the officer working till 4:15, whereas he was probably thinking of leaving by 4:15 LOL

    I went back to the UPS office where my package was being held, this time around the young girl and guy who were working there earlier were done their shifts. It was friday night so the UPS office was packed!!! Took me an hour and a half just to get to the frontdesk and give them my tracking number. Then they made me wait another 40 mins to bring my package out. Finally they asked me to come to the front to get my package, and pay the COD of 58$ (40+11+8). I presented the B-15 where I paid the taxes of 6.96$, and they started saying that we will need to call our head office to confirm if you paid.

    At this point, I started worrying, because I hadnt faxed the B-15 form to the head office. I just didnt have the time. They called the head office and told me how they did not received any fax, obviously, so they cannot release my package to me unless I pay 58$. I called UPS and asked to speak to a supervisor and requested her to allow the UPS agents to release my package as its friday night, and I need my package next morning. I will fax the B-15 form first thing in the morning tomorrow. She just wouldnt budge. But I kept asking her again and again to the point where I got annoying lol. She asked me to give the phone to the agent, she spoke with him, and asked him about tbe B-15 form. He confirmed it that I do have one, and it is stamped. She then aallowed him to release my package to me without paying the 58$, and whatever outstanding charges there will be, will be billed to my house. The agent asked me if that was okay, and I said yes, I have proof I paid, I just didnt get a chance to fax it. I will do that tomorrow, and everything will be good. He finally released my package to me.

    I just faxed both B-15 forms to the head office today morning. Hopefully I’m not billed for anything now.

    It was a bit of a hassle, especially because I had to do the procedure twice in 1 day, but all in all, it worked! UPS didnt trouble me much, except for the fact that they wouldnt release my package to me just because I didnt fax the B-15 form, but that was my fault too. It worked the first time, so I thought it was okay to just present the form and fax it later. So just a suggestion, make sure you fax the form to the head office, before you go pick up your package.

    CBSA was actually a pain in the arse for me. They were a bit elderly too, like in their 50’s-60’s so I didnt want to be rude with them, but they annoyed the hell outta me!

  27. By the way.
    Self-clearance was not worth of going through.
    I bought clothes for $80, and payed $35 for delivery on top of that. UPS charged me extra $38 for C.O.D.: $13 taxes, $15 duties, $10 UPS brokerage. As you see, UPS charged only $10 for brokerage, and rest went to our government. The next time I’ll call to UPS and ask for the breakdown of C.O.D. – if it’s again $10, than it’s worth of paying $10 than going through the procedure, I wrote above. That procedure took be so much time and efforts.

  28. I successfully self-cleared a parcel with UPS in Toronto.
    Follow the procedure.

    What to get from a seller:
    ==========================
    – Contact a seller to get Commercial Invoice after you get a notification that a parcel was shipped.

    What to get from UPS:
    =====================
    – create an account on UPS website, login, and track your shipment: you will see three Reference Number, the

    last is ussually Unique shipment identifier number.
    – call to UPS and do the next:
    1. tell them you want to pickup a parcel by yourself. Ask where the package is being held (address of UPS

    facility). Don’t tell them about self-clearance – they freak out from that word, and also they don’t need to

    know that you are going to self-clear.
    2. ask for the Unique shipment identifier number (to confirm you got the right number from the web-site).

    Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
    ====================================
    Toronto Lester Pearson Airport (works 24/7):
    2720 Britannia Road East
    Toronto ON L4W 2P7

    Google Map: http://goo.gl/maps/jjkkz

    1. Tell them you want to self-clear a parcel.
    2. Give them Commercial Invoice, addres of UPS facility, and Unique shipment identifier number.
    3. Some officers are new, and they don’t know the procedure of self-clearance for goods bellow $1600. Ask

    them to confirm everything with other officers or kindly ask them to clarify it with the main CBSA office by

    phone.
    4. Make sure they stamp B15 when you pay taxes and duties. UPS will ask for the stamp.

    At home
    ========
    Send B15 to UPS brokerage center by e-mail, and ask them to reply to confirm that they procesed B15, and you

    can go and pickup you parcel.
    e-mail: fredbrok@ups.com
    phone: 1 (800) 742-5877
    1 (506) 447-3705
    Fax: 1 (506) 447-3706

    UPS
    ===
    – call to UPS customer center and confirm that you can come and pickup your parcel.

  29. Ok I just called UPS and asked told them straight up that I want to clear the item myself and I need the manifest document. The lady asked for my email address, sent it out while I was still on the phone with her, and then provided me with all the necessary information I needed to clear the item myself, such as letting me know where I would need to go, which documents I would need to present, and which document (b-15 form) I would need to fax back. She provided me the fax number as well. After she gave me all this information, I received her email and I let her know that the document I received has all the information.

    She was really nice, I didnt even need to argue and explain anything to her, I just let her know I want to clear the item myself, and she was at it.

    I will go to the CBSA office in 2 days to clear the item, hopefully they dont give me any trouble now. I will update how that goes.

  30. Just wanted to mention that UPS, while exorbitant, doesn’t seem to be the worst of the bunch. At least they (usually) ask for the payment up front when they deliver the package – I recently had something ordered from Europe, arrived a week later delivered by Canada Post.

    Over a month later, a bill from TNT Express shows up for $30 (the item cost $50). I had never had any dealings whatsoever with TNT – didn’t even know they existed! I guess the German company shipped with them, but since they don’t have any real presence in Canada, they just got it across the border, and then passed it on to Canada post to do the delivery.

    I’m wondering if this can be contested now – it’s been over a month since the delivery, so probably too late to self-clear. But the company should absolutely not be doing things on my behalf without any kind of agreement between me and the company! It’s quite ludicrous. I can’t imagine this sort of behaviour is legal.

    I’m tempted to send them a bill for ‘a dance performed on your behalf’, for the exact same amount. Seems it would be just as valid as what they sent me!

  31. Thank you for all your valuable comments and knowledge.

    I live in GTA and am expected to receive my delivery today from UPS. I will not be home, but my mom will be. After reading all these comments, I have informed my mother to not accept the package and tell the driver that the person who this package is for is not home, she will pick it up herself.

    Once the driver leaves, my mom will call me and let me know. I will then call UPS and CBSA and try all these tactics.

    However I had a question. My order is not originally being shipped from USA. It is being shipped from India, and was sent to Germany, then USA, and then Canada.

    Will UPS tell me that I will have to pay brokerage fee because my package traveled so much? Or is UPS only concerned from items crossing from USA to Canada? What can I tell them if they use that excuse against me?

  32. Thanks Harry for your post. I feel your pain.
    Yesterday, I came home to a package that I bought from a cake decorating store in the US. The total value was $220. I had to prepaid $45 dollars for shipping. GST and duty amounts to $15. These are the charge that I consent to pay. I did consent to paying for $97 worth of bond and brokerage fee from UPS.

    I called and complained and that said that because I didn’t know, they will discount me $10. WTF?

    I called again and was more generous and offered me another $10. I told them that I was offered $40 yesterday and the agent said, “Well you should’ve taking the offer yesterday”. I’m thinking I am so mad now, I will call I ended up getting my husband to cancel the credit card that he charged the transition on. Maybe it won’t go through yet and then they can send me a bill in person or send me to collection. I don’t want their $20 discount. It’s all or nothing. This is now more about the principle of being extorted or violation of rights.

    For all I care, if the visa is cancelled, they will not get anything including the legit $15 in tax and duty.

  33. Hey Andy ,
    I ordered some supplements from America a week ago and got a knock at my door .
    When I paid for the item , I paid 132.99 which included 26.21 for UPS delivery .
    Well when I opened the door , UPS was asking for 70.14 which I refused to pay .
    I asked them for the C.O.D paper but they refused to give me any of the information .
    It’s a sticky situation because the package is for my girl and she’s at work most of the day . Let me know if this sounds right . I’m going to get her to call UPS and request I’m guessing the B-15 , once receive the B-15 , find an CBSA office in Vancouver Area . Sit down with them with the information , hopefully pay it there . They said they’ll redeliver it tomorrow but I should just go to the warehouse in RIchmond and give the B-15 regardless of anything they have to tell me .. or her . I would probably be able to get her to change the name on the package to mine so I can deal with it . But does this sound about right

  34. I have an idea
    Why don’t each of us send an registered letter to UPS head office something like this:

    UPS
    This letter is to inform you that you are not authorized to take possession of my property for any reason.
    Should any UPS employee take possession of my property in the future, that property will be considered to have purchased from me by UPS. UPS will be invoiced for %150
    of any prepaid cost.

    If they received thousands of such letters, they would have to give a serious re-think to what they are doing.

    any thoughts on this?

  35. I had a similar situation where ups wanted hostage and extortion money for my package. $60+ CAD. Driver was very helpful (really nice guy). Told me to call the 1 -800 number and scream the loudest. I wasn’t expecting much, but was pleasantly suprised that they waived the “brokerage” after 30 minutes of argument.

    Out of frustration and disgust and searched the web on how to avoid the broker fees and I found these posts,I and was shocked that I wasn’t the only one caught up in ups disputes. I will do things differently in the next packages coming in from other countries. I learned a fair amount pertaining to my rights .

    I can’t understand why this information is not more widely known to the average international shopper.

    Thanks to all that shared their stories of success. I will learn from them

    Thank you

    Charles

  36. O.K., I’ve never written a review before, but this one has me so p***ed off that I’ve got to get it off my chest.
    Firstly, I’m a senior citizen – not that that should matter, but just to let you know I’ve been around for a while, so it’s not like I’m a habitual complainer.
    I early August my sister asked me to oder a Kennedy dollar pendant off the U.S. History.com website. She wanted me to order it because I have a paypal account.
    The pendant is $19.95 and the shipping cost was $21.95 for a total of $41.90 USD – which I paid via my Paypal acct.
    The pendant came a week later in the mail, nothing was asked for and all was well or so I thought.
    The package was very small (probably 3′” x 2″ x 1″.
    Today Oct 24th (over 2 months later), I receive an invoice from UPS Canada for $89.15 ($78.20 for freight and $10.95 for fuel surcharge) for delivery of the pendant. Remember that I already paid $21.95 for shipping to History.com.
    I call the UPS Canada number to question what the invoice was for. They claim that the shipper checked off that that the buyer was responsible for shipping – and if I don’t pay, the amount due will go to collection.
    They told me that it was up to me to resolve it with the shipper.
    I called History.com and they tell me that they can’t do anything and that the UPS Canada charge is probably the amount required to ship it from the border to my home (which is approx 100KM from the border).
    There were no customs brokerage or duties or taxes on the invoice, so the charge is only for “Freight” and fuel surcharge.
    Obviously my conversations with both UPS Canada and History.com was much longer than I can go into here in an attempt to get them to help me.
    I feel totally ripped off and there’s not much I appear to ba able to do to get the charge reversed.
    It feels like extortion insofar as if I don’t pay, it could affect my credit rating.
    Anyone out there have a similar experience?

  37. Hi Trueler!
    I’m on a different end of this. I’m in the US (New York)and have a small business run out of my house producing & selling youth sports instructional dvds. Amazon (US) is a huge part of my business. They encouraged me to offer my products to Amazon.ca. I had to sign in the contract that I was responsible for all duty and brokerage fees. I got wallopped on my initial order. As bad as business is, I’m trying to open up different venues. Is there anyway I can avoid these fees from down here?

    Regards
    Marty

  38. Some clarification of some of the info on this site.
    According to documents as part of the Class Action Lawsuit in Ontario against UPS, they pay duties and taxes to CBSA for shipments delivered on the 15th of the month following delivery.

    It’s quite possible other freight forwarders pay on a different date. So, for example it might be the 21st every month for someone other than UPS.

    In UPS’s case, depending on when they deliver to you, this means they have the money for HST/GST/PST and any duties or tariffs due for between 15 and 45 days before they actually remit it to CBSA.

    The documentation you need from your shipper is critical to smooth importation. CBSA says it can be “in any form” and by that they mean faxed invoice, printed eMail, etc but it must have the correct details to be really useful to you.

    Item quantity, cost per item, item description, country of origin, quantity shipped, and subtotal per item, currency for pricing, total amount paid. Shipping charges and any other fees related to the order should be included as a line item and appear as part of the total.
    EG
    Widget, USA, $22 each, 10 shipped, total $220
    Shipping and handling $10
    Total $230 USD

    If you can get your shipper to include this kind of information in any kind of invoice format including an eMail to you, print that out, and you will have a simpler experience at CBSA.

    The other thing to keep in mind is CBSA employees are sticklers for details … it’s part of their job. On the other hand, they have no interest in delaying a simple consumer purchase.

    This brings up a seeming contradiction in the experience you will have at CBSA. They cannot possibly examine every shipment closely, but any shipment they do look at may require that level of detail since it’s their job to cross their T’s and dot their i’s.

    This causes confusion as each experience trying to settle and get delivery may be drastically different. Do not dwell on this; it’s normal. Be calm and polite, but persistent.

    So, they will clear some shipments that lack details, but love it when the details are present, as it removes an incentive to deny you or throw up barriers to payment of your importation bill.

    By getting detailed info you remove a barrier to having them quickly approve importation since technically they’re required to get these details in every shipment.

  39. Hi, I thought I’d leave the details of my recent experience for those who live in Calgary as well. I followed the directions/instructions from this site. Here’s what I did:

    1. Contacted seller to get Commercial Invoice
    2. Contacted UPS call centre to have Commercial Invoice e-mailed to me (did not tell them why and they never asked)
    3. Waited till package arrived in Calgary and was out for delivery
    4. Went to CSBA office in NE near Costco
    5. They advised me that I needed a manifest or airway bill invoice. I informed them that I didn’t think that was necessary. They said UPS should be able to fax it over. BTW, the agent at CSBA was super helpful through the entire process!! She called local UPS office (403-648-3327) and spoke with Sheila. Sheila confirmed that I did not need manifest as item was out for delivery.
    6. Customs agent processed my B15, I then paid the taxes (only $50 on a $1000 mac pro computer) and then she stamped it for me. She said she always stamps the B15 form now because UPS made someone return once because it wasn’t stamped, even though it doesn’t need to be.
    7. I took my B15 to the UPS warehouse on 22 Aero drive at 5:30pm. They said the item was out for delivery still but called the driver. They said they’d call when driver was on his way back. At 6pm they called and said driver would be back by 6:30pm. I arrived back there at 6:30pm. This time it was the manager that took my B15, the previous UPS agent would have just processed my B15 and given me the item had it been there. When I had returned the second time my item was already sitting out front where the agents are. Anyway, the manager said I couldn’t take delivery of the item because the international office was closed and they needed to process the B15. I told him, I already paid the taxes on this item and there was nothing to process. He tried this line on me once more and I didn’t budge…I just politely told him, I’ve already paid the taxes and accounted for my goods and all he needed to do was release the item to me. He then went into the back for a few minutes and then came back out and came back out and never mentioned anything further about the international office not being open. He then got me to sign for the package which I was hesitant to do but I confirmed with him that the COD had been taken off. I also got him to photocopy my B15 form in case they ever try to bill me anyway.
    8. All in all a fairly smooth process and I saved myself $90 as UPS wanted to charge me $140 for brokerage charges!

    Thank you to all of you in Calgary who have posted on how to make this as easy and seamless as possible!!

    – Andrew

  40. Just cleared a UPS shipment in the Vancouver BC area today. Thanks for the info. Both UPS warehouse, and CBSA are around the airport in Richmond.

    It was mostly accurate except for a few details.

    I tried to have the commercial invoice sent to me by email but was not successful. I had to visit the warehouse in person to get it printed. Does anyone know if simply the package number and an email invoice printout is sufficient to get a B-15 stamped (Mike, sept 19 seemed to have some success with that)?

    The B-15 form I was given looks different from the picture above. It’s a one-page blue document. I wasn’t allowed to fax it back to the warehouse either, I had to bring it back in person. Did that, and picked up my package on site.

    The C.O.D. fee was $45 on a $94 package. Not sure the savings were worth my time, but it felt good to have this surprise fee waived.

  41. Here’s a way to save on FEDEx Brokerage fee or what they call “Advancement Fee”

    1) Signup for a FedEx Account (free)
    2) Add your credit card number to the account

    This will allow FedEx to charge your credit card directly for any taxes/duties owing to the government instead of FedEx paying on your behalf and charging your $10 for the “Advancement Fee” plus brokerage for the service.

    Procedure:
    1) Buy item online and ship via Fedex as usual
    2a) Once your have Fedex tracking number you call FedEx and tell them you have an account with them and findout if there will be taxes owning, if so, pay via your credit card on file

    OR

    2b) Accept item and pay the taxes owing plus $10 advancement fee then call fedex for “invoice adjustment” citing your have an account with them with credit card on file so waive the $10 fee.

    NOTE: I once tried to be “smart” and ask the shipper to directly bill my FedEx account so that I could save the hassle of calling into Fedex to waive the $10 advancement fee. The shipper is a business and gets much better shipping rates so when I got the invoice i ended up paying a lot more for the same shipping service which was more than the $10 advancement fee I was trying to save!

  42. Success! Thank you for this website. It seems that UPS in Vancouver at least, has a new procedure where you get a form from them called a self clearing form. You get that from them when the package arrives in addition to the shipping invoice and you take it to CBSA. (You can get them to e-mail or fax it to you before you go.)

    Then CBSA stamps your B15 and writes you courier shipping number on it and you fax it back to UPS or bring it to them and you can either pick up your package from UPS or have them deliver it.

  43. I went to clear my goods today. It was not as straightforward as I thought. First of all, in Ottawa do NOT go to the airport terminal–go to the Commercial Goods building, which is right beside the Fedex terminal. The CBSA agents initially told me that I had to have the goods in hand in order to clear them, but I had called CBSA myself yesterday and been told that I could indeed clear the goods even if they were at another port of entry. So the agents themselves did not have a complete and consistent protocol for this. However they did in the end take my taxes and duties, and give me the documentation I needed. A note for others taking this action: get the commercial invoice AND the manifest for your shipment. The commercial invoice may not actually list the goods being imported (mine didn’t), but I had the invoice from my vendor, so they accepted that as a description of the goods. It was a lot of bother, but totally worth it to save $100 in excessive brokerage fees.

  44. Thanks for a great resource. I spoke to a UPS agent named Patty in New Brunswick this morning, who repeated all the lies that you have detailed above. I had to go to port of entry to clear it, I couldn’t clear it myself because it was not something I had owned for years and years (LOL) and various others. I finally told her I would speak to CBSA myself because I thought she had been misinformed by her employer. I then called CBSA and talked to an agent who confirmed everything that you have said on this site. I will take all the paperwork to my local CBSA office, pay the taxes and duty, and they will contact UPS with clearance paperwork. It is totally worth saving $60. I called UPS and they have sent me the commercial invoice, so I have everything I need to clear customs. THANK YOU for paving the way for the rest of us.

    I hope that UPS will learn to tell the truth, but I am not holding my breath for it.

  45. I tried this and at YVR Vancouver’s CBSA’s office. It seems that the CBSA agents won’t do this unless you get the B15 from the UPS warehouse. In addition to the Shipping invoice with the shipping invoice I was told by two CBSA agents to get a B15 self clearance reference page from the UPS warehouse where my parcel was being held after clearing the border.

    As my package had not arrived in Canada yet, this was not possible.

    The crazy thing is that it took me six calls to the 1-800-PICKUPS number with six different agents to get the shipping document.

    The CBSA agents at YVR would not let me clear my package as it had not arrived and because I was missing the self clearance reference page from UPS. They said that I needed the self clearance reference page from UPS and the shipping invoice with the above mentioned information to clear my own package.

  46. With numerous shipments taken care of now I’m getting more competent at doing this myself.

    If they start telling me bogus information of going to port of entry, I just tell them. “Oh ok, I will just do it myself and email B15”. All of sudden goodwill credit of $10 appears and sometimes I accept it depending on the total amount.

    You do not need to bother with them if they are not nice to you or not being truthful on the phone. You have not entered into any contractual agreement of using their brokerage until you pay them the COD and sign it! They do not like changing this last minute as it is double work but until they start playing fairly, I don’t give a $hit if it means triple work for them.

  47. thanks for the great resource!
    I’ll add my $0.02 to it for everyone..

    found an awesome deal on some fittings i need for a project at home.. Product + UPS + insane fee was still going to be better than any where else, so i jumped on it.. the vendor actually called me to make sure i was ok with UPS as shipping to Canada was going to kill me on duty / brokerage..

    I didn’t have anything to lose, i get a deal even with the extra fees, and a friggen awesome deal if the suggestions here work out for me..

    on Monday this week, i started getting calls from UPS. leaving messages that i need to provide broker information for the package to clear.. finally one of the ladies got a hold of me this morning.. I tell her that i was going to be accounting for the goods myself at the CBSA offices.. she said “impossible”, spoke to her supervisor (who was actually very pleasant).. she told me I’d have to go to Windsor ON to clear it in person and that she’d give me whatever paperwork i needed.. then she told me the total fees were going to be like $7. for $7 it’s not worth the headache for me.. so i told them to do what the needed to do..

    get a call back 10mins later while sitting in traffic (from the supervisor) saying she made a mistake, it was going to be $40.. for $40 i’m going to the CBSA office.. i told her that, she told me that I’ll end up needing to go to Windsor for this.. instead of getting frustrated with her, i thanked her and asked her to call me back in a couple hours when i’ve had a chance to sort out real work stuff..

    i took 20 mins (most of the time was due to construction at the CBSA site on Dixie Rd Mississauga) handed the agent my invoice and print out from the ups site.. he was going on about the outrageous fees they charge.. ultimately walked out with my B15 after paying $6 in tax.

    when i got back to the office i called UPS to get a fax # to send it to.. they gentleman was adamant that they don’t take the B15 forms, not through fax/email/in person. that it’s all handled by the broker at the port of entry..

    as he’s going on with his spiel, the original supervisor called me back and asked what my deal was.. told her I’ve got all paperwork, just need to know a fax # to send it to.. which she quickly provided.

    so i guess it all worked out for me…
    if you’re going to use the Dixie Rd office, it sucks getting there from anywhere north of the 401 due to construction.

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