UPS Customer Service Complaint (Canada): Lie about brokerage fee

United Parcel Service (UPS) is used by many people across Canada to import goods from United States. UPS charges very high brokerage fee when package crosses Canadian border at the customs, also known as port of entry. This fee can be about half of the total price of the product. Brokerage fee is charged for brokerage services which UPS provides without customer’s (importer’s) consent. Actually it is for clearing your goods with Canada customs. Clearing procedure is not as scary as it may sound. It is just paying applicable duties and taxes to the customs for your package. In this case brokerage means that UPS pays duties/taxes for you (lend you money), and you return them to UPS at the delivery. But they charge an outrageous brokerage fee for this simple procedure.


If you live close to Canada customs office (CBSA – Canada Border Services Agency), you do not have to use UPS brokerage services at all.

There is a law (CBSA Memorandum D17-4-0 – Courier Low Value Shipment Program – CLVS) which applies for shipments under $1600 CAD:

If an importer wishes to account for the goods himself or herself, the courier does not release the shipment to the importer but holds the goods until the importer presents satisfactory proof that the appropriate duties and taxes have been paid directly to the CBSA.

Entire document in PDF format is here:

CBSA Memorandum D17-4-0 – Courier Low Value Shipment Program

I have also contacted Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) by phone and e-mail. They confirmed that importer can pay applicable duties and taxes at any local CBSA office.

If you have questions or inquires to Canada customs, here is CBSA contact information:


Toll-free telephone (English): 1-800-461-9999

Toll-free telephone (French): 1-800-959-2036

Working time is 8:00 – 16:00 of local time.

CBSA E-Mail: (please do not include any personal information, or offensive language)

In the reply from CBSA they assured me that they will contact courier companies and local CBSA offices to make sure they follow proper procedure.

I have received official reply from CBSA only after escalation to the UPS customer service, who assured me that if I want to clear my goods by myself I have to be in Windsor (port of entry). I called UPS several times about this, and received the same answer:

You can not clear package by yourself in local Canada customs office. You must drive 400 kilometers into Windsor!

Here is the UPS contact information:

UPS Phone number:1-800-PICK-UPS (1-800-742-58-77) or 1-800-782-7892

UPS E-Mail: (


This is the e-mail conversation where UPS lied that there is no way to clear goods coming from US into Canada at customs office other than port of entry:

(Some greetings have been omitted)

Hello. I’ve been accidentally aware that at the time of delivery (US to Canada) there is usually an extraordinary invoice for extra UPS services to clear the package at port of entry. It happens that it is about half of the item’s price. There are extra charges like entry preparation charges, brokerage and bond fees. I understand duties and taxes, they are necessary for imported goods. But what are those extra charges for? Can you please tell me the way of how to avoid them?

Thank you for your email regarding your international shipment.

The shipper will prepay the cost of shipping Standard Service. The fee the shipper pays does not include any brokerage, duties or taxes owing as the shipment enters Canada. The consignee is responsible for these charges. It is always a good idea, when ordering items from outside of Canada, to ask the vendor if their price includes import charges (Brokerage fees, duties and taxes).

A Brokerage fee is charged to process your shipment and present your paperwork to customs on your behalf. All courier shipments with a value exceeding $20 CAD require customs clearance by a broker. The customs clearance procedure requires the broker to perform, on behalf of the importer, a number of tasks. Tasks include, but are not limited to, auditing import documentation, classification of the commodity being imported, and preparation and transmission of accounting information to Canada Customs. The UPS Customs Brokerage published rate schedule is competitive with industry standards.

You may find our rates for customs clearance into Canada at the following link:

When accessing the link for Rates for Customs Clearance into Canada, please review the complete fee schedule provided. Please note: Entry Preparation Charges, Disbursement Fees and Additional Services may apply to your shipment.

U.S. shippers are advised that brokerage charges, duties and taxes will be billed to the importer unless otherwise indicated by the shipper.

UPS provides free brokerage services for all shipments sent via any one of our air services, Express and Expedited.

Please contact us if you need any additional assistance.

Sharon F
UPS Customer Service

Hi Sharon,

Thank you very much for responce. But I still have couple questions.

If I pay duties and taxes at a local Canada Customs office, so no fees would
be applied by UPS (Entry Preparation Charges, Disbursement Fees and
Additional Services). Is this true?

If so, when I do the paperwork at Canada Customs, how should I advise UPS
that I do it by myself in order to avoid double work and extra fees, and to
release the package at the port of entry?

I am happy to assist you further concerning this matter.

You certainly do have the option to complete your own customs clearance, however, the customs clearance must be completed at the port of entry. For residents of Ontario, the ground ports of entry are at either Windsor or Fort Erie. This means that you would have to physically go the to port to complete the customs clearance in person. If you wish to do this, please have the sender indicate “Clears Own” on the commercial invoice. Then when the package arrives at the port, they will contact you by telephone to advise your customs clearance paperwork is ready for pick up.

Please contact us if you need any additional assistance.

Sharon F
UPS Customer Service

Hi Sharon,

This option does not seem to be good. Windsor and Fort Erie are located 400
km away from each other, and away from Toronto.

Is it absolutely impossible to pay duties and taxes at local Canada Customs
office, let’s say at Pearson International airport, based on commercial
invoice and shipping number, and send this information to UPS?

Thank you for your response.

Unfortunately, ground shipment can not be cleared through Pearson. For residents of Ontario, the ground ports of entry are at either Windsor or Fort Erie. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

If we may assist you in the future, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Andrea S
Customer Service Team

Hi Andrea,

I need some further assistanse. Sorry for bothering you. The last answer is
not clear enough for me.

I understood that ports of entry are Fort Erie and Windsor to which I can
go in person and clear items, but it is not the choice considering that
shipping fee to the door has already been paid. I also understood that
ground shipment can not be cleared through Pearson. How about other Canada
Customs locations (not including Windsor, Fort Erie, and Pearson)?

Do you confirm that residents of Ontario who ordered stuff via UPS ground
shipping from US to Canada are not allowed to pay duties/taxes and clear the
item in any of Canada Customs offices located in Greater Toronto Area in
order to clear the package?

That you for your response.

The clearance of shipment must be done at the port where the package is importing. Regulations for importing and exporting are controlled by various government departments. You can click on the following link to access the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) website:

Alternatively, you may contact the CBSA at one of the following phone numbers:

English: 1-800-461-9999
French: 1-800-959-2036
Customers outside of Canada inquiries: 1-506-636-5064 or 1-204-983-3500

If we may assist you in the future, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Andrea S
Customer Service Team

Hi Andrea,

Thank you for pointing me to CBSA website and contact information.

I went through the information at CBSA website, and it pretty much clearly
tells that I can do accounting process (paying duties and taxes) by myself
at any CBSA office after package arrives to the local UPS warehouse in
Toronto, instead of paying significant brokerage fee for doing accounting
process for me.

“Courier Low Value Shipment Program” document specifies the following in
“Release and Accounting” section:

“If an importer wishes to account for the goods himself or herself, the
courier does not release the shipment to the importer but holds the goods
until the importer presents satisfactory proof that the appropriate duties
and taxes have been paid directly to the CBSA”.

So, as I understand, after package arrives to Toronto UPS warehouse, I can
go there to take documents and unique shipment identifier number, then pay
applicable duties and taxes at CBSA office, and then provide the proof of
payment to UPS, and wait for package delivery. Is this right?

Or did I miss anything?

Thank you for your response.

UPS restricts in-bond movements to the first point of arrival. Until the shipment has released from customs we are unable to forward the shipment to the Toronto warehouse. Shipments being self cleared need to be completed at the port of import.

I apologize for any confusion with the clearance process.

If we may assist you in the future, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Andrea S
Customer Service Team

Hi Andrea,

But the shipment is released by customs prior to accounting process (paying
duties and taxes). After release shipment goes to Toronto warehouse. Then I
can do accounting, provide the proof to UPS and take the package. What is
not correct here?

Supporting documents:

17. Prior to or upon arrival of the shipment, the courier must present two
copies of a cargo/release list to the CBSA.

18. The border services officer reviews the list and highlights any
shipments that require examination. Goods that have not been selected for
examination are considered released. The border services officer will
release stamp one copy of the list and return it to the courier as proof of
release by the CBSA. The second copy is retained by the CBSA

52. Casual goods imported by authorized Courier LVS Program participants may
be released before being accounted for and before payment of the applicable
duties and taxes

I would be glad to offer additional information to clarify the situation.

When a shipment enters Canada via courier, it is held at the port of entry until it is released from Canada Customs clearance. Ground shipments entering Canada destined for Ontario, will only enter Canada via two ports, either at Fort Erie, Ontario or Windsor, Ontario. The shipment will only be forwarded to our Toronto warehouse once the customs clearance is completed.

UPS is a courier company and we also offer a brokerage service. We do not offer a service to assist you to clear your shipment. If you wish to clear your own shipment through customs. the clearance paperwork can only be picked up at the port of entry. You may then clear your shipment at any CBSA office you like. However, the stamped paperwork must be returned to the same port office you picked it up from.

I realize that the ports are a long distance away from your address. You may wish to consider the option to use one of our air services, such as Express Saver or Expedited, as UPS will broker these shipments free of charge.

I am sorry for any confusion or frustration associated with this situation.

Please contact us if you need any additional assistance.

Sharon F
UPS Customer Service

Hi Sharon,

I understood that UPS allows item to leave Windsor and go to Toronto warehouse only after it is released by Canada Customs according to internal UPS instructions.

From CBSA documents (provided in my previous e-mail) I understood that accounting (paying duties and taxes) can be performed AFTER release of the package by Canada Customs. So, I can take release documents from Toronto warehouse to CBSA office and pay duties and taxes. And then provide the proof to Toronto UPS warehouse. Can you please tell me what is wrong exactly in this paragraph?

Brokerage services do accounting process (not release process) by paying duties and taxes instead of importer. I found brokerage fee extremely high, and therefore wish to pay duties and taxes by myself at local CBSA office by taking release documents and unique shipment identifier number from local UPS warehouse when package already released. CBSA documents tell that it can be done.

Thank you for your reply.
A low value shipment (goods valued under $1600 CAD) is only considered released once a broker has been assigned. This will identify who will be accounting for the duties and taxes and also ensure payment. As you are not a certified broker, courier shipments cannot be released to your care. UPS is legally not able to move a shipment from the port until the release is in place.

I understand what you are trying to do, but unfortunately, it is not possible for you to clear your ground shipment from Toronto.

Please contact us if you need any additional assistance.

Sharon F
UPS Customer Service

Hi Sharon,

Thank you very much for this clarification and fast responces. However I still have questions.

What prevents UPS from guaranteeing that duties and taxes will be paid to Canada Customs by the end of the following month? It allows item to be released under LVS program at the port of entry customs, and continue its route to Toronto. UPS does not release the item to the importer until the importer provides satisfactory proof to UPS that all applicable duties and taxes paid directly to CBSA (form B15). If the importer does not will to pay taxes then UPS sends the package back to the seller. It is absolutely equivalent from the economical point of view when the importer sees high collect on delivery brokerage and other fees and refuses the package, so it will be sent back to the seller. It seems like the second scenario is even more possible.

I did not invent this by myself, I got this information from CBSA. And it does not require any modifications to the UPS practices. I understand that UPS will loose some profit in this case, but nevertheless. Can you please answer the question from the first paragraph and explain why the practice I described is not possible from UPS side, but suggested from CBSA side?

I understand that you have additional questions about self clearance. The Toronto warehouse is not a port of entry. It is only a sorting facility. They are not set up for any customs clearance procedures.

As you have previously indicated from the CBSA website:

“If an importer wishes to account for the goods himself or herself, the courier does not release the shipment to the importer but holds the goods until the importer presents satisfactory proof that the appropriate duties and taxes have been paid directly to the CBSA”.

We are more than happy to comply with this request. However, because the goods cannot be “released” from the port until cleared, you must complete the clearance at the port of entry.

UPS is only able to release LVS shipments that are assigned to a broker (a UPS broker or an alternate broker) because we are authorized under the Courier LVS Program.

Unfortunately, there is no way around the this process. You may wish to consider the option to use one of our air services, such as Express Saver or Expedited, as UPS will broker these shipments free of charge and you will receive your shipments much quicker.

Please contact us if you need any additional assistance.

Sharon F
UPS Customer Service

Hi Sharon,

Sorry, it looks like I confused you a bit.

I’m not asking about self clearance now. Clearance procedure involves two things:

– Undertaking by the courier that applicable duties and taxes will be paid to CBSA.

– Release by Canada Customs based on cargo document after this undertaking.

It is done at the port of entry, this is correct. Then package goes to Toronto warehouse, and UPS tries to deliver. If the importer does not pay for C.O.D. bill which includes duties, taxes, brokerage fee, taxes on brokerage fee, UPS does not release the package to the importer.

Brokerage fee is applied if UPS pays duties and taxes on behalf of importer. Canada Customs tell that it can be done by the importer who provides release document and unique shipment identifier number at any local CBSA office.

Can you please tell me what is the difference between the following two approaches, and why the second one is impossible from UPS side?

1) Shipment already released by customs and is locatedin Toronto. UPS is going to pay duties and taxes to CBSA on behalf of importer. During the delivery UPS driver asks for money showing C.O.D. bill. If importer pays, UPS releases the package to importer, otherwise UPS sends the package back to the seller.

2) Shipment already released by customs and is located in Toronto. Importer obtains release document and unique shipment identifier number from UPS.

Importer takes these documents to CBSA office, pays duties and taxes, and gets B15 form as a proof of payment. During delivery importer gives B15 form to the driver as a proof of payed duties and taxes. UPS releases the package to importer.

Thank you for your reply back to us.
In regards to the B15, it is not a common place for UPS to accept it upon delivery. However, if you are able to provide me a tracking number, I may be able to make arrangements with the center. As well, I’ll have to check the brokerage side of this. If the package was consigned as high value, we are not able to delete the rating.

Please advise.

Beverly N
Customer Service

Hi Beverly,

Thank you very much for trying to help. Tracking number is XXXXXXXXXXXXXX. However, I have just recently accepted the package and paid C.O.D. bill, because I need the package urgently and got several responses from UPS that I have to be in Windsor in order to pay duties and taxes. This particular purchase is not expensive, but the brokerage fee was approximately 25% of the value for duty. Now I’m trying to understand if I can use UPS ground for importation of future more expensive packages (below $1600 CAD) and paying duties and taxes by myself. UPS air, as Sharon suggested, is not a good option, because for heavy items it is pretty much expensive.

I see that now UPS can not accept B15 upon delivery because it is not the common practice yet. Please let me know about possible arrangements when you follow up with the center. I think it can be fax or bringing in person to the distribution facility (it is not convenient, but acceptable), or UPS store to put it into the system. May be information of payed duties and taxes are stored by CBSA in the network place and UPS can access it, or CBSA can send this information directly to UPS.

When I went to CBSA office in person in order to pay duties and taxes, the customs officer asked me for shipment release document. He also explained that low value shipment can be definitely released by Canada Customs at the port of entry prior to actual accounting (paying duties and taxes). Can you please also try to figure out how it will be possible to get the release document from UPS for future deliveries?

And one more point from economical point of view for UPS. I believe it is worth to do a pre-arrangement if importer wishes to pay duties and taxes by calling UPS and advising of it. So UPS will not try to deliver until obtaining proof of payment from importer.

Thank you for your reply.
Would opening a brokerage account be something you would consider? All charges would be billed to the account and you would not have to worry about paying the charges at the door.

I understand, you would prefer not to pay the brokerage fees, however, self clearance, unfortunately does not look like an option for you.

If we may assist you in the future, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Beverly N
Customer Service

Hi Beverly,

I got the information from CBSA that importers can do accounting of low-value shipments by themselves in local customs office without going to the port of entry. Questions I’ve asked here were how to get release documents from UPS and how to provide proof of payment back. I got the answers from you and other representatives that it is absolutely impossible because it is not the common practice in UPS, or even illegal. It contradicts official CBSA documents. Since it is very serious issue affecting a lot of Canadian importers, I’m going to contact my MP to figure out why official CBSA documents contradict UPS practices. If CBSA documents are correct, then I will start with filing a complaint with Better Business Bureau on UPS. I see that UPS has “A+” rating there now.

The end!

46 thoughts on “UPS Customer Service Complaint (Canada): Lie about brokerage fee”

  1. Hi

    I ordered a package from the United States

    Ups agreed to waive the brokerage fee, but will not tell me where to send my B15 form.

    Meanwhile, Ups is witholding my package because they say that I didn’t make it clear to them that I would be self-clearing the package. Until I pay for the duties and taxes, which they claim they paid for me, even though I explicitly told them not to, they will not release the package.

    I’m afraid that if i accept the package, they will then send me an invoice for the brokerage fee in any case.

    What should I do?


  2. I purchased hair product which amounted to $30. Paid shipping and handling, then UPS wanted $20.48 for their fees. They left a ‘tried to deliver’ notice at my place with the amount on it. The items were $30 and they want another $20. They wouldn’t leave them at the UPS in my community either, I could only pick them up from one location far from me (business hours which wouldn’t work as I am at my job during that time). When I stated I can’t go to that location they asked me to take a day off of work so I could be home to receive the package. At that point I said I’m not taking the product. I will never order from the US again from a company that uses UPS.

  3. Aug 10,2015

    My husband sent me two items I forgot to bring with me on my vacation to Ontario– personal items not commercial– he wrote the description on the invoice as requested.. paid the shipping fee of 40.00 for a 1 lb item….when the parcel arrived in Ontario –to my surprise a COD charge of 58.00– He insured the package for $100.00. I spoke with UPS today and disputed the charge –and asked UPS to pay my brokerage fee– not happening– instructed him that UPS will be getting no more money from me!!!! and I will be sharing my story for sure….thanks for listening

  4. Hi,

    I have ordered one women’s top from an U.S website. when it arrives UPS charged me $116+ for COD cost. At that point, the top cost over $400 which doesn’t make sense to me anymore. so I rejected the item and the item has been returned to the store. I understand I had to pay for the return shipping cost. however, UPS charged me $116 anyways, and it was deducted from the amount the website credited back to my credit card. I don’t understand I didn’t even accept the item in Canada, should I still pay for the tax and duty or so called “COD” charge? if not, how should I dispute it. btw, I have asked for tax and duty receipt from the store.

  5. UPS has never ever delivered one parcel in time . I’d rather have the presents and orders delivered by post or DHL ,at least they make an effort to ring the door bell before leaving a note. UPS staff will come with a ready made ”we will try again ”note ,will stick it on the door and … they are gone. Last time I caught one of UPS staff leaving a note at my door without even knocking once. He did not even apologize. Obviously UPS has hired a female staff just for that purpose , to sit at the phone and repeat ”sorry”, whenever you call for whatever reason. Too bad I am not the one who is deciding on service for the parcels I am receiving. UPS would have been banned and gone ages ago.

  6. I paid $130 usd on ebay for a made in the USA car part, in the USA. USA seller shipped it by UPS to Canada. UPS charged me PST, GST and $10 ‘brokerage’ fee.

    The driver left me a note on my home door – I owed this money and to leave a check on my front door step. I called UPS, paid the bill on the phone with my VISA, even though they wanted me to toss a check on the doorstep for the driver, or wait home all day and not go to work, and wait for the driver to show up. For the next 5 business days the driver kept stopping by and leaving notes for me to pay – again. I was at work, you know … working.

    I called UPS again and complained. UPS said their drivers will not leave packages in an unsafe area. Well, I live in a very well off area and get deliveries to my door from various couriers about every 2 weeks on average. no issue. But while the driver might not want to leave it on the steps, UPS thinks I should leave a check on the door step. Anyways I had the part re-routed to my office – ‘for an extra fee UPS could do me this big favor’. Well I lost it and blew off on that UPS employee. So … ‘just once’, they would forgive the extra fee for re-routing the part. Next day – the UPS driver shows up demanding payment again. I told him to just return the part as I had no more money to give them. He then decided to phone his office for direction and ‘discovered the bill was paid’ and no money owing.

    UPS is beyond words of screwing the customer over.

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE UPS PEOPLE? – Obviously this is where you go when you flunk out of elementary school.

  7. I couldn’t understand why I was being charged $38.78 in brokerage fees by UPS for a $26.82 health food import from the US. What’s that, about 160 percent over the actual product price? After a number of calls to UPS HQ in Toronto I got them to drop the above Brokerage fee and they changed their charge to $3.87 for the taxes and import duties (did someone at UPS get the decimal point wrong?)
    The woman I talked to in Toronto explained that I needed to keep my orders for the coconut milk powder I like under $19.00 Canadian. It seems that these days if someone goes over the $19.00 Canadian TABOO level on food imports, Health Canada takes sudden interest in that order. This means the order needs to go through extra customs screening with Health Canada on top of the regular Customs routine. Apparently, this justifies much higher brokerage fees from UPS for the extra clearance procedures. At least, that’s the song and dance I was given. There you have it, be aware of this new limit on food imports and keep your purchases under $19.00 Canadian for food imports from the US. Or evidently UPS will feel wholly justified in charging you a wildly extravagant fee for their dubious “extra” services.
    By the way, Fed Ex is pretty poor service too, as they wait about one month before they send a person the brokerage fee for the order, through the mail – and that brokerage charge , too , will be quite high , a la UPS.
    The company I ordered the coconut milk powder from told me that USPS was refusing them shipping forms to Canada . Gee, that sure works out well for the two large monopolies. Not so much for we peons.

  8. this is rediculous. UPS is clearly out to piss people off. my package was supposed to get to me within 3 days of ordering it. almost 2 weeks later and i still havent recieved it.thursday i was told it would be delivered before 1:30 as i was leaving for work at 1:45. no one showed until 4:30 and since no one was told about a charge my father didnt have a cheque ready, only cash. friday comes and we were told we could leave the cheque somewhere infront of the house where the driver could pick it up and deliver the package. we left the cheque on the inside of the screen door, i just found out now from my father that the cheqque has been taken but we now have to pick up our package from a city an hour away from our house. this fucking company is rediculously FUCKED

  9. You guys are pretty much fucked up!… My package was never delivered to me. The person that was supposed to delivered it didnt deliver it, they left a yellow note, saying “no cash” even though he did not ring my bell. You need to fire your staff. And stop charging boarder fees. You are the only ones that charge that. FedEx and DHL don’t do that. Its so annoying and I am pissed. A lot of people I know are pissed also. Fire your staff please and stop charging that stupid fee.

  10. Oh never mind I reread a post from Pete saying I get the B15 from the CBSA at Pearson. Can someone please confirm? Thanks.

    I found this from the D17-4-0

    “21. Once goods are released, the courier is responsible for providing the importer or customs broker with all release information and supporting documentation for each shipment.”

    Then UPS cannot and should not withhold any info from you!! Sigh!

    Thanks so much to everyone for this site and informing us of such high fees!!!! I appreciate this so much! I will let everyone know how this all turns out.

  11. Thankful for this site. I bought something for 279$ and my COD fee is 103$ !!!!! I can’t believe this. Thank you for posting all of this information. Can someone PLEASE tell what the B15 form is please?

  12. I’ve had a bad experience with UPS as well, though mine had a happy ending.
    I ordered ~$150 worth of product from someone in the states. He elected to use UPS as his method of delivery. On his shipping invoice, he mis-stated the value of the goods as $400 (they were used goods, $400 was the retail price.)
    Long story short, I came home to find an invoice demanding I pay $120 in fees and customs. Absolutely shocked, I called UPS and spent well over an hour on hold, being shunted around various employees, and told that I had no other option but to pay the fee (even attempting to reevaluate the value would incur a $15 fee) Eventually, I managed to talk to a manager, and explained that I wanted to clear the package myself, that their fees were ridiculous and illegal, as I had not consented the brokerage service. The phrase ‘consenus ad idem’ was mentioned repeatedly. Finally, I managed to get the necessary documentation together to self-clear, went down to the local CBSA office, and paid my ($12!) customs fee. Even then, they took a further week to deliver the package, despite it being located in the storage depot in the same city, and afterwards they sent me an invoice for the $120, stating that I still owed them for their services. I ignored it, and have since heard nothing from them.
    Take-home on this? UPS sucks, uses illegal and lowbrow tactics to part citizens from their money without their consent, tries to wrap you up in red tape when you try to self-clear (as is your legal right) and will delay you at every turn.
    That said? I’d say that anyone who has actually paid to accept the package is going to have a VERY hard time reclaiming their cash–paying them constitutes a de facto acceptance of their services, and the fees associated with them, so your argument about not having accepted their services is weakened.

  13. Brokerage C.O.D. due $40.31 Payable to UPS
    for a $64.50 mirror repair. what a rip off. will use usps.

  14. Poor service from UPS Canada, waited the whole day for a pick up…no body turned back and at the end of the day when called the customer care to check the pickup status, they promised me a call back with a possible pick up time. For a small parcel I lost my one day earnings …so sad looks like UPS is only interested in big corporate houses. Then please withdraw from retail services. Can please some one let me know if I can make a representation about this cheating before any legal adjudicating agencies.

  15. For the third time they have been at my door with a delivery requesting more than half of what the shipment is worth. THIS TIME I REFUSED IT ! They can pay to send it back. It was a shirt that was being replaced for one that was defective, so the only value to it was it’s worth, We had already paid for the original shirt. Value of the shirt $60……..amount wanted at the door $44, plus the shipping had already been paid. CORPORATE THEFT !!!!!

  16. i just received a tailgate molding worth of 42 dollars and 32 dollars brokerage fee which unknowingly paid but gonna give em hell in the morning and will never ever use any kind of ups service ever again and advise everybody i know and i can reach not to use ups services starting with the company i dealt with

  17. I agree that UPS is obscene with their charges.

    Brass Fittings from S.C to Canada. $17.31 shipping $69.89 brokerage & Government fees!

    CrAzY – they just lost my companies business, and i just lost a new customer in Canada! :(

  18. When compared to all other couriers, UPS is renowned for charging excessive shipping fees for products shipped from the USA into Canada for more than 25 years….. I used to run an international mail order repair business so I am fully aware of this issue.

    The predominate cost is their socalled flat rate brokerage fee of $50 or higher. Why do Canadian’s tolerate this?
    a) UPS locks down most US businesses to use UPS exclusively for out of country shipments.
    b) Canadian’s rarely have any other options than to allow deliveries via UPS.

  19. I make it a rule never to buy anything from any company outside of Canada who ships via UPS. I recently ordered 3 tiny items costing $50 from an American company who I assumed would ship them via USPS. They charged me $23 for shipping. When the parcel arrived via UPS, they charged me an additional $23 brokerage fee. That’s absolutely obscene. I will never ship anything with UPS, and I will never order anything from any American source unless I know for sure that they use USPS.

    UPS is a complete rip off and I feel like lodging a complaint against them with the BBB and Consumer Affairs.

  20. Wife just paid $39.99+GST brokerage fee to the UPS delivery guy. The content of the package. $40 t-shirt, $75 sweatshirt, plus $30 delivery.

    Outraged. Will take SVS’s advice to never open the door to UPS and then not pay the brokerage fee.

    I sure ain’t fallin’ for this twice.

  21. the UPS deliver package back to September 9, 2012. Today (Dec,3. 2012) I received an invoice to pay br.fee in total of $30 for package I received from the US in total of $98. I just mailed them 5% GST (live in AB) and a letter refusing paying for the rest. Thats how I deal with them all times. They left packages in front of the doors meanwhile no one at home and then months later sending bills….

  22. You just opened a new Ups Parking place in deep Brook NS,I want you to keep all the racket down, people can not sleep here, They come at 8 o clock in the morning and and make a racket till ten, we the people around the area are fed up.So please keep the racket down and stop bepping your horns

  23. In Montreal. I just had a conversation with a UPS representative who clearly denied me the option to clear my own package. Since I refused to accept the charge of 73$ for a 200$ package…Ok 28$ is taxes, but 45 broker fee! seriously!!! and they are still in business.?

    Amalia G.: we will make a re attempt for this package, however you will need to pay the brokerage fees.

    Omar: If i clear it myself with the CBSA, then i won’t have to pay your brokerage fees! correct?

    Omar: in other words…Can i clear my own package with the CBSA?

    Amalia G.: Who is CBSA?

    Omar: Its the canadian border service agency…

    Omar: its the agency that clears imported stuff, that your brokers deal with

    Amalia G.: Okay, thank you. This package has been release from customs since October 1st, however these brokerage fees can’t be void. I am sorry.

  24. I just wanted to say thank you for the time and effort you put into this! I have spent the day trying to find out what can be done about this UPS scam. I am so very happy to be able to call them and tell them I am self clearing my items. This happened to me a few years ago with an ebay purchase- and then most sellers started posting that there would be no hidden brokerage fees- it seems UPS does have different ways of doing things- they work with the savy sender to make sure the buyer doesn’t get nailed but NEWER sellers that aren’t aware of this brokerage fee and just sending via UPS and then left with angry buyers- of course there are also those that just post that the buyer is responsible for all extra costs but the buyer has no idea what they might be. UPS is out of control and I am really not sure why people are paying so much for inexpensive items. I paid $42 for a $200 item, others it seems are paying much more. I called CBSA and got the info from them, they have an office at my local airport. I fought with the UPS guy today and he said it would come out of his pay if I didn’t pay for it! He was going to get physical with me when I tried to read the invoice! He said I had to pay before I could read it! I threatened to call the police and he started screaming that I was wasting his time. I phoned UPS and they said that drivers HAVE to make deliveries on time so he was right to freak out at me. ha ha ha I told them I would be most happy to see them in court because at no point did I hire them to brokerage a package to me and I would love for them to produce a contract- bill of sale or anything showing where I hired them to perform such a service- seems like they can not produce such a thing!

  25. Hi there,

    Recently we got the shipment for UPS the charged brokerage fees 81.99( canadian Dollar). we paid the brokerage fee and got the package.

    is their any ways to get this money refund from UPS. The package is containing Cloths that is not so expensive.

    please help us get the money back

    Waiting for reply

  26. I don’t believe any of commercial goods story above. it is for your own consumption stick to the gun. When you are at CBSA office you tell them it is personal item and taxes can be paid.

    I got 2 more UPS ground packages this week and luckily both are scheduled for the same day. Saves me a trip to the CBSA office.

    Following is my previous success story from April which are posted on two other threads. There are total of 3 threads regarding brokerage. Admin: it would be nice if those can be combined.

    [b]SUCCESS: This is a report from Calgary in order to fine-tune the process [as of May 8]. [/b]

    1) Register on for a free login. This is solely to get the USIN. You will see reference number like this 41X7VVVN3AL.

    2) Get a copy of commercial invoice either from seller or UPS.

    3) Once package is in town (day before delivery), go to CBSA on 2588 27st NE. Explain you have inbound package and would like to pay taxes and obtain B15 form. They accept credit cards including AMEX. Bring the following.

    a. Commercial Invoice
    b. Tracking # and USIN
    c. ID (driver’s license, etc.)

    4) I gave copy of B15 to driver and got the package. Sometimes UPS bills you two months down the road so keep the B15. I found this to be easiest way but you can also go to depot next day or fax it in then reschedule delivery.

    Do not bother talking to anyone on the 1-800 number because more often than not you will hear following:
    1) No sir you cannot clear package yourself
    2) Package will have to go back to Winnipeg/Vancouver/Fort Erie and you have to present yourself
    3) We can’t email you commercial invoice, only fax
    4) No we did not receive B15 form in fax

  27. Hey, I arranged for a bicycle frame to be shipped to me from a guy in Maryland that i bought the frame from, it was on Craigslist. His car wasn’t working and he was in a rural area, so he couldn’t bring it to the USPS post office to mail it. So i tried to go online and order some shipping labels myself and arrange for the post office to pick it up. I couldn’t do this as I didn’t have an American paypal account with an American credit card.

    So i used the UPS website, ordered the shipment and emailed the shipping label and commercial invoices to the sender in Maryland, and he put all that on the package, and UPS picked it up yesterday. So today i called them and said that i want to self clear my package at my local customs office in Halifax. Online it says the package is in Lachine, QC waiting for clearance. I was told that the duties/taxes and brokerage fees were assessed at $83 of which $29.99 was the entry preparation fee, and $5.85 bond fee and $4.60 COD fee. So a total of $45 in their brokerage fees for my item valued at $185.

    I told them that i want to self clear my package through my local customs office in Halifax. They had someone from the brokerage department at UPS call me and I was told that as this was a commercial shipment i could only self clear at the port of entry which would be Lachine QC. I said well i have read online that i can self clear at my local customs office and she said yes you can for your own personal effects but as this is commercial goods, it has to be at the port of entry. She said i would have to go there unless i knew someone there who could go do it for me (which doesn’t make sense either because doesn’t the importer themself have to be there at the office?).

    Is this true? I think she is confusing personal shipment with personal effects and this is just a tactic they use to discourage people from self clearing. I am not reselling the bike frame in a store or anything, i bought if for myself to use.


  28. Stuck to my guns and didn’t let up. After hours of the runaround UPS tried to tell me I would have to go the port of entry to broker my package and I told them they were lying (Which they were. You do NOT have to go to point of entry to broker your shipment, don’t believe them if they say you do) and that I was unimpressed by their manipulative tactics to try to sucker me into paying their exorbitant fees (they wanted $84.13 to broker my $395.00 item.). I mentioned the fact that they have two class action lawsuits filed against them for said tactics in the last decade and told her that if the driver comes to my house I will send him away, take my invoice to the CBSA, ask for my B12 and go to the warehouse to pick up my goods.
    The woman changed her tone, apologized for any aggravation I may have endured, exemplified me from the charges and cheerily ended what was otherwise a heated phone conversation with a “have a great day”! (not before I asked her for her name and employee number of course ;) )
    So, the next time you order UPS ground and they want to try to illicitly (yes, what they try to do is illegal) impose their ridiculous brokerage fees upon you, remember that it is your legal right that you can clear it yourself at your nearest CBSA free of charge. You will still have to pay your taxes but we all know they help grease the gears on the rudder and keep the boat afloat right?
    Total charges for brokerage fees + taxes quoted to me yesterday: $84.13.
    Total charges after standing up for my rights and refusing to budge: PRICELESS.

    (lol, I couldn’t resist. Actually the total charges afterwards is $19.61, I saved $64.52!! Yay me!)

  29. Hi,
    I bought a pair of ankle braces prescribed by my doctor ~$180 in Canada. They had a defect so the manufacturer in US sent me a replacement pair for free. They said they would cover everything and they didn’t tell me anything about the package.

    The package arrives and UPS charges me $25 COD. I called UPS and they would not tell me anything. They would not tell me my shipping #/info, my tracking info or any info at all.

    They said something about that I can’t self clear since the shipment went through the Windsor port.

    I am a student and I am very tight on cash. UPS advised me to contact the manufacture to resend the invoice saying it is $0. UPS would only charge me a $15 rerate fee.

    Do you have any suggestions?

  30. Hi,

    Well on $199 worth of items from the states, the UPS driver gave me a COD for $137. When I contacted UPS I got the standard you cannot self clear unless its in the port of entry (winnipeg) and i’m from Edmonton. I was transferred to the brokerage department who stated the same thing and said in a day or so someone would contact me back. I only wanted to get my invoice and they wouldnt provide that either. So now I wait to see who and when I get contacted back. I will post the rest later…..

  31. Hey there,

    Ok, I run a small business and have been self-clearing business deliveries from the USA to Canada. I am in British Columbia.

    I enjoy being able to go to a local CBSA office to self clear the business shipment using their “site of choice” option for clearing. Now, here is my challenge with PUROLATOR in Vancouver — one of the documents you need to clear through CBSA is the Cargo Control document and Purolator will not release this document to you unless you drive to the Vancouver airport (a long drive from here), get the document yourself —they will not fax it to you or email it to you. I have had many arguments with them over this. My option is, when at the CBSA office (not at the airport) is to plead my case to a CBSA officer who tells you that Purolator should be supporting the Act etc. The CBSA agent was good enough to call a contact at Purolator and they faxed the Cargo Control document immediately. The CBSA agent went above and beyond their duty in this instance and I am grateful.

    Courier companies can make a ridiculous amount of money charging an exhorbitant rate to clear an item. They are putting as many obstacles in place as they can to make it inconvenient for the business person to self clear. I understand that they should not have to educate the small biz person on how to self-clear, but if the business person has figured out (time and effort and patience) how to do it they should be able to deliver the document electonically when requested to do so instead of making you drive to pick up the document (and then ideally take it off their hands at the airport so they don’t have to deliver to the end address).

    Thank you for listening to my rant. Any suggestions –may be go to CBC and suggest a story?

  32. HI Trueler
    I am in the process of ordering solar equipment for my 5th wheel from Mass. USA and the total value is US $1963.00 but to stay within the $1600 Can$ value I will place two separate orders ,at least this the planning for now.
    Since the shipper told me he is only using UPS Ground ,after calculations it was so outrageously expensive ,that I called CBSA and thats how I learned about self clearing customs. So I quoted to the shipper the UPS, US border warehouse as the shipping address(transport charges dropped from $128.36 for home address by UPS , to $57.99 to the US warehouse also UPS),with the intention of self clearing customs at the close by CBSA office only 2 km, away and picking the shipment at the US warehouse and completing the transport to my home a 149 km.back.That combination of $70.37 saving of shipping charges plus, some $80 and more of various UPS charges would have easely covered gas and time to do it.Well would you know? The UPS,US warehouse doesn’t want ,or doesn’t do that,claiming they only handle big freight,they didn’t even bother to listen to my explaining that both taxes will be paid for when I go there to pick up.
    What a shame

  33. My partner mailed me my engagement ring on the 4th of November. She resides in South Carolina and I reside in Canada. She had previous to this, mailed me a 50 pound box of items and no issues were had. UPS even phoned to confirm this was a gift going to a residence. It arrived without issues. She attempts to send my ring and it is delivered COD saying I would $212 dollars because of the rings value. It is a 100 ring insured for $1000 as requested by the UPS teller. I was forced to refuse the COD as they knew I would by my postal code in the DTES. They sent it through brokerage, which I did ~not~request and then informed by fiance that she would have to pay the $212 dollars here plus an additional charge which brought the total to $450 dollars. I am sitting here waiting for my mother f^&*ing engagement ring in the downstairs lobby. According to UPS it was on the truck and listed as an urgent delivery. It should have been on the first truck out. I ~know~ someone from UPS saw the ring and decided that they deserve it, they even suggested I abandon it.

    I have a brain tumor and all my girl wanted to do was put a smile on my face after the bad news I received. Thanks to UPS that isn’t going to happen.

  34. Very interesting site. Needless to say I was very pissed to learn I was being extorted of $30 for 2 $25 bike tires. UPS SUCKS! I just cant believe that they get away with this. I am going to tell everyone I know about this scam and hope no one uses these crooks! After reading your e-dialogue with these idiots I am convinced that trying to use them and avoiding this fee will be too much bother. Bottom line is I will no longer shop online with anyone who only uses UPS. I’d rather wait the extra time, than get ripped off by these clowns. I’m so sick of this kind of BS. They should change their name to UBS! Too bad so many good online bicycle stores use UBS exclusively for shipping to Canada. Think I’ll be using overseas online stores(U.K., Asia). I am boycotting UPS and will try to convince everyone to do the same.

  35. Hi Fred,

    UPS should not do this. You do not have to inform them about your intention to self-clear. Just get a shipment’s/commercial invoice from them and you are ready to pay taxes for your shipment in any CBSA office.
    Please refer to other two threads where importers had similar problem when UPS scared about sending package back to the port of entry.


  36. Hi Trueler,
    I purchased a GPS from Ebay and the seller shipped it thru UPS. The item was delivered yesterday when I wasn’t in the house, they left me a note asking me to pay brokerage fee of $60 (the item’s value is $80). Now I want to self-clear this item, but when I talked to Kelly Barter of UPS (brokerage dept. supervisor), she said that since the packaged was a purchased goods and not personal effects like clothing etc., they would return the item to Fort Erie (port of entry) and I would have to go there and get my package. I told her the package was not commercial goods, still she said that I would have to physically go and pick up the package in Fort Erie.

    This is very frustrating, I need your help either escalating the matter to CBSA or give me some advice.


  37. I import a lot of small motorcycle parts from the US and I have found that if you call UPS while the driver is at the door and argue with them enough and tell them that the driver is still standing at your door and that you were never given the option to self clear by them they will drop the brokerage fee and just charge you the gst.Asking them to hold while you get canada customs on the phone for a 3 way call to verify whether or not their brokerage fee is criminal or not helps too. I have never had them agree to the 3way call yet they just drop the fee.

  38. Thanks for this informative website. I have just had the experience of outrageous brokerage charges from UPS for shipment of a personal US purchase to myself in Canada. In one case, I asked the US shipper to send the goods via the US Postal Service but apparently the USPS declined and stated that international parcel post is not available from his specific location. Apparently the US Post Office is constraining access to US parcel post in order to create a very profitable niche for UPS & Fedex etc. Similarly, in Canada the delivery of US purchases by UPS & Fedex is convey vastly more in profits to these companies than was formerly collected in duties by the government of Canada. It would appear that the purpose of the free trade agreement was to privatize the benefit of what was formerly duty. In Canada and the USA these courier companies purchase the friendship of federal politicians via gifts from lobbyists. Canada conflates personal individual purchases from US sources as though they were commercial purchases for domestic resale and distribution. On this basis they are pretending that our personal purchases should incorporate a 3rd party importer brokerage and accounting system. Canadians should demand an investigation of these crooked brokerage practices. M\\

  39. Hi Steve B,

    Self clearance works for personal shipments, not for commercial. If you had commercial shipment probably it is the reason why UPS refused (I’m not aware of the rules applied to commercial import). If it is the personal shipment, UPS usually sends shipment’s/commercial invoice by e-mail or fax by request. You may take a look at the document they send here:

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


  40. From above:

    “Or you may call UPS in advance to get shipment document earlier.”

    Good luck with that. I have been trying for 3 days to get the documents. UPS will not release them to me. they claim that because this is a commercial shipment, they cannot release the documents to me. Over and over, they told me they would, then I wait for the fax, then they don’t show up. I call back, “no we can’t”. Escalate to supervisor “ok we will” . they never show up. In the end, UPS waived my brokerage fees rather then release the documents for me to self clear.

  41. Hi Anonymous,

    According to reply from CBSA, there is no need to call UPS in advance if you want to pay taxes yourself. Just wait your items to be delivered by UPS to your door, take the shipment document, and refuse the package for now. Then take the document to CBSA, pay taxes, and schedule another delivery. Or you may call UPS in advance to get shipment document earlier.


  42. The key here is designating the “port of entry”. CBSA will tell you that is between you and the courier co. I have spoken to fedex and was told that as soon as I have a tracking number, to call them and designate the port ( there are hundreds in canada and one in every major city even if it isn’t on the boarder ( think airports)). I have not yet had the opportunity to check how well fedex handles this. As for UPS I am sure that “personal” shipments will always be brokered by UPS. If you want to do your own brokering you MUST put a company name as the ship to address (make one up if you have to). This will force a call to you by UPS asking what to do but by this time, the port of entry will have already been decided so preemptive measures are required.

  43. Hello Dee,

    Since you have been forced to pay brokerage fee to UPS, you can definitely clear (pay taxes) yourself. By forced we understand that UPS let you know that there are no other ways to get your package other than paying their outrageous brokerage fee. In order to clear package yourself please follow instructions in the articles. You may find this article useful as well: UPS Brokerage Fees – Total Scam, Fraud, Cheating. How to avoid it.
    When you pay taxes at Canada Customs office, you should be able to get refund for brokerage fee from UPS on your credit card. You may want to contact UPS before going to CBSA office to advise them that you were going to clear yourself, but the driver did not allow you to do so. They should describe you how to self clear as well.

    Best Regards,

  44. Dear Sir/Madam:

    I have just been forced to pay $41.63 via my credit card, yet I was not told by the company who sent that I would be charged.

    Can I get my UPS Brokerage Fees back.


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