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

These instructions are the final conclusion to the post

UPS/FedEx Brokerage Fees – avoid scam

and are right for you if:

  • You ordered some goods from US into Canada by UPS and they are on the way
  • Going to import some goods from US into Canada by UPS
  • Already received your package and did not pay anything to the driver. It means that UPS will send you brokerage fees invoice several weeks/months later, or send information right to collection agency
  • Driver showed you collect-on-delivery (C.O.D.) invoice which was ~half of the item’s price and you refused to pay at the door

There are two conditions necessary for the procedure of self clearance at Canada customs:

  • Your shipment’s value for duty is less than $1600 CAD
  • You have one of the local CBSA (Canada customs) offices nearby. You may find the list of offices across Canada here: Directory of CBSA Offices where Courier Low Value Shipments Program clearances are performed.

Here is the procedure of self clearing (confirmed by CBSA main office and proven many times in practice):

  • Wait while your package comes to the local UPS warehouse (where you live). You will see status in the shipment’s tracking information on UPS website. If you don’t track, so just wait for the first delivery attempt and refuse to pay at the door
  • Call UPS at toll free number 1-800-742-5877, press “3” to be connected to the billing department (or other prompt by the system), and ask customer service representative to send you shipment’s invoice. Some of the representatives call it commercial invoice. Just ask for “commercial invoice” associated with your tracking number. They can send it by e-mail or fax. Please make sure they got your address correctly – ask to spell it back. They will send it right away in .zip archive to your e-mail. Shipment’s invoice has the Unique Shipment Identifier Number needed by CBSA as well. This is how it looks like (click on image to enlarge):

UPS Shipment/Commercial Invoice

  • Find out what is the address of your local UPS warehouse where your package is being held. Call and ask UPS if you can’t figure out. CBSA may ask for this information during self clear. For GTA (if you see “Concord” in the tracking information) the address as of Nov. 2010 is:

UPS Center

2900 Steels ave. W,

Concord, ON, L4K 3S2

phone: 800-742-5877

  • Take your shipment’s invoice, address of UPS warehouse, money to pay taxes and photo ID to the nearest CBSA office. Please take the reply from main CBSA office with instructions about self clear process for the case if officers in your local office are not aware with the proper procedure. You may find their reply at UPS/FedEx Brokerage Fees – avoid scam – section almost at the bottom of the post, just between solid grey lines. Last time I visited CBSA office in Brampton at the following address:

CBSA Brampton: office 480

197 Country Court Blvd.,

Brampton, ON, L6W 4P3

office hours: 8:30 – 16:30, Mon – Fri

!! – recently address has been changed to:

5425 Dixie Rd.

  • Present your shipment’s invoice to customs officer and he will do clearance for you. After paying applicable taxes and duties to the cashier you will be provided with CBSA B15 form – Casual Goods Accounting Document, which confirms that you paid all the taxes to Canada customs. B15 form looks like this:

CBSA B15 Casual Goods Accounting Document

  • Call UPS and ask how to provide them with B15 form (proof that you paid taxes) in order to waive brokerage fee invoice. They will give you fax number. Please make sure that you put your tracking number of the cover page. As of Nov 2010 CBSA B15 form should be sent here:

UPS Brokerage Department

fax number: 1-770-990-1724

  • After that UPS Brokerage Department should process your B15 form and waive C.O.D. charges. It may take 1-5 days. You may also try to speed up the process by calling UPS and informing them that you already paid taxes to CBSA and sent receipt to the brokerage department. Ask UPS to schedule delivery.

You are done!

I have not done it with FedEx or other couriers, but procedure should be very similar.

475 thoughts on “How to self clear shipment at CBSA and avoid UPS brokerage fee”

  1. Does anyone happen to know the hours of the office at Pearson Airport in Toronto? Their site confusingly says that they have 24h office hours, but in another place says M-F 8:00-16:00.

    This is my first time attempting to self-clear, and this post and the comments are amazing! If it works out, I’ll definitely be donating a few dollars of my savings through the link above.

  2. HI,

    Thank you for keeping this information current. I have done this and saved lots of money. I now try to avoid going through the hassle by asking the shipper to send using USPS (United states Parcel Service) Canada Post only charges 7$ and sometimes forgets.

    What can I do if the amount is greater than 1600$? In fact about double that.

  3. Hello! I recently purchased some goods from the US, and I just received notice in my mailbox from UPS about a Import fee of 100$. They’ve already attempted to deliver it to my house but I wasn’t home to sign the papers. After reading this article, can I go to my local CBSA office and pay the tax and duty fees and head over to my local UPS warehouse to pick up my package as I will have proof that I paid for all the required fees? I would rather not pay a ridiculous fee as I already paid for shipping and handling.

  4. So I have a package coming to me (based in Milton, ON) do I need to Wait till its in Concord before calling or can I start the process now while the package is in Texas? Please help.


  5. Hello,
    Im wondering what information you could give me. Im interested in importing some handbags/accessories from an American wholesaler, for sale in my online/home part business. The total cost of the goods will be less than $1600 CAN. The supplier will ship these goods with UPS. Can I still self clear this package or is it different because the goods will be for commercial use?

  6. Greetings and thank you SO SO Much for posting the instructions. I received some books from the US and they charged me $67. on top of the 40.00 shipping and handling I paid already. PLUS they stated on the invoice that my books were valued at 367. when they were valued at 149.00. This increases the brokerage fee, as the fee is based on the value of the content. What a rip-off. I went to the local (Kamloops BC) CBSA office (ours is at the airport) and filled out the form, paid my tax and duty. When you call UPS for a fax number they say you will get the number emailed to you in 24 hours. good grief! They make the process a real gong show, but go thru the process as it’s not worth paying the fee!!! Thanks

  7. Hi Trueler,

    The thing is she put 200 dollars worth of insurance on it (to be safe….) incase it gets lost! bad idea!

    What happens if i return to sender? who pays the brokerage fees?

  8. Hi, thank you for the invaluable information on this site. I have been self clearing my parcels through the method you’ve described for years with FedEx and UPS without any hinderance. I was wondering if these rules also apply to other courier companies such as Landmark Global or DHL. I recently have been having trouble with Landmark Global. I was expecting 6 parcels so it was in my better interest to clear them myself but when brought the B15 form to the post office, Canada Post would not allow me to pick up the packages unless Landmark removed the COD. I contacted Landmark and sent their brokerage department the B15 form but they still refuse to remove the COD. They then informed me that I must pay the COD of $150 and only the taxes and duties i have paid will be refunded which I have to apply for afterwards. I tried calling the CBSA and spoke to a senior officer be he had no idea I was talking about about self clearance and said they have no jurisdiction over a couriers brokerage fee policy and can’t do anything about it except tell me how to apply for a refund of the duties and taxes I’ve alraady paid with a B2G form. By the looks of it, I might have to pay that COD if I want any of my packages and it’s nearing the end of the 2 week hold so Canada Post will be sending them back soon. I have no idea what I should do or who to contact about this. Any advice on this matter would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  9. Hi Nik,

    If it is an old phone and chargers from your sister, then there should not be tax implications for this. Brokerage fee is for paying taxes by USP on your behalf to CBSA. No taxes – no brokerage fees.


  10. Hi Trueler!

    I am expecting a package from my sister in the US; its an old phone and chargers. I did not know about the brokerage fees and i called UPS today and lo and behold (to my surprise) there are charges amounting to 68 CAD approx.

    What happens if I refuse the package and return the item to sender? Who pays the brokerage then? Are there additional costs?

    I really need some help on this part as its not stated anywhere in the article.


  11. Ordered some stuff (value $250~) and it was shipped to Winnipeg via UPS, who called me mid-transit to tell me I required brokerage. I called the number on this post and went through brokerage/billing, spoke to Pamela who pretty much walked me through the self-clear process herself, and even told me the addresses for the Port, CBSA and UPS warehouse.

    Basically, in this case, all I had to do was call and inform them I would be self-clearing, and they informed the port (which is in the same building as CBSA, conveniently) and will hold the package at the warehouse for pickup or delivery after its cleared.

    thanks to you more and more people can now waive their brokerage fees with ease! After reading your site I was all ready to state my rights and to argue. However to my surprise found that everyone was very helpful and even told me what I needed to do to self clear. Honestly thank you so much!
    God Bless you!

  13. Tried and worked.

    First thing you need to realize is that UPS customer service agents are completely incompetent and following some form of “script”. CBSA is fine.

    When you call UPS, ask them to email you a “commercial invoice” and provide you with the “unique shipment ID” (mine was 11 digits, and you can see it in the tracking info online if you create a UPS account). Never mention “self clear” as you are just “accounting for your goods”.

    Once the item is in Canada (at the port of entry- you do not need to wait for them to come to your door as 4 incompetent UPS agents informed me, nor do you need to go to the port as another incompetent agent informed me), head to your local CBSA office. The commercial invoice is used to determine the duties/taxes on the item, and the unique shipment ID is used to determine that the item is in fact in Canada. I had the tracking information printed out also, handed it to the CBSA officer with my commercial invoice, and the CBSA officer simply looked at the tracking information and said they did not need the unique shipment ID as they could see that the parcel was in fact in Canada as shown in the tracking info. Thanks very nice CBSA officer. I then paid my duties and taxes and received my stamped b-15 form.

    Then call UPS and ask for the email or fax number for the Brokerage department because you have already accounted for your own goods by paying the duties and taxes and would like to provide them with the b-15 form so the COD is waived. This is where I ran into 2 more incompetent service representatives who would not provide me with the email or fax. The one on Tuesday informed me I could not do anything until the package was at the door then I would have to refuse it and get it sent back to the port (wrong info!) and someone would call me in the next hour to provide me with the email/fax (never happened). The next day the second agent informed me that the brokerage department would call me in 24hrs which never happened. 36hrs later I called back and the agent told me that they needed my email so they could email me instructions on how to go to the CBSA office with the invoice, etc to pay my taxes…. I was about ready to shit myself. I told her I had completed all of this 3 days ago and just needed the email/fax number. She apologized and finally gave it to me. 24hrs later the COD was waived.

    All in all, I had to call UPS 10 times. It should have taken three. One time to get the invoice/id. One time to get the fax/email. One time to confirm that they removed the COD. The UPS representatives need better training.

  14. Hi Trueler and everyone,

    I ordered some area rugs and rug pads in 1 transaction from a US website. 8 in total. They came in in a couple of batches last month. I wasn’t home and they just left packages at my front door. I thought I might get lucky in evading those hefty fees.

    Now a few weeks later, I received bills from DHL with Duty and $10 ‘Processing Fee’ for EACH package. I cannot tell whether DHL has taken care of customs clearance or not(I guess they already did as it’s been quite some time). So what’s my best move forward? Is it too late to do the ‘self-clearance’? The only thing I can think of is to call DHL and insist the seller(an online retailer) broke my single order into individual parcels. I’d be okay with 1 ‘Processing Fee’ and they should talk to the seller about the rest. Will this work? Thanks in advance

  15. Ups international shipping method is going down forever! I have used ups before because of high scam fee I have stopped! I call ups is vampire company!

  16. Save 82 bucks on the brokerage fees for three quarts of paint! Easy as pie to go to CBSA at HAmilton airport and get a b15!….Thanks a bunch

  17. Just ship via Canada Post.
    They have postal customs clearance.
    Less hassle by Border folks and no brokerage.
    Better service into US as well.No extra line item fees, no suburban or beyond charges,saturday delivery in U.S. and can deliver to P.O boxes.
    Or stay with UPS and suffer

  18. The CBSA is saying that since DHL has already cleared it with customs, we can’t clear it ourselves. Now what? They want more for the fees than the package is worth!

  19. Ups is the most self centred and dishonest people on the face of this earth they use scaring tactics to collect dues that do no exsit .
    They do threaten customers with custom fees that do not get paid to customs

  20. Find blank and fillable Commercial Invoice forms at PDFfiller.
    You can fill the text fields, add a variety of checkmarks, digitally sign the form and even add pictures. After your pdf form is completed, it can be printed, emailed, faxed or saved on your computer. You can even send fillable pdf forms to your customers, employees, vendors and partners.

  21. Hi there,

    Can someone please provide me with a simple step by step process to not have to pay this brokerage fee. I live in London Ontario. Thanks to anyone who is so kind to take the time to help me, as these steps seem like a hassle and confusing.



  22. Hi Trueler,

    Do you know whether or not I can self clear using this method for a package coming from Europe via UPS? In this case, I would be purchasing (importing) something from Sweden.

    Thanks in advance!

  23. Hi I was just wondering if there was a CBSA office near Pickering / Scarborough or downtown Toronto that could provide a B15 form and process paying your clearance fees? I ask because it seems some people have been told they can go to any CBSA office.

    Three closest CBSA offices:
    Cbsa Casual Refund Centre – Scarborough (55 Town Centre Crt
    Cbsa/Asfc Oshawa Immigration (78 Richmond Street W.
    Cbsa/Asfc Tor Ia Targeting Unit (8 Unwin Avenue

    Anyone have any experience at these locations or know of a better location? Anyone process the B15 form not in person?

    Thank you for your help. Cheers

  24. Hi, I just did this today in Niagara Falls. CBSA staff seemed very confused by me doing my own brokering – it took almost 2 hours before I was all done.
    I was told the form was not a B15 but another form for Commercial, B15 might be for personal goods.
    You do need a form from UPS and they will email it to you when you tell them you are doin your own Self Accounting (Self clearing a package). CBSA said they may not let me clear it since I did not have the package on me for them to inspect. instead it was sitting in a UPS warehouse. Finally, it got all sorted out and I think I paid approxx $37 on an order of $306 instead of $140+. It was worth it just not as easy as I hoped. Thank you for this post and instructions it was very helpful.

  25. hi,

    just wondering if you can just show up with the B15 form (all done by CBSA) where your package is being stored or held and you give them the paper and they give you the package?


  26. Hi all,

    Trueler, thank you very much for this post, I am so glad I found your website before I accepted my most recent packaged.
    I have two watches being shipped to me in Ontario from California and UPS was trying to charge me $161 for duties, taxes and brokerage fees. I followed your steps, and must say that everyone that I spoke to from UPS and CBSA was very friendly and knowledgeable about self clearing a package. All said and done, I was able to get my B-15 form and only had to pay $29!

    Once again,

    Thank you

  27. Hi,

    Thank you very much for those still up to date information. I did it yesterday in Quebec.
    The UPS employee give me a area 514 phone number to get my commercial invoice. I never get any answer or call back.
    The 1-800 number you give in your method work just fine.
    Although they didn’t seem to like that self clears shipment too much, I cut my cost from 44,95$ to 10,88$, much more honest and acceptable.
    I dont care paying the taxes dues, it is the law, but over paying a brooker make me VERY upset.
    The clerc at the CBSA told me that everybody should do that, they are there for it, and that I saw customer saving much more money that I did, just for a phone call and a 10 minutes visit to their office.
    Thank you again.


  28. Hey all,

    UPS has expedited the process (at least when I did it). Ask for the self accounting reference page, as you want to clear the shipment yourself. Once you have the email, you have to clear it within two days. It gets emailed to you, you clear, fax your forms to the border crossing area, and they sort it all out. I had no problem this last time I got a shipment (compared to piles of trouble last few times).

  29. It has been two years since you wrote this article. Do you still do this routine? On the CBSA website, they list a few offices that offer the low value shipment program, and the closest one to my city is at Toronto Pearson airport. At the bottom of the page it says that it was recently updated. So, I’m not sure if all offices used to let you fill in a B15 form there and not anymore. Or can you still go to any CBSA office to pay duty and taxes by yourself.

  30. Sorry, I forgot to mention that after I paid CBSA I emailed two forms to a UPS email address “Casual Goods Accounting Document” and “Casual LVS Self Accounting Procedures”. This UPS email address was written on the form, and I believe it varies according to the port associated with your package.

  31. Thanks for the information Trueler.

    I was charged 57.78 COD for a 100 dollar item, went to the CBSA office at Britannia road near the airport and paid $20.35 instead. Saved about 30 dollars after gasoline for the drive.

    How it went down for me:

    Called UPS and asked for the commercial invoice, then told them to hold the package. This happened within a few seconds, after I told them my email. After I read that the manifest may be required, I called them again and decided to ask them but they said that they could not provide that for this shipment.

    Anyways, I let them know of my intentions to self clear at that point and they then asked me for my phone number and email again and told me that I will be contacted within 24 hours to resolve this issue.

    I was then contacted within the hour by email. A helpful lady named Sue sent me the documents required to self clear at the office. The form was called “Casual LVS Self Accounting Procedures” and had all instructions for self clearing the shipment (included the UPS Tracking Number, Port Fax# or Email to send the B15 document to). A commercial invoice was also included with this package.

    I took that form, the email instructions from this site just in case, along with the commercial invoice and my ID (driver’s license) to the CBSA office near Pearson Airport, I forgot to print my original paypal invoice however. Nevertheless I got through after some questioning to verify the content of the package.

    Was given a document “Casual Goods Accounting Document” (it looks a bit different, was teal text on white) and then took that to the cashier to pay. Paid $20.35, and then walked out.

    Called UPS, told them to reschedule delivery to which they happily obliged. The people on the phone were very compliant and nice to me, (perhaps because this was a well known practice now). They told me that the package will be redelivered once the COD fee is removed (should take a day).

    Anyways, my self-clear process was quick and painless. However I still am disappointed with UPS charging the outrageous fees and nobody should have to go through this process in the first place.

    Thanks Trueler!

  32. update: called back and forced them to email it to me. apparently it is coming thru email within 24 along with actual instructions on how to self-clear but i will believe it when i see it….will head to CBSA in the next few days and update whether or not this is successful.

  33. So I am going to try this. $77 on a package valued at $150. driver tried to deliver it today, told him i wasn’t paying and to return to their holding spot and put on it, i will be in contact with them. he tried to write refused but i wouldn’t let him. i called UPS to get them to email me the invoice and she took my info but only said she would put in my request to fort erie and someone would contact me within 24 hours…she would not email it me right then and there… so i wait….

  34. Hi Trueler,

    ThankyouThankyouThankyou. My unpleasant experiences with unreasonable UPS brokerage fees and practices started in 1993 and though I’ve done my very best to avoid dealing with them, every experience since then has been similarly awful.

    A couple of days ago I ordered a small item from Italy and only after checking out and paying for it did I realize that it was being shipped by UPS. Urgh.

    Today I got a robo-call from UPS (which I damn near hung up on because I simply despise phone spam), and I realized I’d probably have to go through the whole brokerage robbery hell that I’ve managed to avoid for many years now. Angry enough to google, I found your site, and was absolutely thrilled to see your two great posts on how to deal with UPS’s brokerage fee scam game.

    Just a few bits of info for you and others here, in case it helps:
    – my shipment was made to my company name
    – when I called the UPS number you list in your post, I spoke to a very nice and pleasant person. He asked me if the shipment was for my business, which I confirmed. He then advised me that I could only clear my business shipment by going to the port of entry (Montreal, 800km away from me).
    – he advised that UPS now has a special low price for clearing shipments – $10. I don’t know but I suspect that this was only offered to me because I was calling and asking for the commercial invoice.
    – anyhow, even though I absolutely loathe the brokerage scamming UPS has done unto me in the past, $10 was below my pain threshold and I accepted their ‘services’ at this price. I am terribly curious what “brokerage fee” I would have been offered if I had simply called up their regular number and asked to clear the shipment via the regular UPS brokerage offering….(!?)

    I do not know if he was correct in saying that for my business shipments the clearance would have to be done at the port of entry, however based on some comments above I can’t necessarily say that he is lying so I’ll accept that for now. If true I am a bit miffed; I routinely file my own B3 documents when I bring items in from the USA (I drive across the border to pick them up).

    In the future, if I can’t avoid getting shipments into Canada coming by UPS I think I’ll buy small shipments of business stuff personally and do the B15 form myself.

    Once again, thank you very much. I am now about to do something I’ve never done before, and that is hitting somebody’s tip jar…. Thanks!

    All the best,

    – Daniel

  35. Ok so I have answers to some of my own questions (I would like to preface my comments by saying that each officer at CBSA seems to have their own discretion to be helpful or not, so your experience may vary):

    1. You cannot clear your UPS items at the customs area at Pearson arrival hall. I went to the customs area and she checked with her supervisor, they can only clear items that accompany the passengers. She told me to go to the Britannia Road cargo clearance facility.

    2. The Britannia Road CBSA office replaces the Brampton/Mississauga office that previously did these CLVS clearances. The only good news is that the Britannia road location is open 24/7.

    3. I originally called UPS when the item appeared in tracking as being with their broker. I wanted to find out how much the duty was. I was told it was $68 (including a $40 broker fee). I asked about self clearance and immediately the guy offered to have them email me the documents I would need to self clear. WARNING: I accepted his offer — be warned ***DO NOT DO THIS*** wait for the item to arrive in your neighbourhood and refuse the shipment or don’t sign for it so that it goes back to your local UPS office.

    4. My comments in #3 are relevant because one of the documents that UPS sent me via email was a “UPS Summary Sheet”. Two issues became relevant: (1) UPS will try to ‘pre clear’ items by assigning them to their broker in advance of the item arriving in Canada. So, in my case the document showed a date that was 2 days in the future (estimated as the date the item would be in Windsor). Luckily the Pearson arrival hall customs lady told me that I had to wait (regardless of who cleared the item) until that date before I could self clear the item (after all, the item wasn’t even in Canada). (2) This Summary Sheet also notes that the item is in (in my case) Windsor. This is BAD — the item has to be held locally for the local CBSA to clear it. That’s why everyone on this board says to allow the first delivery attempt.

    5. Issue (2) in item 4 became an issue for me when I went to the Brittania road location and gave them all the documents UPS gave me only to find that I undermined my own case. The customs person said that because she now knew the item was in Windsor, she couldn’t do anything for me. Bottom line, I returned later and didn’t show them the “Summary” and the officer didn’t ask/care where the item was.

    6. My B15 was issued within 5 min once I presented the correct documents and my ID.

    7. As a side point, the location of the CBSA office is awesome because you are literally next to the runways. I’m going to bring my young nephew to that area as a ‘field trip’ – kids would love to see the planes up close like that.

    I had to go to the CBSA office twice to get my B15 but it was well worth it — I couldn’t allow UPS to rip me off!!

    If you are close to a CBSA office and follow the instructions provided on this page, you will definitely not be sorry.

  36. I have a package that is currently being held by UPS as I try to self-clear it. I have all the forms I need.

    I happen to be flying to the US tomorrow. When I fly back, does anyone know if I can just bring the forms to the arrival hall/customs area at Pearson and have them issue the B15 form there? Or is this too complicated for them at the airport?

  37. Just an FYI to those trying to self clear in Toronto. I was told that Pearson and Front Street are the only CBSA offices that customers can attend to do self clearance. The Pearson location is open 24/7 and is located at 2720 Britannia Road East.

  38. 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.

  39. Hi I am awaiting a package from the states ( in winnipeg) so I made a list of what I needed to do to self clear, got myself prepared to battle it out with the UPS rep. However when I called she looked up my tracking number, she was very pleasant and told me that the order was already paid/consolidated with the shipper so I will not be charged any brokerage fees. She reassured me that there will I will not be charged anything even customs/duties everything is paid for. Im shocked and a little uneasy. I got her Name: Bella, and employee number VBC2MXT. Is this it?

  40. Nabeel, that seems the way to go, try to avoid the whole “deny the driver at the door” scenario. I’m sure UPS is tired of this whole mess as much as we are.
    I was able to self clear my package in Hamilton and the CBSA officer basically told me the same thing. Inform UPS that you would like to self clear BEFORE the package has crossed the border and they should be able to send it to a local bonded warehouse where you will be able to pick it up after you have sent UPS the B15 (or B3 if for a business). I will try this next time and update the group.

  41. Successfully received my package, although not before standing at the door for 15 minutes arguing with UPS brokerage on the phone about whether or not I was told to fax them the B15. I was *explicitly* told by the previous UPS brokerage agent that faxing was not necessary, that only the “Accounting document no.” was necessary. They denied that was true and insisted that I fax or scan & email the form. I told them it was their problem, that they need to release the package to me right now, and they agreed to do so. I’ll see if they contact me about the B15.

  42. Trueler, thanks so much for the info. Provisional success at the Pearson CBSA, saved myself almost 50 dollars in brokerage. Here’s what happened:

    -rec’d door slip yesterday (Weds), unaware that shipper had used UPS, >$60 brokerage on a $120 package.

    -called UPS for commercial invoice, they emailed it to me immediately (told them it was for my records)

    -called UPS twice more poking around trying to get a shipping manifest (did not give them tracking number). I got someone helpful in brokerage, told them I was collecting paperwork for an ISO documentation requirement. He told me there is NO Cargo Control Document, NO Cargo Control Number, and NO manifest associated with the individual package. The ENTIRE UPS truck is released from customs at once with a Cargo/Release List. They started to get suspicious after a bit and kept asking me about self-clearing, self-brokerage, but I ignored them.

    -called UPS a final time and rescheduled delivery for next week to give me some time. Up until this point UPS is unaware that I will be brokering myself.

    -today went to 6500 Silver Dart Rd (go to Tower D, 2nd floor to find the CBSA office) with my documents. The CBSA officer was initially confused and said I needed to go to UPS and get paperwork. I told them what I wrote above (low value shipments have NO manifest, the CLVS program allows CBSA to clear packages without brokering, without any manifest, I just want to make a voluntary payment on this invoice) and she got it. Key words seem to be CLVS and voluntary. It helped a lot that I printed out the tracking summary from UPS and also the example B15 above, as soon as they saw it things started to go smoother.

    -CBSA officer struggled to find the customs code for my item (airbrush spray booth), probably 80% of the time the form took was doing this, coming with a picture of the item and a suggested customs category for your item would probably speed this up greatly.

    -Got my B15, paid my $17 tax (UPS was asking >60 lol)

    -Called UPS, asked to speak to brokerage in order to get a fax number for some forms (didn’t say anything about self-clear). I told her I wanted to fax them a B15 and she asked for the tracking number. I told her the tracking was irrelevant and I just wanted the fax and she said that I didn’t need to fax, that she could put a note on the item to delete the COD rate and that was it. I relented, gave her the tracking number as well as the “Accounting document no.” in the top right of the B15. Before you leave the CBSA, make sure this number is legible- the stamp was very difficult to read on my copy. The UPS brokerage person then told me that’s all I needed and that I could call back tomorrow to confirm removal of the COD Rate.

    I will be calling back tomorrow to ensure that the COD rate is removed and that delivery is on track for next week. It seems, as more recent posters have noted, that this is getting easier and easier.

  43. So I had a package that left the US last week Monday. I called UPS when the documentation was shipped and the package pre-cleared. I needed to make two phone calls to get the commercial invoice. They promised a call back when the package arrives, that call never came. UPS attempted the first delivery today, and they are going to try to deliver it again tomorrow.

    It is very clear that everyone I contacted at UPS knew about the self-clear option. They will deliberately make it excruciatingly difficult for you.

    Clearly this is not a banana republic. Can someone make a stink about this at the right level? Does anyone know someone at the Toronto Star or any other fine news organization?

  44. Hey TRUELER, I am a new business owner and having bad issues with UPS. I’m paying stupid amounts every day to clear items and my new business is hurting. Can I self clear my own items for my business? I am registered with HST and province of Ontario. If so I will go to my local office, I’m 10 min away from person airport and a major post office and truck lot all where CBSA is located. Any ideas to point me in the right direction. The first shipment they called ahead the second they just sent and asked for a cheq… So angry with UPS. Thanks for all the info it seems to have helped a lot.

  45. So what is the final position on this. Do we do a settlement of account (pay tax etc at CBSA) or self clear. Still seems there is a lot of confusion.

    Trueler can you repost a summary of things to do (current info) here as this thread is quite long.

    I have read from the beginning and am unable to keyword search for specific info.

    Very good site.


  46. Cleared a package last week at the CBSA on Britannia St., Mississuaga following the instructions and advice here to a T. Told the customs officer behind the glass about this website and he wanted me to add the following: BRING YOUR PASSPORT!

    Apparently, photo ID isn’t enough, though just this one time, he said he’d accept my driver’s license. Now it didn’t all go completely smoothly, folks, so be warned… there was a bit of confusion as to how to handle the self-clearance. Luckily one of the 3 officers had a bit of experience with it and explained to the others that what I was right about needing a B15.

    Value of goods: $136
    Amount I paid the CBSA directly for taxes and duty: $17.68
    Amount UPS wanted to charge: $62.17
    Savings from self-clearing: $44.49

  47. Seems like the process is getting more streamlined. I emailed UPS through their website minutes after the shipper provided me the tracking #, before it had even been picked up. This was on Monday.

    I got a reply Tuesday morning with the commercial invoice, as the package was in transit in the US.

    I got a phone call Wednesday afternon (today) from Sue @ UPS in Windsor, who then sent me an email with a copy of the commercial invoice and asked me to provide the stamped B15 to her by email and she would release the package.

    I’ll go to CBSA at Toronto Pearson Vista Cargo Terminal tomorrow – hopefully I don’t need to provide an address where the package currently is.

    If all goes well, I should have the stamped B15 back to UPS before the Monday scheduled delivery date.

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