Saving the Import/Broker Fees on Parts from USA

Discussion in 'Canadian Owners' started by Rayden2009, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. Rayden2009

    Rayden2009 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Ive been working on my car since 2016, and have spent many thousands on parts from the US. As you probably know, the cost of these cars as a pro-touring hobby is through the roof. I live in Calgary, AB, and I noticed a large discrepancy in duty fees bringing parts across the border. UPS seems to be the worst offender. They bend me over a barrel with every purchase. Fed-Ex seems much more reasonable, but there is no rime or reason.
    I just purchased a type II power steering pump from Saginaw MI, which was to be delivered by UPS (the worst offender in all categories. I cringe every time a company uses them in both my personal and professional life, but I digress). A few days after it shipped, I received a notice that I owe them $135 for taxes and import/brokerage fees. Digging deeper, $40 of that was taxes, the rest "import/brokerage fees". $95 for import fees? That was the straw that broke the camels back. I did some research online and learned a few things, mostly from this site:

    https://trueler.com/2010/09/13/ups-brokerage-fees-total-scam-fraud-cheating-avoid-it/

    The first thing I did was call up the local CBSA to confirm that I could actually self clear. There is one in Calgary, near the airport. They confirmed that this was indeed within my rights to clear, and that all I would need is a receipt and a "cargo control document" that the shipping company (UPS) is obligated to provide upon request. The package must also be in the city of delivery, incase they decide they want to check it out, so you will have to track the pkg. to confirm its in the city of delivery before clearing. I called up UPS and asked them for the "cargo control document". Boy, that was a chore. They tried every trick in the book mentioned in the website above, like telling me I will need to drive to the port of entry (total bs) etc. Finally they relented and I received the documentation. I drove up to the CBSA and cleared my pkg. without issue in less then 5 minutes. Saved me $90, but really it was more about the principal. I felt really good knowing I out foxed UPS and saved a decent chunk of change for very little effort. Next time I will request the cargo control document straight out of the gate from the vendor I purchase the parts from. They are the ones that provide this document to the shipper to begin with. This way I don't have to rely on UPS to get me my documents in a timely manor.

    I hope this helps some of my fellow Canadians keep a little more coin in their pocket as they continue on this very expensive and truly fulfilling hobby. I wish I had done this a lot sooner, but there is still a lot of savings to be had going forward. Good Luck!
     
    70ZED and Canadian Barton like this.
  2. grzewnicki

    grzewnicki Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Awesome, the way you guys spend money on shipping kills me, would be intersting to see what the total cost of the car was minus all the crap you have to pay in shipping. And I sweat a $10 or $20 charge, searching and searching to find the best shipping deal.
     
  3. dave@ztech

    dave@ztech Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Setup a US PO box, in the closest town to you, have your parts shipped there and pick them up , drive back to Canada, and save money
     
  4. Rayden2009

    Rayden2009 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Ive done that. Im 3hrs from the border though so it only makes sense if I stay in Great Falls overnight and do some shopping.
     
  5. dave@ztech

    dave@ztech Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Driving 3 hours in NYC , gets you across town, HAA HA , and it would require you to also, carefully plan all the parts you will need, guess there isn't an easy way to beat the TAXMAN, HAA HA
     
  6. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I ship my stuff I buy in the US to a Company called US Address. I pay $5.00/per pkg. If the seller from 2 diff Co, then I'd pay $10 total. Then I hope I don't have to pay much duty when crossing back into Canada.
     
    dave@ztech likes this.
  7. roadrace2

    roadrace2 Veteran Member

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    UPS was sued for over charging brokerage fees - I apparently was in the class action lawsuit and got some money back from the settlement - a law firm in Quebec mailed me a notice and then a cheque. It wasn't much but good to know I got something back without doing anything about it
     
  8. Canadian Barton

    Canadian Barton Veteran Member

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    We use https://www.montanashipping.com/ in Sweetgrass for larger orders as most US companies include shipping. The savings easily pays for gas and it gets me out of the house...lol
     
    Rayden2009 likes this.

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