Question for Canadian Customer on Customs Clearance


As our friends in Canada know, UPS charges some outrageous fees for customs clearance. We recently received a report of a $41.14 CAD fee on a package that was valued at around $45 USD. $7 was tax and a whopping $34.14 was the brokerage fee! :eek:

I've heard that the brokerage fee may be avoided if you tell UPS you are going to do the customs clearance yourself. I believe it involves filling out a form an contacting the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Does anyone have any experience with this? We are looking into some other international delivery options, but it will probably take a few months to put them into place. I would really like to be able to offer more advice to our friends in the North on international delivery.
Is this for people that need the packages faster ? I ask this because I ordered a couple teensys from Canada via regular post and it was quite fast and usually there are no fees to pay. UPS cross border is a real pain...
We have some customers who prefer using a tracked service. Sometimes it's because they want it faster and other times it's because they want to follow the tracking to anticipate the delivery date. While postal is usually pretty fast there have been some occasions where it has taken 2 - 3 weeks for delivery.

UPS cross border does seem to be a pain. If we can offer our Canadian customers some guidance on self-clearing customs it might help to take some of the sting out.
FWIW, a few years ago, when I had a UPS box for shipping stuff to, the owner of the store had so much problems sending stuff to Canada, that he decided it wouldn't support shipping to Canada. Other countries were fine, it was just something about UPS and Canada.

Over in the photo forums, it is conventional wisdom that for US->Canada, the preferred shipping method is USPS (and the Canadian mail service in reverse), and it avoids brokerage fees.
For people that need tracking, there's usps priority international:

UPS Standard/Ground is A LOT cheaper than priority international. (at least it's cheaper until the brokerage fees are tacked on)

I've had some Canadian customers mention that they have done self-clearing through customs and saved quite a bit. I'm wondering how easy it is and if anyone can tell me about their experiences doing it.
We use DHL for international.

China just marks everything "Tatoo supplies" (really, I got two of those)
UPS has entrenched itself among vendors because they offer parcel pick/up service

to the vendor, at no apparent cost (to the vendor).

The Canadian delivery surcharge scam exists because customers, however grudgingly,

pay it. The fix is uncomplicated - Stop using UPS.
I've looked into DHL, but I'm on the fence about using them. They really are not a viable option for US delivery, but they seem to be a good option for almost every other country in the world. Also, the pricing I was looking at was pretty darn similar to UPS.

I've heard that Canadians can self-clear on customs and save the brokerage fee. There was something about getting a form from the CBSA and contacting UPS before the package was delivered to inform them the package would be self-cleared. I was hoping there was someone out there who could give some more detailed information on how that works.

We are looking at some other international delivery options. It would be nice to to have a tracked delivery service for a reasonable price. :)
Oh, and one more thing. I've heard from at least one Canadian customer that UPS waives the brokerage fee if the value of the package is under $20. Can anyone else confirm this?
Germany: I recently paid more than 20 EUR fees for a delivery with DHL (value ~37USD, PJRC). I don't remember ever paying anything with UPS.
USPS for canada is only option, for easy shipping to customers with little to no brokerage fees and no paperwork to handle! :)

USPS in USA is Canada Post in Canada, and they have a subdivision called Purolator where I work at.
When shipping to Canada, those are the best choices
I sent some of FrankB's C64 board kits to Canada ( @SpeyCaster ) and used USPS and it went fast and well. I upgraded to Priority and it was $20+ - but delivered quickly and without hassle or Dutie$ AFAIK.
Germany: I recently paid more than 20 EUR fees for a delivery with DHL (value ~37USD, PJRC). I don't remember ever paying anything with UPS.

Wow, I expected DHL to be better than UPS for delivery and fees in Germany. Good to know!
For teensy3.2, I have encountered the same problem. Thank you very much for the post. I found a possible solution for the undefined reference to `_write' issue. I added -specs=nosys.specs in the build flags and the hello_world example compiled. However, I haven't run the program and test it. I hope it's helpful.