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OT: Customs charges

OT: Customs charges

Old Mar 20th 2002, 9:34 pm
  #1  
pharrya's troublen strife
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Default OT: Customs charges

hi guys-
In addition to posting here, I also post on the Thorn Tree forums on The Lonely Planet (guidebook series) website.
About a week and a half ago, I had the pleasure to go to Toronto and meet a few of the posters in real life. They were all really cool and interesting.
Today, one of them posted the following- read it and tell me what you think she should do. Thanks for your advice in advance!

"I just moved to Toronto from South Africa. Two weeks ago, I got a phone call saying the shipped container with all my furniture in it had been held-up in New York (where it was stopping overnight on its way to Toronto by rail), and that NY customs officials had decided to search it. So they kept it for two weeks, they opened it, they searched all my carefully packed boxes and x-rayed my furniture and so on. I didn't mind too much, I thought, well, they're just doing their job, keeping people safe, etc. It was all found to be secure, and approved for passage to Canada.

Then a couple of days ago, I was told it's landed in Toronto, but I can only get it after I pay TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS to NY customs for their security check and customs search! WTF?? I can't believe it. That's almost more than it cost me to ship it all the way from Africa! OMG. What am I going to do? Pay up, of course, because what else can I do? But I'm so bleak about it.

What would have happened if I didn't have $2000 to spare? Would they have confiscated my goods just to finance their security checks? Bleak, bleak, bleak. "

What should she do?
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Old Mar 21st 2002, 12:57 am
  #2  
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Default Re: OT: Customs charges

Personally I wouldn't pay it. They did the search at their discretion and the cost should be borne by them. Would demand to speak to a supervisor and find out what is what here.

she can do a search for the custom's website. There are names and numbers there for her to call for further information.

Rita
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Old Mar 21st 2002, 3:05 am
  #3  
Michael Voight
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Default Re: OT: Customs charges

It seems odd that it would be subject to custom's duty since it is in transit,
especially since it was a move to Canada and I suspect they don't tax it. Part of me
thinks the story is a little fishy or there are facts missing

What did they shipping company tell her before she shipped it?

Michael
 
Old Mar 21st 2002, 4:36 pm
  #4  
Betastar
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Default Re: OT: Customs charges

    >Then a couple of days ago, I was told it's landed in Toronto, but I can only get it
    >after I pay TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS to NY customs for their security check and customs
    >search! WTF??

Who told her this? Has she gone down to where her belongings are to pick them up in
person yet? Sounds a bit like someone's trying to squeeze her for $2k to me....

Betastar
 
Old Mar 22nd 2002, 1:05 am
  #5  
Brit_am
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Default Re: OT: Customs charges

Betastar <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    >
    > >Then a couple of days ago, I was told it's landed in Toronto, but I can only get
    > >it after I pay TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS to NY customs for their security check and
    > >customs search! WTF??
    >
    > Who told her this? Has she gone down to where her belongings are to pick them up in
    > person yet? Sounds a bit like someone's trying to squeeze her for $2k to me....
    >
    > Betastar
    >
I have shipped personal belongings many times in the past, and this is the first I've
heard paying for a customs inspection.
 
Old Mar 22nd 2002, 2:05 am
  #6  
Dutch In Atlant
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Default Re: OT: Customs charges

On Thu, 21 Mar 2002 19:49:51 -0600, "brit_am" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >Betastar <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >>
    >> >Then a couple of days ago, I was told it's landed in Toronto, but I can only get
    >> >it after I pay TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS to NY customs for their security check and
    >> >customs search! WTF??
    >>
    >> Who told her this? Has she gone down to where her belongings are to pick them up
    >> in person yet? Sounds a bit like someone's trying to squeeze her for $2k to me....
    >>
    >> Betastar
    >>
    >I have shipped personal belongings many times in the past, and this is the first
    >I've heard paying for a customs inspection.
    >

Wanna bet that it's a Customs Broker, not U.S. Customs.

Regards,

DUTCH

**Politicians and diapers should both be changed regularly. . . .and for the
same reason.**

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Old Mar 22nd 2002, 4:05 am
  #7  
Dabear?
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Default Re: OT: Customs charges

That wouldn't surprise me. My wife to Be from the US sent me up Valentines gift's.
She itemized each one and one was valued at $100 US. Well good old UPS had to open
the box and do paper work and then they turned around and charged me $40 for they
nice services

"DUTCH in Atlanta, GA USA" wrote:
    >
    > On Thu, 21 Mar 2002 19:49:51 -0600, "brit_am" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >Betastar <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > >news:[email protected]...
    > >>
    > >> >Then a couple of days ago, I was told it's landed in Toronto, but I can only
    > >> >get it after I pay TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS to NY customs for their security check
    > >> >and customs search! WTF??
    > >>
    > >> Who told her this? Has she gone down to where her belongings are to pick them up
    > >> in person yet? Sounds a bit like someone's trying to squeeze her for $2k to
    > >> me....
    > >>
    > >> Betastar
    > >>
    > >I have shipped personal belongings many times in the past, and this is the first
    > >I've heard paying for a customs inspection.
    > >
    >
    > Wanna bet that it's a Customs Broker, not U.S. Customs.
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > DUTCH
    >
    > **Politicians and diapers should both be changed regularly. . . .and for the same
    > reason.**
    >
    > __________________________________________________ ____________________
    > Posted Via Uncensored-News.Com - Still Only $9.95 - http://www.uncensored-news.com
    > With NINE Servers In California And Texas - The Worlds Uncensored News Source
    >

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Old Mar 23rd 2002, 7:25 am
  #8  
Michael Voight
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Default Re: OT: Customs charges

dabear® wrote:
    >
    > That wouldn't surprise me. My wife to Be from the US sent me up Valentines gift's.
    > She itemized each one and one was valued at $100 US. Well good old UPS had to open
    > the box and do paper work and then they turned around and charged me $40 for they
    > nice services

Was the charge for customs duty???

From http://www.customs.ustreas.gov/trave...rnat.htm#gifts

If the retail value doesn't exceed $100 and the recipient doesn't receive more than
$100 a day in gifts, then there is no duty. Gifts to more than one person may be
consolidated in a package... (Maybe she should have sent some gifts to "other" people
at your address. ) If one gift in a consolidated package is worth over $100, all
gifts in the package are dutiable.

For tariffs, go here http://www.usitc.gov/taffairs.htm

Finally, for the original poster... Refer to Convention on the law of the Sea, Part
X, Article 127.. Oops, Canada is not a land locked country.. So I will have to
look elsewhere.

That would have worked for the country of New Mexico. A country with a coast can not
charge duty for goods enroute from a port to a landlocked country.

Michael
 
Old Mar 23rd 2002, 7:25 am
  #9  
Mrs Blackross
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Default Re: OT: Customs charges

Canada doesn't have a coast? Then where are British Columbia and Newfoundland?
    

"Michael Voight" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    > dabear® wrote:
    > >
    > > That wouldn't surprise me. My wife to Be from the US sent me up Valentines
    > > gift's. She itemized each one and one was valued at $100 US. Well good old UPS
    > > had to open the box and do paper work and then they turned around and charged me
    > > $40 for they nice services
    >
    > Was the charge for customs duty???
    >
    > From http://www.customs.ustreas.gov/trave...rnat.htm#gifts
    >
    > If the retail value doesn't exceed $100 and the recipient doesn't receive more than
    > $100 a day in gifts, then there is no duty. Gifts to more than one person may be
    > consolidated in a package... (Maybe she should have sent some gifts to "other"
    > people at your address. ) If one gift in a consolidated package is worth over
    > $100, all gifts in the package are dutiable.
    >
    > For tariffs, go here http://www.usitc.gov/taffairs.htm
    >
    > Finally, for the original poster... Refer to Convention on the law of the Sea, Part
    > X, Article 127.. Oops, Canada is not a land locked country.. So I will have to
    > look elsewhere.
    >
    > That would have worked for the country of New Mexico. A country with a coast can
    > not charge duty for goods enroute from a port to a landlocked country.
    >
    > Michael
 
Old Mar 23rd 2002, 1:05 pm
  #10  
Rita
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Default Re: OT: Customs charges

    > If the retail value doesn't exceed $100 and the recipient doesn't receive more than
    > $100 a day in gifts, then there is no duty. Gifts to more than one person may be
    > consolidated in a package... (Maybe she should have sent some gifts to "other"
    > people at your address. ) If one gift in a consolidated package is worth over
    > $100, all gifts in the package are dutiable.

I did not purchase any gifts for Jim's 4 year old grandson that cost more than $100.
Don't think puzzles, books, a Blue's Clue video and a set of Lego's totaled $100 if
added together. And yet Jim's son had to pay $25.00 duty on the package.

Also once sent an older used printer to a cancer patient in New Brunswick, Canada.
Cost new was under $100 and I clearly marked all slips with a value of $75, indicated
used merchandise and gift and still the young lady had to pay $44 duty on it. I sent
her the equilvalent in US funds to cover the cost of freeing the hostage printer.

To me it is a rip off by the Canadian postal systems. Now we wait until we are either
in Canada itself to mail packages or send them to the border for my in-laws to pickup
and drive back with and they mail it from Chatuegay (spelling).

Wonder if the lady with the problem gave the carrier a copy of her landing papers.
Goods that follow migrants are normally duty free. However, from reading the Canadian
immigration group, I've noted there are far more exceptions for goods and vehicles
coming with immigrants than if they were migrating to the US.
 
Old Mar 24th 2002, 6:05 am
  #11  
Michael Voight
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Default Re: OT: Customs charges

Rita wrote:
    >
    > > If the retail value doesn't exceed $100 and the recipient doesn't receive more
    > > than $100 a day in gifts, then there is no duty. Gifts to more than one person
    > > may be consolidated in a package... (Maybe she should have sent some gifts to
    > > "other" people at your address. ) If one gift in a consolidated package is
    > > worth over $100, all gifts in the package are dutiable.
    >
    > I did not purchase any gifts for Jim's 4 year old grandson that cost more than
    > $100. Don't think puzzles, books, a Blue's Clue video and a set of Lego's totaled
    > $100 if added together. And yet Jim's son had to pay $25.00 duty on the package.

This was to the US or from the US

    > Also once sent an older used printer to a cancer patient in New Brunswick, Canada.
    > Cost new was under $100 and I clearly marked all slips with a value of $75,
    > indicated used merchandise and gift and still the young lady had to pay $44 duty on
    > it. I sent her the equilvalent in US funds to cover the cost of freeing the hostage
    > printer.

Again, a question for Canadian customs. I posted the US Customs rates.

    > To me it is a rip off by the Canadian postal systems.

Not if they are required by Canadian customs to get the money.

Now we wait
    > until we are either in Canada itself to mail packages or send them to the border
    > for my in-laws to pickup and drive back with and they mail it from Chatuegay
    > (spelling).
    >
    > Wonder if the lady with the problem gave the carrier a copy of her landing papers.
    > Goods that follow migrants are normally duty free.

The issue wasn't getting charged by Canadian customs. She indicated the goods went by
ship to the US and the fee came from their prior to being trucked to Canada. For
$2000, she should be researching whether the duty applies to a shipment transitting
the US bound for Canada. Her shipper should have the answer to that question.
 
Old Mar 24th 2002, 4:36 pm
  #12  
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Default Re: OT: Customs charges

Regardless of your posting of the US Customs charges, etc. the packages that I send to Canada are GIFTS. They are clearly marked gifts. They are even wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper with a receipt for the goods inside already in the hands of the recipient so there is no problem in picking them up. They are duty free. They are under $100 in value per gift. There is to be no charge either from the US Customs which did not attach duty or from Canadian customs which did. Plain and simple.

As for the original poster, that is a horse of a slightly different color. She does not have to pay duty on used items if she has immigration papers. This hold true with moves from Canada to the US as well.

If the charges were indeed with the shipper, then she has to take it up with them. If the US Customs office insisted on viewing and inspecting the items, the cost should not have been passed on to her unless she signed a waiver saying that she would be responsible for this expense.

She can pay the charges and then go after the company for the refund of the charges.

Rita
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Old Mar 25th 2002, 2:21 pm
  #13  
pharrya's troublen strife
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Default Re: OT: Customs charges

my friend posted this follow up:
"Wow, thanks for all the info, people. I feel much better knowing everyone is as outraged as I am.

Well, I handed over the cheque today, and yes, it was made out to my shipping company and NOT to US customs, just as I suspected. They have invoiced me, but it doesn't say anywhere on the receipt that the money is owed because of the customs search. This is very suspicious. I'm definitely going to do something about it, even if it is only raise public consciousness about scams like this. After all, I am an investigative journalist, maybe I can dig around a bit. I'll keep you all updated. Thanks again for the info, and Ms. B, hon, I'll go read up the replies on that other board right now.

PS: Those who were wondering, it was nearly two thousand Canadian dollars, but that still a lot for me, as I'm still working everything out on the South African Rand!"

The whole thread:
http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/th...=&Topic=598050


Thanks, NG people for taking the time to answer this query...
8 days and counting till me and hubby's AOS interview...
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Old Mar 27th 2002, 5:30 am
  #14  
Rita
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Default Re: OT: Customs charges

dabear® <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > That wouldn't surprise me. My wife to Be from the US sent me up Valentines gift's.
    > She itemized each one and one was valued at $100 US. Well good old UPS had to open
    > the box and do paper work and then they turned around and charged me $40 for they
    > nice services
    >

Don't think it was a charge for services but a duty. Have had that happen to me as
well when sending boxes to Halifax to Jim's grandson. Even though it was clearly
labeled "gifts" they charged duty on the merchandise putting their own price tag on
the items. UPS explained it was not them but the custom's agent in Quebec which is
the clearing house for all parcels shipped into Canada.

Rita
 
Old Mar 27th 2002, 5:33 am
  #15  
Dabear?
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Default Re: OT: Customs charges

Just wondering if she went thru a Borker, if so they have there charges that have
nothing to do with Customs canada

Rete wrote:

    > Regardless of your posting of the US Customs charges, etc. the packages that I
    > send to Canada are GIFTS. They are clearly marked gifts. They are even wrapped in
    > Christmas wrapping paper with a receipt for the goods inside already in the hands
    > of the recipient so there is no problem in picking them up. They are duty free.
    > They are under $100 in value per gift. There is to be no charge either from the
    > US Customs which did not attach duty or from Canadian customs which did. Plain
    > and simple.
    >
    > As for the original poster, that is a horse of a slightly different color. She does
    > not have to pay duty on used items if she has immigration papers. This hold true
    > with moves from Canada to the US as well.
    >
    > If the charges were indeed with the shipper, then she has to take it up with them.
    > If the US Customs office insisted on viewing and inspecting the items, the cost
    > should not have been passed on to her unless she signed a waiver saying that she
    > would be responsible for this expense.
    >
    > She can pay the charges and then go after the company for the refund of the
    > charges.
    >
    > Rita
    >
    > --
    > --
    > Rete and Jim (Can/Am Alumni '98)
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