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Shipping a bass to Canada...how do you avoid outrageous duties ?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Stachio, Nov 6, 2003.


  1. Stachio

    Stachio Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2002
    Atlanta
    Has anybody shipped a bass across the great northern border ?
    I would like to avoid the high fees charged at customs (about $100 alone!) for an instrument valued at $1500.
    I've also heard that insurance cannot be placed on the instrument unless the shipping company packs the instrument.
    Any insight ?
     
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    My insight would be - avoiding tax or duty is a criminal offence - you might save $100 - but end up with a criminal record and a very large fine if you get caught!! :meh:
     
  3. Yggdrasil

    Yggdrasil

    Aug 16, 2001
    Toronto/Buffalo
    the fees are charged to the receiver, not you as the shipper; ground they are maybe $40 for brokerage (paperwork fee basically) and 15% total sales taxes if sent to Ontario, other provinces vary. Possibly about 6% duty as well, if not a NAFTA item. Canada Post only charges $5. for brokerage. In my experience, only UPS sometimes gives a problem with insuring. Fedex & P.O. I've not had a problem with (going the other way.

    The point is, you don't pay any of these fees, the person receiving it does - and the bulk of the fees are sales taxes that he would have to pay if he bought it here anyway.
     
  4. Exactly correct.
     
  5. Stachio

    Stachio Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2002
    Atlanta
    Thanks Yggdrasil. That cleared up a lot of answers which FedEx couldn't clearly answer.
    I wasn't trying to evade the law but rather see if any other TBer's had done this without tacking on all the high fees. I've never had to deal with shipping outside the US, so I thought I might be missing something.
     
  6. Boozy

    Boozy

    Apr 29, 2002
    Kelowna BC, Canada
    If you aren't insuring the item, then you dont need to declare the value of the item, thus you can send it as a gift... Now, there may be a way to say "I'm sending this as a gift to my friend, so he isn't paying anything for it, but it is worth $1500.00 so I would still like to insure it." Doubt that would work though... they would still charge duty fees and brokerage fees.

    Put it in an indestructable box and say it is worth nothing, or say it is worth 1500 bones, insure it and let the receiver pay the fees.

    Don't go with UPS, they ripp you hardcore from my experience. Purolator, Greyhound or even FedEX are your best bet.
     
  7. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Ship it to Detroit or Buffalo of another border town and drive it across. Just say it's his or her bass, been done before. But any other way you will have to pay duty and taxes.