Avoiding UPS/FedEx brokerage fees

I wrote previously about the extortionate “brokerage” fees charged by UPS and FedEx for imports into Canada. That post has attracted a huge volume of response from other enraged people.  I have learned more since then, including an interesting response direct from the Canada Border Services Agency.

If you contact UPS, they’ll tell you that you can indeed clear your package through customs yourself, but you have to do so at the customs office in the same town as the UPS depot where your shipment is being held.  For me, receiving shipments into Ontario, it would either be Fort Erie or Windsor. They can’t tell you in advance which it will be.  But either way, it’s a long drive.

One option that might be acceptable for some people is to use a shipping depot inside the US. You just have your package shipped to the depot. They’ll hold onto it for you until you come get it. Some of them, remailing services, will actually ship it on to you themselves, but then you may end up getting the same brokerage treatment again.

I was considering trying CBI Usa in Niagara Falls, NY. Their rates seem very reasonable, they’re easy to use, and I’ve seen mostly positive experiences reported on the web. But still, it’s a regrettable amount of driving.

I contacted Canada Border Services Agency by email to get their take on doing your own customs clearance:

I’m trying to find a way to import a package by UPS from the US. I refuse to pay their extortionate brokerage fee. I would sooner burn the money than gave it to those bastards (more colourful terms come to mind, but I’m trying to keep this polite.)

As I understand it, I have no choice but to deal with the Customs office in the town where they hold my package, which is going to be either Fort Erie or Windsor. I don’t know why that is, there’s a customs office at the KW airport 15 minutes drive from me, but there it is. But UPS can’t tell me which in advance which office the package would go through. I’d guess Windsor.

After I found out which of those two offices it was, would it be possible for me to complete the clearance process by phone, fax or Internet? It’s a simple process, right? I just give you the Harmonized Codes, you calculate what I owe, and I pay you, probably by credit card. No part of this strictly requires my physical presence. I can’t see any good reason why, in this day of high-speed Internet in every home, I can’t do this whole process in my pyjamas from the comfort of my bedroom.

If we can’t figure out a reasonable way to do this without uselessly converting another tank of fuel into greenhouse gases, then it just won’t happen. I’m not going to pay off those UPS criminals to do this trivial thing (and probably do it wrong) on my behalf. Or rather, it probably will happen, but it will happen by way of me driving to the US to pick up the package myself from a maildrop service. It’s actually a shorter drive to Niagara Falls, NY than to Fort Erie.

But it would be really damn stupid for me to have to do that. There has to be a better way. Tell me what it is.

When I said UPS would probably do the clearance wrong, I wasn’t kidding. My first ever experience with courier brokerage was some X-10 home-automation gear imported via FedEx. After I learned more about this stuff, I figured out that they had use the wrong Harmonized Codes for some of the gear. Because they basically had no idea what the stuff was, they were just looking for similar-sounding words. Fortunately, the codes they picked had the same (ie, zero) tariff rates, so I didn’t get burned that way.

CBSA’s first response to this email was unhelpful, merely referring me to web-pages about Licensed Customs Brokers, and Importing Non-Commercial Goods By Mail. Both of which I had already read, and which did not address the essential question: can I deal with customs at my local office, or by phone, fax, or email, and if not, why not?

After a long delay, I received a second rather more helpful response:

This is in response to your e-mail concerning the clearance of non-commercial goods imported by courier. It should be noted that your inquiry was originally forwarded to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Client Services in Windsor, Ontario, who attempted to contact you in person to discuss your concerns. Client Services was unable to reach you, thus requiring the preparation of a written reply, and hence the delay in responding.

In some instances, an individual who has imported goods by courier may wish to pay the duties and taxes owing for a shipment released under the Courier Program rather than using the accounting services of the courier or agent. Such shipments do not have to be accounted for at the office of release, but may be accounted for at any CBSA office. In situations such as these, the courier does not automatically release the shipment to the importer, but holds the goods until the importer presents satisfactory proof that the appropriate duties and taxes have been paid directly to the CBSA. In most cases, this would be a copy of the B15, Casual Goods Accounting Document. The importer is responsible for contacting the courier to make the necessary arrangements for this type of transaction.

It should be noted that every person who accounts for casual goods should provide, at the time of accounting and before the goods are released, a commercial invoice, current price list, bill of sale, or other similar document that describes the goods and contains enough information to enable an officer to determine the tariff classification and appraise the value for duty of the goods. In the case of courier shipments, the importer must also provide the unique shipment identifier number assigned by the courier to his or her particular shipment.

Payment of any applicable duties and taxes on casual importations can be made in cash, by money order, traveller’s cheque, bank draft, cheque, Visa, or MasterCard. Payment by debit card is also available at a number of sites.

Although the CBSA allows approved clients to transmit data electronically, this is not the case for casual, non-commercial importers such as you. Accounting for your goods must be done in person, and any monies owing must be paid at the time of accounting.

For additional information and/or clarification on accounting for casual importations, please contact Border Information Service (BIS) by telephone. You can access the BIS line free of charge throughout Canada by calling 1 800-461-9999. If you call during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. local time, Monday to Friday, except holidays), you can speak to an agent by pressing “0” at any time.

Thank you for contacting the CBSA.

Now that’s more like it! Straight from the horses mouth: UPS is full of shit. You can do your own customs clearance at your local customs office, you don’t have to drive to Windsor or Fort Erie!

Here’s a forum posting where a guy (“Drehkraft”) claims to have done it (“UPS REALLY hates this.”). He even used the same Kitchener airport terminal customs office I would use. I stopped by that customs office and asked them in person if I could do it, and they said it was no problem from their end.

That said, I haven’t yet actually done this myself. It remains to be seen if UPS will throw up arbitrary obstacles (“the B15 document must be faxed to us on yellow paper between 3:00am and 3:01am.”) But there is some homebrewing gear I’ve been planning to buy, hopefully I’ll get around to trying it soon.

331 Responses to “Avoiding UPS/FedEx brokerage fees”

  • Just got a similar invoice from Fed Ex ($20 for a $50 item). USPS seems to be the way to go.

    • I believe that Canada Post Does NOT charge brokerage fees … thus the trick is to request delivery via USPS/Canada Post

      • Canada Post charges 5.00 for priority mail or 8.00 for Express

        • I have purchased a large number of items from the USA shipped to Edmonton. Canada Post usually charges me a $5 handling fee plus GST/HST on purchases over $25CND it takes them 6 to 16 weeks with an average of 9 weeks to deliver. UPS has only every charged me GST/HST never a handling fee usually within 3 to 10 business days average of 5 days. Fedx on the other hand charged me $4.50 GST (6%) and $23 in handling for a $75 product average of 3 days to deliver. All my orders have been less then $1,000.00.

      • Unfortunately Canada Post can and does charge the brokerage fee ($18.00 + g/hst). However, it seems to happen on rare occassions unlike UPS/FedEx who do the cash grab every time.

        • Nope, get it sent by air, never a brokerage fee by UPS or FedEx (you’ll still pay duties, taxes). Don’t be cheap, upgrade your shipment.

      • Check out ClearSmart.ca . You will save money using them.

    • Just got a similar invoice from UPS ($47 for a $100 item). It is dirty and ridiculous.

      • Just worst then this, what about a 58.74$ brokerage fees on a 28.40$ invoice?

        • same thing happened to me. I paid $4.77 for items from Ebay and Fed Ex tried to charge me $14.95 fee. RIDICULOUS!!! I went ape-shit on the phone and they cancelled it for me. BASTARDS!!!! ;0)

      • ClearSmart.ca is the service to look into. They will save you lots of money on brokerage fees.

    • Yeah, keep using USPS and you will see what incompetance is. Why do people order things and never check to see what the cost will be?? Only after they find out what the charges are do they start compaining. Sounds to me like a bunch of people not doing their do dilligence before they order/purchase things. After being in the logistics field for 20+ years (no, I don’t work for UPS) it does not surprise me people don’t check things out, they just think everything should be low cost and complain after they find out it is not.

      • Jamie Coville

        Or they expect to be told up front what the cost will be.

        Not told $35 dollars for shipping. Ship the books at that price.

        Then be told that it’s another $37.67 in order to get the stuff you mailed. If you don’t pay it, you don’t get it.

        This is what happened to me on $80 dollars worth of books I mailed to myself. Quite the shock I received earlier today.

      • That’s funny, I have ordered hundreds of items from the US over the past five years or so where the vendor uses USPS and have had no problems whatsoever. I have ordered a few items, reluctantly using, UPS or FedEx and I have paid for the mistake.

        My wife on the other hand sends and receives large volume orders for her work and is somewhat of an expert on that kind of cross-border trade and she will tell you that no one has the market cornered on incompetence.

        • It depends on the shipping service like mentioned by other users above. I’ve ordered many things from America with USPS and rarely got a brokerage fee. However, UPS always gets me with ridiculous fees that are almost as high as 50% of what I paid for the item.

          What I usually do is ask the seller to mark item value at half price or less and/or mark as gift. I dont do this for any orders over 100 dollars in case it gets damaged or lost you only get covered for what you declared. Works like a charm for me.


      • Seriously, I agree with the below, although I do somewhat agree with you as well. Why is it if you wish to buy something online you have to go through finding what customs will charge you and brokerage? We should be told up front what the total price would be, if the price we AGREED upon is not met and extra charges are added, why shouldnt people bitch and complain? I just bought a $50 pedal, paid $15 for shipping, and now have to pay ANOTHER $50 because of UPS brokerage. How is it that when I agree to a TOTAL of $65 then hidden charges are applied. This is not a contract of any sort, I just want my f#$%^ing pedal without paying twice what its worth. UPS can go to hell, though i doubt Satan himself would agree with the broker fees for a fat f$%^k sitting in a chair asking for $50 more ’cause he looked at my guitar pedal. Hell if anything, you look at MY pedal, and touch MY pedal, you pay ME the f$%^&ing $50 for being an asshole and touching my new S$%^t before I even see it! F%^&K YOU UPS!

        • Not exactly how customs brokerage works, easy to see how you wouldn’t understand it since it doesn’t seem like you’re a regular importer.

      • obviously not your average consumer...

        Although I do agree with doing your do-dilligence in most cases, I feel there is a lack of available “spoken out loud” info. on accepting internationsl packages, especially since every company is different.

        In the age of Ebay and other online sales, the general increase in parcel mail has made the big box, non-government, shipping companies drool with greed.

        When UPS/FedEx is charging MORE for brokerage than the actual cost of the item, it’s simply robbery. This is especially true since Canadapost rarely charges anything more than the GST on incoming items from the US. UPS/FedEx seem to look at every package under a microscope, figuratively, to see evey dime they can extract from it.

        Nothing like springing whispered, additional costs on a customer when they are the most vulnerable. Ding-dong “Would you like to accept this package you have been waiting so patiently for?….$50” – The notification of additional costs due, beyond tax, should not be sprung on the customer last minute, but rather at the time of shipment by the shipping company…

        Very greasy, and unprofessional. Yet, accepted as a regular business practice for big faceless corporations.

    • Just paid $24 to UPS for a $51 cartridge.

    • ClearSmart.ca will get your package accross the border for a fraction of the cost UPS and Fedex charge.

  • I have the same problem with not being able to pay the brokerage fee direct. I live in Calgary and the port of entrance is in Winnipeg which makes me unable to pay direct. I wrote an article that clearly shows that brokerage fees are not helpful to small business, http://www.businessskillsfortoday.com/business-skills-2/746-business-skills-shipping-companies-outrageous-charges/

  • prisoner 47653-2145

    JUST USE USPS/Canada post. I havent paid a DIME in customs or brokerage fees after 3 years of US shopping.

    Yet UPS (not USPS) BURNED me badly twice.

    I’m surprised these jerks have any business!

    • Maybe they do need some work in this area, but its UPS, overall they do a wonderful job. Good luck with USPS they are totally incompetant.

      • I’ve ordered dozen and dozen of things through USPS, and have never had a problem. I don’t have anything shipped by UPS. Learned not to do that a while back – the brokerage fees were ridiculous.

      • You're kidding, right?

        I do probably about half of all my shopping online, and I have never had a problem with USPS. They certainly never “surprise” me with hidden fees that are 1/2 the package’s total price for a service I didn’t ask for and which doesn’t actually seem to do anything. And since they hand off the package to CP it’s easy to pick up my package, unlike UPS which insists on (a) coming by when most people (including me) are at work, and (b) setting up their depots in ridiculously out-of-the-way places, forcing me to drive an hour to pick up their package. (Don’t make the mistake of bringing only your debit or credit card either. Then you get to make two trips, as they’ll only take cash or cheque! What decade is this company operating in?!) Not to mention rough treatment of packages by UPS employees.

        By now, I make sure to thank US retailers who use USPS and avoid those who don’t, and it seems like I’m not the only one. Are you a UPS employee or something?

      • Annoyed Anonymous

        You’re an idiot if you think UPS does a “wonderful” job. They’re delivering packages…how “wonderful” could it possibly be? USPS and Canada Post are the ONLY way to go if you’re not totally retarded, which I’m assuming you are since you HAVE been burned by UPS if you’ve ever used them…either that or you just love getting ripped off!!!

  • Just received a package from England – via UPS. Value $50 Cdn. Shipping by UPS 19.45 UKP (about $30 Cdn) Brokerage fee $19.45 effectively doubling my original cost.

    I had originally requested UK Postal service, however, with our own postal strike pending, I was stuck with a courier. The item was non duty/taxable in Canada – which was indicated on the sales slip – however can’t get UPS delivered in Canada without UPS brokerage fees. Out an out extortionist theft in mho.

  • Anybody into getting a class action going against UPS?

  • I see that one class action started a couple of years ago in Vancouver did not get accepted by the courts. The more I look at this the more I tend to conclude that it is our own lousy government that is responsible for fobbing this travesty off on us. They have made themselves such a self serving elite that they have scant interest in soiling their hands with the practical issues affecting the rest of us.

  • UPS has a $121 package and they want $47 in brokerage fees. Tried so hard to find a seller in the US that would use USPS, but the only one carrying the item I wanted only used UPS. I knew it would happen, but man it still hurts.

  • the UPS extortions frustrate me so much, just got dinged 45 on a $95 zero duty item. I appreciate the info above and will try this. I usually boycott, but this item was too heavy for post.

    My only form of revenge is to not only boycott them, but to instruct any retailer/distributor that I’m sorry I can’t do business with them if they don’t have an alternative to UPS.

  • I’m trying to get a laptop I bought on eBay to Canada from the states. Double hopped now that Canada Post is on strike. Savings will be about $8 from buying locally with brokerage fees 🙁

  • UPS are crooks though if you don’t pay them their outrageous charges, they send a Montreal mob collection company called RMS to harass you with hundreds of robo telephone calls at home and at work at all hours. It costs them nothing to do so. Don’t pay RMS because if you do there is no guarantee that UPS will stop harassing you to pay them for extortionate brokerage fees.

    • We are Canadian. We have free health care, beautiful summers and flag that looks kind of nice. Unfortunately we have winters that can kill us, higher taxes and USP/FedEX broker fees. Just have to accept some things are a part of being Canadian.

      Still, if you are going to get screwed, it is nice to know just how much. Check it:


  • Upset Customer

    Aug. 18, 2011
    I just got burned by UPS too! They just telephoned me and told me that there is a “Brokerage Fee” of $25 plus taxes on an item that I bought from the US for $80. The so called “Brokerage Fee” was so that UPS could “Clear” the item through Customs on my behalf. What a rip off! I’ll make sure that future shipments from the States come via Regular mail (eg. Canada Post). I don’t do a lot of ordering from the US, but I will make sure that future deliveries are NOT via UPS.

  • Upset Customer

    UPS is Ripping Canadians off!!

  • I’ve found that most American sellers prefer to use UPS over USPS.
    One reason is because they’re USPS. We’ve all heard the disgruntled US postal service worker stories. I’ve heard a few horror stories from sellers shipping to me via USPS. HUGE lines, poor service…they equate it to going to the DMV.

    The other reason is that all they have to do when shipping with UPS is make a phonecall and UPS comes and picks-up (and even packs if requested…$$) the package for shipping. That sure would be nice. Imagine? I have to ship this item…I’ll call UPS…boom..done.
    Instead I have to package everything up, drive to the post office, wait in line and (usually) argue with the person over the correct fees.
    Anyway yeah…I HATE UPS!!!

    I always ask to have items shipped via USPS. I’ve NEVER had a problem with USPS and CanadaPost. Items always arrive quickly and I have NEVER once had to pay brokerage fees, tax, or duty.

    Back in the day when I received items that were shipped Purolator there were no fees…until weeks later when a bill would arrive in the mail. Too late then though. I already got the item.
    I wish UPS would do the same. I have no problem not paying that bill and then telling the collection agency to go F$#& themselves.

  • Unfortunately, many if not most US businesses do not offer the option to ship by USPS to Canada.
    If you ship in a high value shipment, consider making use of a brokerage firm. I use ‘ADVANCED GLOBAL TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGIES’ (tel 519.258.8489), there are many more to choose from. The first shipment fee is $100, then $50 thereafter plus duty and taxes that you would have to pay no matter what option you choose.
    UPS SHOULD call you if you are a business (put your name in the ‘business name’ field when placing an order) to verify which brokerage firm they should use; at which time you direct them to your brokerage firm.
    However, once, I requested the shipper to inscribe on the package ‘Use AGTT brokerage’ with their tel number; which they did in large obvious block letters. UPS ignored the clear instruction, did Not phone me to get instructions on brokerage and processed it anyway.
    Ended up paying something like $170 instead of the $50.!!!

    I’m receiving a package now which would cost me $40 in ups fees, but I opted to send it to my brokerage company anyway at extra cost because I will not give UPS my money!

    • I have found that all you have to do is call and ask. When they have said no I have explained the insanity of brokerage fees and they have then said yes – EVERY TIME!

  • UPS are really disgusting brokage fees i had to pay 39.94$ for a DVD which was 49.95$ i will never do any business with them.

    • Hey, Tards, the duties and taxes are not a brokers “fee”, that’s government money. Seriously, nobody on this board seems to have heard of gst before today…

      • Idiot. Brokerage fees are an arbitrary charge tacked on by the shipper – not the Government and not the retailer. They have nothing to do with taxes or duty.


  • I just paid 150 on a 600 dollar items with an additional 150 for shipping.. that’s 50% of the cost just to get it here.

  • I’ve had problems with Canada Post finding our place of business. We’re in a suite and apparently they can’t find us. 😉 If shipped by UPS, they have my phone number so if they can’t find me, they can call me. USPS/Canada Post doesn’t ask for a phone number so if they can’t find me, it goes back to the seller. This has happened to me several times to the point where I look for sellers that use UPS or Fedex for work. And since it is work paying for the brokerage fees, I don’t care.

  • Called UPS and asked to waive the brokerage fee or else. They waived 50% ($30 off $60 fee).

  • For some previous posters….a lot of people do perform their due diligence. For instance I paid 15.00 shipping; I looked up thetariff code at the CRA site and knew that I would be charged 11% to 16% duty/customs/tariff depending on how they coded and naturally the gst. But then another 19.00 for what started out as $30.00 pair of shoes …. UPS sucks. I’ve had items come thru the postal service and it’s usually only $5.00 or so … and much easier to dispute.

  • Both, UPS and FedEx, seize opportunity to rob consumer big time.
    In few occasion, my parcel from USA worth only $150.00 but custom clearing cost $70.00+. I kept scratching on head how this thing could happen. I called them, only more frustration.
    I wonder if anyone thinking of help expose to TV investigation news? CBC, CTV, Global, or American 60 minutes or 20/20? Then darn gov’t consumer protection agency just darn stupid to deal with such important issue, perhaps under their payroll?

  • I always email the company first if they don’t offer standard post and tell them why I refuse to have items shipped by ups. And all are shocked and disgusted when they find out about the ridiculous brokerage fees. And ALL have shipped USPS for me so far
    If more people refuse to pay their fees maybe they’ll knock it off? I can dream right?


  • For people that order a lot of things from the states and don’t mind waiting an extra couple days, here is one solution I’ve been using for the past 2 years.

    Sign up for a mail box with these guys, https://www.maillinkplus.com

    They are a real post office that offers the following service: You can have anything shipped to their US address (it’s not a PO box, they will receive any type of package), and then they will ship it to Canada (or wherever) via USPS (or whatever service you want). Best part is they will combine all your packages and they only charge you the price of postage +$2.

    I’ve have them send me a couple dozen packages and have save hundreds of dollars. So far they have only made one mistake, and have been very responsive over email.

    It’s not for people who just get one or two packages: you do have to pay an $50+ upfront fee and fill out some paperwork, but if you get a lot of packages from the states that require UPS (or will only ship to the US), it is a wonderful service.

  • Here is a similar service with no up-front fee. I have no experience with them though….


  • I ordered two dog bark collars from a US company which had a cost of $89.99 plus $17.90 shipping. I missed UPS and was left a delivery notice on the door with a Brokerage COD cost of $233.97…are they kidding??!!! That’s more than double the cost of the collars and shipping!!! I’m not going to take possession of the shipment and will have them send it back. That is ridiculous in my mind!!!

  • Boycott UPS!! I wanna get boycott stickers made and slap them on any brown UPS trucks I see. And then spread rumors that they kill kittens.

  • If USPS is offering the same service at a fair rate this would show irrefutable evidence that Fedex and UPS are clearly bilking the recipients by holding the parcel hostage and almost psychologically forcing the customer to pay the outrageous fees. Currently, there’s a class action suit in British Columbia and Quebec. Check below.


  • UPS screwed me as well. I shipped a package to a friend in Canada, which cost me $91.00 for regular transport and insurance. They failed to tell me there was a brokerage fee until after it arrived in customs, which ended up costing an additional $85.00

    What pisses me off is the UPS employee did not once tell me there was any sort of brokerage fee. He made me feel like when I paid him the $91.00, there was nothing else I had to do.

    The guy totally took advantage of me. I went in the store and told him upfront, that I had never used UPS before, and wasnt’ sure about how to go about it. The dirtbag even went so far as to give me a friendly reminder that if I was shipping anything in the future to Canada or Mexico from the U.S. that if will just about always be cheaper than using the US Postal Service.

    I looked into what it would cost me to use the USPS for the same package to the same destination… a whopping $51.85 with no hidden fees. UPS can piss off, and I will write them a letter saying as much. Never again will I use UPS.

  • November 2011- UPS collected $24.72, at the door of the recipient of a Christmas present ordered for delivery to them. Total of shipping plus UPS’s usurious charge worked out to $75, on an order of $100. Merry Christmas!

    I NEVER order anything from eBay or Amazon vendors who use UPS exclusively. And, when I leave feedback for items purchased, I always mention “thank you for not using UPS”.

    Interestingly, a recent order placed through Tiger Direct (Toronto-area electronics supply house) was sourced ex U.S.A. via UPS. When I informed Tiger I would not accept goods if brokerage charge was requested, they told me they have a contract with UPS that states do not collect the fee. True to their statement, UPS didn’t demand the “ransom”. Hmmm, wonder if any other vendors are sharp enough to do that?

    • Tiger Direct pays the fee by sending it on the non-resident importer account. It’s not a “contract”, it’s simply how they (and many large US shippers) send their shipments.

  • even though Canada Post/USPS is slower, I’ve never had to pay even on orders up to $100 on the written value. dropping it off at the nearest post office is also a convenient service that beats fedex/UPS “coming back a 2nd and 3rd time” policy. no one wants to rely on one guy in a truck over picking it up any time.

  • Last year I bought a $3000 bicycle on eBay, shipped from the States to Nova Scotia via USPS, arrived with no duties, no fees, just the cost of shipping. Last week I bought $300 worth of half-price cycling apparel from the states – now UPS wants $166.00. I knew I’d likely have to pay duty, but that ain’t no duty. Anyway I haven’t accepted the shipment yet. Can I tell them to just stuff it and send it all back? I don’t want it if I have to pay that.

  • Gave a $40 donation to a church in the usa and they sent me a $40 Bible as a gift, shipped of course through UPS. Refused the delivery today as they attempted to extort $35 brokerage fee. Please refuse such delivery attempts, send back items, don’t give them the time of day. Never had a problem with any others but greedy, tug like UPS. Keep you posted.

  • I don’t even know how UPS makes sense out of their brokerage rates. I paid $42 in brokerage fees on a $100 item. That is almost 50% of my items value.

    Canada Post charges no fee and even sometimes if they do it is a very small amount.

    Q. UPS please justify you brok. rates?
    A. We can’t. Hey but look at the bright side we delivery every package super fast and super traceble (except when we are charging you brok. fee). Aren’t we the best of both worlds.

  • Hi, I work for ups, so I field a lot of complaints delivering these pkgs. Personally I use USPS whenever I order something from the US, if I’m not in a hurry. I have been dinged a few times by Can Post for taxes and fees as well though.
    Being in the spot I’m in, I’ve seen it all. USPS shipping tends to be on avg 10-15$ more than ups (I have no idea about FedEx). So to potentially save 17$ worth of brokerage and wait an extra week for an item might not be worth using USPS all the time. I basically tell people if you want it soon and tracked use ups, and pay a little more in the end. If you’re in no rush use USPS.
    On the ups.com website, they have a the fees payed out for you. How much brokerage will be vs the amount of the shipment. Also ONLY ups STANDARD shipments are subject to brokerage. If your item is shipped express,express saver,expedited,etc,etc brokerage is FREE.
    I have more than enough work in the day, so I’m quite happy not having to collect money lol.
    But I will say what I get a kick out of the most is when people complain about having to pay 30$ on a 100$ item. Half of the 30 is tax which is something we pay in Canada. So when complaining about numbers, make sure you use the actual brokerage amount.
    In the end either use USPS, ups express,saver,expedited, or go across the border to a local Kinec location and get it yourself.

    • I will not use UPS unless the shipper has a sweetgeart deal on super saver which includes brokerage.
      I opened a fedex account which allows me to have duties billed diredct to a credit card. This saves the disbursements fee.
      I ship USPS when prudent and

      This may be in it’s infancy but Purolater has started to provide ground shipping from the US to some customers. A tripod eas shipped from BH Photographic in NY (there must be others) to Ottawa in 2 days for $14 including brokerage fee. The farce here is UPS does the US end of the transaction under contract for Purolater. I’ved used this service about 4 times to date and always been very pleased with the outcome.

    • Stuey, you’re dreaming! Go to http://www.ups.com/content/ca/en/shipping/cost/zones/customs_clearance.html and read what UPS dingd people just to clear the goods. they also add another $10-$15 or more for bond fee and disbursements.

      Soooo! a $40.01 purchase coming from buffalo to barrie Ontario, weighing 2 lbs will cost 22.14 shipping PLUS $19.45 prep fee PLUS 5.85 bond fee,PLUS 4.25 COD to collect the bond fee and the taxes. There may be another charge in there some where but this is close anyway. So 29.55 is charged to collect taxes and bring the stuff accross the border So 22.14 turnd into 51.69.

      If you bring in something more valuable is gets infuriating.

  • Yes click on that link and read it. For standard shipments, there are brokerage fees. On every other service level, express,saver,expedited there are not. I have never collected brokerage fees or any of those other fees you talk about on these shipments.

  • it’s really an easy solution. Call 1-800-461-9999 tell them you want to pay the customs fees without the brokerage fee. They will redirect you to the closest CBSA office and they’ll work everything out for you.

    I didn’t call ahead to let UPS know that I was going to try doing this. In fact I already received the yellow slip at my front door telling me I just missed my package. When I called the CBSA it was really for information for the next time but instead they redirected my parcel to the nearest airport and have all the paperwork drawn up for me. =) Plus they were incredible helpful and well mannered. Saved myself nearly 40$ in brokerage fees.

  • I just ordered a $3300 antique tool I need for my business from the US and because the seller said they were going to cross the border into Vancouver to ship it I thought nothing of it.

    Otherwise I would have had it sent USPS.

    Just received word they sent it UPS ground from in the US. I am not looking forward to what the brokerage is going to be.

    My poor head hurts just thinking of it.

  • Just got duped too. 41 dollar fee and 15 shipping for 60 dollar gift. 56 dollar expenses for 60 dollar used item and gift.

  • UPS charged me $73.89 for brokerage fees. Including the original $65.00 shipping fee, the sum of these two fees isn’t pretty and amounts to legal shipping piracy. On top of this, it took UPS 27 days to deliver my item. I refused the order and have ordered the exact same product from a different company with whom I have had much more pleasant dealings with in the past. I am so infuriated with UPS that I am personally boycotting them hence forth. They can go BEEP themselves.

    • Actually bob, that is an impossible amount. Are you sure you weren’t getting charged tax? Which is a common thing for our country.
      http://www.ups.com/content/ca/en/shipping/cost/zones/customs_clearance.html. Read that. It shows the different amounts you would’ve been charged.

      • Stuey: Actually it is you who is incorrect, I’ve had items shipped to my door that were worth less than 100$, however UPS charged me up to 50$ for brokerage fees. Don’t blame the gvt with their taxes as its not the GVT that charges 25$ brokerage fee and a 25$ “bond fee”. Canada post can do this for 10-15$ (although I myself have never paid more than 5-7) Why does UPS charge 3 times this amount?

        • Hey Mac. Click on the link. It tells you exactly what the brokerage amount is. Making up stuff doesn’t prove a point, it makes you look stupid.

          • You are clearly an employee of the US side of UPS. Saying you work for UPS Canada is a lie, and I quote “our country”, a Canadian would have just said Canada. That chart you keep mentioning, UPS rarely follows that, as others have mentioned that may only be for brokerage then COD, bond and all the other fees (NOT TAX). How do I know? I was charged a BROKERAGE fee of $71.67 on a $100 package, would you like to see the receipt? Not to mention UPS opened the package AND STOLE SOME OF THE CONTENTS.

            Also your professionalism is clearly lacking, calling others stupid, really?

            So you need to stop making things up, crawl into a hole and just stay there forever. Everyone HATES UPS, and their employees, including you.

          • Stuey, after reading all your posts … I’m convinced that you are most likely more of an American citizen. You are NOT a CANADIAN! Quoting from your post – “our country”, that is a sign that I knew is how Americans say for their country. Canadians tend to say the name – Canada.

            Unless you have walked in our shoes as a Canadian AND experience the horrible tales how UPS “ding” us with fees. You have no rights to “feed” all the url links and song praise for UPS!

            Remember, we Canadians DIDN’T ask for UPS standard parcels. Who decided this? Answer: it’s the U.S. sellers who decided to use that route – WITHOUT our knowledge!!

            Thank you, now get off your “soapbox”!

          • Hey. Anonymous. Yes please post the receipt. I work in sw Ontario.
            There’s no way you were charged 71$ brokerage on 100$ item. Probably tax and duty in there too. People have to realize ups doesnt keep tax and duty and it isnt part of brokerage. Thats a seperate government fee, which i thought was pretty obvious.
            Or it wasn’t a 100$ item. I’ve been charged brokerage too, it’s why I said earlier I either use USPS or express shipments through ups, or FedEx. I’ve never once seen a different brokerage amount than what is listed on that website, when I deliver. Like I say, quit making stuff up, it ruins your argument. Post a link to your receipt.

  • Can anyone tell me what “International Postal Service” is exactly? is it another name for usps or canada post?, the site im ordering from has that and also fedex/ups international shipping.

  • Brazil - UPS ROBBERY

    In Brazil the UPS changes you once you receive the product. They DO CHARGE THE TAXES, and sometimes MORE THAN 100% in taxes, when the LAW say we should be charged 60% on importation from the USA.

    Something quite INTERESTING is that the bunch of mother fuc$@$ at UPS claim they pay the taxes in advance and we should return them the money (what is correct) BUT, when you take their invoice and send it to Federals (customs agents or whatever) which takes care of charging it, it becomes VERY CLEAR that UPS didn’t pay ANY TAXES they claim you to return them the money.

    In simple words:
    – You buy an item costing $100
    – You should pay 60% in taxes to the Gov
    – The UPS claims to pay it in advance
    – The UPS charges you (but)
    – The UPS don’t pay the Gov fee/taxes

    And it has been PROVEN here!

    Bunch of thieves!

  • I order a bunch of things from the U.S. all the time. It is true USPS is more expensive for shipping than UPS to Canada plus the tracking is not that great. I just use the services of a third party customs broker who clears UPS packages for around 50% less than what UPS charges.

    I make a phone call to UPS tell them I am using my own broker and they send the customs broker my paperwork for clearance. Broker clears the paperwork and bills me for the taxes as UPS would and UPS delivers it at my door without any collections or fees.

    Here’s the link to their fee chart hope it helps out guys.

    They charge a flat fee plus of course the taxes and duties (if any). I am done being ripped off by UPS but get to use their service for delivery as it should be.

  • Purolator, Canada Post & FedEx all have a COD/ROD fee ranging from $5-10.00 if there is any Canada Customs Duty or Taxes owing. What they don’t have is the insane brokerage fee UPS has.Gift shipments coming into Canada, the value has to be $60 Canadian or less, person to person. If it comes from a company to you, duty & taxes will have to be paid. Yah, I import/export a lot. If it’s coming from the U.S., I have it shipped to a place just across the border from me, that way it’s domestic freight charges & I just go across the border & get it. I’ve been fortunate so far, the border guards have let me pass through without having to pay.

  • Clearit.ca does $50 flat fee clearances on anything. They are great wiith parcels (UPS/FedEx/DHL). Can save money using them as your broker

  • UPS are indeed modern day pirates.
    In 20 years when they remake Pirates of the Caribbean for a new generation , the star will wear a brown uniform.
    I no longer use the services of UPS due to their unscrupulous “hidden” charges.
    Not entirely hidden charges of course , as one can find them, at the bottom of a filing cabinet, at the back of the UPS store, in the basement, behind a sign that says beware of the leopard.
    So USPS all the way.

  • clearsmart is a bs company, they charge you almost the same fees as UPS or FedEx f u clearsmar, clear your f @$$

Leave a Reply to Christian Go