So, I bought myself a Freewrite Hemmingway Special Edition Smart Typewriter a couple of weeks ago. And on Wednesday, the amount of the fees I had to pay were posted on UPS’ tracking site. In short, they wanted to charge me the GST due and owing, plus nearly $120 in brokerage fees. In no uncertain terms, this is highway robbery.
Needless to say, for something I paid $1,588 for (yes, I got the 2-year warranty too), I wasn’t thrilled about throwing down another $180. I recognize that I would have to pay GST and GST in Alberta is 5% with no PST. But, that doesn’t mean that I was okay with also adding an additional $120 on to that.
You don’t have to pay duties on purchases made in or from the US, but you do have to pay GST on those purchases. This is thanks to CUSMA (which replaced NAFTA).
How to avoid UPS’ Brokerage Fees
In order to do this, you’ll need to first call UPS to get a B-15 letter. UPS can e-mail this letter to you. It’s called that because you’ll need to go to the CBSA, pay the duties, and get one of these.
Basically, need to pay the taxes at a CBSA Inland office. An inland office is able to collect these duties and issue a receipt like the one above. This form used to be numbered B-15, but is now BSF715 or BSF715-1. In order to get it, you need a copy of the shipping bill that the person who sent you the stuff sent. It includes the price of the goods and is important to calculate taxes and duties.
At the Inland office, they’ll look at the invoice. They may ask you a couple of questions about the nature of the goods. I know that the officer had more than a couple questions about what a “Smart Keyboard” was. Once they make their assessment of how much duties are owing, you’ll go to the cashier. The office that I went to accepted credit and debit cards as payment, but I brought cash just in case. Once you pay, you’ll get that form I mentioned above.
Afterwards, you send this form to the addresses UPS told you. Keep the original copy to show the driver. A good app to take a picture of the
The Day Of
You’ll want to make sure you can receive your package. But thankfully, everything went smoothly. The UPS driver even commented that I knew exactly what I was doing. But now, I have my new gadget and I’m going to be spending my next couple weeks giving this thing a test drive.
So, in short, don’t pay UPS a shit load of money. Instead, go to the CBSA office (if you can), pay the taxes, and don’t pay UPS this insane cost. Honestly, I’m not looking forward to paying the shipping when I buy myself a new… writing chaise. But at least I know how to pay the duties myself the next time UPS has a delivery for me. And yes, sadly, Liberator uses UPS to ship orders. Needless to say, this is useful knowledge for me to handle a future order. And I hope this information is useful for you too.