espressobsessed Senior Member Joined: 23 Mar 2004 Posts: 798 Location: Saskatoon, SK Expertise: Pro Barista
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Posted Sun Jul 4, 2004, 4:14pm Subject: Importing Coffee into Canada: prices + your experience
...I've had a few surprises purchasing $50 worth of goods from the states only to pay UPS $30-$40 brokerage fees ...ouch!! Shipping is going to kill you!! You may be asked to pay as much as $3 per pound to ship so you want to make sure it's worth your while...I can buy good beans from Ontario but shipping is very expensive (30 bucks for each 10lbs). There's a few places out there that sell in bulk (30lb or more) but I'd like to get 10lb or less.
Have you found the above, in regards to ordering from Eastern Canada and from the US to be true, especially in regards to Sweet Marias? When ordering from SM, what sort of charges did you incur when bringing in green beans to Canada?
Also - when you do an order from eastern Canada, what sort of shipping charges do you generally incur?
The reason I am asking, is there are a few varieties I am looking for, that I can't buy from Craig. I'm looking at a few varieties from terracaf, but at close to 7/lb, it's not looking economical for this 22yr old to buy! SM carries these same varieties.
Unfortunately no, duty and brokerage are not the same beast.
Duty is a levy charged at a specified rate, depending on what the item is (as well as it's origin), that is collected by the CBSA (formerly CCRA).
Brokerage fees are a (apparently) random amount of money charged by the carrier to do the paperwork to "broker" your package through the customs process. UPS, and FedEx charge somewhere around 20-30$ for this priviledge. If the package is sent via USPS, the brokerage is a flat 5$.
My personal preference is to use USPS for packages up to about 10-15lbs, and FedEx ground for anything larger.
Fortunately, green beans are exempt from duties, so you'll only have to pay GST on them. Good luck.
I'm not sure whether they should charge you GST on the the beans. Last I heard, green coffee is GST exempt, but I don't know if that applies when it crosses the border as well....perhaps only when resold within canada...
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