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Hello All,

I just received a Seiko SARB065 from Chino Watch in Japan (shipped to Canada through EMS) and was hit with a $99 customs' charge (approx. 22% of the total item cost) - is this typical? Has anyone experienced this before when importing their watches from Japan or other countries?

Feedback is appreciated.

Thanks
 

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I have paid a 5% duty on higher priced watches and jewelry, but have never been charged any duty on less expensive watches.

22% is riculous. Are you sure this is a Canada Customs charge, and not a shipper charge for clearing customs?
 

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Yes. All the time, sadly. The tax varies province by province, but it is all the same significant. I paid $300 or so on a roughly $1000 purchase from the states. I only buy within Canada now unless I have no choice. There are sites where you can calculate the duties you will have to pay.
 

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Yeah, but that seems high for that watch. Are you sure it doesn't include some kind of brokerage fee? We get shafted here in Canada. Every time I need to send a watch for servicing or repair to the US, I get charged taxes and duties every single time it comes back. On the same watch I've already paid taxes and duties on before. Sheesh
 

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Every time I need to send a watch for servicing or repair to the US, I get charged taxes and duties every single time it comes back. On the same watch I've already paid taxes and duties on before. Sheesh
My understanding is that you can avoid this if you declare it upfront.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Appreciate the prompt response guys. I actually haven't had a chance to look at the form - the amount was indicated on the slip that was left by Canada Post. I didn't realize the fees could amount to over 20% of the item value.

Has anyone been successful in disputing/reassessing their charges?
 

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My understanding is that you can avoid this if you declare it upfront.
How does one do that? I write on the customs form "watch purchased in Canada being sent for repair". Doesn't ever make a difference, really that only helps the service company. Even if they declare that the watch was serviced, I still get charged when it comes back in.
 

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Appreciate the prompt response guys. I actually haven't had a chance to look at the form - the amount was indicated on the slip that was left by Canada Post. I didn't realize the fees could amount to over 20% of the item value.

Has anyone been successful in disputing/reassessing their charges?
Tried many times, was never successful.
 

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I once sold an Omega SMP to a buyer in the US and for whatever reason he wanted to return it and get his money back. when the watch arrived at my door (in Canada) there was around $300 bill in duties and taxes, I had to sign for the delivery and pay on the spot if I wanted the watch. Luckily I had the original shipping receipt of when I shipped this watch out, so I told the mail man that this was a return, showed the original shipper and he cancelled the fees on the spot.
Other than this, I've had some hit and misses with taxes and duties. But 20% or so can be expected from my experience.
I also try to shop within Canada now.

Anatoly
 

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How does one do that? I write on the customs form "watch purchased in Canada being sent for repair". Doesn't ever make a difference, really that only helps the service company. Even if they declare that the watch was serviced, I still get charged when it comes back in.
By "declare upfront" I mean declare to Canada Customs before you send it out of the country.
 

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You can look up the duty on anything from the CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency) website. I looked once for watches and watch parts. I think complete watches are less than 7.5% and parts are duty free. The parcel should have a slip from CBSA on it that clearly states the duty charged that you could take back to them and dispute it once you find the appropriate line in the duty schedule. If it is a "brokerage" fee from UPS or FedEx, you are screwed because they can basically charge as much as they want on top of duty and tax.

For repair and return item, it always seems tricky but it has to be declared in both directions especially by the other end on the return or CBSA will charge you like you bought it.
 

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Hello All,

I just received a Seiko SARB065 from Chino Watch in Japan (shipped to Canada through EMS) and was hit with a $99 customs' charge (approx. 22% of the total item cost) - is this typical? Has anyone experienced this before when importing their watches from Japan or other countries?

Feedback is appreciated.

Thanks
First of all, you're misinterpreting what the charge actually is.

The customs tariff on watches is 5%. On a $450 watch like yours, this would amount to about $22.50 (or around $24-$25 if it was $450 USD).

On top of that, you need to pay the sales tax. You didn't state what province you live in, but it would range from 5% in Alberta (GST only) up to 15% HST depending on the province you live in. It doesn't matter whether you bought the watch at a local store or whether you imported it, you get charged the same tax on the purchase either way.

After that you will pay a handling charge from the shipping company (a charge for the shipper to broker the package through Customs). This can be as low as a flat $10 fee if it comes through the mail, to an absolutely ridiculous charge if it comes via UPS (I once got charged more for handling from UPS than my shipment was worth). UPS uses brokerage fees as a way to gouge the receiver... it's insane what they charge.

If you work those numbers backwards based on what I assume was a $450 USD purchase cost, the $99 you were charged sounds about right. Thank goodness it came via EMS rather than UPS or it might have cost you around $150-$175

I hope this clarifies it a bit for you.
 

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Yeah, but that seems high for that watch. Are you sure it doesn't include some kind of brokerage fee? We get shafted here in Canada. Every time I need to send a watch for servicing or repair to the US, I get charged taxes and duties every single time it comes back. On the same watch I've already paid taxes and duties on before. Sheesh
This happens because the company sending it back states a value for insurance; they don't just state the cost of the service, they state the value of the watch. Customs then assesses duty and tax based on that amount because they don't realize it was either i) a no cost warranty repair, or ii) a repair that was paid by you (in which case you should only be charged tax on the value of the repair). What you need to do is request a letter from the company doing the service that states exactly what was done and what the charge was, then you open up a dispute with Customs. I have ALWAYS been able to get duty and tax charges corrected and a refund issued in situations like this.
 

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I've never received a customs charge for a watch. Once I had to pay tax for sunglasses shipped from the states, but never a watch. Strange...
 

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I've never received a customs charge for a watch. Once I had to pay tax for sunglasses shipped from the states, but never a watch. Strange...
Not really... you've just been lucky. Sometimes you get charged 'full pop' (duty, taxes & brokerage fees) and sometimes it slips through with no charges if comes via mail. If it comes via UPS, FedEx, etc. you will ALWAYS be charged all applicable duty, taxes and fees.
 

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Not really... you've just been lucky. Sometimes you get charged 'full pop' (duty, taxes & brokerage fees) and sometimes it slips through with no charges if comes via mail. If it comes via UPS, FedEx, etc. you will ALWAYS be charged all applicable duty, taxes and fees.
It is not just sometimes for me. As I said, I've never been charged extra for a watch. And I've had many sent my way. Perhaps I am lucky, or perhaps it is different where I am from. I don't know but I am happy lol
 

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It is not just sometimes for me. As I said, I've never been charged extra for a watch. And I've had many sent my way. Perhaps I am lucky, or perhaps it is different where I am from. I don't know but I am happy lol
Let me guess... you get your watches shipped through the mail, right? I recently received a $7K Eterna Madison that slipped through the mail with no charges. If it had come UPS though, I would have been charged to the hilt.
 

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It is not just sometimes for me. As I said, I've never been charged extra for a watch. And I've had many sent my way. Perhaps I am lucky, or perhaps it is different where I am from. I don't know but I am happy lol
As said, you've been lucky, period. Duty is a federal responsibility, and provinces all have applicable sales tax. So if you're in Canada (you are, aren't you?), then there is no "different where I am from" to apply.
 
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