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Discussion Starter #1
Apparently, Canada Customs rules changed in some fashion in September, 2008. I'm sorry that I can't be more specific about what changed, but my FO arrived at Fed Ex today in Edmonton, and I received a call from Fed Ex advising that the package was ready to be cleared by my independent customs broker.

When I spoke to a Fed Ex agent, I advised him that a previous watch had been cleared by Fed Ex and all I was required to do was to pay the duty which I did at point of delivery. This agent couldn't explain what had changed, but that over a certain value, brokerage is now required.

This will not be very helpful in that I can't explain what the change is or what to do about it, but if it happens to you, at least you will know that its happened to someone else.

So I guess its more of a "heads up". Will post again when issue resolved. Cheers, John
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Update: it seems that a Customs Broker is required. This is not acceptable. Watch is going back to Stowa. My loss is someone else's gain, I suppose in that somebody else will get my watch. It does, however, mean that I will not be purchasing any more new Stowas, nor will I be using Fed Ex in future.
 

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Aren't Fedex the customs broker themselves, in those cases?

In the past, that's how it was. And they charged $25 plus tax for the act of "brokering".

IMHO, they got away with screwing the customer, since they have the customer's merchandise hostage.

My local comic books shop, which sells old and collectible comics on eBay, have had crazy dealings with UPS and Fedex. They bend rules and exports laws as see fit as long as it's a win-win for them. :-|
 

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I have always refused to pay in the past and still received my parcel. Not sure what happened to the brokerage fee though; I think it was charged back to the sender.
 
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Update: it seems that a Customs Broker is required. This is not acceptable. Watch is going back to Stowa. My loss is someone else's gain, I suppose in that somebody else will get my watch. It does, however, mean that I will not be purchasing any more Stowas, nor will I be using Fed Ex in Future. So long.
That sucks.o|
 

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I have always refused to pay in the past and still received my parcel. Not sure what happened to the brokerage fee though; I think it was charged back to the sender.
How did you manage this? In the past, I would try and argue about not paying the fees, and always it would end with them menacing me to send the package back.

How can you have your package and NOT pay the fee? Did they bill you afterward so you were able to refuse payment? I heard they send your bill to collection agencies :roll: ....
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Aren't Fedex the customs broker themselves, in those cases?

In the past, that's how it was. And they charged $25 plus tax for the act of "brokering".

IMHO, they got away with screwing the customer, since they have the customer's merchandise hostage.

:-|
It must have been the case, because I have never had this difficulty in all of my years of purchasing all manner of goods from abroad.
 

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*EDIT* I looked back and it turns out I 'only' paid duty, GST and PST in the past, which still worked out to a massive 18%. With brokerage fees added I can only imagine the cost. I have one of the new Flieger handwinding limited watches on order, and was considering getting on the list for a serial FO, but I'd better give it some more thought. The price of the FO is already tough for me to justify (not that it isn't worth the money... it's just more than I have ever considered spending on a single watch). Convert the price to Canadian, add 18%, then add another unknown amount for brokerage... yikes!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
*EDIT* I looked back and it turns out I 'only' paid duty, GST and PST in the past, which still worked out to a massive 18%. With brokerage fees added I can only imagine the cost. I have one of the new Flieger handwinding limited watches on order, and was considering getting on the list for a serial FO, but I'd better give it some more thought. The price of the FO is already tough for me to justify (not that it isn't worth the money... it's just more than I have ever considered spending on a single watch). Convert the price to Canadian, add 18%, then add another unknown amount for brokerage... yikes!
Exactly what I paid for my MO: duty and GST - we don't have any provincial sales tax in AB :-!. That was manageable. But to have to pay brokerage, plus GST on that amount doesn't work for me, and is not what I contracted for. Fed Ex also wanted me to come out to the airport to collect the watch. 60 km round trip, plus gas. What the #### did I pay Fed Ex for? No go!
 

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Bummer. I am in USA, got a Stowa last month shipped fedex, it was delivered and a week or so later I got a bill from fedex, for duty and their handling fee, I guess they do clearing in USA...total of US$21.55, $5.00 was fedex fee...not bad, watch cost me US$650., shipping fees extra but US customs doesn't include that...just price of product...still less than my Governator Arnold's sales tax!:-d
As an asides, I bought 2 Seikos from Japan, both were shipped air mail, one declaration said "gift", actual value was declared US$256., second watch said "horological item", value declared 450$US.....no duty asked.
If I buy a watch from Europe I'll ask for air mail shipping not fedex or ups.:think:
 

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I just refused to pay and no problems. If I received a subsequent invoice, I would call FedEx and they told me not to worry about it.
 

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maybe Stowa come use some other sort of carrier for certain countries....i've also ordered the LE Fliegier and am a little worried now...

brokerage fee can be any amt the courier decide to charge. I've been charged $50 on a $30 item in the past...i could imagine what it would be for this watch.

I thought on the FAQ site of Stowa it states that brokerage is covered as part of the shipping cost. Anything at the door should only be duty/taxes.
 

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I wish I could find out in advance how much the brokerage fee would be. When I have been charged for brokerage by FedEx in the past (not on Stowa watches), the cost has been relatively small. On the other hand, the brokerage fees charged by UPS have been a rather large percentage of the value of the item. I remember having to pay $50.00 in taxes and brokerage fees on an $85.00 second-hand DVD from the U.S.. The brokerage fee was a large portion of that $50.00. After that, I have refused to use UPS whenever I had another option, and if I was forced to use UPS, there was always a ridiculous brokerage fee due when I picked up the parcel.
 

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Same unbelievable duty fees experienced with fedex when I buy from outside EU....up to 25% of product/invoice value!!!
sorry about all of us in this mess,
Chris
 

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I wish I could find out in advance how much the brokerage fee would be. When I have been charged for brokerage by FedEx in the past (not on Stowa watches), the cost has been relatively small. On the other hand, the brokerage fees charged by UPS have been a rather large percentage of the value of the item. I remember having to pay $50.00 in taxes and brokerage fees on an $85.00 second-hand DVD from the U.S.. The brokerage fee was a large portion of that $50.00. After that, I have refused to use UPS whenever I had another option, and if I was forced to use UPS, there was always a ridiculous brokerage fee due when I picked up the parcel.
I can confirm the same here in Montreal. FedEx, still manageable.

UPS: my god, do these guys squeeze you for all kinds of fees, or what! You get their fees, plus the government taxes (fair enough) but those taxes also are on top of their fees, plus handling charges for brokering the item in customs, and then (wait for this) fees for processing tax on behalf of the government (I kid you not!). This is stealing from people, pure and simple.

There should be some law protecting the average customer (especially in Canada) and prohibiting these unreasonable fees.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
There should be some law protecting the average customer (especially in Canada) and prohibiting these unreasonable fees.
There is a law - supply and demand; Fed Ex just saw their demand dry up from this cowboy!!
 

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My Ikarus was held up in customs with Fedex for nearly three weeks!

Although, to be fair, the problem was with customs and not Fedex.

I wound up having to give Fedex a form from customs asking for all sorts of personal information - including my Social Security number.

If you get the wrong guy at customs dealing with Fedex - you're screwed.

On the other hand, four other Stowas came through without a problem. After a month or so I received a bill from Fedex for about $20 or so.

(My Ikarus was the third out of the five watches in sequence. Just bad luck.)

I think the problem is that Jorg does his job too well. If you notice, he always fills out his custom forms and supplies all the needed copies and such. I think that raises red flags at customs and increases your chances of a delay. In fact, it was his description of the leather strap that made the customs guy sit on my watch for so long.

I, also, have ordered plenty of watches from Asia, Australia and other parts of Europe and never owed so much as a nickel in customs fees or duties. Of course, those watches didn't have any documentation. The just went through customs un-noticed.

In short - I guess I'm saying - don't give the customs agent anything to look at and he won't care.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I confirmed my instructions to return the shipment to Stowa via email by 9:30 a.m. this date. Tracking info from Fed Ex still shows "delay in processing" as at 6:10 p.m. local time.
 
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