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Thread: If you buy fabric from outside your own country...

  1. #1
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    ... and have it shipped in to you...

    Do you know whether your country charges duty/taxes/fees, and how much?

    Just curious to know if most people who buy out-of-country already know those financial details. And if they researched the issue first, or learned by doing.

  2. #2
    deema's Avatar
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    Yes, I knew, though I wasn't sure of how much and still don't know the "formula" for it, just that there ARE charges. I try to never buy anything that will be shipped from out of Canada via UPS because the brokerage fees are outrageous. Otherwise, for fabric, I have never paid anything extra on delivery...I'm sure I read something on Connecting Threads (where I buy a lot) that the extra taxes and whatever are added to the order before shipping specifically so that DOESN'T happen. I've never found my shipping costs from them to be overboard, and even with them, I'm still paying way less for fabric from the US than I do in Canada.

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    easy, phone your relevant authorities and ask, and if fabric over the limit ask seller to put lower amount on outside of package, they are usually willing---------I do NOT mind paying the tax BUT strongly object to paying the whopping fee charged by the postal services to collect it!

  4. #4
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Mayday, please don't be offended by my comments but... if you ask the sender to declare a lower value than what the fabric is, you are asking them to falsify official government documents. We've been told (just today, in fact, by our FedEx rep) that the penalty for that is $10,000 per occurrence. So you are in effect asking a stranger to take a risk and break the law on your behalf, so that you can save some money.

    Also... if you want your package to be insured, then you have to declare the full value. Otherwise, it won't be fully insured.

    And packages can and do get lost sometimes. It's a big world out there!

  5. #5
    deema's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite Fabrics
    Mayday, please don't be offended by my comments but... if you ask the sender to declare a lower value than what the fabric is, you are asking them to falsify official government documents. We've been told (just today, in fact, by our FedEx rep) that the penalty for that is $10,000 per occurrence. So you are in effect asking a stranger to take a risk and break the law on your behalf, so that you can save some money.

    Also... if you want your package to be insured, then you have to declare the full value. Otherwise, it won't be fully insured.

    And packages can and do get lost sometimes. It's a big world out there!
    This is true. I've seen many sellers on Ebay specifically state that they WILL NOT declare a lower value on the documents for this very reason.

  6. #6
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deema
    I read something on Connecting Threads (where I buy a lot) that the extra taxes and whatever are added to the order before shipping.
    I looked that up, and it sounds like they might be using FedEx or UPS to act as the broker, to speed things through Customs by collecting the taxes and fees from the sender (rather than the recipient) and then remitting them to the proper authority in Canada.

  7. #7
    deema's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite Fabrics
    Quote Originally Posted by deema
    I read something on Connecting Threads (where I buy a lot) that the extra taxes and whatever are added to the order before shipping.
    I looked that up, and it sounds like they might be using FedEx or UPS to act as the broker, to speed things through Customs by collecting the taxes and fees from the sender (rather than the recipient) and then remitting them to the proper authority in Canada.
    My packages from them (CT) have always been delivered by Canada Post...anything through UPS usually gets to me with Purolator...Now FedEx, I'm not sure of, so that could be...but would FedEx hand off to Canada Post? I don't know if they would or not? I do know that my shipping and taxes from them have never come close to the brokerage fees of UPS that I have to pay on delivery ($42. and change, every time, which is why I try not to order when I know they'll be the shipper).

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    I learned by doing.

    When I order fabric to be shipped to Canada, sometimes I have to pay a Customs fee of $5.00. I have never been charged duty, but have been charged GST (5% goods and services tax).

    I never know what will happen. Most of the time the parcel comes through with no charges, but every now and again Customs will go the $5 +GST.

    My understanding was because of NAFTA that we don't pay duty on things made in the USA but if they are imported to the US and then shipped to Canada we could pay duty.

    If I can't get it shipped by USPS, then I don't buy because UPS fees to ship to Canada are exorbitant.

    I would never mess with Customs by asking the seller to falsify. That's a serious offence.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bunniequilter's Avatar
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    I ordered from a few different shops online. Some orders I had to pay duty, some I didn't. In my experience it's not a given you will be nailed for duty. Ordering from etsy.com, I have never had to pay duty.

  10. #10
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    This is useful info.

    I'm getting the feeling that packages sent via USPS have a chance of going through without taxes, even if the value is high enough that they should be getting caught. Does that sound like what's happening?

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    Mmmmh, as you may know I live in Argentina, and if I use FLAT RATE ENVELOPES I NEVER pay a cent to get my fabrics. The Postman just requires my signature (or sb else's as I have my orders delivered at my job)and my fabrics ARE ON MY HAND AT THE VERY MOMENT.
    But I do know by experience, that ALL packages that come with tracking and/or insurance are held at customs.
    And must pay for taxes.
    That's why I never ever have my orders shipped in box.
    Unfortunately have had a recent problem with a well-known on-line store, who ignored my request. But that's for another thread I guess.
    Hope this info is useful.

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    Senior Member tweetee's Avatar
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    I live in Australia and buy the majority of my fabric from the US. We have a limit here from our customs people that if its value is over $1000 then import taxes must be paid, but under that no taxes. To post overseas is quite expensive, as we do not have prepaid package like UPS do for international mail.

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    Junior Member bearspaws's Avatar
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    I also haven't ever paid duties or taxes on any fabric sent in those prioity flat rate envelopes by USPS. I only ever paid on the box that came from Hancocks of Paducah. I also never get anything sent by UPS, not worth it. I only will deal with USPS.

  14. #14
    queenpola's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite Fabrics
    This is useful info.

    I'm getting the feeling that packages sent via USPS have a chance of going through without taxes, even if the value is high enough that they should be getting caught. Does that sound like what's happening?
    sure, never better explained. that's what I question myself all the time. I have my orders (usually large ones to take advantage of the high shipping costs) ALWAYS shipped by USPS. Never ever asked a seller to under declare the total value (although to my surprise, some of them do that without requesting for it, but that's not my problem), so many times, the total amount is a high one. But, coming in flat rate envelopes, never pay duties nor taxes (regardless how much it is). BUT coming in any TINY pack w/ tracking, gets held at custom. And pays for all.
    So, i always wonder, what's the deal?? :shock:
    That's why I always request to split my orders (if necessary) in as many envelopes as needed-

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    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    I ordered 9 yds from Bear Paw Quilting and the duty and other charges were $17.00...why I don't know. Ordered over $200.00 from Connecting Threads and there were no extra/unknown fees when delivered. I love to shop for my fabric online (not that I buy much), but, I don't like going to pick up a package and have a $15-$20.00 surprise waiting for me. I will definitely be ordering more from CT unless other board members have other shops that don't surprise you on delivery with duty charges.

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    Junior Member shadoh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilterella
    I ordered 9 yds from Bear Paw Quilting and the duty and other charges were $17.00...why I don't know. Ordered over $200.00 from Connecting Threads and there were no extra/unknown fees when delivered. I love to shop for my fabric online (not that I buy much), but, I don't like going to pick up a package and have a $15-$20.00 surprise waiting for me. I will definitely be ordering more from CT unless other board members have other shops that don't surprise you on delivery with duty charges.
    i ordered from CT this week, my first, can you give me an idea of how long it takes for the order to arrive by canada post. i was notified on jan 17 that the order was shipped. thanks for replying *in advance)...

  17. #17
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilterella
    I ordered 9 yds from Bear Paw Quilting and the duty and other charges were $17.00...why I don't know. Ordered over $200.00 from Connecting Threads and there were no extra/unknown fees when delivered. I love to shop for my fabric online (not that I buy much), but, I don't like going to pick up a package and have a $15-$20.00 surprise waiting for me. I will definitely be ordering more from CT unless other board members have other shops that don't surprise you on delivery with duty charges.
    Quilterella, it's not the shops that create a surprise for you. Kin d of the other way around. If for some reason, you *don't* get charged anything, that should be the surprise - and a pleasant one for you.

    Here is a link to the Canada Border Services Agency, where they spell out what the rules are:

    http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/import/po...roits-eng.html

  18. #18
    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    Quilterella, it's not the shops that create a surprise for you. Kin d of the other way around. If for some reason, you *don't* get charged anything, that should be the surprise - and a pleasant one for you.

    Here is a link to the Canada Border Services Agency, where they spell out what the rules are:

    http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/import/po...roits-eng.html[/quote]

    Thankyou for the link. I never really understood why when you order fabric from various sites, that you would get charged duty for some and not the others, especially when the package clearly stated "fabric". I'm not sure I understand it now, but, you are right...expect to pay duty and let it be a good surprise when you don't have to.

  19. #19
    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadoh
    Quote Originally Posted by quilterella
    I ordered 9 yds from Bear Paw Quilting and the duty and other charges were $17.00...why I don't know. Ordered over $200.00 from Connecting Threads and there were no extra/unknown fees when delivered. I love to shop for my fabric online (not that I buy much), but, I don't like going to pick up a package and have a $15-$20.00 surprise waiting for me. I will definitely be ordering more from CT unless other board members have other shops that don't surprise you on delivery with duty charges.
    i ordered from CT this week, my first, can you give me an idea of how long it takes for the order to arrive by canada post. i was notified on jan 17 that the order was shipped. thanks for replying *in advance)...
    It took 9 business days, so almost 2 weeks. But, it was like Christmas allover again.

  20. #20
    Super Member mirabelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tweetee
    I live in Australia and buy the majority of my fabric from the US. We have a limit here from our customs people that if its value is over $1000 then import taxes must be paid, but under that no taxes. To post overseas is quite expensive, as we do not have prepaid package like UPS do for international mail.
    Tweetie I did not know about the over $1000 value. I usually only buy 30 yards at a time from Thousands of Bolts, pay through Paypal so no international charges on a credit card and I have my parcel within 7 to 14 days. Fabric is just toooooo expensive over here.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Claddaughquilting's Avatar
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    I have purchased a lot of fabric and batting from the US (much cheaper) and only rarely been surprised at the door with a charge for customs and duty. This was usually by Fedex, who in addition to paying approx $20 in C&D, Fedex charged me an additional $10 for paying it up front for me!! So they charge $10 for loaning me $20 for a few days. I was not happy and let them know.
    The best is when they come in the US flat packages, no extra charges. I always look at how much fabric the vendor says they can put in an envelope, do reduce the per yard shipping cost. I never ask vendors to falsify shipping information.
    I also had a bad experience with Hancocks. I purchased 6 bags of batting, paid the invoice by credit card and waited for my package. I had to pay additional fees when it arrived (OK, no problem, that's life), but also saw on hte invoice that Hancock had added $30 more to my invoice. When I called them they said that a box that size costs more....but they did not mention that on their site when I purchased and paid for it. Again, not happy. They have now corrected that when you buy in bulk so that you know you will be charged extra for oversized packages.

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