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Old 12th of August 2009 (Wed)   #1
heatherwb
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Angry RANT: Why is it taking so long for my package to get from the US to Canada?

Gotta get this out of my system before I head off to bed.

In the process of selling my Pentax gear to fund my migration to Canon, someone from Canada bought one of my more expensive Pentax lenses. I shipped it off last Tuesday (8/4) via USPS Express Mail, which estimated the delivery time to be 5 days. I've been keeping up with the tracking and currently, it's in Customs, where it's been since late Monday afternoon (8/10). How long should I expect this lens to remain in Customs before it resumes it's trek to it's new home in BC? On the customs form, I didn't fudge it as a gift or put a ridiculously low value on it; I mean, it's a camera lens for heavens' sake, what would be the holdup?

In contrast, last Friday, I shipped off my Pentax DSLR to it's new home in Sydney, Australia via USPS Express Mail. They guaranteed me 5 days, but it actually showed up in 4 days. Apparently, it breezed right through Australian Customs. I'm still waiting on the buyer to get back with me to verify that everything's OK, but I'm glad to know that it's gotten to where it's supposed to go.

I just don't get how Canadian Customs can be so inefficient when Australian Customs is so efficient at getting things through. Heck, I've even bought from overseas a couple of times and the items didn't stay in US Customs more than a day or 2. What gives?

Thanks for reading.
Heather

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Old 13th of August 2009 (Thu)   #2
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Default Re: RANT: Why is it taking so long for my package to get from the US to Canada?

Canada Customs are nitpickers always have been. Canada Post can deliver to the wrong address and if the person at the door isn't "you" (no id is asked for) rejects the delivery you can kiss your parcel goodbye as it zooms back to the sender.
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Old 15th of August 2009 (Sat)   #3
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Default Re: RANT: Why is it taking so long for my package to get from the US to Canada?

Postal systems (and customs) are a mystery. I have bought several things from Hong Kong that arrived here (UK) quicker than those I ordered from a dealer in another European country, or even in the same country!
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Old 15th of August 2009 (Sat)   #4
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Default Re: RANT: Why is it taking so long for my package to get from the US to Canada?

the reason your package delivered to AU is because it flew there on a FedEx plane! Not sure about your package to CA, but would agree with the other poster who commented on Canada Customs process. They aren't in any hurry to review docs and clear shipments for some reason.

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Old 15th of August 2009 (Sat)   #5
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Default Re: RANT: Why is it taking so long for my package to get from the US to Canada?

Unfortunately, Canada Customs and Canada Post (USPS in drag) are pretty well hit and miss when it comes to cross-border shipping.

I've been pretty lucky, and only have had to chase 1 package so far.

Really though, for a lens (or anything) of high value, I would not ship it by post. The extra $ for a UPS or FedEx is more than worth it. Always ship Express across the border as it covers Custom and brokerage fees.
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Old 15th of August 2009 (Sat)   #6
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Default Re: RANT: Why is it taking so long for my package to get from the US to Canada?

Don't forget that the postal rates in Canada are high because they have to build lots of storage facilities for all the parcels waiting in customs.
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Old 16th of August 2009 (Sun)   #7
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Default Re: RANT: Why is it taking so long for my package to get from the US to Canada?

We shipped a little computer to our friend in Canada. He lives on the West Coast, we also live on the west coast. The computer "got stuck" in customs. What actually happened was they played with the computer for almost a year, The customs department played with it until it broke, and the warranty expired. The customs stamps indicated it was "inspected" on the East coast.
Customs is an independant Goverment operation that decrees what "tax" (duty) shall be placed on merchandise entering a country. Basically, they appear to be their own entity, and do what they want. When The U.S.Postal Service collects this "duty" it sends the payment to the Customs Dept, that's why that little customs form has a couple of copies, and an additional fee for the extra paperwork. If my sources are correct, the postage rates are higher in Canada because Canada Post is a private company. Knowing the why fors and what knots do not ease the pain of a delayed package. I would make sure that the buyer has the Express Label tracking number, and knows how to log onto usps.com and use the track and confirm to see that this situation is out of your control.
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Old 16th of August 2009 (Sun)   #8
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Default Re: RANT: Why is it taking so long for my package to get from the US to Canada?

If sending anything to Canada from the US don't send it UPS. UPS rips Canadians off by charging an exorbitant amount for the brokerage fees. I've seen UPS brokerage fees that are 10x more than what the regular mail charges.

Shipping with USPS is hit and miss. One it hits the Canadian customs you parcel can stay there for weeks stuck in the backlog of parcels waiting to clear customs.
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Old 16th of August 2009 (Sun)   #9
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Default Re: RANT: Why is it taking so long for my package to get from the US to Canada?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KnightRanger View Post
We shipped a little computer to our friend in Canada. He lives on the West Coast, we also live on the west coast. The computer "got stuck" in customs. What actually happened was they played with the computer for almost a year, The customs department played with it until it broke, and the warranty expired. The customs stamps indicated it was "inspected" on the East coast.
Customs is an independant Goverment operation that decrees what "tax" (duty) shall be placed on merchandise entering a country. Basically, they appear to be their own entity, and do what they want. When The U.S.Postal Service collects this "duty" it sends the payment to the Customs Dept, that's why that little customs form has a couple of copies, and an additional fee for the extra paperwork. If my sources are correct, the postage rates are higher in Canada because Canada Post is a private company. Knowing the why fors and what knots do not ease the pain of a delayed package. I would make sure that the buyer has the Express Label tracking number, and knows how to log onto usps.com and use the track and confirm to see that this situation is out of your control.
Quote:
Originally Posted by motoyen View Post
If sending anything to Canada from the US don't send it UPS. UPS rips Canadians off by charging an exorbitant amount for the brokerage fees. I've seen UPS brokerage fees that are 10x more than what the regular mail charges.

Shipping with USPS is hit and miss. One it hits the Canadian customs you parcel can stay there for weeks stuck in the backlog of parcels waiting to clear customs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cspratt View Post
Don't forget that the postal rates in Canada are high because they have to build lots of storage facilities for all the parcels waiting in customs.
Anybody reading these posts would not even consider shipping to Canada in the future

While there are horror stories, they will be the few and far between.

I've brought many items in from the States, from batteries to expensive lenses. And I've only had to track and find one item, and it was easily done.

If it is expensive, don't ship postal. Ship UPS or FedEx EXPRESS. Yes the express is a little more expensive, but it includes customs and brokerage fees, so no big surprises when you get your delivery. Know that you will pay aplicable duty and taxes for your province.

I've actually found the USPS/CanPost connections to be very reliable and inexpensive for the small and lower $ value items. the $5 custom fee charged by CP is quite reasonable.

Canada Customs is a Federal Gov't department and is regulated and accessable when you have issues. Being gov't, the paperwork can be a killer, but it can be done.

Canada Post is a Crown Corporation, while not directly controlled by the gov't, it is responsable to the gov't.

Like anything else, do your homework or learn by experience. Even with the horror stories it can be very worthwhile bringing some items in from the US.

Niether are profit centers.
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Old 17th of September 2010 (Fri)   #10
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Default Re: RANT: Why is it taking so long for my package to get from the US to Canada?

resurrecting this rant. Since i moved to Canada, I can't believe how brutal customs are. My 5D has been sitting in customs since Tuesday morning. I called Canada post to see if they have a contact # for them (since i have a tracking number) ... the guy basically told me im pooched until they release it ... theres nothing i can do to speed them up, they wont talk to me.
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Old 18th of September 2010 (Sat)   #11
Evan Idler
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Default Re: RANT: Why is it taking so long for my package to get from the US to Canada?

Welcome to Canada. The delay is intentional. The Union uses it as a tactic while negociating their contracts. They intentionally slow down their already slow snails pace, until the government gives in and accepts their terms.

--Evan
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Old 28th of September 2010 (Tue)   #12
The Framed Life
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Default Re: RANT: Why is it taking so long for my package to get from the US to Canada?

I bought a 70-200 f/4 canon lens last week, it's been in customs on the other side of canada since last friday (9/24, it being 9/28) now..I've never had something take more than a day to clear customs, I'm a bit worried aswell.
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