Note to people using UPS: It is
possible to do the Customs clearance yourself and save yourself a buttload of fees. It's just a huge hassle.
- Refuse delivery if the driver at your doorstep says there are customs fees due. State that you will clear the package yourself unless the "brokerage fee" is waived.
- Take any documentation the driver leaves with you, and bring a shipping confirmation or a manifest if you got one from the seller, and go to the local UPS depot where they're holding your package.
- State that you're there to clear the package yourself through Customs. They'll make you wait while they "prepare the paperwork", so bring a book to read while you wait for the person at the depot to print off what's needed.
- Go over to Canada Customs and show them all the paperwork, and indicate that you are clearing a package that's coming via UPS. Pay the usual GST and PST.
- Take all the stuff back with you (including any clearances from Customs) to UPS and pick up your package!
EDIT: Expect the whole process outlined above to waste about 45 minutes of your time; take a day off work if you can afford to lose the pay, and go first thing in the morning so you don't have to deal with line-ups.
In addition to this, when you buy something from a place like Koolance, state clearly and in some form of legally documentable form that under no circumstances do you accept the seller's choice of Customs broker and that you will not pre-pay any brokerage or Customs fees*.
There was a lawsuit that nearly got all the way through, but failed because the judge ended up ruling that the buyer had implicitly accepted the seller's choice of Customs broker when getting a package shipped through UPS.
* I didn't have to do this in a private sale, but you may want to CYA when you buy from an actual company.Edited by Quantum Reality - 4/18/11 at 9:34am