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Canada Customs giving British Medal Dealers the Hassle?


Guest Darrell
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Guest Darrell

Recently I have dealt with Dixons Medals out of the UK. One of the purchases I had them send via FedEx. The last two times with Royal Air. Outstanding delivery servicewith Royal Air. Last time the item left the shop on Monday, I had it in my hands on Friday! Try that with USPS+CanadPost between our side by side nations scared.gif

Anyway, while asking for the same shipping on my next purchase the contact at Dixons sent me a message saying that Customs on this (Canada) end issued a warning to them that they MUST include the actual sales receipt in the package or risk having the package held up and confiscated at Customs !!! Huh?

Now, WTF is going on? Customs obviously figures all these nice medals are worth more than what the dealers are declaring? Who cares? I guess they need to know how much the items are so they can add to their own collections if the value is significant.

Idiots .... thumbdown.gif

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Maybe Customs dont think collecting medals qualifies you to be exempt from import taxes? It would enrage golfers who pay tax when they import clubs and Ferrari collectors who pay tax when they import cars.

Sure its a pain, i get hit with it about 25% of the time. When I am, I am pssed off, but honestly, its a fair cop......

(to avoid problems for the three folks concerned, i took one sentence out of your post)

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Guest Darrell

Funny thing is, the expensive items usually pass through unopened, the smaller ones get checked.

These clowns aren't worth the cheap "poor can't make a real cop" suits they wear.

As far as removing names ... I'm sure they are already quite aware of who does what. Or so they think. If they actually do that.

Edited by Darrell
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Its the luck of the draw.

I am happy for everything that gets through, it gets on my goat when I have to pay something...I grind my teeth, curse and swear, but thats life.

Its like the underpass on the way to work. Speed limit through the tunnel is 50KM/H, everyone drives 70-80km. Every few months i get a ticket..... I am just happy for the days i get through without being ticketed, but objectively, i cant complain for the days where i am.

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Guest Darrell

Security measures like this is exactly why the world has gone to hell in a hand basket. Random Multiple choice "pick a package" to check doesn't exactly do any good at all in the end.

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Guest Darrell

When despatching to the US , if it is an old item the purchasers always ask us to put 'old' or 'antique' on the declaration as it is then exempy from import duty (or, at least lower). Would this description help with Canadian Customs ?

There are all kinds of tricks that people can try. I've even had one fellow send me an expensive item (which I purposely told him to low ball) where he included a bogus note saying that he found the item in an old antique shop and didn't think it was worth much if anything.

I'm sure if the real value would have been declared or written on the customs forms, these guys would say "What .... $4000 for THAT??".

The things that people do to get around the system is what happens when you tax the living crap out of a society. People get pissed and lie, cheat and try and beat the system. Sure every once in a while we get caught, but more often than not we don't. They have no one else to blame but themselves.

Oh yeah ... just had an expensive lowballed item show up in the mail today. UNSCATHED ... :cheeky: Too bad Customs ... missed that one.

Edited by Darrell
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Quite frankly Canadian Customs are just about the most 'jobsworth' group I have ever had to deal with. That comes from someone who ships books all over the world, from Japan to Jamaica and everything inbetween.

We sell rare and second hand books and often have to ship items to Canada. They are not supposed to charge any duty on them provided they are shipped by post as 'printed papers'. This pi...s the hell out of some of the Customs officers, so they try every trick they can. One has got to be on one's toes and do everything by the book. We had one parcel returned because our (return) address label had been inadvertantly pasted on the back, not the bottom left hand corner of the front, according to their rules!

Sometimes the customs officer is determined to charge import duty come what may. He looks in his books of tables and a note says he cannot charge. He does not like it, so checks back and forth with various authorities in the local capital, in Ottowa, and then with God, in the vain hope that one of them will say yes. In the meantime the package remaines embargoed for days or weeks. Finally when he has to release it without charging duty and defeated in his object, he charges the customer an "adminsitrative fee" for his own wasted effort.

Some of the Customs services in the so-called 'third world' are supposed to be officious, corrupt, slow, inefficient, lazy, bound up in red tape, etc, etc, etc. But in my experience the Canadian Customs Service puts them all to utter shame.

James

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Guest Darrell

I think it's way worse from the US to Canada or Vice Versa. I've had exceptional (luck) with items to and from the UK over the years (crossing fingers). Whether they figure we are up to no good more in North America is anyone's guess.

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Quite frankly Canadian Customs are just about the most 'jobsworth' group I have ever had to deal with. That comes from someone who ships books all over the world, from Japan to Jamaica and everything inbetween.

We sell rare and second hand books and often have to ship items to Canada. They are not supposed to charge any duty on them provided they are shipped by post as 'printed papers'. This pi...s the hell out of some of the Customs officers, so they try every trick they can. One has got to be on one's toes and do everything by the book. We had one parcel returned because our (return) address label had been inadvertantly pasted on the back, not the bottom left hand corner of the front, according to their rules!

Sometimes the customs officer is determined to charge import duty come what may. He looks in his books of tables and a note says he cannot charge. He does not like it, so checks back and forth with various authorities in the local capital, in Ottowa, and then with God, in the vain hope that one of them will say yes. In the meantime the package remaines embargoed for days or weeks. Finally when he has to release it without charging duty and defeated in his object, he charges the customer an "adminsitrative fee" for his own wasted effort.

Some of the Customs services in the so-called 'third world' are supposed to be officious, corrupt, slow, inefficient, lazy, bound up in red tape, etc, etc, etc. But in my experience the Canadian Customs Service puts them all to utter shame.

James

Unless things have changed, I checked many years ago and there shouldn't be any customs payable on antique/old medals in Canada. If the medal is new, then they can. But then, it appears that the rules are open to interpretation by the customs official. But what really makes me mad is getting an invoice from Canada Customs stating that I owe them $12 in administration fee for them to tell me that I don't have to pay customs on the medal I've just received. And to add insult to injury, you have to pay the fee in order to get the package. Only in Canada, eh...

JPL

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Mervyn wrote:

When despatching to the US , if it is an old item the purchasers always ask us to put 'old' or 'antique' on the declaration as it is then exempt from import duty (or, at least lower). Would this description help with Canadian Customs ?

Actually this is old tale that is incorrect. There is no customs duty on medals coming into the United States regardless of age. The applicable section of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (2001) (Rev. 1) is "HTS: 9705.00.0090" which states that ?collections and collectors pieces of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, anatomical, historical, archaeological, paleontological, ethnographic or numismatic interest? are duty free. Medals fall under the collectible items of numismatic interest. The customs' declaration on the package should include the phrases "HTS: 9705.00.0090" and "Collectors pieces of numismatic interest." I have no idea whether this will work for Canada. I was under the impression that in Canada and the U. K. that the charges were a value added tax rather than a custom's duty.

Regards. Gunner 1

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Mervyn wrote:

Actually this is old tale that is incorrect. There is no customs duty on medals coming into the United States regardless of age. The applicable section of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (2001) (Rev. 1) is "HTS: 9705.00.0090" which states that ?collections and collectors pieces of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, anatomical, historical, archaeological, paleontological, ethnographic or numismatic interest? are duty free. Medals fall under the collectible items of numismatic interest. The customs' declaration on the package should include the phrases "HTS: 9705.00.0090" and "Collectors pieces of numismatic interest." I have no idea whether this will work for Canada. I was under the impression that in Canada and the U. K. that the charges were a value added tax rather than a custom's duty.

Regards. Gunner 1

I believe you are corect. I have paid several times for medals that were over $150.00 though never for anything under that amount. I don't know the exact figure where you start paying but it has been $150.00 for me. So it seems to be value based.

Regards

Brian

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Unless things have changed, I checked many years ago and there shouldn't be any customs payable on antique/old medals in Canada. If the medal is new, then they can. But then, it appears that the rules are open to interpretation by the customs official. But what really makes me mad is getting an invoice from Canada Customs stating that I owe them $12 in administration fee for them to tell me that I don't have to pay customs on the medal I've just received. And to add insult to injury, you have to pay the fee in order to get the package. Only in Canada, eh...

JPL

Welcome to the forum JPL.

I have never had this happen but it seems that the rules do indeed change with each interpretation so anything is possible.

Barrie eh? I heading to the 401 Antiques Market this weekend. Have you been there and is it worth my time?

Regards from the sunny south (of Ontario). :rolleyes:

Brian

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Welcome to the forum JPL.

I have never had this happen but it seems that the rules do indeed change with each interpretation so anything is possible.

Barrie eh? I heading to the 401 Antiques Market this weekend. Have you been there and is it worth my time?

Regards from the sunny south (of Ontario). :rolleyes:

Brian

Hi Brian,

I was living in Barrie, but have now moved to New Brunswick. I can't seem to find where I can change my location on the forum, so if anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it.

In regards to the 401 Antique Market, there are usually a few medals for sale, but this varies. Mostly run of the mill stuff, but one never knows.

Good hunting.

Jean-Paul

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Guest Darrell

Hi Brian,

I was living in Barrie, but have now moved to New Brunswick. I can't seem to find where I can change my location on the forum, so if anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it.

Jean-Paul

JP .. you really want to admit that?? :cheeky:

Welcome to the forum :cheers:

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Welcome to the forum JPL.

I have never had this happen but it seems that the rules do indeed change with each interpretation so anything is possible.

Barrie eh? I heading to the 401 Antiques Market this weekend. Have you been there and is it worth my time?

Regards from the sunny south (of Ontario). :rolleyes:

Brian

Brian

Sadly, if you're looking for militaria, the 400 Market will almost certainly be a disappointment to you. There are no militaria dealers as such, maybe one numismatist and lots and lots of stalls full of "collectables" - things too new (and ugly) to be classed as antiques. As JPL says, maybe a few medals tucked in among the rubbish, but few and far between.

I'd offer to join you anyway for the company but I'm spending all day Saturday in a seminar on retirement. Probably gonaa be as much fun as watching paint dry, but noisier! :speechless:

Peter

Edited by peter monahan
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The administration fee is charged by Canada Post, to which Canada Customs and Revenue has subcontracted the work of checking mail.

In the old days the Customs tariff spoke of "Medals for collector". There was one Customs officer in Toronto who had a very simple test to see whether you were a collector or not.

Q. What's the difference between a Medal and a Cross?

Like many of his generation he was a veteran. They got first dibs on civil service jobs.

The answer?

"Officers get Crosses, O.R.s get Medals."

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FYI, Canada customs checks about 1 out of every 7 packages that comes into the country.

A few things that will make your life MUCH easier in the future.

-Insist that the shipper place a customs declaration on the parcel, this saves a lot of problems! They won't even open the package if a declaration is on it, unless of course the Xray shows the contents to be completely different than the list.

-Marking the item as a "gift" often saves you the customs fee (GST).

When/if you receive the parcel with customs requesting more money than the actual worth of the item, it is because they will slap an automatic $500 to $1000 value on militaria that isn't properly identified on a customs declaration. This has happened to me in the past, mailing them the receipt or a print out of the eBay page resulted in me receiving a full refund in the mail within a week.

I've received countless parcels from all over the World in the past 30 years, I've only run into minor problems when the parcel didn't have a customs declaration on it. Mind you, I've also been extremely lucky that most of them were in between the "every 7 checked". :rolleyes:

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Guest Darrell

FYI, Canada customs checks about 1 out of every 7 packages that comes into the country.

Kinda like the little old ladies that get searched because they are the 7th.

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