No, Couriers and their brokering staff dont know the total, what they know is the approx. fees THEY charge just for doing the job of the paperwork, thats separate from taxes and duties that are owed to the Canadian Government...thats money that goes into their pockets.

One reason a broker cant 100% know what the Customs charge will be is CURRENCY.  Currency exchange rates fluctuate constantly.  So the day the broker does the paperwork, is the day/time they look at the what the posted Bank rate is for USD to CAD conversion, they convert the USD to CAD, then charge the taxes and duties percentages on that CAD. (Read the posts below by CrowingHenFarm about their recent order).

For shipments to Canada what would be charged is based on what the Canadian Government requires :

- Sales tax from 5-15% depending on the province of the buyer. Its the same sales tax rate they would pay locally for buying goods.

- Duties for importing goods.  The % ranges based on the exact category of the goods.  If the item was MADE in the USA, and has the correct paperwork stating that, then Duty shouldnt be charged due to the NAFTA trade agreement.

- There are some other odd fees that rarely apply to most imports, such as Excise tax for importing precious metal bullion.

ALL of the above are collected by the post office or courier, who forward the amounts to the Canadian Government.

THEN there is Brokerage Fees, Paperwork fees, Handling Fees, Clearance Fees.  Thats fees that the post office or courier charges for the job of doing the paperwork, that money goes to THEM. It has nothing to do with the Government.

Canada Post charges a flat rate handling/paperwork fee of 9.95 CAD per parcel.

-Fedex Ground and UPS slowest services (sorry I cant remember what its called), charge a $30 + brokering fee, they charge more based on the value of the parcel. Its an unfair price gauge, as what does the value of the parcel have to do with how much work it is to broker it?  Really they keep their shipping prices low for their cheapest services to compete with postal services, but they make up the money by being sneaky and charging these ridiculous brokering fees.

- Sometimes they charge a clearance fee, for clearing the parcel quickly through customs.

- Sometimes they charge extra paperwork fees if the contents are varied, and under a lot of different categories. So theres more separate calculations and lines of paperwork to do. That does take more time/work, so isnt the most unfair fee.

Because Fedex and UPS charge more for their faster SHIPPING options, they often include their brokering fee in the initial shipping cost, and dont charge that fee to the parcel receiver as an additional fee.  The receiver just has to pay the standard taxes% and duties % that were calculated by their brokers. 

So sometimes its worth it, depending on the value of your parcel, to pay a courier for a faster shipping service, to be able to avoid paying that varied brokering/paperwork fee which is charged as a % of a value.

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