One of the challenges for a meeting planner is understanding customs brokerage rates and charges.
Here’s what you need to know:
When the customs broker is providing the shipping, there will be about four to five fees that will build up an invoice. These fees generally don’t include the duties and taxes that may be applicable.
Ask your broker for a “rate schedule”. While most fees are structured similarly, the actual amount charged may differ significantly. Rate schedules are most often based on the value of the goods being sent combined with the services that the broker is providing. There will generally be some fees for importing your goods into Canada as well as fees for importing the goods back into the United States.
Rates are related to manufacturing (or wholesale) value of goods. The reason for the relationship with value is the risk associated with tax, duty, bonds being posted and other sureties that the broker will have directly with the Canadian government.
Tip: The value that is declared on a commercial invoice will trigger the rate the broker will charge, and also the amount of duties and taxes that will be applied.
Tip: The more entries sent into the country, the more work the broker is doing – and will charge for. It is less expensive to ship one entry into the country than to ship the same amount over three or four entries.