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Archive 2012 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?
  
 
SeattleBirdMan
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


I just purchased a Canon 300mm IS II lens from a Canada retail store, Vistek. I had it shipping to me in the US. About 2 weeks after getting the lens I go a bill from FedEx for duties. The charge is $149 for duties plus the $25 import fee. I expected the $25 but no the $149.

Is it possible they mis-categorized my lens in the wrong duty category? I was under the impression there were no duties on DSLR lenses?

Thanks
Doug



Jul 30, 2012 at 05:23 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


It's possible. What is the harmonized code number they used to determine the duty?

If it's listed as 9002.11.10 10 or 90 it would be free of tariffs.
If it's listed as 9002.11.90 00, this category of "other" has a 2% tariff.

Probably worth calling them to dispute it if you feel it's in error, which I believe it is.

Considering the lens sells for around $7000, $149 is roughly 2% of that amount... my guess is the item was mis-categorized at some point. This was also a problem going the other way from time to time with B&H shipments coming to Canada

Edited on Jul 30, 2012 at 06:19 PM · View previous versions



Jul 30, 2012 at 06:15 PM
SeattleBirdMan
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


Thanks for the reply.

The harmonized code number referenced is
9002.11.9000 and they used a 2.3% tariff.

Any suggestions for how I approach FedEx to reclassify the harmonized code?

Thanks



Jul 30, 2012 at 06:19 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


Call them to dispute it and tell them that the correct category should have been:

-Objective lenses:

9002.11.10

- - -For colour television cameras or colour video cameras;
For enlargers making negatives or positives of a width exceeding 10 cm and a length exceeding 12.5 cm;
For photographic cameras;
For use in the manufacture of projectors;
To be employed in the commercial production of video tape productions, cinematographic films (motion picture films), animated films or multi-image shows

If you do a google search for something such as: Section XVIII
OPTICAL, PHOTOGRAPHIC, CINEMATOGRAPHIC, MEASURING, CHECKING, PRECISION, MEDICAL OR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS AND APPARATUS; CLOCKS AND WATCHES;
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS;
PARTS AND ACCESSORIES THEREOF

...you should be able to find the actual documents.

BTW, I'm working off the Canadian documents. The US documents might differ and the tariffs might be different too...



Jul 30, 2012 at 06:21 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


Also, my understanding from a few years ago, and this might only be valid for US to Canada shipments, was that the courier was supposed to call you for any shipments in excess of $1600 to verify brokerage arrangements. At this point you would tell FedEx to clear it for you and you could confirm the duties/taxes/fees, which would have brought this to your attention, you would have questioned it, and they could have fixed it on the spot... It's one reason why with high value shipments I try to call the courier while it's in transit to confirm and prepay any fees before delivery.


Jul 30, 2012 at 06:28 PM
SeattleBirdMan
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


I found the Harmonized Tariff Schedule for the US for Photographic equipment.


http://www.usitc.gov/publications/docs/tata/hts/bychapter/1201c90.pdf

The 9002 section seems to be for lenses but the only part that has no tariffs seems to be for closed circuit cameras. The is no mention specifically about SLR lenses. Am I missing something here?



Jul 30, 2012 at 08:57 PM
photoprice
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


My experience is with FedEx Canada (not FedEx US) but:

You'll need to ask FedEx to file a "Duty & Tax Claim or Amendment". In Canada the fee for this is the greater of $75 per claim or 8% of the amount of claim. (Normally the fee is only $25 if your purchase is less than $1600).

What likely happened was Vistek supplied the incorrect HTC (or no HTC, and FedEx guessed at one).



Jul 30, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


Over the years I bought several lenses from Henry's and didn't pay any extra taxes. I wonder if I just lucked out?


Jul 30, 2012 at 09:40 PM
scalesusa
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


SeattleBirdMan wrote:
I found the Harmonized Tariff Schedule for the US for Photographic equipment.

http://www.usitc.gov/publications/docs/tata/hts/bychapter/1201c90.pdf

The 9002 section seems to be for lenses but the only part that has no tariffs seems to be for closed circuit cameras. The is no mention specifically about SLR lenses. Am I missing something here?


Read the note in 902.11.40.00 in the column marked Rates of duty, Special:

These countries are free of Duty. Only impoorts from other countries pay duty. Your lens was produced in Japan, it merely passed thru Canada on its way to you.

Free (A,AU,BH,CA,
CL,E,IL,J,JO,KR,
MA,MX,OM,P,PE,
SG)



Jul 30, 2012 at 10:20 PM
SeattleBirdMan
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


The abbreviation for Japan is JP so it doesn't look like it is excluded in that list.


Jul 30, 2012 at 10:38 PM
 

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molson
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


Lenses imported to the USA are subject to duty, so it's a legitimate charge and you won't get your money back from FedEx.

The only way to avoid this is to avoid using FedEx or UPS shipping... the US Post Office doesn't collect duty (or charge brokerage fees).



Jul 30, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Andrew J
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


Items for personal use have no duty. This is listed on the FedEx site.


Jul 30, 2012 at 11:16 PM
netexpress
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


Do any Canadian provinces have a very low VAT such that it might be worth just flying to that province to pick up say an 800L in person and avoid all this? Just curious.


Jul 30, 2012 at 11:38 PM
molson
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


netexpress wrote:
Do any Canadian provinces have a very low VAT such that it might be worth just flying to that province to pick up say an 800L in person and avoid all this? Just curious.


We don't have VAT, but the lowest sales tax rate is 5% and the US duty on lenses is only 2%, so unless you're already planning a trip anyway you won't save any money.



Jul 31, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Asthax
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


There should be NO duty on lenses, as long as they're correctly classified as 9002.11.10.

I've done considerable research on this topic, and also many Canadians buy lenses from the US which has an identical classification & duty scheme.

Source: http://www.photoprice.ca/article/duty-on-camera-equipment



Jul 31, 2012 at 02:13 AM
SeattleBirdMan
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


I can't seem to find the 9002.11.10 on any US tariff listings. I do see it on Canada but I don't think that will help when I speak to US FedEx about changing the classification.

Is it possible there is more detail on other documents that aren't showing up on the link I listed?



Jul 31, 2012 at 05:00 AM
rscheffler
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


In the link you provided, it's in category 9002.11 Objective lenses and parts and accessories thereof: For cameras, projectors or photographic enlargers or reducers

My guess is the harmonized code used was either 9002.11.90 or 9002.19.00. Both of those have 2.3% duty, which is what you paid.

Maybe there is a duty for shipment to the USA... and there certainly are a lot of differing opinions here. I think the only way you'll get a straight answer is if you ask: http://www.usitc.gov/scripts/tariff_affairs/hts_help.asp

And if you do ask and get a reply, please post it here.

Andrew J wrote:
Items for personal use have no duty. This is listed on the FedEx site.


http://www.usitc.gov/faqs/tariff_affairs_faqs.htm

Do I have to pay duty if I import something for my personal use?
In general the same duties are charged on imports for personal use and for commercial imports. However, Chapter 98 has exceptions for some circumstances such the return of travelers or the move of people to the United States. In addition, Customs usually does not collect duties on personal shipments valued at less the $200 ($100 for gifts).



Jul 31, 2012 at 07:33 AM
rscheffler
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


molson wrote:
the US Post Office doesn't collect duty (or charge brokerage fees).


Err, not so, according to this: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/basic_trade/internet_purchases.xml

Technically it's U.S. Customs and Border Protection who assess duty, not the USPS, but duty, if applicable, will still be payable.


International Postal Service: Merchandise shipped through the international postal service is forwarded upon its arrival in the United States to one of U.S. Customs and Border Protection International Mail Branches for clearance. If the item is less than $2,000 in value and is not subject to a quota or is not a restricted or prohibited item, a CBP official will usually prepare the paperwork for importing it, assess the proper duty, and release it for delivery. This procedure is generally referred to as a mail entry.

Packages whose declared value is under $200 ($100 if being sent as a gift to someone other than the purchaser) will generally be cleared without any additional paperwork prepared by CBP. However, CBP always reserves the right to require a formal entry for any importation and generally exercises this option if there is something unusual about the importation, or if important documents such as an invoice or bill of sale do not accompany the item.

If any duty is owed, CBP will charge a processing fee for clearing your package. Duty and the processing fee are usually paid at your local post office, where your package is forwarded.

Hint: To speed a package through CBP examination at a port's International Mail Branch, the seller should affix a completed CN 22 or CN 23 (U.S. Customs and Border Protection Declaration Form) to the outside of the package. This form may be obtained at local post offices worldwide.

Plus: Pretty economical.

Pitfalls: If the item's value is more than $2,000, it may be held at the mail facility until you can arrange for a formal entry. This may require either hiring a customs broker to clear your goods or you may file the paperwork yourself.

This is also true when importing to Canada by mail, though I believe the cutoff value is $1600...



Jul 31, 2012 at 07:56 AM
molson
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


rscheffler wrote:
Err, not so, according to this: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/basic_trade/internet_purchases.xml

Technically it's U.S. Customs and Border Protection who assess duty, not the USPS, but duty, if applicable, will still be payable.

International Postal Service: Merchandise shipped through the international postal service is forwarded upon its arrival in the United States to one of U.S. Customs and Border Protection International Mail Branches for clearance. If the item is less than $2,000 in value and is not subject to a quota or is not a restricted or prohibited item, a CBP official will usually prepare the paperwork for importing it, assess the proper duty, and release it
...Show more


i was just describing what actually happens, not the theoretical process...



Jul 31, 2012 at 07:37 PM
SeattleBirdMan
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Anyone get charged duties buying from Canada to US?


I have sent an email question to the US International Trade Commission personnel to have them clarify what Harmonized code a lens for 35mm SLR camera would be. I also mentioned that it was suggested to me that the code would be 9002.11.10 but that I could not find that on US schedules, only on Canadian schedules.

I'll pass along what I find out.



Jul 31, 2012 at 11:30 PM





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