Last year i bought some item online, its price was CAD$22 i needed this item very urgent so i selected DHL for shipping (I have same experience with other shipping companies) so total cost including shipping was CAD$100

Canadian customs imposed import duty considering item price $100, total import duty was about $10 in addition to that DHL charged me CAD$22 for agent/handing fee while paying customs so total cost of that $22 value item went to about CAD $130, in some other example i also paid $22 for paying duty $5

Please note that i do not remember exact numbers but here i want to discuss the situation based on real example.

My questions is, How can i avoid agent fee while evaluating customs duty Does shipping cost includes to the value of item when evaluating for customs? (often seller include shipping cost in the invoice and print total amount paid, but some time there is a separate invoice for shipping paid)

Note: for sure; here I'm not looking for any illegal solution, I live in a small city where i can't buy items(tools) for my work locally and i have to pay additional amount each time i buy online.

  • Is there a reason that you have to buy internationally? You're in a small city but assuming that you're in Canada because you give prices in Canadian dollars, there are generally plenty of Canadian retailers that you could buy from without needing to import them. Unless you're dealing with really, really specialized items that don't have a Canadian retail outlet. Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 23:09
  • Yes I do prefer to buy local, I want to learn those import related things so that next time if I'm in same situation i could find some better choice.
    – sairfan
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


Its really surprising for me that at such a big forum no one have answer to my question.

In fact FedEx, DHL and UPS charge unjustified fee for clearing customs, when your parcel is shipped just request the shipping company that I will clear customs for this shipment by myself and they will send you documents related to your shipment. You take those documents to nearest border services agency/office and pay your import duty/taxes and email back copy of those documents to related shipping company that's all you need to do.

I did it for my DHL shipment and I was able to save clearance fee ($30) in my case for no reason DHL delayed my parcel for about 10 days, may be they were not happy on loosing money or its their service issue. I did it in Canada and it worked all good.

  • 1
    So essentially the answer is do the legwork yourself if you don't want to pay the convenience fee. Similarly, you could save the shipping fee if you went to pick up the item instead of having it sent to you.
    – 0xFEE1DEAD
    Commented Jul 13, 2021 at 20:52
  • Does not make sense, can you please explain what you want to say here? I should pick the parcel from China myself to save $60 and paying fee in near by office that takes hardly 15 minutes (no cost) and save $30 is equal?
    – sairfan
    Commented Jul 13, 2021 at 20:59
  • 2
    you're complaining about a $22 fee that saves you 1) a trip to the nearest border services agency (which may not be near) and 2) ten days. If you don't see the value in that, don't pay the fee. What I'm getting at is that there are many ways in which people pay for convenience.
    – 0xFEE1DEAD
    Commented Jul 13, 2021 at 21:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .