Hit Hard By Import Duties on a Watch (from USA into Canada)

I recently purchased the new Traska Freediver (v3.0 I think) for a reasonable $600 USD. But when the watch shipped from the USA via FedEx, they hit me with over $150 CND in import duties/taxes to cross the boarder into Canada. This amount didn't seem to add up, but I had to pay :( 

Just wondering if high import fees have been experienced by others, for watches under $1000? Any tips on avoiding getting hit this hard with shipping duties? Thanks!

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Buying in Canada is really the only way to avoid import duties.

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next time pick up watches when on vacation in the US instead....import taxes are really not worth it....

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its theft... I am Canadian and have been dinged by very unreasonable duties before (with my items held as ransom unless I paid up). Its a ridiculously high percentage of the item value and it seems almost random, like they select packages at random. Sometimes you get dinged and sometimes you don't. If the item can be sent as a "gift" you would avoid that issue, retailers however would be unlikely to be willing to do that. The traska is nice watch by the way 😀 enjoy the new purchase

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Here in Poland, things are no better. VAT is 23%, import duties vary with the product, but the total is usually just below 30%. This means 30% calculated from the sum of the declared worth...and the shipping cost. From the US to here, the shipping cost is often in excess of 100 USD.

So, if I would want to order, say, a Lorier Hyperion, which costs 799 USD, the shipping would be probably at 120 USD, that'd be 30% of 919 USD, which is 275.7 USD. So, an $800 watch would be $1075 to me.

What is beyond me is that EU-based companies often have prices sans VAT for non-EU buyers, so that the import charges don't hit them hard. Meanwhile, I don't think I've seen a single bloody US brand doing the same favour to non-US customers.

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You were likely hit not just by government duties, but also by FedEx brokerage fees. If you look at the bill the brokerage fees are likely significantly higher than duties. 

My advice would be to have something like that shipped via USPS/Canada Post. It might cost a bit more more, or take longer, but you don't get hit with the crazy fees. 

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KristianG

You were likely hit not just by government duties, but also by FedEx brokerage fees. If you look at the bill the brokerage fees are likely significantly higher than duties. 

My advice would be to have something like that shipped via USPS/Canada Post. It might cost a bit more more, or take longer, but you don't get hit with the crazy fees. 

I live in Canada. When it comes to American sellers, if they use Fedex, UPS or DHL, I don't buy from them. Period. No exceptions. 

USPS, first class or priority (& additionally insured if need be, which is almost never) or no deal.

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Was that $150 including any FedEx charges, or just duties & taxes?

Based on an exchange rate of 25%, the $600 USD would work out to $750 CDN, which would be used as the basis for any taxes and duties. In Ontario, there would have been HST of 13% charged upon clearing customs, which would work out to $97.50. In addition, if the watch was subject to duty (which would depend on where it was made) it would likely have been at 5%, for another $37.50, bringing the duties & taxes to $135.

I suspect that therefore somewhere between $15-50 of the $150 was FedEx brokerage/handling charges.

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As a fellow Canadian I so feel your pain and as someone said it's random. I like Vostok as they ship watches with the label warrantee parts to avoid it. However, it almost seems to be a gamble and deal on a watch suddenly becomes not such a great deal. 

I'm debating between ordering a Doxa and a Squale right now and the Squale may win primarily because there is a Canadian AD for them and I can't find one for Doxa. 

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I got hit with pretty high fees when I bought my Hodinkee Swatch. What I had to do to reduce the cost was go declare the package myself. I believe it was UPS, wanted to charge me a fee for clearing the item or something of that nature. 

When I bought my Speedmaster I asked the seller to state that the watch was worth less (I decided half) of it's value. This makes it so that if the watch is lost, I lost half, if the watch gets to pay I pay less taxes. Risk and rewards

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thewatchpanther

next time pick up watches when on vacation in the US instead....import taxes are really not worth it....

good call, thanks!

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KristianG

You were likely hit not just by government duties, but also by FedEx brokerage fees. If you look at the bill the brokerage fees are likely significantly higher than duties. 

My advice would be to have something like that shipped via USPS/Canada Post. It might cost a bit more more, or take longer, but you don't get hit with the crazy fees. 

Thanks for the helpful insight.

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tempus

Was that $150 including any FedEx charges, or just duties & taxes?

Based on an exchange rate of 25%, the $600 USD would work out to $750 CDN, which would be used as the basis for any taxes and duties. In Ontario, there would have been HST of 13% charged upon clearing customs, which would work out to $97.50. In addition, if the watch was subject to duty (which would depend on where it was made) it would likely have been at 5%, for another $37.50, bringing the duties & taxes to $135.

I suspect that therefore somewhere between $15-50 of the $150 was FedEx brokerage/handling charges.

Yes, I think you are correct. FedEx has a brokerage charge (I think around $25) on top of duties/taxes

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Sorry to hear that buddy, obviously bought a Serica from France, the watch was 1200 and they wanted $150 for customs 🤦

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Wow. That's a solid 20% of what you paid. Hate to hear that. I agree. That seems excessive for something under a grand. 

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I just payed 205.00CAD for a Vintage piece coming in from Barcelona. I'm use to it by now ⌚😅.

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If you are buying a watch into Canada, simple math is Price in CAD * 1.25

I know that is not exactly how it gets calculated, but it is bang on for me 99.99% of the time.

I've rarely been surprised when taking that approach...

Sometimes you see a "great price" online, and then do that math and it's like, "Ehmm maybe not"