It’s true – Canadian brides pay more for their weddings than their US counterparts. For instance, most of the wedding favors and supplies available in the market ship from the US. To import into Canada involve not only additional shipping cost, but brokerage fee to the courier, duties assessed by the Canadian Government, and a bond fee in some cases. How these fees are calculated is not always straight forward.
The fee paid to a broker for handling custom clearance at the border on your behalf. As most companies in the wedding business utilizes UPS, let’s take UPS as an example.
The structure for UPS’s brokerage (as of the date this article is written) is simple. The amount of brokerage fee is based on the value of the goods you import.
For import value up to $40, the brokerage fee is $7. For import value up to $100, the brokerage fee is $19.95, or 20%. The fee “drops” to about 15% for larger orders. Note that this number doesn’t include duty.
If you have gone through the document used by the Canadian government on assessing duties on products, you would know there are thousands of duty codes, and to find the correct code for an item could cause an extreme amount of frustration. The rate of duty ranges from 0% to 11%+. If you get away with it all together, you’re lucky.
In the event your shipment has incurred duty, UPS posts a bond allowing their shipments to be released in advance of payment to the government. That fee, of course, will be paid by you at the time of delivery, on top of other fees. UPS charges 2.7 % (minimum $5.85) of the amount advanced by UPS.
How do these fees affect my bottom line?
Let’s say you ordered $150 worth of items located in the US. Shipping cross-border is generally more expensive but let’s take that out of the equation for the time being.
Scenario 1 – no duty assessed (best case scenario)
Brokerage ($29) + Duty (0) + Bond Fee (0) = $29, or 19.33% of your order.
Scenario 2 – a 10% duty assessed (almost the worst case scenario)
Brokerage ($29) + Duty ($15) + Bond Fee ($5.85) = $49.85, or close to 33.23% of your order.
Based on a $150 order, a Canadian bride will pay 19.33% more than her US counterpart.
Tips for Canadian Brides
Here is a little known secret – shipments imported into Canada with value less than $20 will generally incur no brokerage or duty, so if you order samples and they are less than $20 in total values, you will not have to worry about these additional charges.
If you plan to order more than $20 worth of favors or supplies, shop around. There are a number of websites that claim they take care of brokerage fee and duties by offering higher prices, up to a 100% mark up.
Our sponsors are all Canadian-friendly, and understand the frustration and the high prices Canadian brides are facing, which is why they aim to minimize any unnecessary charges or unwanted surprises for Canadians.
Ship directly from the US or Canada depending on your location, there is no brokerage fee or duties with your order. The Wedding Bella offers a wide range of wedding favors and supplies.
Designer wedding favors offered by The Favor Bella ship from the US. They have a lot of orders going into Canada and understands the frustrations associated with brokerage and duties. There is no mark up for Canadians. In fact, you have a choice of capping the brokerage fees and duties at $16.95. The Favor Bella pays the difference if fees associated with your order exceed this amount. This is a great deal if your order is $40 or more, since the brokerage fee alone would be at least $19.95! Shipping charges are calculated by weight base on UPS’s posted rate. They never charge any handling fees on orders.
To all Canadian bella: Shop smart, don’t get burnt by brokerage fees and duties.