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Arkteia

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
7,565
I shipped a spinel I bought from Tan to a new Canadian designer I found on ETSY. Her price seemed decent and I liked her designs. It was a Mahenge heart which I have recently featured in my post. I think I paid about $ 500.00 for, maybe less, it but insured it for $ 300.00. Sent by USPS, not FEDEX. Well, there were customs duties of $ 41.00 which she paid! Which is now added to the price.

I explored Canadian customs regulations. They are complicated and not so complicated, but the main issue is, you have to pay taxes and they are high. They said that if you bought an issue abroad (not in US) and was bringing it from US you did not have to pay taxes (if you had a proof of purchase) but this applied to Canadian citizen so I do not know if this true for US citizen. Anyhow, I can not put any paper with the real price on the package not to tempt people working at USPS.

So in reality, these duties will limit the work I shall give to Canadian (or any foreign) jewelers, no matter how good they are. I shall post a link to the table of Canadian taxes.

I do not know if there are any other ways to work around this issue (after all, I am not importing into Canada, I am sending ai item to a jeweler to work on it and mail it back to me. It is not import or export, it is using the labor, because the stone is mine, gets sent abroad and comes back). I probably should not even waste time on retrieving back $ 41.00 unless the customs duties on finished item are ludicrously high. But that is what happens. No more work for Canadian jewelers from me... Sad. Some of them are great.

Or maybe I shall collect all invoices and deal with Canadian customs all at once.

Sending it during my trip to Vancouver (I like to go there) makes no sense either because the price of gas is more that $ 41.00 and I shall not make two trips in two weeks just for leisure.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
23,268
In the future, can you declare it as a synthetic gem. That might help.
 

lelser

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
261
You cannot insure what you do not declare. No insurer will cover a claim for more than the declared customs value, so unless you are willing to take the risk, it's not a great idea to declare a low value.

There is no duty per se bringing stones into Canada from the US. There are
- brokerage fees, usually 10-20 dollars
- GST or HST which is 5 - 13%

Now, if the fee assessed was GST or HST, the jeweller gets that back when she files her return. I consider my import GST to be a loan I make to my government. I get 100% of it back minus whatever I owe in sales tax collected and would never charge it to an overseas client.

You should ask if it was GST or HST, and request that she cover that since she'll be getting it refunded. The brokerage charges you just need to pay.

Cheers,

Lisa
www.lisaelser.com
www.greengemfoundation.com
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,682
lelser|1308427350|2949112 said:
You cannot insure what you do not declare. No insurer will cover a claim for more than the declared customs value, so unless you are willing to take the risk, it's not a great idea to declare a low value.
There is no duty per se bringing stones into Canada from the US. There are
- brokerage fees, usually 10-20 dollars
- GST or HST which is 5 - 13%

Now, if the fee assessed was GST or HST, the jeweller gets that back when she files her return. I consider my import GST to be a loan I make to my government. I get 100% of it back minus whatever I owe in sales tax collected and would never charge it to an overseas client.

You should ask if it was GST or HST, and request that she cover that since she'll be getting it refunded. The brokerage charges you just need to pay.

Cheers,

Lisa
www.lisaelser.com
www.greengemfoundation.com

I hope you don't mind but just thought that I would clarify this a bit because whilst that may be true in the US/Canada, it's not true for the UK. Here we can insure (via the Post Office) a parcel for any amount we want and (strangely) it does not have to correspond to the Customs declaration form.

I hope you don't mind the mini threadjack Crasru but we have more UK forum members now and it may be helpful for them to know.
 

Arkteia

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
7,565
Oh, that's OK... I just want to get my money back. Question, though: if you insure it for the higher price, and it gets lost, are you going to be paid the full insurance price? Or still only what the declaration says? Because if you are not going to get the full price, you are merely wasting your money on the insurance. It is off my topic but still interesting...
 

lelser

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
261
LD - The experience of people trying to collect on losses, pretty much everywhere, is that you can insure for whatever you like. They'll sell it to you. They will NOT pay out on a loss, however. The UK may be different, but you'd need to talk with someone who has successfully collected on a lost or damaged item for more than the declared value to be sure.

I insure through G4SI which covers the gem, watch and jewellery trade. They explicitly will not allow you to buy insurance for more than the declared value because they won't pay more. USPS and Canada Post allow you to buy insurance for over the declared amount but will and do refuse to pay on a loss for more than declared.

In fact, normal Fedex and Postal services do not cover gems and jewellery well at all. Fedex is notorious for not paying on claims (their fine print says they don't cover it but they'll take your money. You don't realize you're not covered until you need it, then the response is "oh, sorry, didn't you read the T&Cs? Here's a refund of your insurance."

Fedex has a separate insurance for the trade, but you need to have it on your account.

Cheers,

Lisa
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,682
Lisa - I have claimed so the above is from first hand experience!

Crasru - In the UK you would get up the amount of the goods i.e. whatever your receipt said. This may not be the full amount i.e. if you insured for £500 but had only bought the gem for £250 you'd get the £250 plus all postage.
 

lelser

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
261
LD - that's really good to know! And the VAT folks don't coming knocking afterwards? They just hate not getting their cut. That's the excuse they use on this side of the pond - you should be saying the same thing to the insurance folks as you do the tax collector. I see their point, but wish then they'd NOT charge for insurance they will never pay.

Cheers,

Lisa
www.lisaelser.com
www.greengemfoundation.com
 

Candice

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
180
Crasru, I would make sure that you have the designer send the ring back to via fedex or some other courier service. Canada post or registered mail is on strike here in Canada and there's a huge back log...no mail is going in or out.

declaring it as a sample ring with synthetic stone will save you taxes, we pay HST (13%) in Ontario, but I am not sure what you will have to pay receiving a shipment from the designer. whenever a designer declares as a synthetic sample I pay no customs or very little. anything else and I have have gotten hit with customs duties worth 1/3rd the price of the item :angryfire:
 
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