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Consumers concerned about high cost of brokerage fees when shipping from US

By CO Staff @canadaone |

With the high dollar, it can be tempting to ship items from the United States rather than buying locally. However, many consumers are shocked at the final cost when brokerage fees are factored in, warns Industry Canada.

For example, a purchase of just over $100 could result in brokerage fees of $30, a fee that is charged in addition to taxes, duties and shipping charges.

Brokerage fees are legitimate charges that cover the cost of processing goods through customs. Unlike duties and taxes, which are paid to the government, these fees are charged by the postal services and couriers.

Industry Canada cautions consumers to ask sellers about the custom brokerage fees and, if they appear uncertain, check with the service used by the seller.

If you plan to arrange your own shipping, make sure that you research the costs. You will find that custom brokerage fees can vary widely. Industry Canada notes that these fees are often included in goods delivered by air.

Consumers who believe they have been a victim of deceptive business practices or who want information on the application of the Competition Act are encouraged to contact the Bureau's Information Centre at 1-800-348-5358, or visit the Web site at

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