Import Brokerage and Fees FAQ

What is the import process?

When you order from another country and have the product sent to you, you are importing goods. This process includes a few extra steps than if you order from somewhere within your own country due to import rules and cost.

Here are the basics of the import process: 

  1. Order Placed
  2. Order Shipped (with customs invoice for documentation)
  3. Brokerage/Customs Clearance 
  4. Import Fees Paid 
  5. Delivery
The individuals involved in the process are: 
1. Importer: The importer is the buyer  and places an order for purchase.

2. Exporter: The exporter is the seller who manufactures or procures the product.

3. Customs Authorities: In international trade, the customs authorities of at least two countries – the country of export and country of import – are involved. They provide clearance for goods to leave the country of export and to enter the country of import.

4. Carrier:  Shipping company that transports the goods from the exporter to the customs authorities, and then to the importer. EcoEnclose uses UPS, USPS, and Freight carriers.

What does "Customs" mean?

"Customs" is a common term in international shipping which can refer to either the actual process or the duties, fees or taxes levied on goods transported from one country to another. These costs vary depending on the item and country and are over and above the carrier's cost to ship goods. Every country has its own rules and guidelines.

What is the customs clearance process?

Customs clearance involves the physical inspection of the shipment and document check.

What is a broker, and why do I need one?

The broker will receive the goods and will make sure your import documentation is filed correctly and penalties are avoided.

For large companies which import or export frequently, you may want to hire a broker for all of your shipments.  Customs Brokers can help your imports arrive safely and file your paperwork and Customs entries with Customs officials.

What are customs fees?

Customs fees are costs that the host country charges to manage the flow of goods in and out of the country. All products go through Customs before going to the buyer, and there is a fee associated to manage this process. 

Will I be responsible for paying customs duties and brokerage fees when importing EcoEnclose products?

Most likely, yes. When your goods arrive at the border, the applicable customs duties, fees or taxes will be assessed and must be paid before they can be delivered. 

  • Taxes: Taxes are not charged by every country, and they can vary based on the value of the product. This is an additional fee that a local government such as state, province or city, charges for delivering the package into their region. 
  • Duties/Tariffs: Similar to Customs Fees, Duties/Tariffs are a type of tax placed on value of item, plus freight and insurance by country. Duties/Tariffs are designed to protect local businesses and industries in the host country.
Can you help me figure the brokerage/import costs?
Unfortunately, we are not able to figure these costs for you, but here are some links that should help:

Brokerage Fees to Canada:

Customs Clearance: UPS offers free+* routine customs clearance of UPS Worldwide Express Plus™, UPS Worldwide Express™, UPS Worldwide Express Freight™, UPS Worldwide Express Saver®, and UPS Worldwide Expedited


Which carrier should I choose?
UPS is a more affordable way to ship larger orders, but they do charge a brokerage fee ($10+) even for orders shipping to Canada. Orders under $200 shipping to a residential address can expect to pay about $14 in importing fees at delivery. The higher the value of the goods, the higher the import fee rate. But as mentioned, even when adding an average of 6% additional cost when shipping UPS, it still makes better financial sense for larger orders to ship UPS.
UPS also offers tracking and faster service. Still, most customers choose USPS over UPS for smaller orders. 

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