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Why are our American cousins afraid to ship to Can

Started by Staplton, 05/28/2013 11:00AM
Posted 05/28/2013 11:00AM | Edited 05/28/2013 11:23AM Opening Post
It is with some trepidation as I read countless of Astromart Classified ads ending with "... shipping to CONUS only".

Our Canadian company provide services and ship hundreds of orders to U.S. based clients. We accept US money order, bank transfers, company checks, credit cards and sometimes collect by UPS.

What are our friends south of the 49th worried about - the border is not a deterrent for business/travel/communication, Sky and Telescope is shipped to my home and UPS/FedEx delivers here as well. Heck, I even know several Obama supporters up here.

Just hope it's not because of all that cold arctic air we've sent you over the years? 8)
Posted 05/28/2013 12:12PM #1
Thomas Bencsics said:

It is with some trepidation as I read countless of Astromart Classified ads ending with "... shipping to CONUS only".

Our Canadian company provide services and ship hundreds of orders to U.S. based clients. We accept US money order, bank transfers, company checks, credit cards and sometimes collect by UPS.

What are our friends south of the 49th worried about - the border is not a deterrent for business/travel/communication, Sky and Telescope is shipped to my home and UPS/FedEx delivers here as well. Heck, I even know several Obama supporters up here.

Just hope it's not because of all that cold arctic air we've sent you over the years? 8)

The reason I am hesitant is the delays at the border. I have had it take 6 weeks to clear customs. The person that I shipped to was getting pretty nervous about the transaction. I could not find out anything on the whereabouts of the package either while it was in customs. This caused a lot of tension for me and the buyer, so I have not wished to ship again to Canada.
Floyd

[SIZE="Large"][/SIZE][COLOR="Blue"][/COLOR] Floyd Blue grin
Amateur Imager
Posted 05/28/2013 07:13PM #2
No, it's not your chilly air or your accent. The reason many now shy away from exporting is the result of a change in the way the U.S. government treats even inadvertent errors in customs declarations and paperwork. The CBP now asses fines for minor errors and will press criminal charges if given half a chance. The post office warns:

"INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THIS FORM (Remove this page prior to completing form.)
Please print this form in English using blue or black ink, pressing firmly so all information transfers to all copies. Complete the declaration fully and legibly; otherwise, delay and inconvenience may result for the addressee. A false or misleading declaration may lead to a fine or seizure of the item and additional penalties."


Most people aren't too keen on rummaging through a 900-page document to find some obscure commodity reference for the customs form only to risk a $500 fine (or worse) to sell an eyepiece worth $100. The federal government loves exporters, especially when they are the likes of GE or Boeing. The smaller birds are used for target practice. 8)

Jim McSheehy
Posted 05/28/2013 08:54PM #3
Thomas,
I've had a few things shipped in from CAN, all with different results. I've had a BIG DT (24" 610mm) & Saddle 14" (355mm) plate that made it here in ~6 days. I had an EP that took 2 months getting across the border. I had a FLIR camera that took 18 months to be allowed to bring it back in (My work (A local Gov't) shipped it to the original manufacturer in CAN for service). The US Census Bureau refused reentry as it was too sensitive for use (we had already owned it for 10 yrs?!?). I had a Dovetail held up by USPS for 2 weeks as "undetermined import" object, until I tracked it down & was able to show the inspector a webpic of its purpose, then it was released & was overnighted to me as no additional cost. Shipping things across the border is a hit or miss thing on both sides.

Clear Dark Skies
Startraffic
39.138274 -77.168898
Posted 05/29/2013 05:59AM #4
I always ship small items, like eyepieces, to any country where insurance is available. Large items, which have to go UPS, are a time consuming nightmare of paperwork, standing in line and bureaucratic nonsense. Over the last couple of years for large items I only list it as "pick up only", regardless of the recipient's address.

George