Since there's been some discussion about duties and brokerage woes when shipping Club Polk gear to Canada, I thought I'd post some hints I found on other deal boards.
Some of the most common ways of shipping:
USPS. They ship to Canada and hand over the package to Canada Post. Canada Post then assesses the duties and taxes.
One of the cheaper ways. Also one of the slowest.
UPS. They charge a brokerage fee. I find it annoying because they don't include the cost in with the shipping. They do this automatically unless you call and tell them you will clear the package yourself. This only works if you're near the airport where the goods cross the border.
It works well for me (Vancouver) because the UPS commercial terminal is near the customs office. Of course, not all UPS employees are aware that you can do this.
Fedex appears to include brokerage in their quotes. It's about the same as UPS but I like it because it's not a surprise when it arrives at your door.
Ship to cross border PO Box and go get it yourself. This also works for me cuz I'm 20 mins from the border. You can then declare the gear yourself.
Ship to friends in US and have them bring it up. This worked well for my transaction with criverajr. I had a Rotel amp shipped to friends in Seattle and they brought it up later. Drawbacks it takes a while but it's cheaper on shipping and I lucked out by not paying any duties. You also tend to be dinged by the "dinner tax". ;)
The customs and taxation is handled by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.
Canada Postal and Duties:
The web site summarizes how duties should be applied.
Note: The value of goods are converted to Canadian dollars and then the duties applied. I thought the 60 dollar gift exemption was usd not cdn. I stand corrected.
If someone mails you an item worth $20 CAN or less, you don't have to pay duty or tax on the item
(see D8-2-2 for details).
$5 Canada post handling fee for duties if applicable.
Items that qualify as a "gift"
For an item to qualify as a "gift", another person must send it to you personally and must include a card or other notice indicating that it's a gift.
If you receive an imported gift by mail and it's worth $60 CAN or less, you don't have to pay duty or tax. If the gift is worth more than $60, you must pay duty and tax on the amount over $60 CAN.
For example, if a relative sends you a gift worth $200 CAN, you must pay the applicable duty, the GST or HST, and any PST on $140 CAN.
Check out the section on appealing the duties/tariffs.
Reassesment Request form
Personal exemptions to bring down the cost of duties. eg Stay a few days out of country and claim your 50 cdn exemption.
hope this helps.