Package Sitting at Canadian Customs, Help!

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  1. I sent a package to Canada. The tracking record shows that it has been sent to Customs since last Thursday. I have many questions.

    1. How does the Customs process work?

    2. How long does the Canadian Customs take to "review" the package before releasing it to usps for delivery to the receipient?

    3. Once the Canadian Customs determines the value of the contents and customs charges, will it contact the receipient about payment before releasing the package to usps or have usps collect the fees?

    4. Lastly, if the receipient does not pay the customs, will the package be sent back to me (I did check off the box for sending thepackage back to me in case of non-delivery)? If so, how long will it take?
  2. Don't worry about the review. This is normal. Customs does spot checks on packages. It shouldn't take too long. Usually customs just uses the declared value of the package to determine what is owed. If they decide that the package was underdeclared, they may adjust the amount. Buyers are responsible for the charges and, if they are purchasing from the U.S., should be aware of the rules. I expect that if the recepient refuses the package, it would be returned to you. It shouldn't take more than two or three weeks from start to finish.
  3. Thanks, northerndancer for your informative reply. 2-3 weeks is a normal wait? Wow!
  4. I have never waited that long for a parcel from the US, usually they just stick a form on it with the gst/tax/duty owing and send it on it's way.
    Please try entering your USPS tracking number on the Canadian website at

    When the parcel enters Canada from the US it automatically starts tracking on this end and it may even show that it's been delivered already. It might take longer for the USPS website to catch up.
    Let me know what the tracking number says on the Canada Post website I'm curious now!
  5. I know this is a common problem in canada , ive sent multiple items and one bag in particular i sent it express and she got it till 2 weeks later it was stuck in customs. Its nuts.
  6. It really depends on which side of custom your package is going through. If it's through Vancouver, it's really fast. However, if it's through Toronto or Quebec then it may take awhile. However, don't worry it should get to the receipient soon. Also, as northendancer said they do spot checks.
  7. yup, just be patient. the longest I've had stuff in customs was 8 business days. stuff from overseas actually goes through customs more quickly than stuff from the states!

  8. OMG I did not know we can use Canada post to track a item from the US
    thank you for the info :smile:
  9. I've never had anything sit 2-3 weeks and I send tons of stuff over the border. Usually it's 2-4 days not including weekends. If you under declared the value or if it's something banned then it could take longer....
  10. I bought 2 things on ebay this month from the US. One shipped on May 16 and I got it on May 26 - 11 days; the other shipped on May 18 and I got it on May 25 - 7 days. One I had to pay $9.00 duty on at the door (the mailman took either cash or credit) and the other I didn't get charged duty on. Both items were around $150. Just FYI.
  11. The longest I have seen for que and toronto has been 3 business days max over the last month or so. (I have bought some stuff). Bonus was that each time I was never charged the duty/tax despite it being declared.
  12. 2-3 weeks in customs would be the absolute max. I've had very few items that got stuck there for that long though. Usually it would be 2-5 days. What they'll do is look at the customs form you filled out declaring the value, open up the package, check the contents, then tape it back up and calculate however much customs fees they're going to charge. Then, when the postman comes to drop the item off, he/she'll knock on the door and collect the fees directly from the buyer. If they're not there, a "we missed you" notice will be left, and they'll then have to go to the post office to go and pay for it.
  13. I read on another thread last night that there may be a Canadian postal strike starting today or tomorrow, so that will definitely add on time, sad.
  14. To echo what kemilia said,

    it looks like Canada Post is getting ready to go on a strike. It's not a 100% sure thing (since there's been talks of strikes for the past few weeks now, but it hasn't actually gone into action), but things aren't looking so great.
  15. This may be a silly question, but since I don't know the answer, I have to ask! How will the current rotating strikes affect package delivery? I'm in Toronto, specifically. I have one item on its way from England, and another from the States. TIA to anyone who has any idea!
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