FedEx brokerage fees for imports into Canada

Subject says it all:
Fedex Canada dinged me $CDN 25.50 for “Clearance Entry Fee” and $10 for “Advancement Fee”

Is there any way to avoid $CDN 35.50 of fees in the future? (I don’t mind paying GST and PST and other Canadian “real” taxes). Oh well, I like the keyboard so far!


p.s. If I recall correctly UPS & both DHL charge a wee bit less in bogus :slight_smile: fees and USPS is generally better but my memory could be faulty!


I’d like to second this. I have 2 of these on order and 70$ is a painful ask. Reading this has me reconsidering my 2nd unit.
Hoping for options!

[edit] : Some googling reveals that setting up a Fedex Account / Calling and inquiring about this 10$ fee can often result in it being waived. $25.50 is likely duty and unavoidable.

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My experience having things shipped to my Canadian address has been very inconsistent. Sometimes the duty is assessed, and sometimes it isn’t. UPS has usually charged me higher clearance fees than other carriers, including FedEx, but they seem to have become less ridiculous over the past several years.

The really irritating thing about it is that when something is first imported to the US, and then shipped to Canada, we sometimes have to pay duty on that item because the country of origin is China, even if a duty was already paid to import it to another NAFTA country. But I’ve had that go both ways, too; I think they’re just not consistent about it.

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Hi Roland,

That Clearance Entry Fee looks about $5 higher than I’d have expected based on my understanding of their rate table, but I’m not 100% sure. (I know it’s not a lot)

We’re definitely looking at other options for shipping in the future, though it’s relatively difficult for us to split stuff across multiple carriers. (By sticking with a single carrier, our rates are…a lot better than they would be otherwise.) I know the fees are frustrating and that this probably doesn’t help, but we’re definitely offsetting the shipping costs beyond what we charged you. (The very short version is that the box ended up bigger and heavier than we’d estimated and the company we’d been planning to use for international fulfillment turned out not to be workable.)

One of the things about FedEx is that they’re generally very, very good about dealing with packages that go missing or get damaged. It was really important to us that your keyboard not get lost in the mail.

As to the question of what you can do in the future, we’ve seen some reports online that there are options to do your own clearance. is a link to one report, though we can’t vouch for it.

ADMIN: I’m going to update the title to be a little bit less personally specific to hopefully make it easier for other folks to find in the future.


I got a warning message from FedEx to the effect that my Model 1 would require me to pay unspecified import fees whrn it arrived. A week later it appeared on my doorstep, and I haven’t heard anything more about fees.

I was surprised that I didn’t have to sign for it, and it was a little unnerving that the package was sitting in plain view on the front porch for some time before I got home. On the other hand, no import fees.

In my experience, there’s no predicting how Canada customs is going to treat a package, sometimes they ignore it, sometimes they decide it needs all kinds of expensive special attention.


I had the same experience (warning call, dropped off with no signature), then got the bill about two weeks after delivery (for ~$56).

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Consider that the total cost of the FedEx bill was $56.35 (mine anyway). The keyboard’s value is, let’s say $380 CDN. The tax on that is … $50 or so. Overall, paying $56.35 in import charges is not so bad.


yup $52 isn’t that bad. I just wish there was some way to know about these fees in advance. I have backed far too many kickstarters (over 200) :slight_smile: and have had similar “undocumented in advance charges related to shipping to Canada” from both USA and China from UPS, DHL, FedEx and USPS.

It seems to me that the only way to get predictable-in-advance shipping is to ship to an American address (and import yourself and then you will just pay any duty, HST/GST and PST) and thus avoid the whole middle-man-fee in the process.

Long live the “maple syrup curtain” :slightly_smiling_face:

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For FedEx, it is possible to find out the fees in advance, but you have to…know to find them out. Us sending a couple test shipments from the pilot run turned out not to be enough to find out, since, sometimes, customs decides not to charge and things just slide through.

For countries where FedEx does their own delivery, this site lists and explains all the possible fees:


great to know about: !
I didn’t know that! Thanks! Today I learned :slight_smile:

I’m happy that FedEx documents their fees but as you say they may or may not be applied depending on Canadian customs!

The real solution is just for me to ship to the border I think e.g. Bellingham (I live in Vancouver, BC and Bellingham is 1 hour without traffic and a huge border wait) and then bring it over myself and avoid the Fedex, UPS, DHL and USPS fees (I hope UPS, DHL and USPS have a web page detailing their fees too!). And or ship to American relatives and friends and get them to bring it over.

Thanks again!, time to close this thread methinks since pretty much says it all with respect to FedEx fees.



I didn’t pay anything. Did you have to pay the driver or was it on the bill? I looked all over but I didn’t see anything.

Update: I just got my bill and it was $56. I emailed Fedex re their $14 advancement fee.

So the advancement is the time spent for their guy to fill out the docs at Customs, then I got taxed on that, and then there was the $25 duty and then I got taxed on that. We just get taxed out the wazoo here so everybody who was complaining that they got charge $35 count your blessings. I can deduct it off my income tax because I use the computer for work.

I got a bill in the mail about 10 days after the delivery.

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that’s exactly my experience, i got the bill in the mail about 10 days after delivery!

I got my first Model 01 shipped to Germany and just received the bill for the fees. The amount is similar to what you guys were asked to pay. I’m pretty happy with it; it’s about what I expected. However, I’ll probably make use of the option FedEx advertises to send them money in advance so I don’t have to pay the advancement fee for my second Model 01.

Man, this sucks. I feel for you guys that have to pay all these (stupid) fees. If only nuclear powered drones exist… I doubt the US Govt would let me borrow a Predator to make shipments.

Is this documented somewhere? Creating an account means they have billing information for a delivery address, so it should work out… but I couldn’t find confirmation of that on the FedEx site.

@jesse - should I mail you my shiny new FedEx account number?

We’re double-plus not set up to be able to add customers’ fedex accounts with the current shipping setup. I believe the correct process is to call them as soon as you have a shipping notification.


Given that I’m expecting a limited ed. model 01 soonish. I’m sure I will be very unhappy when I get that letter from FedEx.

Thanks - good to know.

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I just read something about it on the bill. Will look into it today.