View Full Version : Exporting books to Canada

John Stevenson
02-05-2008, 09:26 AM
Need to ship a load of books from the UK to British Columbia [ no Evan it's not your Christmas present :D ] these will be shipped at two or three 68 kg parcels [ max weight ] by Fed-Ex

Does anyone know if there is a Canadian handling charge and / or VAT or whatever rate.
Books are tax exempt coming into the UK but don't know how it works going to Canada.


02-05-2008, 10:04 AM
Fed EX is the most expensive option of all and it is very dear. It will cost the receiver a small fortune in fees. My wife says to use DHL which is available in the UK. Also check into express post, it may be cheaper yet. Post is the best option from the receivers point of view as the fees are minimal for customs clearance. I'm quite sure there isn't any duty on printed matter as long as you declare it as such. It will cost a bloody fortune if you send it by air. GST (same as VAT) will apply but is only 5% on the invoice cost.

02-05-2008, 10:47 AM
OK John, how much did you sell the Model Engineers for?

John Stevenson
02-05-2008, 02:27 PM
Thanks for that Even but need to sort some more details out though.
Since these services have gone web based it's hard to find someone to actually talk to.

Last time I used Fed-ex I sent a large servo motor to Arizona, guaranteed next day and it cost £124 which I thought was brilliant for something as heavy as this, and it got there.

DHL isn't an option for a few reasons, one is their UK site is impossible to navigate, you can't even see what countries they send to. Unless you sign up for an account they won't quote any prices.

Main reason is a few years ago I sent a large boring head overnight to Amsterdam, it was on 1/2 a pallet, banded and shrink wrapped so it could be seen. That cost me £380 and they lost it.
It spent 10 days in a warehouse at Amsterdam airport and DHL couldn't find it.

To make it worse when I tried to cancel the credit card I was told as it had shipped from the UK they couldn't cancel the charge.

Fortunately ?? I was only responsible for taking it to the airport and paying for it, the customer had done all the arrangements and they had made arrangements to shut a power station down for 2 days so their men could bore core holes in three boilers for inspection and weld them back in.
The guys were on site the day before and no boring machine. I know it caused they some real hassle and I didn't get paid for about 6 months.

Canada is the main problem as for some reason the post office will only ship 2Kg max to Canada, everywhere else it's 10kg and at the moment we have fifty five 2kg parcels to go and that's really a lot of money.
For some reason UK to Canada is 2kg max by air AND 2kg max by sea via the Post office.
US is totally different so it can't be the distance, China is even more reasonable.


Peter N
02-05-2008, 02:43 PM
John, I've got a DHL international Air Express account, if you like I could get a price for you?
I would need to know the sizes of each parcel as well as the individual/total weight, as the air freight can be costed on either the cube or the weight.
Also destination details, area & zip code etc.


02-05-2008, 02:50 PM
I have sold tractor service maunals(used) to canada from USA via Us postal service Vat was charged.

02-05-2008, 04:14 PM
I have had items sent from the uk to Canada
If you put on the package that it's a gift there is no extra charges

02-05-2008, 04:19 PM
FWIW, I've ordered a couple books from England to be sent to the states. They came regular post by air. Service was fairly quick and price wasn't all that much .

On the other hand I've seen books from sellers in Australia that I'd like to buy, but I'd have to take a second mortgage on my house to afford that shipping.

02-05-2008, 04:19 PM
I don't know how Fedex works, but UPS charges a very high brokerage fee. The shipper's rate looks acceptable, but the buyer has to pay a small fortune on his end to ransom the shipment.

If you are comparing total cost, this usually makes US Postal Servive more enonomical when shipping from US to Canada

Alistair Hosie
02-05-2008, 04:20 PM
Yep marked as gift or article returned under warranty seems to get you off the hook, but with books you should be ok anyway shouldn't you??Alistair

Lew Hartswick
02-05-2008, 06:53 PM
How about checking with the Canadian consulate as to how best??

02-05-2008, 07:34 PM

is it Canada that doesn't want to have big items shipped? Or is it the UK that does not want to ship big items to Canada? I can check with the local post office tomorrow if you like. I am in Eastern Canada, a long way away from Evan, but it should be the same rules for me as well.

Let me know

Rob :)

02-05-2008, 09:25 PM
I don't know how Fedex works, but UPS charges a very high brokerage fee.

FedEx charges brokerage fees too, but they're less than UPS's. Actually, everyone's brokerage fees are less than UPS's.

BUT, I've been told by UPS corporate that they only charge brokerage fees for truck shipments across the border. Specifically, air shipments are not charged brokerage fees. At least, that's what they claim on their web page.

bob ward
02-05-2008, 10:22 PM
John, have a look through parcelforce.com.

Looks like they do max 30kg parcels to Canada, which is Zone 10 in their pricing scheme. Pricing for economy air, if I'm reading their spreadsheet right is about £5 per kg for non account holders.

Can't see if they have a flat rate box system, but it might be there if you poke around in all the dark corners.

02-06-2008, 01:09 AM
Here is the regulation from the Royal Mail website. I have no clue why Canada is singled out but I'm guessing the restriction must be at our end since they will ship up to 5 kilo parcels everywhere else.

*** 2000g is the maximum weight for Surface Mail items except Printed Papers, where the maximum weight is 5000g. Please note that the maximum weight for all Surface Mail items to Canada is 2000g.

* Books and pamphlets are the only items over 2kg that can be sent by Royal Mailís international services. These can be sent via Printed Papers up to a maximum weight of 5kg; for each additional 20g add 10p to Europe or 20p to World Zones 1 and 2.
Please note; No items over 2kg (including books and pamphlets) can be sent to Canada and only books over 2kg can be sent to the Irish Republic.


bob ward
02-06-2008, 02:43 AM
Parcelforce is part of Royal Mail, Parcelforce looks after the big stuff, Royal Mail looks after letters and small parcels. Both can be accessed via the post office system. http://www.parcelforce.com/portal/pw/content2?catId=5800020&mediaId=20800316

But if you go through the Royal Mail website there is nary a mention of Parcel force and vice versa. The RM parcel pricing/sizing page would benefit from a note referring larger parcels to Parcelforce, its almost as though they are competitors rather than branches of the same organisation.

I figured all this out a couple of years ago when I was investigating the best way of getting a few kilos from UK to Oz

And for a fine example of business consultant non-speak about why Parcelforce was set up http://www.uffindellwest.com/clients/parcelforce.asp

02-06-2008, 03:19 AM
Parcelforce is an arm of Royal Mail so on this end the handling fees will be minimal, probably $5 plus GST at 5%. I looked up the charge for sending 30 kg and it is £162.30 via Global Priority. We have the same system here with Canada Post.