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  1. #1

    Default A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    Hi everyone,

    Need your insights.

    Just received a note from the Canada Border Services Agency indicating that it has intercepted a package that was sent to me from the UK and subsequently removed from the mail stream. The explanation was "Perfume - Non-mailable matter" and said that "it must be transferred to Canada Post for disposal." Does it worth your while to fight it?

    I have asked the seller to declare it as body lotion/cosmetics when shipping and the seller confirmed doing so. If the item was sent to me from the UK seller with insurance, would the seller be qualified for the insured amount. Obviously, once the seller received the insurance $, he will have to refund me for the purchase.

    Please let me know what you think and if any of you has any experience in dealing with this type of situation.

    Thanks much.

  2. #2

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    This happened to me and NearFantastica on some frags he sent me. In that case, though, either U.S. Customs or Canadian Customs (we don't know which) just sent the parcel back to him. (He then re-sent it to me, and it WORKED that time!) I know this sounds awful, but all I can do is recommend that you re-package the whole megillah, label the form "used cosmetics with a value under $20.00 CDN" and re-send it. Customs agents usually just do spot checks and random checks, I think.

    If THAT doesn't work, then a refund's in order, of course. Make sure to keep your buyer abreast of the situation as things unfold.

    Peggy: "Right now, we have to get to the mental institution. Something terrible has happened."
    Latrelle: "What?"
    Peggy: "Brother Boy has tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window."
    Latrelle: "Isn't he only on the second floor?"
    Peggy: "Yes, but he hit his head on a lawn gnome."
    Fr. Sordid Lives: The Series
    *****
    "Live, live, live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
    Auntie Mame
    [/B]

  3. #3

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    Hi everyone,

    Need your insights.

    Just received a note from the Canada Border Services Agency indicating that it has intercepted a package that was sent to me from the UK and subsequently removed from the mail stream. The explanation was "Perfume - Non-mailable matter" and said that "it must be transferred to Canada Post for disposal." Does it worth your while to fight it?

    I have asked the seller to declare it as body lotion/cosmetics when shipping and the seller confirmed doing so. If the item was sent to me from the UK seller with insurance, would the seller be qualified for the insured amount. Obviously, once the seller received the insurance $, he will have to refund me for the purchase.

    Please let me know what you think and if any of you has any experience in dealing with this type of situation.

    Thanks much.
    Yikes! That's horrible! I don't understand why they wouldn't just return it to the sender? Stupid Canada Customs...I hate them.

  4. #4

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    My parcel sent from the U.S. (strawberrynet) did not arrive in Thailand at all. I have checked with post office and custom here. Could it be that the custom in the U.S. did not allow it? Anyway, Strawberrynet agreed to refund. And from now on they do ship frags from Hong Kong.

    I'm sorry for the situation you're in. I understand how basenoters feel when you don't get what you've been waiting for. It's so irritating, isn't it?
    Current Top 5

    1. Creed Aventus
    2. A*Men Pure Malt
    3. L'instant Extreme
    4. Nasomatto Duro
    5. CDG - Kyoto

  5. #5

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    Early on with one of the early fragrances that I ordered from abroad, Canada Customs stopped it. The letter they sent me said that they actually destroyed it. Now, whether they actually did or if some Customs agent just kept it for themselves is immaterial - I didn't get the package and (as far as I know) the seller in the UK never got it back.

    Technically-speaking, fragrances are not permitted in the regular mail stream because they are flammable liquids. I don't know why they have a problem with fragrances when couriers like FedEx, UPS and the like are okay with them.

    Still, with all the many fragrances I've had delivered to me, this was the only one that was confiscated and the only one from overseas. I've had no problems at all with the numerous shipments I've had from the USA.
    Where once there was no scents to it all, now the world opens before me!

  6. #6

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    I've had a few shipments from the USA to the UK, and some have clearly beed opened and checked, then put back, and arrived complete. I think they can use common sense, but some people just follow the rules slavishly. I'd hate it if anything like that ever happened to me, it's just awful.

  7. #7

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    These are some of the reasons why I choose not to ship internationally. It's just too much risk in my opinion.

  8. #8

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    Shipment by surface mail would be allowed, wouldn't it?
    'Il mondo dei profumi č un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  9. #9

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    Quote Originally Posted by echerub View Post
    I don't know why they have a problem with fragrances when couriers like FedEx, UPS and the like are okay with them.
    It's a law created by Transport Canada to provide safety for the handlers of the package...ie. Unionized Postal Workers (damn lazy government union workers)...obviously this is not the case for UPS, DHL, etc....

    If you live in Canada, the best option is, to ask the sender to declare on the customs form to state something in general like "Cosmetics" and a value under 20.00 dollars. If the declared value is under 20.00 dollars, under law, they can't give you any duty fees. Meaning they don't bother opening it up and checking what's inside and then try to figure this value and place duties on it. They receive over a million packages daily and they have to process this as quick as possible.

    The only reason why senders have the incentive to be honest about the value of the item on the declaration form is, if the package on the rare occasion either gets lost or damaged, if it's insured, they only gain the amount they quoted the value of the package to be....they give you a copy of this attached to your receipt...and thats what you have to present to get a claim back.

    Your package is long gone, I think it's a rule where they have to keep it for 30 days in case of an appeal, but they don't give a sh*t...and dispose it on the spot....I know from experience. You are entitled to compensation, though this claim has to be filed through the senders side. It's the senders courier service to know 'perfumes' is a dangerous good and can't enter Canada. If you have insurance on the package, ask the sender to file the claim.

    I'm guessing the sender put a value of over 20.00 dollars and they checked the package..the description was fine.

  10. #10

    Unhappy Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    Hmm.... now I'm worried about the Knize Ten I ordered from Perfume Bay. They said they ship to Canada; has anyone had any problems on that front?

  11. #11

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    Quote Originally Posted by Galamb_Borong View Post
    Hmm.... now I'm worried about the Knize Ten I ordered from Perfume Bay. They said they ship to Canada; has anyone had any problems on that front?
    PB uses DHL for services outside of the USA...so no need to worry...UPS, DHL, and other courier services besides Canada Post allow the shipment of perfumes...as I said before...it only applies to those Unionized Postal Workers..and their safety rules....it's flammable and might cause harm to the handler, etc...Transport Canada rule.

    Though you might receive a customs fee with your package...but you'll get it.
    Last edited by nsamadi; 27th October 2007 at 03:11 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    I try to make sure the package is insulated enough that very very little sloshing sounds come from it when it moves. This is hard to do with any bottle that has been used much. Was this a "noisy" bottle?

    And just wondering...how to actual fragrance companies import to Canada then?
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  13. #13

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    So if customs canada confiscated something, they'll send me a letter? I have something that was supposed to come from Holland, which was sent priority on the 6th, but still hasn't arrived. How soon after the item shipped did you get the letter saying it was confiscated?

    One thing I've noticed is that smaller boxes, and especially things in bubble envellopes ship the fastest and never get opened. If you have a large box, it will tend to get examined much more.

    I must say a few words in defense of unionized postal workers - I've done at least 100 trasactions selling and buying perfumes to and from various countires, and maybe 200-300 transactions for other items. Out of all that, maybe two or three items shipped by unonized Canada Post or US Postal Service workers had some kind of problem. Meanwhile I've shipped with non-unionized, exploited and ill treated UPS maybe 5 times, and *every single time* something or other went wrong.

    The last time, someone nice sold me a Cuir Mauresque SL exclusive at *cost* and although I asked for US Post First Class mail, he sent it UPS thinking it was better - the parcel got stuck at the border because UPS lost his customs declaration. Both he and I called them several times and each time the person on the phone told us a different thing each time. You have to fax another declaration - it's OK, we found it - no we didn't it's gonna sit there till you send it again - it's on it's way - where's the customs slip etc etc. Tracking told us the item had passed customs and was on it's way, when it was actually still stuck there.

    Finally, the item got shipped back to the seller and the UPS guy just left it on his steps to be stolen, but it wasn't stolen because the box was crushed and soaking in Cuir Mauresque. UPS is a total hell ride, every single time.

    Worse, if the item is more than $20 you get charged customs every single time (vs like 20% of the time with Canada Post/US Post) and on top of customs UPS charges you a fee for bringing it through customs plus a fee for charging you a fee and a fee for collecting their fee. I'm not joking. A 75$ microphone component cost me $150 because of this insanity. Never, ever, ever ship UPS across the border. I'd rather risk confiscation.

    Although there are problems with unions, in general, my experience is that unionized workers take pride in their work, vs non-unionized workers who are just scared of being fired and hate their job and their employer who treats them like crap. I have a friend who works for UPS and even he said he'd never ship UPS across the border.
    Last edited by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR; 27th October 2007 at 03:55 AM.
    CAESAR SEEKS:
    Slumberhouse : Norne
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  14. #14

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    Quote Originally Posted by nsamadi View Post
    PB uses DHL for services outside of the USA...so no need to worry...UPS, DHL, and other courier services besides Canada Post allow the shipment of perfumes...as I said before...it only applies to those Unionized Postal Workers..and their safety rules....it's flammable and might cause harm to the handler, etc...Transport Canada rule.

    Though you might receive a customs fee with your package...but you'll get it.
    Hey nsamadi (or anyone who knows) does DHL charge all kinds of stupid fees the way UPS and FedEx do? I don't mean customs, I mean "brokerage" fees, and all kinds of similar nonsense.
    --------------------------------------
    By the way, another way to avoid customs issues is to have the sender mail it to you in a package that is as small as possible. Small packages get sent by lettermail, and almost never get stopped or checked, plus they get delivered much faster. If you can have your item (like a Lutens spray bottle) shipped in a bubble envellope even better.

    When you send things, express, or with delivery confirmation, etc, the likelihood is larger that it will get checked.
    Last edited by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR; 6th November 2007 at 04:41 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    CAESAR SEEKS:
    Slumberhouse : Norne
    Parfums d'Empire: Fougére Bengale

    CAESAR SWAPS/SELLS:




  15. #15

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    Quote Originally Posted by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR View Post
    I have a friend who works for UPS and even he said he'd never ship UPS across the border.
    I won't ship UPS across town. The last time I had something shipped to my house (and took the day off to wait for it) the driver didn't even bother to get out of his truck to see if I was home, he just unilaterally marked it as "Attempted", while I was sitting in my living room, online, seeing the change in status.

    He was visibly annoyed when I forced UPS to send him back. Bastage.

    I've also stopped ordering from stores that have the "free" Fed-Ex shipping because Fed-Ex even admits that they use contractors who are completely unreliable. In four out of four deliveries from one store I have had problems that caused delays. Meanwhile I have never had a problem with the USPS. At worst, they might not leave something and I have to pick it up.
    Last edited by tmp00; 6th November 2007 at 09:36 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    Quote Originally Posted by LiveJazz View Post
    I try to make sure the package is insulated enough that very very little sloshing sounds come from it when it moves. This is hard to do with any bottle that has been used much. Was this a "noisy" bottle?
    A small plastic 'pill" bottle with cap that has about 20% fill with uncooked rice grains placed in the package makes enough noise when shaken to mask successfully with most liquid sloshing sounds from partially full bottles.
    Last edited by kbe; 6th November 2007 at 10:35 PM.
    'Those who grow too big for their pants will be exposed in the end'--anon

  17. #17

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    I think the message here is that there is a risk when you ship internationally, since you are breaking the rules in place. I have shipped to Canada on occasion but I'm very specific that the buyer accepts the sole responsibility of a missing package, period.

    TNMA
    "Why not seize the pleasure at once?"
    -- Jane Austen (Sun, and Mercury in Sagittarius)

  18. #18

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    Canada is the only country that confiscated our perfume shipments, even samples without value sent by registered post.
    It is not sustainable for a seller to say to a customer who has already paid that he is not responsible for the shipment, so we have always refunded, but we stopped altogether shipping perfumes to Canada. We ship only essential oils to that country.
    AbdesSalaam Attar
    www.profumo.it
    http://naturalperfume.blogspot.com
    Last edited by Profumo; 8th November 2007 at 03:23 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    Quote Originally Posted by Profumo View Post
    Canada is the only country that confiscated our perfume shipments, even samples without value sent by registered post.
    It is not sustainable for a seller to say to a customer who has already paid that he is not responsible for the shipment, so we have always refunded, but we stopped altogether shipping perfumes to Canada. We ship only essential oils to that country.
    AbdesSalaam Attar
    www.profumo.it
    http://naturalperfume.blogspot.com
    Agreed; I am simple seller here on Basenotes but my approach wouldn't work in retail.

    TNMA
    "Why not seize the pleasure at once?"
    -- Jane Austen (Sun, and Mercury in Sagittarius)

  20. #20

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    Here's my beef. You've got a truck FULL of cardboard boxes in the back of a USPS/Canadian Post truck, and you're worried about the contents of the box being flammable? THE BOXES ARE FLAMMABLE!

    I've had one box confiscated while making the great leap from Canada to the US. It happens. Since you lied on the customs form, you probably won't be compensated.
    - Rich
    Last edited by _R$_; 8th November 2007 at 03:50 PM.
    As always, disregard most of what I say. It's not worth your heart health to actually worry about what a 23 year old guy from Kansas thinks. Even if he is really ridiculously good looking.

  21. #21

    Default Re: A question: Scent confiscated by customs

    Quote Originally Posted by tmp00 View Post
    I won't ship UPS across town. The last time I had something shipped to my house (and took the day off to wait for it) the driver didn't even bother to get out of his truck to see if I was home, he just unilaterally marked it as "Attempted", while I was sitting in my living room, online, seeing the change in status.

    He was visibly annoyed when I forced UPS to send him back. Bastage.

    I've also stopped ordering from stores that have the "free" Fed-Ex shipping because Fed-Ex even admits that they use contractors who are completely unreliable. In four out of four deliveries from one store I have had problems that caused delays. Meanwhile I have never had a problem with the USPS. At worst, they might not leave something and I have to pick it up.
    Ugh. This happened to me just this summer. I remember going to the window and watched as the UPS truck just drove away.. WTF! They didn't knock or ring the bell either. They actually just wrote a no-one-home slip and stuck it to the door.

    What do they expect? Someone to jump out the moment their feet touches the front steps????

    I also hate how I always get insane brokerage fees when shipping via ups or fed ex. It's just not worth ordering that cheap bottle when you end up paying the same retail price because of the brokerage fees

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