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Re: Shipping fish

Just a little more on the "shipping fish" issue.... aimed at Canadians who
want to get fish sent from the U.S. This applies mainly to buying fish from
American sources and having them shipped up here (as opposed to
hobbyist-to-hobbyist sales or trades). As far as I know, no commercial
courier will accept live fish for International shipment (I've called them
ALL, and they ALL said the same thiing). If they know what's in the box,
they will refuse to carry it across the U.S./Canada border. For the U.S.
Post Office, their highest cost/fastest service (Express Mail) does get good
treatment on BOTH sides of the border - for some crazy reason, once an U.S.
Express Mail package crosses the border it is handled by Purolator Courier
Service (as opposed to Canada Post), who give it "Overnight Express"
treatment. However, there is one MAJOR snag, and that is with
Customs/Agriculture Canada inspection. All items entering the country are
subject to Customs inspection. If the "Customs Declaration Form" which is
required on all in-coming packages says that it contains "live fish", the
package is pulled out of the line and sent to Agriculture Canada for
inspection. This can take anywhere from 1 hour to 2 or 3 days, depending
upon their work loads, staffing levels, mind set (I was been a civil servant
for years, I know all about the "mind set"). Once the fish are "inspected"
(some dork opening the box, pulling out the plastic bag, peering thru the
pastic bag and exclaiming "Kewl! Guppies! Neat, 'eh?") they get passed to
Purolator for overnight delivery. How they get around the "no shipping of
live animals" policy of Purolator, I don't know, but they do.

>From start to delivery its going to take at least 3-4 days and more than
likely 5-6. If any fish make it, they are going to be in pretty desparate
shape. The biggest part of the delay is caused by the Customs/Agriculture
Canada inspection and short of mislabelling the contents on the "Customs
Declaration form" I don't know how a hobbyist can get around it. Air Freight
shipments (airport to airport) can get here quicker but they are expensive.

James Purchase