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Re: Canadian Mail Order

Colin Anderson is wondering about Canadian sources of laterite. I think I've
said this before, but so far as I know, nobody in Canada carries Dupla
products any longer. Aquarium Toronto did years ago but the chain went bust
and there is only a smattering of remaining stock in the Danforth Street
store here in Toronto. And his prices are high for what he has left.

As Colin notes, MOPS carries Flourite, but you have to pay shipping. But the
way MOPS works out their shipping charges, 5 bags would cost the same to
ship as 1 bag, so you certainly can't complain about that. They are a
reputable company and very helpful. And ANY store which carres Seachem
products can special order Flourite for you if you ask. Henry, at DAD's out
on the Prairies, now carries ADA products and will ship mail order. If he
doesn't have something in the line that someone wants I'm sure that he would
add it to his next order from Nature Aquarium Imports, I've found him to be
very helpful in the past.

Now, as for Canadians being charged duty on aquarium goods ordered via Mail
Order from the U.S., I've got to say that this doesn't happen any more.

I'm kind of hesitant in saying this, for fear that you'll all hate me, but
I've worked for years as a manager with Revenue Canada (everyone hates a Tax
Collector). Since NAFTA went into effect several years ago, most duties and
tarrifs on goods crossing the U.S. - Canada border have been removed. And
there are no longer ANY duties on aquarium goods bought by private
individuals for their own use.

Where you _may_ run into charges is if you have the goods shipped via
courier, rather than U.S. Mail. People love to hate the Post Office almost
as much as they hate the Tax Department, but in this case, Canadians at
least should love the U.S. Postal Service.

Some courier companies will attempt to tack on a "Customs Clearance Fee" to
every order that they deliver across the border. In pre Free Trade days,
when there _was_ a duty levied by the Canadian government, and the
inevideble forms to be filled out, this charge might have been justified.
But not any more. No forms, no paperwork, no sweat. But certain courier
companies may continue to pad their bottom line at the consumer's expense.

I had a huge fight with a courier company a few years back over this and
they threatened to not give me my package unless I paid up. I explained to
them that I had paid for shipping when I placed the order and the U.S.
branch of their company had already received their money - they were not
getting any more from me. It only got resolved when I flashed my badge which
identifies me as an officer of Revenue Canada. No further arguements were
forthcoming and I got my package. I can only assume that they knew they were
in the wrong but were not willing to forego the "little bit extra" they were
raking in in fees unless absolutely forced to do so. I don't know if this
practice is still in place as I now have merchandise shipped exclusively via
the Post Office.

On all shipments sent thru the Post Office, Canada Post will levy a $5.00
Cdn "Box Fee" (on each order, not on each box of a multiple box order) and
they are required by law to collect GST (I know, I hate it too!) Provincial
Sales Tax is NOT collected by the Post Office - you are supposed to send
that to the province on your own (yea, right).

James Purchase
Team Co-Ordinator, Revenue Collections
Toronto Centre District Office - Revenue Canada

(sorry about the 'sig)