Ladies and Menfolk, those of you who followed my saga with customs and brokerage to get my goods down to Atlanta for Dragon*Con can have sympathy for me when I tell you the following:
I received a bill from UPS Brokerage USA. Now *they* want $800.00 in duty and taxes from me? Why? Well, I shipped a crate from the US to Canada with good in it that originated in Honduras and China! (can you all hear me screaming from there?)
Yes, friends, after making us track down where Hanes and other companies that we bought products from out of the USA originally made said products, the UPS broker failed to tell anyone or put anywhere on the paperwork that the items in question were PURCHASED in the USA. So Uncle Sam thinks I owe him half of what the good in my crate are worth. A long fight is ahead of us.
$800.00? $800.00! Do you know how much stuff I have to sell to have $800.00 to just GIVE away? That's over a year's worth of sales in my cafe press shop (and that's if the months are really big sellers!) This all has to do with NAFTA, but someone please tell me who is getting the "FREE" in the free trade agreement?
You know, I'm very fortunate that FFCB isn't my means for support. If it was my only small business, we'd be under by now. Taxes and tariffs and fees would have sunk us this summer. How can a small business survive? Right now, we're just going to gear up for the administrative battle that awaits us with customs.
And what have I learned from this? Two things- One, my husband may be imaginary, but he's very tolerant and his income keeps my children housed, fed and clothed. And Two, we need a warehouse somewhere in the USA to never have to deal with rutting customs agents again!
Until Next Time:
"This has not been my best day ever"