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Old January 12th, 2009, 07:58 PM
secretsquirrel's Avatar
Status: Offline
Hookah Newbie
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: 40 minutes North of Toronto, Canada
Posts: 9
Default Re: Shipping to Canada

VC: secretsquirrel here from Ontario. I order exclusively thru Hookah Shisha and the trick that I have found is to ask for the most expensive shipping. This way it comes pre-customs cleared and I have had no difficulty as it then doesn't go (per se) physically thru customs. So you pay a bit extar for shipping big deal. My other suggestion are ones that have already been mentioned and there usefulness to you will depend on yuor own situation. If you open a P.O. Box in Buffalo or Niagara Falls for example, no problem. You can look up the cost online or look up the US Postal Service online, get their number for the Office closest to you and go down one day and open one up. You don't even have to get a "big one". A small one will do. If a large package comes (from Hookah Central) you will have some idea roughly of when it will be at the Post Office there, so just plan a trip. The post offices have no difficulty in putting aside a box that won't fit in your PO Box provided it is for a couple of days. Then when you go down to get it (even if it is for a day trip) go pick it up. What you tell Customs when you come back is your own affair. I have spoken to many customs agents and while on the books you have no duty exception on tobacco for a single day trip, the reality is that if you admitted to having a 250 gram pack of sheesha they may not bother with you as they just don't have time for every person who is slightly over the limit for booze, tobbacco, or the daily shopping limit. Worse case is you go inside to pay a small tax on the amount over. However the best advice may be this. If and when you go on vacation (I drive to the Carolinas twice every year without exception) to golf and stay in a hotel near the courses. So just 2 days before leaving I order a whack of sheesha and have it sent to the Hotel that I'm staying at. Upon check in I tell the clerk to expect a package and they have no problem with this (you will find that no motel/hotel does). Then when the package arrives it has enough sheesha for over six months. When I drive back, naturally I have my hotel receipts, all my papers in order, a list of all the souveniers I bought, and of course my wife and I buy a bottle of booze each (in other words all my ducks are in a row). Then at the Border we tell customs that we were golfing, were out of the country 7 days (which we were) bought x amount of stuff valued at whatever and that we each have a bottle of booze and that both my wife and I each have some small packs of loose tobbacco. Plus I have all my receipts. Point is, I'm being honest. Do I tell them how much sheesha I have at first no. I wait to see if they ask at which time I tell them several packs and I wait to see if they go further and ask how much. Then I say several packs. I'm still not lying. I have never had a problem. Worse case scenario would be that if they ask exactly how many and I will tell the truth and say (for example 10 packs) they have the choice of not bothering with me and sending me thru (which they have) or they make you pay the extra duty. Remember, I haven't lied, so I'm not in trouble. I'm simply playing a game of "back and forth" to see if they are going to ask me exactly how much and then if they even bother having me come in to pay the duty as everything in my story is true, receipts, etc. Remember, it is not against the law to bring in extra tobacco or booze, you are expected though to declare it and then pay the extra. Another option (although a pain in the ass and a bit more expensive) is to simply order 250 gram box at a time. That way the value is not over $20 and it shouldn't be a problem other than having to do it a lot and pay more often for shipping. Worse case scenario again, is that if you package is stopped by Customs and found to be Sheesha, no big deal, they simply put the extra tax on it and send it thru. Then when you go to the post office in Canada to pick it up you simply have to pay the duty. Cheers
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