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Cigars returned to sender in wake of excessive duty fee, tax

Johnston's Pond summer resident Paul Greco likes his Cuban cigars, but not at the price the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) wanted for them.

Greco got the shock of a lifetime when a postal parcel arrived for him at the Sable River Post Office on May 28. The parcel was a box of Cuban cigars from Greco's daughter south of the border. The price to claim them- $1,803.75.

"There's not even a word for it," said Greco who is a retired civil servant for the U.S. government. "I couldn't believe it."

According to the CSBA postal import form, the $59.96 box of cigars was charged $925 in duty, $659.92 in excise tax, $213.83 for HST, and a $5 handling charge for a total that was more than 26 times the original cost of the cigars.

Greco said he contacted the CBSA about the inflated fees and while the CSBA agent he spoke with admitted it was a mistake, Greco was told there was nothing they could do about it.

"If I wanted the package I had to pay the $1,803 and then appeal and I would get my money back in six to eight weeks, or I could return to sender," Greco said were the options given him.

"I was really upset with Custom's attitude about the whole thing," said Greco. "All the paperwork was in order so it wasn't on our end (but) they wouldn't work with me. I've been coming up to Nova Scotia for 20 years and never had anything like this happen before."

Needless to say Greco returned the cigars. "That option was free," he said.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Source: Nova News Now

Cigars returned to sender in wake of excessive duty fee, tax