Avoiding customs clearance fees charged by courier services like DHL when importing items into Canada can be done by self-clearing your items through the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Here's a step-by-step guide to the process:

  1. Track Your Package:

    • Monitor your package's shipment status. Once it arrives in Canada and you receive a notification from DHL about customs fees, it's time to act.
  2. Request Necessary Documents:

    • Contact DHL. If DHL has sent you an email notification regarding your shipment, it may include contact information or a link to manage your shipment.
    • Request the following documents:
      • Commercial invoice or a detailed description of the contents and their value.
      • Waybill or tracking number of the package.
      • Transfer of Accountability Letter (a document that transfers the responsibility of clearing the package from DHL to you).
  3. Locate the Nearest CBSA Office:

    • Find the nearest CBSA office that handles self-clearance. Not all CBSA offices provide this service, so it's important to locate the right one. You can access the directory at the following link: CBSA Office Directory
  4. Visit the CBSA Office:

    • Go to the CBSA office with the documents provided by DHL.
    • You will need to fill out a customs declaration form, where you declare the items and their value.
  5. Pay Any Applicable Duties and Taxes:

    • The CBSA officer will assess the items and inform you of any applicable duties and taxes.
    • Pay the required amount. This is usually based on the value of the items and their category.
  6. Get the B15 Form:

    • Once cleared, the CBSA will provide you with a B15 form, which is a Casual Goods Accounting Document. This form proves that you have paid all the necessary duties and taxes.
  7. Provide Proof to DHL:

    • Send the B15 form to DHL as proof that you have self-cleared the items.
    • DHL should release your package for delivery without the additional customs clearance fees.
  8. Receive Your Package:

    • DHL should now deliver your package to you.


  • Timing is crucial. You need to initiate self-clearance as soon as the package arrives in Canada and before DHL processes it through customs.
  • This process is only to avoid the customs clearance fee charged by DHL. You are still responsible for paying any applicable duties and taxes to the CBSA.
  • Keep in mind that this process can be time-consuming and may require travel to the CBSA office.

If you're frequently importing items, familiarize yourself with Canada's import regulations and thresholds for duties and taxes to efficiently manage your imports.


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