Shipping to Pakistan Problems

Discussion in 'UPSers International' started by Rick5150, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Rick5150

    Rick5150 New Member

    I recently sent a package containing 4 leather jacket samples to Pakistan from New Hampshire. I thought that getting $999 worth of insurance would be a safe bet, even though the total cost of the package was $305 USD.

    Imagine my surprise when it arrives and there are $705USD of fees for the receiver. Right now, the jacket is in the warehouse until it is released by the clearinghouse, whatever that means. The local UPS store from where I shipped it, stated that they are no longer the broker as the business has it's own selected broker, therefore UPS has no visibility of the fees.

    In addition, I will have to pay a fee to have the jacket shipped back - the exact fee is undetermined at this point.

    Is there anything I can do to either get this to the receiver for a more reasonable cost, or have the package returned to me? Can anyone explain what actually happened as this is the first time I shipped to Pakistan using UPS and I am stunned. It will more than likely be he last if the package cost me $900 to ship.

    Any help is appreciated.
  2. iowa boy

    iowa boy Well-Known Member


    Was the total value of the shipment 305 USD or is that what it cost you to ship it to Pakistan? The 705 dollars are brokerage fees that the company who is holding the package are charging to get your package thru customs in Pakistan. IIRC, brokerage fees are based partly on the value of the shipment.

    Unfortunately for you, the brokerage firm can charge whatever they see fit to get your package thru customs and make a little money for them too. And to have it shipped back to you, you will have to pay shipping charges to get it back to the states. I don't know if you will be charged brokerage fees by UPS here in the states if you have it returned to you.

    Wish I could be more helpful, but don't want to give you bad information either.
  3. Rick5150

    Rick5150 New Member

    You have been helpful, thank you. My initial post stated the an insured value of $999 which is about 1/2 the value of the package (4 leather jacket samples). The fact that they can charge whatever they see fit answers the question of why it costs so much.
    Neither the sender (me) or the receiver can afford this amount, as I thought that the $305 was high to begin with. Can a package be insured for more than the value? Could I have insured it for $999 and claimed a value of $50 for example?

    I guess what I really need to know is how to prevent this in the future.
  4. klein

    klein Für Meno :)

    I live in Canada, and all UPS parcels that come from outside the country (mostly from the USA), have brokerage fees - and yes, they are expensive.
    i.E a CD from (instead of will cost roughly $25 brokerage fee (more then the value of the cd itself) !!!!

    To avoid this, I order thru USPS (United States Postal Service), and make sure the sender sends it as a gift.
    There are no xtra charges that way - no brokerage fees - nothing.
    To make sure it gets to it's destination, you send it by registered mail, and perhaps insured if they offer that service.
  5. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Klein, this is incorrect. We get a lot of packages here going to Canada and few if any have brokerage fees. The only time I see a brokerage fee on a package from Canada is if the package was sent COD and, yes, these fees can be quite substantial. The DIAD will prompt not only for the COD but for the BF as well. The problem is most of the time the customer is not aware of the BF and becomes upset.
  6. klein

    klein Für Meno :)

    No, I'm correct. Has nothing to do with COD's. Sometimes they are just gifts from relatives living in the US.

    DS, Mike 23, and any other Canadian UPSer will tell you the same as myself.
    They battle with customers daily over those awlful brokerage fees.
    Those items have already been paid for by c.c. , ordered online, and shipping even paid.
    Yet, they still come with a brokerage fee cod attached to them. And yes, those fees vary by value of the shipment.

    I have heard, that the shipper can pre-pay those brokerage fees (maybe most Canadians do that when sending a parcel to the US, but not vice versa) !
  7. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    Oh my goodness, I think Klein might be right.

    When i first read the original poster's pakistani story, I was thinking about what what a lot of canadian receivers have said about receiving packages from companies in America.

    Many examples I have read are similar to what klein is talking about.

    Apparently, if you use certain shipping options(usually more expensive) like next next day or 2 day air as opposed to ground, then ups will cover the brokerage fees (whatever they might be) when shipping from the states to Canada.

    Over a year ago, I had to ship something to Canada for a friend and Klein helped me with this concern (which I read about) by telling me some of the shipping options that get past the hidden brokerage fees.

    While this may be of some relation to the original poster's story, the solution I used for shipping to Canada probably won't work for shipping to Pakastan.

    And Upstate, is it possible that packages that you handled going to Canada either used a shipping option that avoided such brokerage fees and/or perhaps the brokerage fees were not to be determined and those that were to be determined would fall upon the receiver and not the shipper?

    In other words, upstate, perhaps the delivery man on the other side of the border would handle the package you handled and now there was a c.o.d in his diad concerning the package with the exact brokerage amount?
  8. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    oh rick, the original poster, this sounds like a shakedown on the part of the brokerage firm in Pakistan. If you don't pay, I would imagine that these leather jackets are going to be worn by some people very soon.
  9. klein

    klein Für Meno :)

    Thanks pickup, and you're right, you can send as cheap as expedited, and brokerage fees will be waived.
    Any standard package - and the brokerage fee is so high, it's not worth importing.

    Here are the UPS rates and brokerage fees into Canada :

    Maybe Rick can search the site for rates to Pakistan and how to avoid those nasty brokerage fees at the receivers end ?
  10. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    Don't do business with the "stans"....problem solved!
  11. iowa boy

    iowa boy Well-Known Member

    The $305 cost for shipping is because no one can ship a package ground or 2 day to pakistan, it has to ship express or express saver only. And as many miles as it has to travel and the number of hands that have to touch that package to make sure it gets to Pakistan, I can see the cost.

    If your shipment had a declared value of $2000 or so, part of that $705 in brokerage fees includes the duty fees for pakistan to allow it into the country. Duty fees are also based upon the value of the commodity being shipped.

    I will still go with my first guess that the brokerage firm is trying to pad its pocket a little too much by knowing what is in your package.

    The only thing I can tell you about the insurance aspect of the shipment is if it was lost, UPS would ask for documentation as to what was in the package to prove its actual value. Meaning, if you insured these coats for $999 and the documentation you had showed they were worth $200, then UPS would only pay the $200 not the $999. And if you insured them for the $999 and they were valued at $2000, UPS would only pay the $999 insured value.
  12. Rick5150

    Rick5150 New Member

    That is interesting. Actually, although the $305 shipping fee was higher than I had hoped, I paid it because the local UPS offered door-to-door service at that cost. I was told that if it had to ship back to the US because the fees were too high, they would help me reduce the shipping costs. I had every belief that I was doing the right thing. I would rather the UPS office I used would say, "we honestly do not know what will happen..." because that is far more accurate as they were wrong about virtually everything they told me.

    What finally happened is that my local UPS was able to contact the Pakistan broker. They basically said that the package cannot be sent back to the states unless the duty was paid. As of now, the cost mysteriously dropped from $705 to $600 to $500. At this point I will pay part of it and the receiver will pay part of it as well. Otherwise, they claim that the package will be destroyed. According to UPS, the charges include a 15% general sales tax, a 10% Value Added Tax, a 6% income tax, a 5% Aviation fee and a few others that I could not write down fast enough. In essence, the package was held for ransom and if it is not paid for it will be killed. I learned a very expensive lesson today.
  13. klein

    klein Für Meno :)

    Maybe next time, try 1 jacket at a time (as a gift) thru the United States Postal Service.
    There won't be any other fees to be paid by the receiver.

    Unless Pakistan taxes on gifts, too ?????
    Just make sure you value it as less then what you paid for. (that always helps).

    I shipped with the postoffice international too.
    I recall 1 time I received a gift, but it wasn't marked as one. I had to pay duty on it.
    Marked as gift and under $100, no problem !
  14. iowa boy

    iowa boy Well-Known Member

    Im glad I could provide a little help for you with this situation. Most of the charges quoted to you above are the fees assessed by pakistan just to get your package into the country.
  15. worldwide

    worldwide Active Member


    There are free tools on you could have used before shipping to estimate the cost of any duties and taxes (under "shipping" select "use international tools" so you get a better idea of what the landed cost would be. There is also an 800 number specifically for international shipments and they will assist you with required forms, shipping costs and related items. You can also review any special clearance requirements for any country in the world. For example, Pakistan has these special clearance notes:

    High-value shipments over US$200 arrive at AFU (air freight unit) for formal entry clearance. Clearance may take 1 to 3 days provided that the consignee submits documents and pays the duty promptly, or has exemption status or certificates. Few of the organizations (Diplomatic shipments/UNDP/UN/Duty exempted organizations) have instructed us not to clear their shipments but to send the Customs Detention Receipt to them for self-clearance. For shipments detained by Customs due to value or any other reason, we would send the detention receipt to the consignee to avail the opportunity of either clearing through their own agent or to send us the paperwork to clear the shipment for them. The return of the detention receipts from Karachi/Lahore/Islamabad & Rawalpindi/Faisalabad/Sialkot & Peshawar takes approximately 48 to 72 hours while other cities take 72 hrs. For shipments detained by Customs, the consignee is required to submit copies of their National Tax Number and Return of Sales Tax for the previous month along with Sales Tax Registration, Customs Detention Receipt and authority letter in name of the nominated broker or clearing agent.

    If a shipment is addressed to a non service area, the consignee is required to send the duties and taxes via demand draft or cross check to the UPS service partner before delivery takes place. This can cause delay. For urgent shipments, it is recommended to be exported free domicile.

    Other factors that could impact the cost are:
    * Personal shipment versus business transaction
    * Gift shipment versus commercial sale
    * Country of origin of the jackets

    Customs tends to give things more attention when there are "discrepancies" such as the insured value being more than the value stated on the commercial invoice.

    Routine customs clearance is included in the shipping rate for UPS Worldwide Saver so there is some "red flag" about this shipment that caused this charge. If the receiver requested that another broker other than UPS clear the package through customs, then UPS can't do much about the cost that broker charges you or the receiver. I would ask the receiver why they want another company to clear the package through customs as the charge for routine customs clearance is already built into the shipping rate. Something odd about that.
  16. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    Since the shipment was sent from a "UPS" store,this information should have been available to our valued customer at the point where the package was accepted and the shipping charges were paid.
  17. worldwide

    worldwide Active Member

    The UPS Store locations are independently owned and operated by franchisees of Mail Boxes Etc., Inc and are not UPS owned locations like a UPS Customer Center. If the franchise owner wishes to make this information accessible to their customers as a way to increase the value of the service they offer, they can do so - a smart business owner would do this. The information was available at TUPSS location but it's up to the franchise owner to make that information available. Regardless, ANY person can call the international 800 support line or go to for this information. If I was going to spend that kind of money on shipping, I would do a little research first, but that's just me.
  18. Rick5150

    Rick5150 New Member

    I appreciate that information. I spoke to the UPS agent at what I thought was great detail and was told that the service was door-to-door. Since I do not ship internationally very often, I expected that what I was told was what I would get. I could have sent it USPS much cheaper, but chose the security and tracking that I thought came with UPS. The package is still in limbo at the moment. I hesitate to use UPS again after this. There was an agent that called to give me followup who was excellent, but it was all "after the fact" and did not help. She basically told me I was "screwed" in a really nice way, but took the time to explain the charges. Apparently over the last few months some things have changed in Pakistan. My receiver says that it is much harder to receive packages than it used to be.
  19. worldwide

    worldwide Active Member

    If your receiver requested a broker other than UPS, you can not blame UPS. It's out of UPS' control once another broker is selected as it is now up to them to clear the package and play by their rules. UPS did its job and delivered the package as far as they could. Once the receiver requested someone else get involved, the burden is on that broker to make things happen. Why did the receiver chose this broker and not let UPS broker the package?
  20. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    Sir.Not everyone knows the complicated formula to get their box to where they want it to go.
    A lot of companies use their own broker because thats the way they have always done it.
    The brand UPS is affiliated to the ups store in what way?
    Seems rather redundant without the actual desire to accommodate the customer.