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FedX sent me a bill for a duty

Old 05-18-22, 08:41 AM
  #1  
masi61
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FedX sent me a bill for a duty

They say I owe like $145 duty on some 6 pound shipment from Europe in March. I just found out about this bill. It is very odd. I did place and order from Bike24.com in Germany maybe back in March but I can't say for sure if this is where this charge is coming from. The explanation that came with the bill from FedX says they send these bills out after the fact in order to expedite shipping. They do not offer telephone support to inquire about this, they want you to contact them via email only.

Have others experienced this from FedX? Do I have to pay?
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Old 05-18-22, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
They say I owe like $145 duty on some 6 pound shipment from Europe in March. I just found out about this bill. It is very odd. I did place and order from Bike24.com in Germany maybe back in March but I can't say for sure if this is where this charge is coming from. The explanation that came with the bill from FedX says they send these bills out after the fact in order to expedite shipping. They do not offer telephone support to inquire about this, they want you to contact them via email only.

Have others experienced this from FedX? Do I have to pay?
Are you sure it's not a scam? How did you get the notification? Text? Email? Is it really a FedEx email address (@fedex.com)? Did the BIke24 really use FedEx (not typical for a foreign shipment)?

Duty is a government fee and I doubt they'd release a shipment with a payment due.

https://www.fedex.com/en-us/trust-ce...20the%20sender.
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Old 05-18-22, 08:58 AM
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You may be subject to duty for purchases/shipments over $800 in value. I've been hit with duty a couple of times, but it was always due before the shipment would be released to me and both instances were with DHL.
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Old 05-18-22, 08:58 AM
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Might be what I've been saying for a long time. When you buy something from overseas vendors, you are the importer of record for that product. So if US Customs determines there is a fee, tariff or duty then you'll be assessed that. Sometimes from certain countries the item you buy is exempt by trade agreements with that country. But another country that same item may not be exempt.

I've never been assessed any dutys, fees or such. But I am under the impression that they are handle through the carrier delivering the item through US Customs.

Might be a scam. Call or go to FedEx and find out what they say even though they say they won't do phone. Contact the place you purchased from too.

Last edited by Iride01; 05-18-22 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 05-18-22, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
They do not offer telephone support to inquire about this, they want you to contact them via email only.
I call them often about international shipments, customs clearance, and import duties. Check their website for a telephone number.
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Old 05-18-22, 09:02 AM
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I would contact Fedex, but using contact info from outside of the bill, to make sure in case this were to be a scam. I had to pay customs on a shipment from Canada in the past when the purchase price was in the vicinity of $700. I also had to pay fees then for presenting the shipment to the customs, and these were hefty, quite comparable to what the customs were collecting. For cheaper shipments, customs does not bother, presumably because the costs of the process would exceed what they might collect. I am not sure where the threshold is to trigger the fees. I think I ordered from Germany and Switzerland up to $230 or something without any fees.
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Old 05-18-22, 09:16 AM
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Is there a shipment tracking number on the bill? And does it correspond to the number on what you purchased? Go to the FedEx website and you should be able to enter that and see if the charges are legit. I got some stuff from Ireland and received a late customs bill and it had my shipment's tracking number, plugged that into FedEx and it was correct. If nothing shows up, call FedEx and ask them about it.
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Old 05-18-22, 10:09 AM
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Was this bill emailed or sent as a hard copy? There is 0% chance I would pay this based on the info provided here.

A mysterious bill arriving several months after a shipment with little/no detail and a refusal to communicate via phone definitely sounds like a scam.
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Old 05-18-22, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Was this bill emailed or sent as a hard copy? There is 0% chance I would pay this based on the info provided here.

A mysterious bill arriving several months after a shipment with little/no detail and a refusal to communicate via phone definitely sounds like a scam.
It was in the mail. I might have gotten other bills from them earlier but newer opened the envelope thinking it was junk mail.

Last edited by masi61; 05-19-22 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 05-18-22, 10:32 AM
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Is it postmarked Lagos, Nigeria?
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Old 05-18-22, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Was this bill emailed or sent as a hard copy? There is 0% chance I would pay this based on the info provided here.

A mysterious bill arriving several months after a shipment with little/no detail and a refusal to communicate via phone definitely sounds like a scam.
No, it's not a scam. FedEx paid the import duties on the shipment, and now they're billing the OP for those charges. It's all perfectly normal ...
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Old 05-18-22, 10:43 AM
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I thought European vendors use international post or DHL.

At the very least, verify with Bike24.com that this was fed ex. Better yet, get the tracking number from them. If Fed Ex is legitimately billing you, the tracking numbers should match.

Scammers rely on coincidences, so that 1 in 10,000 attempts works. The fact that the bill came by mail, however, suggests it might be legitimate (email is free, snail mail is not, so less cost-effective for shotgun-approach scamming).
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Old 05-18-22, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
No, it's not a scam. FedEx paid the import duties on the shipment, and now they're billing the OP for those charges. It's all perfectly normal ...
Glad you're so sure of something you haven't seen in person. I too have received bills from FedEx for duty, despite not having ordered anything. So while it may be normal, many scammers use this particular scam, it very likely may not be legitimate.

The only way to determine that is to contact FedEx, through their website, or by phone, not by clicking the link on the email.
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Old 05-18-22, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
No, it's not a scam. FedEx paid the import duties on the shipment, and now they're billing the OP for those charges. It's all perfectly normal ...
Look - I'm just some random person on the internet and not an expert on import duty fees or how Fed Ex billing works, but the description that the OP provided makes this definitely sound fishy.
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Old 05-18-22, 11:42 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Glad you're so sure of something you haven't seen in person.
Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Look - I'm just some random person on the internet and not an expert on import duty fees or how Fed Ex billing works, but the description that the OP provided makes this definitely sound fishy.
I've received these invoices dozens of times, and there's really nothing about it that indicates that this is a scam. The OP received an international shipment at the right time, and FedEx sent him an invoice via snail mail. Granted, FedEx can still make mistakes, so I would still phone or email FedEx and get a confirmation on the airway bill and a copy of the commercial invoice. But, it doesn't smell like a scam.
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Old 05-18-22, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I've received these invoices dozens of times, and there's really nothing about it that indicates that this is a scam. The OP received an international shipment at the right time, and FedEx sent him an invoice via snail mail. Granted, FedEx can still make mistakes, so I would still phone or email FedEx and get a confirmation on the airway bill and a copy of the commercial invoice. But, it doesn't smell like a scam.
Great, but, and I haven't seen the email. We have no way of knowing. That and the fact there is no phone number allowing you to call, raises suspicion. The only way to be sure, is to co tact FedEx using their contact info from their website, not by clicking a link.

If the email does not show the shipper, then I would not even consider it. Keep in mind also that many scams like these utilize pdf files that are infected.
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Old 05-18-22, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Great, but, and I haven't seen the email. We have no way of knowing. That and the fact there is no phone number allowing you to call, raises suspicion. The only way to be sure, is to co tact FedEx using their contact info from their website, not by clicking a link.

If the email does not show the shipper, then I would not even consider it. Keep in mind also that many scams like these utilize pdf files that are infected.
Read more carefully ...

Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
It was in the mail. I might have gotten other bills from them earlier but never opened the envelope thinking it was junk mail.
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Old 05-18-22, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
They say I owe like $145 duty on some 6 pound shipment from Europe in March. I just found out about this bill. It is very odd. I did place and order from Bike24.com in Germany maybe back in March but I can't say for sure if this is where this charge is coming from. The explanation that came with the bill from FedX says they send these bills out after the fact in order to expedite shipping. They do not offer telephone support to inquire about this, they want you to contact them via email only.

Have others experienced this from FedX? Do I have to pay?
First off, make sure that the $145 is actually connected to Bike24.com transaction - sounds like you're not sure. Is the $145 charge consistent with the value of the transaction (ie, no duty below $800, then some % on the value >$800)
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Old 05-18-22, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Read more carefully ...
LOL, it says, "I will in the email," and the post he responded to did not mention the original shipper info being in the email.

I'm honestly not sure why you have a problem with what I posted, since I simply said it could be a scam, and that the only way to find out for sure is to contact FedEx, but carry on. If it is legit, and yes, it may be, the OP can find out via CO tactijg FedEx, not by asking on a bike forum.

Continue to debate, but I have nothing more to say. I never say the original email. All I suggested was to contact FedEx if the OP has an issue. I've done it before, and got an answer.
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Old 05-18-22, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
LOL, it says, "I will in the email," and the post he responded to did not mention the original shipper info being in the email.
Follow the exchange ...

Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Was this bill emailed or sent as a hard copy?
Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
I was in the mail. ... envelope ...
It's pretty clear the OP received an invoice in the mail, i.e. via post.
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Old 05-18-22, 12:26 PM
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One of the reasons FedEx probably said they won't handle it through the phone is because they don't handle anything by phone anymore except for automated replies through an IVR. Even their chat sessions through the website are entirely automated.

FedEx for the last 20 years likes to deliver my packages to another house with a similar address. Every time they get a driver new to this area it's the same thing, my packages go to that other address. I think they probably stopped the person to person phone support because of me having to get so irate with their agents that could only say that their driver wouldn't ever deliver a package to another address. Yet it has happened over a hundred times in the last 20 years.

But it's been good for the last three months. Hope the drivers covering this area stay with them longer.


If the email address they listed in the letter matches what you can find on FedEx's website or at least the domain of the address matches then you should be okay contacting them that way.

Last edited by Iride01; 05-18-22 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 05-18-22, 12:40 PM
  #22  
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When it comes to international ordering to Canada I pay very close attention to who they use as a shipper. The tax free threshold here is only $40 vs $800 in the US, I really wish the USMCA trade agreement had fixed that. I often abandon orders at checkout if its a courier or some random shipper I've never heard of because you are guaranteed to be stuck with a huge brokerage fee. Regular postal or customs pre-paid are the only way to avoid surprises.

It does suck that the big courier companies now bill you after the delivery. No doubt their depot staff had to deal with irate customers on a daily basis when they arrived to pick up a held order and faced a ridiculous bill.

It also depends on what you order. Many bike hardware items are duty free (might still pay sales tax over limit), but clothing tends to have high duty rates. I think when I ordered a pair of shorts from wiggle I had to pay 18% on them.
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Old 05-18-22, 01:05 PM
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There's a myriad of ways to either falsify or verify this letter, none of which are posting a vague description of it and seeing whether people think it's genuine or not based on that vague description.

What makes a good scam good is that it looks, at least superficially, plausible. Where even the good ones don't work, though, is that the info contained in the communication cannot be verified or that the payment arrangements don't make sense if the sender is who the letter claims it is. For example, is this asking for a Western Union wire transfer?
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Old 05-18-22, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
For example, is this asking for a Western Union wire transfer?
Weird... "FedX" just wants me to pay them in prepaid Visa gift cards. Is it normal to ask for my SSN?
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Old 05-18-22, 02:15 PM
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I am far from an international shipping expert. My experience with it has mostly been in relation to shipping paintball gear to or from Canadistan, and shipping some sundries over to a buddy while he was stationed in the Sandbox.

In my own experience when shipping to Canadistan you have to declare a valid value for the item, customs is going to verify, and the addressee has to pay that before the item is released. For the sandbox items there was no fee because they were marked as gifts. You used to be able to get away with that for our neighbor to the North, but they cracked down on that.
With USPS, in particular, if you ship anything say from your home, you have to have an account with them. If they find you didn't mark the size/weight or other details related to shipping price they would bill you after the fact via the account.

If you cannot talk to a FedEx person on the phone and verify this, there is no way you should move forward with any form of payment. Chances are that VAT (or whatever) was calculated into your item and shipping cost at the time.
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