"brokerage" fees always elicit a WTF the first time.
As I recall you can avoid these fees if you have the option of choosing a more expensive shipping option ( i am hazy here but I think Air Express or such had cost me an extra $30 -$40 at checkout but as the order was at a declared value of almost $1000 I figure the "fees " would have been a few hundred dollars )
Self clearing has been explained here and many other hobby sites I frequent and it seems that dealing with this yourself means that the staff of several different departments and business need to
a) be honest with you
b) know policy and procedure
c) give a flying f*&k
kind of like ordering FPS legal import airsoft