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Is there any recourse against incompetent CBSA customs agents ?

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Old November 23rd, 2009, 15:04   #1
MrBond
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Question Is there any recourse against incompetent CBSA customs agents ?

Here's my story (part rant, part question): I ordered a G&P G36k front end kit from airsoftglobal by FedEx express. It was taking a while so I called up FedEx wich informed me to call up customs in Montreal to see why they were holding it for so long. Turns out it was classified as a prohibited part, calling it a lower receiver.
These are the parts:

Clearly for us it has nothing to do with a receiver but the customs agent not being an airsoft expert, I can see that it was maybe a mistake. But then I talk to her, she says that it's a lower receiver from her expertise and that she doesn't want to look at it or look it up on the internet.

Now acording to article 56 of the D19-13-2 Memorandum related to airsoft (wich I mention to her) she has to make a bit of research but she promptly replies "I don't care". Now I'm baffled at such a retarded answer and there isn't much I can do on the phone if the person doesn't want to hear reason. I even tried to talk to her superior wich she of course refused.

Now my question in all this is, is there any recourse or action I could take to point out her incompetence (wich will result in me wasting/losing 50$ on shipping again since airsoftglobal will try to send it back)? Formal complaint or something? I'm sure it must've happened to somebody else here, so what did you do about it?

Here's article 56 btw:

56. If you need more information on the capacity of a given device to inflict injury, its muzzle velocity, its resemblance to a real firearm, or any other technical matter, detain the shipment and:
(a) use the FRT;
(b) consult the regional RFC or RIFLO (in doing so, please provide all available information about the device in question, such as instruction manual (if available), photos, name & model of the device, manufacturer, calibre, etc.); or
(c) conduct research via the internet (especially the web sites of manufacturers, distributors and retailers if applicable).
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 15:11   #2
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There is suppose to be a conduct complaint process, but I've never seen anything about how the process is initiated. However, you should be able to find something out with enough telephone inquiries.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 15:29   #3
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I would use one of the contact methods supplied on the following page.

http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/contact/menu-eng.html

Your current import issue aside I would focus on informing whoever is on the receiving end that you contact of the poor attitude and complete lack of professionalism that you were shown, then request that you wish to speak with someone more competent in regards to your situation.

That's all I can really offer.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 16:29   #4
MrBond
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Yea I had seen that page but for this kind of review request, the sender has to file it wich would be airsoftglobal in this case. I doubt they will take the time to file anything. I just hope they send it back, maybe free of charge but since it's not really their fault or mine, I have no idea what they will do. I thought about pestering the CBSA to annoy them for 50$ worth, but if I play that game, nothing says they might not just destroy the damn thing, wich they sometimes do.

It seems easier to file a complaint on an SQ officer or a cop then those customs agents! I can't believe they are not held accountable for anything :|


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Originally Posted by TokyoSeven View Post
I would use one of the contact methods supplied on the following page.

http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/contact/menu-eng.html

Your current import issue aside I would focus on informing whoever is on the receiving end that you contact of the poor attitude and complete lack of professionalism that you were shown, then request that you wish to speak with someone more competent in regards to your situation.

That's all I can really offer.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 16:37   #5
Brian McIlmoyle
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It is seized

there is an appeal process

the item will be sent to be assessed by the RCMP and released upon confirmation that it is not a restricted part

the time to appeal can be quite lengthy.. but it costs nothing

you will need the notice of confiscation.. which has appeal directions on it.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 16:42   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian McIlmoyle View Post
there is an appeal process

the item will be sent to be assessed by the RCMP and released upon confirmation that it is not a restricted part

the time to appeal can be quite lengthy.. but it costs nothing

you will need the notice of confiscation.. which has appeal directions on it.
Is it sent to the vendor who shipped it (airsoftglobal) or the client who bought it (me) ? Or both ?
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 16:45   #7
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Is the item actually seized or is it detained for further examination (ie was it shipped to Regina for determination?)

Either way, you should get a form in the mail stating it's one of the two (seized or detained). From this, there should be a phone number or address attached that you can contact about this.

Also, on both forms - assuming they mail it to you (or they have mailed it) - there should be the officer's badge number. The address on it and the officer's badge number is where you send your concern to and write an appeal to the decision.

Separately, you can write a letter to the Port Director (person in charge of the office) and District Chief (ie Quebec Region) to get your complaint across about the unprofessional treatment and language you received from the officer and superintendent.

Either way, you'll have to do some leg work for justice. Hope this helps.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 16:47   #8
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Originally Posted by MrBond View Post
Is it sent to the vendor who shipped it (airsoftglobal) or the client who bought it (me) ? Or both ?
sent to the receiver... the sender could care less that the item did not make it.. not their problem.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 16:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian McIlmoyle View Post
sent to the receiver... the sender could care less that the item did not make it.. not their problem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oberst08 View Post
Is the item actually seized or is it detained for further examination (ie was it shipped to Regina for determination?)
That's what I thought but she did mention that it would be returned to the sender wich from what you are saying, should not be how it usually goes... It would mean not only doesn't she know how to do her job properly, she doesn't even know the process afterwards...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oberst08 View Post
Separately, you can write a letter to the Port Director (person in charge of the office) and District Chief (ie Quebec Region) to get your complaint across about the unprofessional treatment and language you received from the officer and superintendent.
Btw for the record, she was polite, she didn't say anything innapropriate, she just said she couldn't be wrong and didn't need or care to look further into it or anything... Basically the wrong attitude, counter to her job requirements in my opinion. I mean that's her job, to look things up!
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 23:56   #10
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She was polite... and said "I don't care?"

... you sure man?

I'd be appealing and getting that bitch fired. We don't need any more legalized pirates working at the CBSA/C-CAC (Canada Customs Airsoft Club)
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Old November 24th, 2009, 01:25   #11
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Call the phone number on your seizure notice, and ask to speak to the Secondary Superintendant. You will still have to appeal the seizure, but if you stick with it you will most likely get your items.

It could take a couple of years though, or it could take a month.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 15:31   #12
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Thanks for all the suggestions and info, I'll keep you all posted on how it turns out...
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Old November 24th, 2009, 16:50   #13
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She think she is god and can mess with your stuff or money? I hate that attitude. Pencil pushers in search of power.

I'd make another call and ask to speak to her supervisor. She is clearly rounding the corners here and she is an ignorant lazy ass.... I'll stop there.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 18:39   #14
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You got impatient and decided to
call customs and demand answers...
bad move.

I'm really not surprised the person
you spoke to brushed you off. She's
not responsible for dealing with your
case. She was a tad rude but that's
what can happen when they hold all
the cards and might be having a
bad day. Plus you may have sounded
demanding or had a smug tone.

When (if) you get the actual notice in
the mail, you'll have a real agent to
speak with. If he/she still thinks its
a prohib, you can open an appeal.
Takes 2–4 weeks to conclude.

Most likely junior person misclassified
your stuff, and when senior person
gets the goods on their desk you'll
have them shortly after.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 19:18   #15
MrBond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safx View Post
You got impatient and decided to
call customs and demand answers...
bad move.

I'm really not surprised the person
you spoke to brushed you off. She's
not responsible for dealing with your
case. She was a tad rude but that's
what can happen when they hold all
the cards and might be having a
bad day. Plus you may have sounded
demanding or had a smug tone.
Impatient??? I paid for a rush 4 days shipping and waited 2 weeks and that's impatient? I called FedEx and they were the ones who refered me to the customs agent. I asked what was the problem with my shipment and she said it's being held and started to be patronizing about "that's what happens when you order prohibited items from some other country". I simply said that according to the memorandum, these particular parts aren't and then she went on that it was a receiver and receivers were (of course) prohibited. Then I simply said that if she actually looked at the gun's image, she would see it's not a receiver at all and that's when she basically said she doesn't care and doesn't want to look it up.

I was also polite throughout, I really don't know how I could've handled it better... Anyway like Brian McIlmoyle said, it's probably going to go to some other expert and have a better chance to get released. If it gets sent back, airsoftglobal already offered to send it back again by regular post wich will go through Mississauga customs instead (takes much longer to be cleared, but at least they seem to have better "experts" there and it goes through).
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