flour mill woes

We found out yesterday that in order to bring the mill into Canada from the U.S. it is going to cost us almost half the price of the mill just to get it here. I am constantly amazed at how nickel and dime processes add up so fast. The quote from the customs broker was over $500 and adding that to the shipping price, it equals a lot of money for something that in todays day and age should not be this difficult. So much for NAFTA and economy of travel and all those other things that modern civilization prides itself on. The other frustration is that there is apparently no Canadian manufacturer of small flour mills. Or at least not anyone who manufactures an affordable mill. The only place we found was in Saskatchewan. It was a stone mill that ground at 50lbs/hr and it cost over $16,000. The commercial mill we found out of the States was considerably less money for the same apparent quality and efficiency...without all the bells and whistles.

It just really bugs me to hand over money to people who apparently do very little. I am not privy to the processes that customs brokers go through, but I am willing to bet that they aren't extensive and yet here I am forced to hand over $500+ to them. It would be damn near the same cost for me to simply drive to Carolina to pick the thing up myself. If anyone has any suggestions for us on customs processes or another way to import a piece of equipment please let us know. I realize that $500 isn't a lot of money for some people...its just gets my Scottish blood boiling!