You are correct, it is definitely not always easy getting stuff across. I have had a lot of problems buying stuff from the states in the past (not through backcountry, just in general), and that's despite the fact that I avoid UPS.
I just contacted backcountry again and they agreed to send me a new board now (rather than wait for the board to be returned), and gave me a shipper # so the shipping is billed to them. They also said they would pay the duty/taxes/customs or whatever the heck I always get charged for (it was ~70 bucks this time), so that's good (their customer service is actually really great), and it will only be a minor pain for me to drive to the UPS office to get it shipped back
Thanks for all the help!