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Import duty & customs

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  • Import duty & customs

    i realise similar questions may have been asked before, but...

    a US dealer has sent me 6 LPs - i've only just realised the value of the vinyl is a few dollars over the import duty level of £18 (i think i paid about $38 before shipping)...

    i'm assuming he didn't tick "gift" on the front of the package, judging by the package i got from him last week and now i realise i'll have to pay import duty and and VAT and all that stuff.

    what's the procedure, then? is my vinyl going to sit in some office somewhere for ages before someone delivers it? how do they expect payment etc?

    i've not had this kind of experience before, although i expect a lot of you have...hmmm!

  • #2
    the postie will knock your door and won't give you the parcel til you've paid the customs fee, which will be a rip-off and more than you expect!
    Chops for show, groove for dough.


    • #3
      It will sit in the sorting office and you have to go down and pay for it.

      I've also had posties demand money off me as they deliver stuff too.

      Not fun! <- Changed URL


      • #4
        sounds bad, ed.

        how much will they sting me for on &#036;38 worth of vinyl do you reckon?


        • #5
          at least a tenner. there&#39;s a load of dubious &#39;handling charges&#39; from various bodies, plus the customs charge, plus VAT on the whole lot, so it ends up being very expensive.

          i&#39;ve never had to pay the charge at the sorting office by the way- it&#39;s always been the parcels guy or postie who collects it.

          Chops for show, groove for dough.


          • #6
            it depends if they opened it. I think they charge £15 to &#39;look inside&#39;. dry.
   <- Changed URL


            • #7
              cheers ed &amp; serm.  

              i&#39;m in a foul mood today anyway. even better now&#33;



              • #8
                Well, you might be lucky - they don&#39;t always check, and for the sake of a couple of dollars might let it through. Must admit I only ever spend over £18 with sellers who are prepared to write token valuations on the package (recently spent around &#036;50 with a seller, who put everything down at around &#036;2 per LP, as much according to him to deter potential thieves in the mail chain as to avoid duties). Fingers crossed either the PO will ignore it, or he&#39;s reduced the value on the parcel slightly...or at least written it only semi-legibly (might that number they&#39;re reading as an &#39;8&#39; actually be claimed to be a &#39;5&#39; or &#39;3&#39;??). Don&#39;t be afraid to argue the toss with absolute bare-faced cheek if need be&#33; A little polite but firm indignation and an insistence on moving your complaint quickly up the chain of command can sometimes go a long way...
                a giant steam-powered turntable in warwickshire plays six foot cement recordings of Prince Albert's speeches to the rejoicing populace


                • #9
                  It says this on the post-office website:

                  &quot;You might have to pay Customs duties for mail coming from abroad. The cost will depend on the type of mail being sent to you and its value - for example, you may be charged VAT if you’re being sent merchandise (business to consumer) worth more than £18 or £36 for gifts (consumer to consumer). There are other limits and charges for tobacco and alcohol. There&#39;s also a handling fee of £4.00 per item, which is a contribution towards our costs in carrying out activity on behalf of Her Majesty’s Customs &amp; Excise. However, if there’s no Customs charge then we won&#39;t charge you anything at all.&quot;

                  At least one part of that is a lie: they usually charge you about £8.00 for inspecting your mail &#33; If they did tick gift then you&#39;re OK. . . but at &#036;38.00 you&#39;re only a little bit over. Quite often they turn a blind eye to this, or omit things altogether. Back in 2000 I sent back 3 crates of records from Canada to the UK, indicating they were personal posessions and had no value. . .one of the boxes (I think they contained about 80-100 records each or something) was hit up for around £50 or something by customs, and the other two got through without any charge. What&#39;s annoying is that they are VERY inconsistent.

                  In retrospect, I should have appealed against this and blagged a refund. . unless there&#39;s an invoice included in your package, how can they prove how much you spent on an item ? Another no-no is insurance on expensive items. . .which always require the seller to declare the value of the item on the front of the package. This added about £25 to one of my shipments once. . .it&#39;s better to simply pay for EVERYTHING via credit card, then, if the retailer doesn&#39;t send you the merchandise, contact them and get them to do a charge-back to the retailer (which might be a bit harsh on the seller, but something you&#39;re entitled too).


                  • #10
                    how they can justify charging VAT and import duty on old vinyl is beyond me.  


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by [b
                      Quote[/b] (wooly @ Sep. 10 2004,13:38)]how they can justify charging VAT and import duty on old vinyl is beyond me.  
                      saleable asset
                      new SPOKE release: >>> SEE HERE <<< RKM LIBRARY BEATS


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=[b]Quote[/b] (theeman]there&#39;s a load of dubious &#39;handling charges&#39; from various bodies @ plus the customs charge, plus VAT on the whole lot, so it ends up being very expensive.[/QUOTE)]

                        Originally posted by wooly
                        how they can justify charging VAT and import duty on old vinyl is beyond me.  
                        I am surprised to read about the handling charge fromthe Royal Mail. From memory, I do not recall ever having to pay this handling charge in the UK though I have been paying import duties.

                        For clarification: There is not an Import Duties PLUS VAT charge by the way.
                        HM Customs and Excise quote: &quot;Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax charged on most business transactions made in the UK or the Isle of Man.

                        It is also charged on goods, and some services, imported from places outside the European Union and on goods and some services coming into the UK from the other EU countries.&quot;

                        Taxable good can be new and used products.

                        The import duties you will have to pay on records coming into the UK from outside the EU is the VAT equivalent of 17.5% of the declared value and not in addition to VAT.

                        In order to prevent having to pay it you can ask your seller (whether private or business) to underdeclare the value of the shipment. Even eTailers like DGA do this when you ask. You might run into a problem though if the shipment gets lost and you start quareling about reimbursement if it was insured via the foreign postal service based on the declared value.


                        • #13
                          I haven&#39;t done a lot of purchasing from the US but I&#39;ve been nabbed three times now. What is annoying is that two of the orders were a couple of pence over £18&#33;

                          I then had to pay the postie at my front door approx. £16 on both occassions. Just under £6 Duty &amp; VAT but the real killer is the £10 &quot;handling charge&quot; ie opening the plastic wallet on the parcel front and checking the invoice details&#33;

                          Oh well, at least the price of fuel is so low...
                          "Don't get involved in the f**kin' chat pages. It's just full of arseholes talkin' sh*te non-stop"


                          • #14
                            always tick the gift box and always value the parcel very low ie..£2 &#036;2 etc

                            then they cant charge ya


                            • #15
                              thanks to all who offered their info and opinions on this one&#33;

                              it turns out the dealer kept the value to &#036;20 on the front of the box, which is a big relief - parcel force just dropped it off half an hour ago.

                              i&#39;m a happy man and also a little wiser on this importing malarky. cheers&#33;