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Old 05-09-2005, 19:30   #261
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A thought about customs

I know that you can't have import duties put on your items if they're under £18, but I just had a thought...

If I were to order, say, 10 packages, each one under £18, but have them shipped separately, then technically, these shouldn't fall for import duty... however, won't the people on import obviously know what I'm doing, and charge me for it anyway? Or is it ok to have lots of packages come separately with a combined value of much more than £18?

I ask, also, as something I want to buy is £19, unfortunately... so I was thinking if I get stung for that, they might start to look at what else I'm getting.

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-09-2005, 19:34   #262
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Rob, I have moved your post to this existing thread on all things customs.
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Old 06-09-2005, 16:06   #263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobGillon
If I were to order, say, 10 packages, each one under £18, but have them shipped separately, then technically, these shouldn't fall for import duty... however, won't the people on import obviously know what I'm doing, and charge me for it anyway? Or is it ok to have lots of packages come separately with a combined value of much more than £18?
Makes no difference. The allowance is per package not a total of however many orders you have. They won't even bother checking the address at Mount Unpleasant, all they do is check the customs declaration and if it is under £18, stamp it up and send it on its merry way.
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Old 10-09-2005, 00:00   #264
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Have something to add :

If you get something shipped from Amazon.com via UPS there is no £10 admin as Amazon pay it

Last edited by Alan b; 10-09-2005 at 10:04. Reason: to add affiliate link
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Old 10-09-2005, 00:05   #265
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Also has anybody else had the experience of Royal Mail only charging VAT and not Duty ?

Only realised this recently when I got a courier delivery with Duty added as well
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Old 10-09-2005, 12:06   #266
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobGillon
I know that you can't have import duties put on your items if they're under £18, but I just had a thought...

If I were to order, say, 10 packages, each one under £18, but have them shipped separately, then technically, these shouldn't fall for import duty... however, won't the people on import obviously know what I'm doing, and charge me for it anyway? Or is it ok to have lots of packages come separately with a combined value of much more than £18?

I ask, also, as something I want to buy is £19, unfortunately... so I was thinking if I get stung for that, they might start to look at what else I'm getting.

Any thoughts?
No, it doesn't matter. So long as each one is under the £18 limit, Customs will pass it with no charges due.
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Old 11-09-2005, 07:38   #267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya
Also has anybody else had the experience of Royal Mail only charging VAT and not Duty ?

Only realised this recently when I got a courier delivery with Duty added as well
Without looking it up, they now only charge duty if the value is over £127 or something, which is a benefit
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Old 11-09-2005, 10:18   #268
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HugoMorse
Without looking it up, they now only charge duty if the value is over £127 or something, which is a benefit
If the amount of duty is more than £7 (and the item is over £18 value), then duty is charged. If less then it shouldn't be charged. The item value that causes a £7 duty or more depends on what the duty rate is for that item (e.g. for DVDs, you'd have to spend £200 to get charged duty as 3.5% of £200 is £7)

http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsP...HMCE_CL_001454


Another reason why you may not be charged duty is if the item is free of duty (i.e. duty is 0%).

You can also be charged duty and not VAT as some items are zero rated for VAT (books, kids clothes, etc).
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Old 12-09-2005, 06:26   #269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadKenny
If the amount of duty is more than £7 (and the item is over £18 value), then duty is charged. If less then it shouldn't be charged. The item value that causes a £7 duty or more depends on what the duty rate is for that item (e.g. for DVDs, you'd have to spend £200 to get charged duty as 3.5% of £200 is £7)

http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsP...HMCE_CL_001454


Another reason why you may not be charged duty is if the item is free of duty (i.e. duty is 0%).

You can also be charged duty and not VAT as some items are zero rated for VAT (books, kids clothes, etc).

That is the exact information I was reffering too. I knew the figure was high and £200 is better than £127.

Thanks for posting it
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Old 14-09-2005, 13:00   #270
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End of an Era - DVD Soon

Just received a refund cheque from Royal Mail for clearance fees on the last 3 DVD Soon packages.

Final totals are:

No. of packages wrongly charged (because of incorrect value declaration): 20
Total amount charged (VAT + RM Clearance Fees): £150.89
No. of letters to Customs: 5
No. of letters to RM: 5
Total amount refunded: £150.89
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Old 25-09-2005, 23:55   #271
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I'm still mildly confused about customs duty on books. If I say buy more than £18 worth from a US online retailer, will I be charged that 3.5%? Or does that kick in at a higher amount? Plus, do you get charged customs duty on the shipping?

Thanks
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Old 26-09-2005, 00:30   #272
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Legend
I'm still mildly confused about customs duty on books. If I say buy more than £18 worth from a US online retailer, will I be charged that 3.5%? Or does that kick in at a higher amount? Plus, do you get charged customs duty on the shipping?

Thanks
Books are zero rated for both VAT and import duty.
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Old 26-09-2005, 00:58   #273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebiroth
BTW, it's worth noting what the Revenue have to say about "Customs Friendly" places:

Note: Some unscrupulous overseas suppliers openly advertise on the internet, or on their web-sites that they will deliberately either misdescribe items or underdeclare their value in order to evade customs charges that are legally due on importation. You should be aware that although the foreign sender may have completed the customs declaration form on the parcel you are regarded (in law) as the importer of the goods and responsible for the information on the declaration, and any customs charges that may be due. This means that if you purchase goods from these suppliers and the declaration is found to be false or misleading you may be liable to financial penalties or criminal prosecution. Furthermore the goods themselves will be liable to forfeiture. It is in your own interests to ensure Customs declarations are completed properly.
Only just noticed this myself on the new HM R&C site.

So they are placing the responsibility on you, the importer and that you are the one who can potentially face fines if the sender uses false declarations!

Last edited by DeadKenny; 26-09-2005 at 01:00.
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Old 26-09-2005, 01:46   #274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Nice
Books are zero rated for both VAT and import duty.
Ok..so I can go mad on books @
Amazon with no nasty surprises?
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Old 26-09-2005, 02:45   #275
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Indeed.

Also worth a look is http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ if you want to order books from US. They used to be great for DVDs years ago in the days when they marked DVDs as books on the customs declaration ... sadly those days have gone
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Old 26-09-2005, 09:38   #276
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadKenny
Only just noticed this myself on the new HM R&C site.

So they are placing the responsibility on you, the importer and that you are the one who can potentially face fines if the sender uses false declarations!
Just so.
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Old 06-10-2005, 17:20   #277
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Any advice with this query:

I ordered a DS game and some UMD cases from Lik Sang in Hong Kong; I've now had to pay £10.59 in VAT, etc. However it appears to have been posted in Germany and the value is declared in Euros.

Should there be anything to pay on this delivery ??
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Old 06-10-2005, 18:29   #278
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alasdair M
Any advice with this query:

I ordered a DS game and some UMD cases from Lik Sang in Hong Kong; I've now had to pay £10.59 in VAT, etc. However it appears to have been posted in Germany and the value is declared in Euros.

Should there be anything to pay on this delivery ??
No more to pay as they have pre-paid it from what you have already paid.
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Old 07-10-2005, 11:32   #279
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Ah well, it depends.

Companies who ship from within a EU distribution centre may not necessarily have paid VAT.

Lik-sang are not too clear on their Euro page about whether they actually pay the VAT. They talk about "no extra duties or taxes", but that doesn't meant they've paid the VAT, they could just mean they are stressing the benefit of shipping from within the EU (i.e. more likely to get away with it). That they haven't paid VAT is reinforced by their statements on orders from companies and customers outside the EU being VAT free... not private customers from within the EU.

It's been a common occurance for years where distribution centres are set up like this and after a while Customs catch on and start charging on items through those distribution centres because VAT was not paid on entry to the EU. Amazon.com was an example a few years back who would ship through a German location and we used to get away with VAT/Duty, but then Customs caught on.
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Old 07-10-2005, 13:41   #280
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Phoned Customs today, and it appears they know where certain companies ship from; the customs officer first asked if it was from Amazon or Caiman; when I told her it was from LikSang she told me immediatley it had come from Hong Kong and VAT was therefore due

Seems they must have a list of key companies that they know re-ship from the EC
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