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Old 19-02-2004, 17:15   #41
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Quote:
Originally posted by cm-9
* If the customs value of goods is marked in a foreign currency then Customs & Excise will convert the currency into pounds using their own currency conversion tables which are updated every month. You cannot argue with the rate that they use. Beware of this if currency markets are moving rapidly and you think you are only just under the £18 threshold.
Many thanks for the response cm-9. I have added the FedEx handling charge and the info about HMC&E exchange rates. Just to correct you though, although the rate is fixed monthly, it is checked weekly and adjusted if it is found to be incorrect (see link in new post). I have added all that stuff under the section about how the charge is calculated.
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Old 20-02-2004, 12:14   #42
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No problem; and thanks for the correction, you really know your stuff.

DeadKenny Sure. When I said customs duty varies between 0% and 22% according to the type of goods I meant just the customs duty (import duty), I was not talking about the VAT which is imposed in addition (except in the case of books or other zero-rated items). The customs duty element is extremely variable depending on the precise type of goods, also depending on whether or not you are importing from a WTO country. The customs duty rate is much lower for computers and office equipment than it is for audiovisual and other home entertainment equipment - I think it is about 3% for computers and about 12% for home entertainment stuff. For example, I imported the projector that I use for my home cinema using but because it is classed as a 'data projector' the customs duty rate was only about 3%.

The combination of customs duty and VAT goes a long way towards explaining why prices in Europe are so much more than in the USA. Did you know that the UK raises about half of the government budget every year from customs duty and VAT?
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Old 27-02-2004, 17:12   #43
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Quote:
How you pay
With packages coming in through Royal Mail, the postman should ask for payment before handing over the package, or will leave a note telling you that you have an item with a charge at your local delivery office. If they leave it/hand it over and do not collect the money, you have got away with it.
Well the leaving the note is a new one on me, I'd only expect that if there was nobody in at the time....unfortunately I now know better The postman delivered a card at this morning at 9AM along with the mail (somebody was in at the time), saying that they weren't able to deliver my parcel on 27/2/04 at 0700 and I have a charge of £7.86 to pay as there's an outstanding fee or customs charge. It's going to be my Stargate SG1 Series 6 boxset from DVDSoon.

The fee I can't argue about though the £4 handling charge is excessive I had left £10 to pay any customs charges for whoever was in at the time. What get's my goat is that they didn't even try to deliver it. Everybody was up before 7am and the house was well illuminated so they never even tried... now tomorrow morning I've got a round trip of 10 miles to pick up the item I've already paid to have delivered (which they won't deliver because of the fee payable) and pay them £4 for the privilege.

Just smacks to me that they don't trust there own employess with money, yet we have no choice but to trust them with our parcels..
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Old 08-03-2004, 00:25   #44
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I was under the impression that your postie shouldn't be asking for money (security reasons) at you door but should leave a card asking to pay customs charges at you local office :confused:
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Old 08-03-2004, 17:48   #45
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Quote:
Originally posted by Keith
I was under the impression that your postie shouldn't be asking for money (security reasons) at you door but should leave a card asking to pay customs charges at you local office :confused:
They used to, and I have not yet found anything conclusive one way or the other on their website. But based on the anecdotal evidence from this forum, I would agree that it seems likely that you might just get a note. That said, many people talk about the postie handing over packages that had incurred charges.

So I guess it will vary from office to office, but then again in the days of plastic, not many people have enough cash lying around at home. I certainly don't
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Old 10-03-2004, 07:49   #46
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I want to order something, but it's worth about £18.70 - how much would i stung on the 70p extra?
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Old 10-03-2004, 15:50   #47
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marwhite
I want to order something, but it's worth about £18.70 - how much would i stung on the 70p extra?
About £4 + Royal Mail/Courier charge...
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Old 10-03-2004, 15:52   #48
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marwhite
I want to order something, but it's worth about £18.70 - how much would i stung on the 70p extra?
The formula is in the first post
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Old 16-03-2004, 21:21   #49
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Hi,
I bought some clothes from America that with postage came to £55. I've just had a letter saying that it will be sent to me once I've paid the custom charge.

I was aware that I'd have to pay it but had worked it out to be around £22 once the UPS added there £10 fee.

They are asking for £38 which seems way too much.
How do I find out if this is correct and if it's not how do I have to pay before I can challange it?

The people at the sorting office have been less than helpful.

Thanks,
Zoe
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Old 16-03-2004, 23:12   #50
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kirsten.Jet
They are asking for £38 which seems way too much.
How do I find out if this is correct and if it's not how do I have to pay before I can challange it?
£38 seems way to much. Presumably UPS sent you an invoice? If the invoice doesn't give a breakdown of 1) VAT 2) Import Duty (if any) and 3) Handling Charge then telephone UPS and ask them to provide you with the exact amounts for the above.

Once you have this information (or not, if UPS won't provide it) telephone the Customs helpline on 0845 010 9000. Tell them EXACTLY what you ordered (different types of clothing have different Customs TARIC codes), what you paid and what the postage costs were. They should then be able to tell you if UPS has charged you correctly and what to do if you've been overcharged.
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Old 17-03-2004, 00:01   #51
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Note that clothing might have a different duty rate compared to DVDs, and it varies on clothing type I believe. I think certain clothes made of particular material attracts more dependent on whether it could have been made from materials sourced in the UK (i.e. are you depriving the government of an income by importing something you could have bought here?).

Kids stuff zero rated of course, though that might be the VAT not duty, I'm not sure.

Also, watch out for express delivery options. Some of these attract very high handling fees (e.g. ParcelFarce's express service attracts a guaranteed high fee regardless of being over the limit or not!).

Last edited by DeadKenny; 17-03-2004 at 00:02.
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Old 27-03-2004, 21:45   #52
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Im thinking about getting and ipod from usa - http://thedvdforums.com/forums/showt...9&pagenumber=2 - if its being shipped in via fedex and it gets stopped what happens?
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Old 28-03-2004, 11:40   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by cubeix
Im thinking about getting and ipod from usa - http://thedvdforums.com/forums/showt...9&pagenumber=2 - if its being shipped in via fedex and it gets stopped what happens?
Afraid that with a courier it is not so much a case of if but when - does anyone know of anyone who has ever had an item via courier that has not been charged for?

Never used FedEx myself, but according to the evidence which I based the first post on, you will receive your item and get an invoice some time later from FedEx asking for £4.50 + the VAT & duty paid on your behalf. However, I have seen some posts mentioning that couriers are now asking for the cash up front before releasing the parcel so they get paid.

Sorry not to be of much help - anyone with recent FedEx experience able to clarify?
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Old 28-03-2004, 13:53   #54
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Quote:
Originally posted by paul_caygill
Afraid that with a courier it is not so much a case of if but when - does anyone know of anyone who has ever had an item via courier that has not been charged for?
Funny enough, yes, and it was FedEx too. Over £200 worth of ski clothes and not a penny charged! I was stunned as I expected a charge on that (it was still a bargain though).

I've had no invoice yet and that's way over a year now.

However, I've seen loads of posts around the net from people complaining about being stung with Fedex.

Last edited by DeadKenny; 28-03-2004 at 13:53.
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Old 29-03-2004, 12:39   #55
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An interesting article on shopping in the US, and customs charges back home ...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3571401.stm
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Old 30-03-2004, 15:30   #56
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Okay this is what my friend said:

go mail them and declare them as a gift at their right values Ipod 500$ and accessories in different parcels and mail them along with a 30% check to cover custom taxes

Is that okay, and all legal etc?
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Old 30-03-2004, 16:11   #57
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Is it possible for him to pay for it in the states or do i have to pay for it over here [the tax]?
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Old 30-03-2004, 16:16   #58
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Quote:
Originally posted by cubeix
Okay this is what my friend said:

go mail them and declare them as a gift at their right values Ipod 500$ and accessories in different parcels and mail them along with a 30% check to cover custom taxes

Is that okay, and all legal etc?
The declaration as a gift is legally dodgy as it's a company pretending to be an individual, but besides that, having declared $500 will invalidate the 'gift' as far as HMC&E are concerned because gifts must have no monetary transaction. If they declared it at $0 it would be more valid, but them HMC&E will smell a rat and open the package.

Regardless of that, 'gift' just changes your allowance to £36 instead of £18, and $500 is way over that so you'd still be risking a charge even if it was a gift from an individual where you hadn't paid for it.

As for the pre-payment of taxes, I'm not sure a US supplier can do that ???. I know Play used to do that for UK sourced products, but then they're sort of in the UK (but not the EEC). Maybe they can. It's probably legal, but HMC&E might make their own mind up on the value.

If you're sending them 30% you may as well not bother and just wait for the parcel and if you get charged, pay it, otherwise you're lucky and get away with it.

In reality, you'll probably get away with it, but if not they'll just ignore the 'gift' bit with no come-back on you and just bill you for the VAT & Duty.

Remember that legally you should be paying VAT & Duty anyway
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Old 30-03-2004, 16:27   #59
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It is actually from a friend i know there who is getting me it not a company. I dont want to do anything illegal and dont mind paying. Just whats best to pay here or there. And how much am i looking to pay on an ipod? 40 gig from america
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Old 30-03-2004, 16:38   #60
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Quote:
Originally posted by cubeix
It is actually from a friend i know there who is getting me it not a company. I dont want to do anything illegal and dont mind paying. Just whats best to pay here or there. And how much am i looking to pay on an ipod? 40 gig from america
Strictly speaking, you're paying your friend to get it for you so the gift allowance doesn't apply, but it would be hard for HMC&E to prove. If your friend bought it truly as a gift and you haven't paid for it, then it counts (even then it must be a one off).

However, as I say, the gift limit is only £36 so it makes no difference anyway.

The limit is just a basis on which HMC&E decide to charge or not. If the gift was under £36 then they don't charge, but if it's over they charge. Once they decide to charge, the charge amount doesn't vary whether it's a gift or not.

Basically, at $500, if HMC&E are doing their job and were checking every item (in reality they don't), then you would be charged.

As for what you'll have to pay, you'll have to ring HMC&E and get the commodity code for an IPOD, and that will get you the %age duty.

Then the calculation goes the same as on the first page of this thread, but substitute the duty.

i.e...

Take the price of item inc shipping (in your case the declared value on the package)
+ duty
+ 17.5% VAT
+ Handling fee from courier


But, have a read of the BBC news article a few posts above, as that gives IPOD imports as an example and how to get the duty. It's aimed at travellers though where the allowance is much higher.

Last edited by DeadKenny; 30-03-2004 at 16:40.
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