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With the dollar and euro being low against the pound. I was looking at picking up some sets from America etc. Do Customs have a set charge per kilo or is it different depending on what its stated as. Eg gift or goods.
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Anything over £15 attracts VAT apparently, and also an £8 charge for 'handling' e.g. customs make you pay for the priveliege of being charged VAT.
If over £135, you'll also pay import duty.
I've noticed that if no numbers are filled in, it doesnt attract a charge.
Say if you buy a set of Tower Bridge from the US and bring it back to the UK?
In a general case, an iPad?
Although it may still work out to be cheaper than the UK. Thinking I will have to do the maths.
Depending on the price of the item, you can be looking at an effective addition to the price of between 25-70%.
To keep the spending inside the EU.
I've looked at selling over there as a VAT registered seller, but after taking out VAT from my end and the import fees, etc. Well, I wouldn't make any more selling there than I do in the USA.
That is why almost nothing I sell internationally goes to Europe.
Pretty much everything you need to know is there.
Trades, which from the US to the UK are often polys are likely to be of a value to low to attract any charges.
Sticker value was £20 something pounds. VAT was £5 something. ParcelForce fee was £8. Never again will I buy my stickers from the States. I thought I was saving a few quid in buying from the States rather than within the EU. They actually cost me about £10 more!!
If you add the extra import duty to the price and the fact that the product may travel half way around the world, I would rather pay a higher price for a set from Europe just to avoid the extra charges and the increased probability of damage to the set.
Rule of thumb is: Add 20% and £8 to anything over £15.
Also, the £15 value is supposed to cover postage costs as well. So if you have a parcel valued at say £13 and the postage was £3, then they can charge you VAT as the item value is £16.
And afterall, if you are trading it's not the same as retail so I think that marking it gift is approppriate.
If you bring something back to the UK from outside the EU (that is, you are carrying it, not posting it) then you are allowed up to £390 worth of goods without duty and tax.
Not sure how strict they are on that limit though. Some years ago I went to US and bought a guitar worth about £1,000 and not wanting any problems I decided to go through the red line at customs and declare it. The officers there were not interested at all after I told them what the item was and I never had to pay anything for it. The limit then was even lower though which was totally unenforceable and might have contributed to their reaction. Perhaps with these limits they actually enforce it.
As said above, personal belongings are normally exempt and items that have high resale value such as cars etc normally get specific relief (at least they do if moving to the UK). It might be hard to prove that MISB are for personal use though.
Actually @Legoboy there mine as I believe in relation to the olympic minifigs Si said 'If these are real you can have all my poly bags'....or something like that. *walks off whistling nonchlontly*
Phone up ParcelForce and offer to pay for the duty and VAT only. Point out that you won't pay the £8 handling fee because you did not instruct them or authorise them to pay the customs charges on your behalf, nor did they give you an opportunity to arrange to make the payment yourself.
It worked for me, but I've only tried it once. They said they'd send me the goods after paying for the duty and VAT only, but that I'd be getting an invoice for the £8... but that was several months ago, and nothing ever arrived.
I recently paid GBP 31.55 custom charge on a CHF 135 item (postage included!).
If the item is sent as merchandise on the customs form then as others have indicated you pay VAT if the item is over £15. The £15 however includes the postage cost. So an item that cost £10, but postage was £5.50, then VAT is chargable on that item. Once the item goes over £135 you are liable for duty as well. However the Customs Duty is waived if the amount of duty calculated is £9 or under.
If an item is marked as a gift then the threshold is higher £40 before VAT is charged. However the £40 excludes the postage charge, it is only the price of the gift. The same rules apply for duty if value is over £135.
I got a free duty calc program for my iphone. It is just called dutycalc. You input all the details and it calculates the import VAT and import duty you may pay. You then need to add the parcel force rip off charge.
On some items I Would be happy just paying the VAT and or duty, it is the parcel force £8 handling charge that stings.
@Paul_merton very impressed you did not pay the £8 handling charge, I searched on the parcel force website, and it is clearly in thier terms and conditions the £8 handling charge, so even though I was livid with the £8 charge did not phone them up as did not see I had a leg to stand on.
The only way around this is to get the seller to pre pay the customs before the parcel arrives on UK shores, I think @legoboy indicated this is possible with Amazon, I wish it was possible with other sellers.
As others have noted, if HMRC (or your local equivalent) are doing their jobs, it's almost always cheaper to buy local (meaning the EU for those of us here)... or buy while on holiday.
The only thing i don't like is that they keep your parcel ransom, atleast with fedex, UPS and DHL you can get it straight away without having to phone up or wait for a letter before they will deliver it.
The customs form says something like value in the box. So the seller is not lying - they are writing the value of the goods, not the total transaction.