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Import goods from China

daftpunk1

Active Member
Im hoping to import three large window shutters from China.

Seller seems genuine and has told me I can get delivery to my house and pay inport duty. Or goods will be sent to local port for me to sort out clearance and that myself.

I'm not sure on problems here, I've asked difference in price as was thinking I could drive to port and get goods with little issues but I'm not sure..

Is there anyway to find out what duty I will have to pay
 

aVdub

Banned
Im hoping to import three large window shutters from China.

Seller seems genuine and has told me I can get delivery to my house and pay inport duty. Or goods will be sent to local port for me to sort out clearance and that myself.

I'm not sure on problems here, I've asked difference in price as was thinking I could drive to port and get goods with little issues but I'm not sure..

Is there anyway to find out what duty I will have to pay


TBH Having worked in a busy import and export port it will probably be easier and less hassle to have someone deal with the duty and get it delivered.
I've not seen a member of the public come in for an item where I worked and plus the fact it will more than likely be in a container, meaning devaning just for your item (insert toploader, skelly, dockworkers, loading bays and forklifts) just to remove your items.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Duty is based on the value of the shipping including postage costs.

The first go to place to get the shipment value is on the declaration made by the seller on the customs label. Chinese sellers are notorious for declaring a low value but customs officials are quite wise to this. If they pick out an item and think the seller has falsified the declaration they we assign a value which is often too high because they base it on UK prices.

Anyway, say the seller’s declaration is accepted. Import charges are made up of two parts, VAT and duty. VAT is 20% but not charged on items where the value (excluding postage) is £15 or less. Duty varies depending on the type of item - it is typically 3-5% but they don’t bother for items under £135 (excluding shipping). When charged, VAT and duty are both calculated on the total value including shipping.

If customs decide the seller has falsified the value and gets caught I imagine that as an innocent party you would be able to appeal. For example, say you paid £100 for the item but the seller puts £10 on the label. Customs officials look up the type of product from a UK supplier and decide it is £300 and invoice you import charges based on that - I suspect that could appeal providing your actual purchase details showing that you paid £100.

There is a third charge - this is an admin charge made by the courier for making payment on your behalf to speed the package through customs. These vary from courier to courier and they may vary the charge depend on the value of the shipment. I generally figure on £15.

NB all this only applies if you package gets picked out. It may be that it goes through unchecked and then there is nothing to pay. I imagine the bigger the physical parcel the less likely this is.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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daftpunk1

Active Member
Seller has told me she can’t deliver to my house. She checked with 3 agents and they said you neeed import license.

Not sure why this is, I’ve bought goods from China before and paid duty online and to the driver.

Air shipping to airport is also 400 dollars more expensive.

So I want delivery to the port. It’s costing me 977 dollars. What should I do to arrange this. Do I need to book an agent or is it possible just to collect myself
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Not that I know anyone who would do this for me, but just a general question.
Say you have someone abroad as an on-line friend you chat to.
If you send them some paypal, and they go and buy an item for you, and post it to you as a gift.
Would that be a better or worse way to obtain items than buying from a foreign company yourself ?
 

Naaktgeboren

Distinguished Member
Seller has told me she can’t deliver to my house. She checked with 3 agents and they said you neeed import license.

Not sure why this is, I’ve bought goods from China before and paid duty online and to the driver.

Air shipping to airport is also 400 dollars more expensive.

So I want delivery to the port. It’s costing me 977 dollars. What should I do to arrange this. Do I need to book an agent or is it possible just to collect myself

Sounds like a Royal ballache:-

There’s no such thing as a free lunch
Having your goods sent to the UK port (on CFR or CIF shipping terms) can seem like the easiest and cheapest way of importing goods but you must try to identify the full costs that you’ll be liable to before agreeing to this shipping method. To stay in business, Chinese shipping agents need cargo to ship, and the easiest way to get it is not to charge for their service (or in some cases pay the seller to ship their goods!). This means that before they have even started the process they are working at a loss. However, they do have the cargo. Once the ship arrives at the port in the UK the Chinese Shipping agent’s counterpart will make their money back by billing you China Import Service Fees and other documentation costs that can be through the roof.

It’s not just the fees from China that you’d have to pay, you’d have the UK fees to pay too. When your supplier agrees to send your goods to the UK all they mean is “pay the freight cost”. This leaves you with all the UK based fees such as port handling, customs clearance, documentation in addition to any warehousing or delivery fees.

This is a very brief overview of a tricky situation
 

jassco

Distinguished Member
Seller has told me she can’t deliver to my house. She checked with 3 agents and they said you neeed import license.

Not sure why this is, I’ve bought goods from China before and paid duty online and to the driver.

Air shipping to airport is also 400 dollars more expensive.

So I want delivery to the port. It’s costing me 977 dollars. What should I do to arrange this. Do I need to book an agent or is it possible just to collect myself
$1000 dollars just for shipping of a few window shutters? Surely a local carpenter (or other tradesman if not wood) can custom make some and fit them for the amount you're paying?
 

booyaka

Moderator
As above - sounds like WAY to much hassle to save a few quid. Must be someone local/online who would be able to do the job you require without costing a fortune.

Importing from abroad for bulk stuff appears to be cost effective, importing single/small amount of items usually isn't much of a saving after all the relevant shipping/tax/vat/etc
 

daftpunk1

Active Member
No it’s 977 dollars for the shutters with shipping to the port. This is a bargain. Window shutters are really expensive. I was quoted £700 for one shutter and that was the smallest window.

I’m getting the three for that price...

Surely customs can’t charge me more than what i paid for the items...they have to charge me a set perctage on the true cost of 977 dollars
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Will it depends, how would long would they take it to arrive?. We might have a slight obstacle in the way come the end of March. Check what category they fall into should we bounce out without a deal.

Somethings might be low but things like beef exports will be 90% duty, so yes somethings may cost you more than 100%...

Surely for something like this there is a lot to go wrong?
 

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