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importing AV8 from America good idea?

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by brendank, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. brendank

    brendank
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    hi guys,

    does anybody know or have direct experience of importing an american AV8 FMJ to UK

    Can the av8 can handle dual voltage.
    I know the voltage problem can be solved via a step down transformer, however what is bothering me more is the frequencies the US operates on 60Hz whilst the UK operates 50Hz. i think this may cause interference.

    any advise or insights into would be most appreciated

    cheers
    :confused: :confused:
     
  2. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Should be fine.. I have been using imported DVD and videogame systems from japan/us for years which various diff stepdowns though I am sure the arcam stuff is multivoltage (switch on the back) well I think theres one on my dvd player.

    Main issues I think would be getting a us dealer to sell one and ship it abroad.. and whether you would get any warranty probs with Arcam UK regarding it.. and also by the time you have paid import/customs and VAT would it really be any cheaper than over here?

    Good Luck

    Matt
     
  3. brendank

    brendank
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    hi again matt,

    thanks for the response

    i think the items you imported are all low wattage items but with the av8 this is high wattage, most of the step down transformers sold in shops would not be able to cope with it

    does anybody know if the av8 is multivoltage

    the av8 is been sold second hand privately and seller has agreed to declare it as a gift on customs form so customs and vat not an issue.

    my gut instinct is that the frequency issue may be the biggest problem as not much point in paying big bucks for top quality amp only to have constant buzzing in the background

    cheers
    :confused: :confused: :confused:
     
  4. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    I have a huge stepdown I got from maplins.. you need a heavy duty one for xbox I think it was a 300w one...

    Should still be fine I reckon :)

    Matt
     
  5. rags

    rags
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    Gifts attract duty and VAT just like any other item. You will have to pay regardless.
     
  6. brendank

    brendank
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    Sorry Rags you are wrong, you do not have to pay customs or duty on any item which is declared as a gift on the customs declaration form.

    I import a lot of stuff from america,china,hong kong, for work and this is the best way around the customs problem if it is a one box shipment.

    for more than one box just ask the seller to underdeclare the value for customs, american businesses dont like doing this but if it is a private individual selling it shouldnt represent a big problem to them.

    now about the frequency question anybody??

    cheers
     
  7. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    Sorry Brendan you are wrong. The difference for a gift is that the limit before duty must be paid increases from £18 to £36.

    Cheers,
    Liam
     
  8. brendank

    brendank
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    just realised i never filled in my location on profile.

    i am based in ireland and i assumed the same applied throughout the EU here sorry for any confusion or indeed offence(rags) caused:eek: :eek:

    do you have vat as well even if it is declared as a gift? or just the duty.

    cheers
     
  9. rags

    rags
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    Brendan - what you are saying doesnt make sense. HMCE arent stupid. If the seller were to make a false declaration around the value of a gift that is a different matter but being a gift does not exempt it from duty and vat. You might be lucky and get away with a false declaration as regards to the items value but most sensible people will be able to tell that your item is worth more than 36 quid - things that will give it away are the shipping costs, insurance value, the item itself ie pre amp and maybe the weight. Also note that the 36 pound threshold includes shipping costs.

    Not many people would be paying duty and vat on items that they import from around the world if all the seller had to do was declare it as a gift.

    Regarding the Voltage / frequency question my gut feel is that it is probably multivoltage as a lot of preamps seem to be nowadays inc lexicon, parasound etc. However to be sure just call Arcam customer services who will know the answer. Dont know how much you are getting your second hand unit for but you can get a new AV8 for around 2400 here with full warranty. I have looked into importing a new unit from the New York but even after discount and the weak dollar the economics dont really produce a huge saving. What is def worth importing is US manufactured kit such as Lexicon.

    edit - just saw your reply :D - didnt know the EU was different. Cant imagine why it would be though.
     
  10. whitecot

    whitecot
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    Still not quite right!

    The normal UK customs limit is £18 excluding shipping costs. This is doubled if the item is a gift from a private individual (i.e. Amazon marking it as a gift makes no difference).

    If you exceed the limit you pay duty and VAT on the whole value including shipping costs. In reality it is worse than this as the shipper will probably collect this on behalf of HMCE and charge a handling fee.

    HMCE base the charge on what they think it is worth. Not what you are the seller claim it is worth.

    I have not checked the rules for Ireland but as the above approach works in many countries (but with the limits changed) I doubt whether it is any different.
     
  11. rags

    rags
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    Alright clever clogs :D

    Anyway end result is the same - a royal shafting courtesy of HMCE.
     
  12. brendank

    brendank
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    hi again

    still nobody able to offer a definitive answere to the original question!!!!.

    As regards the HCME customs and Vat issue in the Uk you guys are been shafted, the situation in Ireland and other european countries is as i originally posted if an item is declared as a gift it is not subject to any customs or VAT. Think about if for example your aunt in new york posts you a christmas present and you end up paying customs and vat on something you mightnt even like such as that lovely sweater she always knits you.

    Mind you our national postal carrier recently lost the contract for parcels sent from america and exactly the situation as above was happening because the favourite aunty in new york didnt declare it as a gift and/or declare its value and there was a national crisis, radio chat shows were inundatated with complaints!! Now everybody in Ireland knows to tell auntie to declare the item as a gift:) :eek:

    now can we get back to original question

    :) ;)
     
  13. whitecot

    whitecot
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    Off track I know but I suggest you check notice 1179 on www.revenue.ie where you will see that the Irish limit for gifts is EUR 45 which is less than the UK £36 limit so it's you guys that get shafted!

    Of course this is the worst case scenario. You might not get caught! My UK experience is that if the post office are doing the shipping it's 50:50. However, if it's a courier like DHL then it's pretty close to 100% as they collect the duty!

    Oh, the regulations refer to gifts of negligible value. I think you need to tell auntie you paid duty or else she will assume you didn't like the jumper!:D

    PS There is no duty on gifts or otherwise if the goods come from within the EU
     
  14. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    If you want the definitive answer, then an email to support@arcam.co.uk would be your best bet.

    Cheers,
    Liam
     
  15. ANDY_DUTTON

    ANDY_DUTTON
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    Hi,

    The AV8 has a multivoltage auto detecting supply. There is no switch on the back but it will operate from arround 90v to 265v with either 50Hz or 60Hz mains. So you will have no problems connecting it in the UK. It also automatically detects the incomming video standard as well so will switch to PAL as soon as it sees a PAL signal on its input.

    Regards,
    Andrew.
     
  16. michaelab

    michaelab
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    Err....last time I looked the UK was part of the EU :lesson: :D

    Brendan, I'm afraid you're wrong about duty and VAT. Gifts are not exempt unless they are of "negligble value" (which is defined as 45 Euros in Ireland). See http://www.revenue.ie/pdf/pn_1179.pdf

    It would be quite absurd if all you needed to do to avoid duty and VAT was to declare something as a gift. Customs & Excise (whether UK or Irish) are not that stupid.

    Basically, if importing from outside the EU count on paying duty and VAT when working out if it's worth it.

    Items imported from within the EU are not subject to duty and you pay VAT in the originating country as part of the purchase price.

    Michael.
     
  17. brendank

    brendank
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    mmm

    thanks for the reply michael

    mind you on some issues the uk does like to think it is not part of eu

    you are correct on the customs and vat issue, but there are ways around it

    for example if you bought new lexicon amp(i hope im right that they are made in the states) and found there were some problems with hardware and it had to be sent back to th america for repair, would you expect to have to pay customs and vat on the item when they shipped it back to you??.

    also if shipping through ups/fed ex etc do you know that only about 5% of the parcels are actually pulled to be checked by the customs guy, the vast majority of them are processed by the fed ex person at the invoice value

    it is a risk though that your one will be pulled

    it might make more sense to travel to the states and bring it back yourself:confused: ;)
     
  18. michaelab

    michaelab
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    If you can't prove that you already owned the thing before you sent it off then C&E can nail you for the customs and duty. It's your responsibility to prove with receipts and other paperwork that you already owned the thing being repaired and it's just going back for a repair.

    If you fly out to the US with your laptop and then come back and can't prove you had it with you before you left then you can get nailed for duty on the way in - yes, even if you bought it in the UK to start with. That, however, would be an extreme case but C&E would be within their rights to do this.

    If I take valuable stuff like a laptop, digital camera etc with me on trips outside the EU I always make sure I have my receipts with me or get a customs declaration signed before I leave (there's a special form for this you can get at airports) to say I had them with me before leaving ;)

    As I said before, you might get lucky but C&E are not stupid and they have already thought of all the obvious tricks people might use.

    Michael.
     
  19. mjn

    mjn
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    i've been living in Ireland for 3 years now. I have imported various items from all over the world, worth anything from €10 to €500 and have NEVER been caught for VAT/Duty/Tax. The items have been marked as merchandise AND full value declared! Items have also been delivered by courier companies. Nobody seemes to care!!
     

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