This Whole Import Tax Thing - Just the Facts Please

Fordy

Active Member
Ok lets get some concrete information here. This import tax that is now being strictly enforced.

Just how much is it? Is it a percentage, a fixed amount or just some random amount that the powers that be see fit to charge?

Is it worth still buying box sets from abroad, even taking the charge into account?

If I knew exactly how much I was going to be charged in advance and I was still going to save money. I think I'd buy more box sets from abroad. But as it stands, reading others experiences on the forums the charges don't have any real structure.

If you know better then speak up, this is what the forums here for.

Thanks

Fordy

This thread is intended for information only, no gripes, or other negative comments please. I figure we've (especially me) got thst out of our system now.
 

ferris57

Standard Member
4% Duty
17.5% vat on the total including duty
+ "small" handling fee which varies from carrier to carrier. I believe royal mail charges £4. No idea about dhl etc..

So DVD costing £16.99= no customs= £16.99

DVD costing £20 =customs= £20 +80p duty+3.64 vat +£4= £28.44

now to me that's 40% tax, ridiculous :(.....ok ok I know, you said no negative comments.

£40 boxset would cost £52.88 which isn't as bad.
 

Garrett

Moderator
Some talk of importing here.
 

Fordy

Active Member
Thanks guys this is helpful, Ferris its ok thats not a negative comment just an observation. I just meant no ranting on about it :).

Sigismund I read your link and crapped myself, I'm about to get stung on some stargate boxsets from canada. I only ordered them with quick shipping because amazon uk stated that only the value of the goods was taken onto account and the shipping was ignored. :(

Should this thread become a sticky?
 

Sigismund

Well-known Member
Originally posted by Fordy
Thanks guys this is helpful, Ferris its ok thats not a negative comment just an observation. I just meant no ranting on about it :).

Sigismund I read your link and crapped myself, I'm about to get stung on some stargate boxsets from canada. I only ordered them with quick shipping because amazon uk stated that only the value of the goods was taken onto account and the shipping was ignored. :(

Should this thread become a sticky?

Hey Fordy :)

Why the concern? I'm sure in that link it states that duty will only be charged on the intrinsic value of the goods - as long as their worth (ie what you paid for them) is more than £18.00. So as long as your order is less than or equal to £18.00 (excluding p+p) you should be fine ;)

Unless, of course, you've made one order for all three box sets - in which case, in the words of someone very wise, you're probably knackered :devil: :(

Sigs
 

Fordy

Active Member
No I ordered them individually but the customs value declared included the shipping!
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
Just to 'amplify' what Ferris57 siad:

The value of the package used in the calculation in all cases is what is known in the trade as the CIF/EEC Border value. This term means:

Cost (of the goods) +
Insurance +
Freight (in other words, shipping charges) at the point of entry to the EEC (wherever that might be).

And... the 4% duty depends on what the goods are. I'll take Ferris's word for it that it's 4% on DVD software. But it will differ for other products. (If I recall correctly, shoes attract duty at something nearer 40%, and computer displays are 0%). The VAT rate is always 17.5 except (I think) for books and other things which are tax free.
 

SAH

Banned
I just recieved £130 worth of DVDs, in one Fed Ex box, and had no import tax etc. to pay.

First time this has happened however.
 

Fordy

Active Member
SAH, you might get an invioce in a few days time asking for the charge plus fedex's admin fee.

Good luck
 

SAH

Banned
Originally posted by Fordy
SAH, you might get an invioce in a few days time asking for the charge plus fedex's admin fee.

Good luck

Lets hope not:eek:

I've ordered many goods from the US and always been charged at the door.

Even if I have to pay, the DVDs still work out far cheaper than in the UK.:clap:
 

figrin_dan

Active Member
Can anyone remember what you're supposed to pay when you bring stuff back with you?
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
Bringing stuff back with you:

You can bring in 200 cigarettes (or 250g of loose tobacco) +
1 litre strong spirit or 2 litres of fortified wine or 6 litres of wine +
An amount (I can't remember) of perfume +
GBP145 worth of other goods

from outside the EEC.

If you exceed these amounts then duty and VAT is payable on the excess.

The rates are the same as for shipped goods (say, 4% + 17.5% for DVDs). And the amount is calculated on the cost to you of the goods (ie, including any local sales taxes - unless you shopped in Louisiana and claimed it back). Value is calculated by taking the cost to you in currency and converting it to GBP at a notional rate which varies daily.

Bear in mind:

If you buy a shed-load of DVDs or other articles of smallish cost then you still get to keep, tax free, your GBP145-worth and you pay on the rest.

Because duty rates vary, if you DO declare, the customs officer will usually be co-operative and let you keep, tax free, those things with the HIGHest duty rate, and will charge you on the things that are lowest. Hence you pay the least legal amount.

BUT: If you bring in (say) an expensive item (eg a projector), you can't deduct GBP145 off the cost of the item and pay tax on the remainder. Tax is due on all of it. Of course, if you have GBP145 worth of DVDs, plus a projector (say), you can keep the DVDs tax free.

Tax-free allowances are per person (except booze and tobacco which isn't available to minors).

You CAN'T pool several peoples allowance together to keep, tax free, a single expensive item. For example, if there are two of you, and you bring in a camera worth GBP250 (and nothing else) - tax is still due on the 250.

Always assuming you go thru the red channel.
 

Fordy

Active Member
Apparently, you dont have to pay tax on 2nd hand goods. An old trick I encountered with an online retailer form the states was to open the disc, wrap it in tissue and place it back in the box. If customs checked the package, they would consider it used goods and pass it free of charge (yay).
I wonder if that would work with a suitcase full of dvds? :)
 

Fordy

Active Member
Guys/Gals I dont want to be an ass, but can we restrict posts to facts and experiences about importing dvds from abroad and the tax implications please.

I'll do my best to do the same.

Thanks

Fordy
 

kennydies

Active Member
Perhaps one of you could help me (as parcelforce couldn't)

I just had an item deliveryed which was due £26 in VAT. Parcelforce added another £13 in "clearance fees" that is 50%!!!

How do they work out the Clearance fee (is it just a random number generator?)
 

figrin_dan

Active Member
Sorry Fordy, but it was you that asked . . .

Originally posted by Fordy
I wonder if that would work with a suitcase full of dvds? :)

It did with a suitcase full of laserdiscs!
 

Fordy

Active Member
:)
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
kennydies: I believe that the ParcelFarce fee is a flat rate for small amounts due - in other words, it is never LESS than GBP13.

Interestingly, CDJapan advise their UK customers to choose AirMail rather than International Express precisely for this reason; AirMail is handled here by Royal Mail (who charge GBP4.00) whereas IE is handled here by ParcelFarce who, as you have found, are somewhat more costly.

For further interest, I had a package worth GBP125 delivered by FedEx. Their handling fee for the tax etc on this - GBP4.50.

It seems that ParcelFarce are indeed, rip-off merchants.
 

Fordy

Active Member
This is good guys thanks now we arre getting some real info! :)
 

Simon6776

Active Member
Didn't someone say in another thread that the £18 ceiling is set to rise to £200? That would be extremely good news, unless I dreamt it! :rolleyes:
 

suzywong

Standard Member
Originally posted by nigel
It seems that ParcelFarce are indeed, rip-off merchants.

Amen!
 

mykl1971

Novice Member
Here's my most recent experience.

Myself and a workmate decided to splash out (hopefully as an investment) on the Lord of the Rings Collectors Editions (the ones with the statues).

So I ordered 2 of each from an e-tailer on the other side of the Atlantic. They were around 55 US dollars each (about 29/30 pounds).

Anyway, on Tuesday 24th Feb, 3 of the boxes arrived without any charges. Today, 10 days later, the final one has arrived and it has had charges of £9.05 attached. It's the first time I've been happy to pay the extra charges :D
 

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