• ARRSE have partnered with Armadillo Merino to bring you an ARRSE exclusive, generous discount offer on their full price range.
    To keep you warm with the best of Merino gear, visit www.armadillomerino.co.uk and use the code: NEWARRSE40 at the checkout to get 40% off!
    This superb deal has been generously offered to us by Armadillo Merino and is valid until midnight on the the 28th of February.

Customs charge on item from the US

#1
I was just wondering if any HM Revenue and Custome gurus are lurking and could give advice. I purchased a small backpack from the Orange County Chopper website for my nephew ( mad on motorcycles) paid £24 for the bag and £13 for P&P. This morning, whilst out, Royal Mail came and left a card informing me of a Customs charge of £12.39 for to be paid before I could pick it up or they'd deliver. Now, this seems a bit extortionate considering the value of the item, could anyone give me some relevant info on this. I don't mind paying a charge, but this seems to be kicking the arrse out of it. All help appreciated.
 
#3
Cheers, Legallybald. They've charged £1 handling fee, but the rest comes under the Customs charge, I can under stand a % being paid, but almost 50% does seem a trifle excessive, especially as I've never had to pay this before.
 
#4
It hacks me off that, on top of rip-off customs charges, you then have to pay the PO/Parcelforce another £8 "handling fee" for the privilege of collecting the parcel from their depot!
 
#5
I buy bits from E-bay (USA version) from across the Pond

Like you I got stung first time for tax...

The knack is for the sender to mark the item as 'Gift'

No more tax!!
Of course the sender has to agree - which is not always the case...
so you need to check first before buying
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#6
I don't condone this but a friend of mine would not mind paying the customs but objects to being charged by the post office for the privilege of paying tax has a coping strategy.

He asks anyone sending things from the states to remove any packaging and invoices etc and then add a little note saying 'Dear Mr not BuggerAll I am returning xxx to you because it did not fit' or something similar.

Although this is a morally dubious practise I think it is immoral that one has to pay the Post Office for the privilege of paying duty. If the duty is not high enough for the Government to pay the cost of collecting it then they should not collect it. Rip Off Britian.
 
#7
WilieCayote said:
I buy bits from E-bay (USA version) from across the Pond

Like you I got stung first time for tax...

The knack is for the sender to mark the item as 'Gift'

No more tax!!
Of course the sender has to agree - which is not always the case...
so you need to check first before buying
Seeing as it came from a TV prog based website I doubt it very much, although Paul Teutel Sr does have a dubious past.
 
#10
What always bugged me was having to pay VAT and import duty on postage costs as well. And, IIRC, the icing on the cake was paying import duty on the VAT as well! Bieving Thastards.
 
#11
i had this problem with some perfume i bought as a christmas present. ended up paying nearly seventeen quid including p.o charges. the company i bought it from stated on their website that (although not binding), they 'may' reimburse any customs (etc.) charges incurred in the uk (as a goodwill gesture). emailed them thinking yeh, whatever, and lo and behold return email saying no probs, ten days later money in account. impressed? to say the least!
 
#12
He openly admits in the programme to his past and his use of drugs and alcohol.
Ah, so that is the dubious bit of his past. I thought it was his cameo in the Blue Oyster Bar scene in Police Academy. :)
 
#14
Ord_Sgt said:
Use a courier company like DHL etc. They don't do the governments job for them.
Fine when your US supplier gives you an option many will not, but beware if the courier gets nobbled by the customs, and all courier stuff does go through customs, some charge a lot more than the post office to collect the cash of you.
 
#15
maxi_77 said:
Ord_Sgt said:
Use a courier company like DHL etc. They don't do the governments job for them.
Fine when your US supplier gives you an option many will not, but beware if the courier gets nobbled by the customs, and all courier stuff does go through customs, some charge a lot more than the post office to collect the cash of you.
Maybe in your experience, but of all the times I've ordered stuff from the US not once have I been asked to pay anything to customs when I've used DHL.
 
#16
Mate, this happened to me. I bought some baby items for my granddaughter last year and received the exact same letter. I paid it but under duress. I then wrote to the post office and told them that I accepted the customs (VAT) charge but not the charge of £8 for additional handling of the letter on account that I had paid international p&p which, in my opinion, covered all handling costs. I received a cheque back for the handling fee, but they didn't give any reason.

If you want, pm me and I will send you a copy of the letter that I wrote. the more people that contest this extortion the quicker the post office will be forced to drop the charge.

K13
 
B

blindfire

Guest
#17
Ord_Sgt said:
Use a courier company like DHL etc. They don't do the governments job for them.
Problem with DHL though is that you'll never see your package - it stands for Delayed Hidden Lost :D
 
#18
I regularly buy books from amazon.com new and used advertisers. Most expensive was about 25 quid. No custioms demand. I get perfume at gift times from Strawberry in Hong Kong. They refund any customs charge.
There used to be people who watched the incoming displays in the freight section at Heathrow. They would assert they were acting as agents for the addressee to process the package. They would take it through customes and charge for this. Had they not interfered, the goods would have come through no sweat or charge. I suggest you phone customs and ask if they can explain any inconsistency. Do not rant at them - ask for help. I always found them helpful when dealing with even quite large value items for my employers.
 
#19
Ord_Sgt said:
maxi_77 said:
Ord_Sgt said:
Use a courier company like DHL etc. They don't do the governments job for them.
Fine when your US supplier gives you an option many will not, but beware if the courier gets nobbled by the customs, and all courier stuff does go through customs, some charge a lot more than the post office to collect the cash of you.
Maybe in your experience, but of all the times I've ordered stuff from the US not once have I been asked to pay anything to customs when I've used DHL.
I agree most of the time you get away with it. I buy little though from the US, to expensive for most of the boaty stuff I want, and for much of the stuff that is cheaper US warranties often do not apply in the UK, and as the sale took place in the US dear old SOG does not apply.
 
#20
OldRedCap said:
I regularly buy books from amazon.com new and used advertisers. Most expensive was about 25 quid. No custioms demand. I get perfume at gift times from Strawberry in Hong Kong. They refund any customs charge.
There used to be people who watched the incoming displays in the freight section at Heathrow. They would assert they were acting as agents for the addressee to process the package. They would take it through customes and charge for this. Had they not interfered, the goods would have come through no sweat or charge. I suggest you phone customs and ask if they can explain any inconsistency. Do not rant at them - ask for help. I always found them helpful when dealing with even quite large value items for my employers.
Books of course do not attract any tax, and are thus excellence accross border gifts.
 

Latest Threads