avoid import duty? reciprocal USA/UK forwarding/postage by groupdiy members?

wthrelfall

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I've recently bought some DIY materials & kits from USA sources, which have naturally incurred customs fee's here in the UK.  Besides this, shipping is expensive and unfortunately we also get charged a 'handling' fee which raises the price even more.  I was looking into alternatives such as http://www.bundlebox.com/ when I suddenly thought maybe a groupdiy member in the USA would be willing to accept some packages and consolidate into one box and forward on to the UK.  The buyer (I) would naturally pay all shipping, but the 'service' could be reciprocal, ie. I would take delivery of parts for my American counterpart, and then re-box and send across the pond. 
Anyone ever tried this before?  Anyone over there is America interested?
William.
 

sodderboy

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That is an interesting idea.

What about an alternative "gift" declaration for shipments?  Unless a package is COD the payments can be outside of the post system and the contents still insured.  I do this to various countries Europe and Caribbean, and I am sending electronic equipment and parts, not bunny slippers.
Mike
 

wthrelfall

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sodderboy said:
That is an interesting idea.

What about an alternative "gift" declaration for shipments?  Unless a package is COD the payments can be outside of the post system and the contents still insured.  I do this to various countries Europe and Caribbean, and I am sending electronic equipment and parts, not bunny slippers.
Mike

Yes, I was thinking that they would be declared "gift" to avoid duty.  what do you mean "Unless a package is COD the payments can be outside of the post system and the contents still insured"?
 

sodderboy

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Just the fact that virtually no one sends a gift COD!
Strings attached, maybe, but the state has yet to assign a tax to strings.
Mike
 

Kingston

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The people working at customs aren't complete morons. Every guy and his mother has at least once in their life tried this "gift" thing. Most of the time the shipped items clearly aren't gifts. So it doesn't work, at least here in Finland. You have to prove it's a gift somehow, and usually that's not possible, and people and up paying tax anyway.
 

mrclunk

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If your getting stuff sent to the uk have them send it via standard US postal services. 9 times out of 10 you won't have to pay any duties as it'll come through a Royal mail depot and they're pretty inefficient.  (Even if its not marked as a gift)
However it may be slow and won't be tracked.
 

wthrelfall

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Kingston said:
The people working at customs aren't complete morons. Every guy and his mother has at least once in their life tried this "gift" thing. Most of the time the shipped items clearly aren't gifts. So it doesn't work, at least here in Finland. You have to prove it's a gift somehow, and usually that's not possible, and people and up paying tax anyway.

if you end up having to pay the duty anyway, then you are back in the same position as you were in originally, so surely worth a try with the 'gift' idea.. 
 

G-Sun

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I believe "gift" to Norway works up to 1000Nkr (£100).
It seems like small items in envelope-enclosure are often not added VAT.
I'd love someone in US to ask for sending some parcels, but I guess few people have the need for packages from Norway :)

Then there is: shipito.com
 

sahib

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mrclunk said:
If your getting stuff sent to the uk have them send it via standard US postal services. 9 times out of 10 you won't have to pay any duties as it'll come through a Royal mail depot and they're pretty inefficient.  (Even if its not marked as a gift)
However it may be slow and won't be tracked.

Clunk, you might have been lucky so far but that is not strictly the case. I got charged for an item that had a declared value for $20.00 and was in a small box, yet I received a large box without any charge. But fundamentally in average at least 6 out of 10 will be subject to customs charge.  The weight/size is also important. It might be sent by USPS but as soon as it hits UK if it is a small, flat rate international priority box it will usually end up in Royal Mail, but if it is a larger box it will end up in Parcelforce. In both cases there is the additional £8.00 handling fee over and above the VAT.
 

wthrelfall

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sahib said:
mrclunk said:
If your getting stuff sent to the uk have them send it via standard US postal services. 9 times out of 10 you won't have to pay any duties as it'll come through a Royal mail depot and they're pretty inefficient.  (Even if its not marked as a gift)
However it may be slow and won't be tracked.

Clunk, you might have been lucky so far but that is not strictly the case. I got charged for an item that had a declared value for $20.00 and was in a small box, yet I received a large box without any charge. But fundamentally in average at least 6 out of 10 will be subject to customs charge.  The weight/size is also important. It might be sent by USPS but as soon as it hits UK if it is a small, flat rate international priority box it will usually end up in Royal Mail, but if it is a larger box it will end up in Parcelforce. In both cases there is the additional £8.00 handling fee over and above the VAT.

Sahib you're in Glasgow too?  we could do a double order!  just need to find a pen-pal stateside...  ;D
 

sahib

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Aye.

I got to the stage a penpal won't do for me. I need a regular American girlfriend  ;D .

She discovers I am married.

" You cheat. I knew you were after my valve stuff"
 

zebra50

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VAT starts at £40 on gifts, rather than £15, so there is up to a fiver to be saved by claiming it is a gift.  Duty kicks in over £135.

hmrc.gov.uk
 

mrclunk

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But fundamentally in average at least 6 out of 10 will be subject to customs charge
I must have been lucky then, i've yet to be charged import duty on anything snail mail from the USA even 19inch rack sized gear.  I'm only talking about the odd couple of ebay purchases a year tho, nothing in commercial volumes.
 

zebra50

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Mzaar said:
I always wondered.... if I end up reselling an imported stuff to a person in another country/union, I could get my money/VAT tax back, right ?

Yes, if you are VAT registered it should go into that system.

And I think if not there are forms to fill in - there is something known as a temporary import. Probably best to ask an accountant who knows the rules for your country.

But not if it was declared a gift.
 

sahib

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Mzaar said:
I always wondered.... if I end up reselling an imported stuff to a person in another country/union, I could get my money/VAT tax back, right ?

As Stewart said if you are registered for VAT. If you are not then no.

If you are registered for VAT then you claim the VAT you paid on import  anyway.

If you sell it to a person in an EC member state then you have to charge VAT. If the person is registered for VAT in his/her country then he/she supplies you with his/her VAT number and you do not charge the VAT.

If you sell it to the rest of the world you do not charge the VAT.
 

Paultec

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Into the UK:

Mark as "Commercial Sample"

Mark below "£15" in value

Do not insure. Make sure a signature and tracking details are required/provided.

This is not illegal.

What Customs and Excise do IS...

Do your homework.







 
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