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Import Duties in the UK

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Hi all,

 

Although I've sold many items over the years, I've never sold anything to a buyer in the UK. They've asked what the import duties will cost them. I admit that I don't have a clue :)

 

This is a lens for a a Nikonos and the value is admittedly not very much, but I would hate for the buyer to have to pay a high import duty on it.

 

I've also seen statements on the listing of some Ebay sellers warning potential buyers that they will not mark the item as a gift and/or indicate a value less than what has actually been paid.

 

Is there a way to find out how much the import duty will cost the buyer? Is there any legal way to minimize what it will cost the buyer?

 

Thanks for any light you can shed on this topic.

 

Ellen

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In the past I used to send from the UK to the US small high value items. On the customs form I would declare the goods to be a commercial sample of no value so the recipient did not have to pay any duty or tax. Maybe the same would work from US to UK?

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If your package gets caught then you pay VAT on the value (currently 15%) and the customs amount for anything over 18quid. I think. Customs rates will vary on item. I got caught with a lens from reef once but I seem to recall it didn't bust the bank. But worse case I'd say if it gets caught it's 15 - 30% of the declared value.

 

More info here

 

I'm sure that you used to be able to ring up for a quote but I can't find any info about that I'm afraid.

Edited by wizbowes

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Personally I think the responsibility of dealing with import duties and other taxes are with the buyer. You cant be expected to know all the different taxes that exist in the UK. They can contact their local customs office and ask. All you can do is tell them the price you sell it for to them.

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Yes, it's the buyer's responsibility. I would not mark it as a gift either. You can mark the value down within reason, but that would affect the insurance you can take out, again buyer's risk.

 

Jack

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The system depends on the shipping method. If a package is shipped by a well-known international courier then it will probably get checked by them and appropriate taxes paid which then have to be paid to the courier prior to delivery. As far as I am aware the costs are 5% import duty (I really know little about this but the % may vary depending on the type of item) then 15% vat (tax) added to the value + 5% total. Plus a couriers fee which varies from about £12 to £35 in my experience. On the other hand with some (postal) services only a proportion of packages seem to get checked but the same applies as above if they are checked. However incorrect declaration of the value may have consequences - ie a higher value may be used which may or may not be correct and proving the actual value afterwards to seek a refund might well be a time consuming, messy and prolonged business (mt experience with dealing with some couriers is not encouraging). so all-in-all I'd suggest that a correct valuation (price paid) is used and an appropriate receipt enclosed showing how payment was made - this way revaluation might be countered in a much more straightforward fashion.

 

In the case of a Nikonos lens I would be tempted to describe it accurately as an 'obsolete camera part - underwater lens' and note under value 'price paid' which may help too.

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we get stung here. I purchased a lens a few weeks back off a WP member and it arrived within a week, 2 weeks later i got a HM Customs bill for £80. The lens was £360 and a good price, add the £80 on and it isnt so good.

 

Stew

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We purchased a lens recently from a Far East source that guaranteed re-imbursement of any tax paid. I freely admit I was VERY sceptical, however even with the VAT and import tax it would have been a good buy. The item was delivered and we paid the courier the duties. We then scanned the duty receipt and emailed it back to the company as requested. That sum was put back on our credit card within 24 hours. Excellent service :)

 

Roger

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Everything that I have ordered from divervision has been 'undervalued' on the customs forms so I've not had to pay any tax at all.. highly recommended.

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VAT and duty are due on all goods entering the EU unless there is a specific relief. The duty rate on lenses is 6.7% as I recall. VAT will be a further 15%. The duty is calculated on the ex work value (goods, shipping, insurance) and VAT is then charged on that and the duty.

 

If the goods are under £18 in value then the small goods relief means that they can be imported tax free. That goes up to £36 if they are gifts.

 

The importation of goods as temporary imports of commercial samples (a favourite of the far eastern suppliers) means that the duty in suspended and (theoretically at least) becomes due if the goods are not removed from the EU within 18 months (plus interest and penalties).

 

Just remember that insuring the goods for £250 and declaring with this a customs value of £10 doesn't require a genuis at the port!

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VAT and duty are due on all goods entering the EU unless there is a specific relief. The duty rate on lenses is 6.7% as I recall. VAT will be a further 15%. The duty is calculated on the ex work value (goods, shipping, insurance) and VAT is then charged on that and the duty.

 

 

You can't escape VATMAN, even if you're a JOKER...

 

:uwphotog:

 

 

Tim

 

:)

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and the name of the company Roger?

It was DigitalRev, but through an Ebay advert.

 

As we paid the full duty, and the company reimbursed us, there was nothing "fishy" about the deal.

 

Cheers

 

Roger

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You can't escape VATMAN, even if you're a JOKER...

 

:drink:

 

 

Tim

 

:uwphotog:

 

 

:)

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The only way to be sure of escaping Customs Duty and VAT is to

1) smuggle the goods in yourself

2) don't travel First Class or Business Class

3) don't be black

4) don't carry a guitar case

5) never take the item back out of the country and try to reimport it

6) be prepared to pay the duty and a big fine

 

 

so Pay Up and Be Smart!

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The only way to be sure of escaping Customs Duty and VAT is to

1) smuggle the goods in yourself

2) don't travel First Class or Business Class

3) don't be black

4) don't carry a guitar case

5) never take the item back out of the country and try to reimport it

6) be prepared to pay the duty and a big fine

 

 

so Pay Up and Be Smart!

 

 

More good advice from Mr Bantin.

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What about second hand goods? Anyone got a handle on what HMRC here in the UK charge?

 

Decosnapper

 

www.simonbrownimages.com

 

It makes no difference whether the goods are new or second hand. The only exception is where the goods have previously had VAT paid on them and they have not changed hands outside the EU. Without this exception Customs would be able to charge VAT and duty on all the contents of your luggage whenever you came home from holiday.

 

Daniel

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It makes no difference whether the goods are new or second hand.

Daniel

 

Thanks Daniel. I guess only the buyer and seller can set the price, and therefore the VAT? Or do HMRC maintain a list of s/hand photo gear?

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Thanks Daniel. I guess only the buyer and seller can set the price, and therefore the VAT? Or do HMRC maintain a list of s/hand photo gear?

 

I really doubt that they accept the buyer's and seller's valuation if they open a box and find something obviously under valued on the custom's declaration in it (ie. it has a much lower price on the custom's declaration that it is 'worth') my guess would be that they would have it 'valued' or revalue it themselves (they can probably use the web too!) and you'd have to argue/prove different! Not sure I'd want to go there.

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I really doubt that they accept the buyer's and seller's valuation if they open a box and find something obviously under valued on the custom's declaration in it ....

 

A fair point indeed...Cheers Paul.

 

Simon

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Customs can deem an item to have a higher value if they believe that it is "undervalued." It is not usually enforced but you might have to argue the point if you buy something more cheaply from abroad.

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