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· Slot City
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331 Posts
The additional duties are due to an ongoing dispute between the EU and the USA.

I'm not sure as to exactly how much the UK government or UK Customs + Excise have to do with this. It is the EU as a whole that is in dispute with the USA, so I would imagine these additional duties are EU wide, and not something which the UK has much say about.

I'm not saying who is right or wrong in this dispute, so don't shoot the messenger, but the basic facts appear as follows (more info is easy to find on the internet if anyone is interested):

The USA gives tax breaks to companies selling products outside the USA. The EU viewed this as an illegal export subsidy and complained to the World Trade Organisation, who agreed and told the USA to cease the tax breaks. The WTO then gave permission for the EU to introduce additional duties on certain products to counter the illegal tax subisidies. The EU has stated that they will remove the additional duties once the USA complies, with the USA currently working on changes to the legislation to resolve the issue.

Jon,
Slot City.
 

· Jamie Coles
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515 Posts
When sending commercial items by courier there are a number of boxes to tick - one of which is the choice between the item being a permanent export or not.

If the proxy car - or other item - is to be returned, then it is NOT a permanent export and should not be subject to taxable duties from the temporary destination.

I'll let yu fight it out with your Customs people, though!!

J-c
 

· Registered
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1,052 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
There has been further correspondence at the on-line model railway magazine which makes interesting reading:-

"Import Duties

If a parcel is shipped from the USA it will be taxed as a shipment from the USA. Marking a different country of origin on the outside will not deter Customs. Import duty applies to all items with a value of £18 or more. Gifts are allowed duty free up to a limit of £30 but these have to be sent from a private address to a private address. Marking a commercial item as 'gift' will not avoid import duty. Also, shipping via another EU country will not avoid tax, I know several US companies that tried it. Parcels are routinely searched at random and this can add 1-3 weeks to the usual delivery time.

Beware of the 'Customs Trap'. This is where a large consignment of goods is shipped via a courier such as UPS or Federal Express. There is an additional surcharge made to the shipping cost by the retailer. This is not the full charge. A week or two after the goods arrive you will receive an invoice for the full Customs amount plus a charge by the courier for collecting the Duty plus VAT on the cost of that! This is often accompanied by a letter threatening legal action if the charge is not paid. Complaining to the retailer that you were not told any of this beforehand is unlikely to produce any sympathy.

What is sickening is that I am told that Australian customers are allowed to import up to A$500 (about £250) for personal use. That is because it would cost more to collect import duty on smaller shipments than the revenue it generates. I refuse to believe that Australian Customs are any less efficient than UK Customs so it seems to me we are being taxed purely for the sake of being taxed.

Kim Pateman

-----

In response to the inquiries regarding import duty on model railway locos. I spoke with customs today and was advised that the duty rate only applies to goods manufactured in the USA. However if the goods are imported from the USA but manufactured in China then an official certificate of origin issued by the manufacturer must be obtained to qualify for the duty free status. This only applies of course if you are importing the goods from the USA. As has previously been stated these goods are duty free but subject to vat at the standard rate.

I hope this clarifies the matter.

Stephen Leek"

QUOTE However if the goods are imported from the USA but manufactured in China then an official certificate of origin issued by the manufacturer must be obtained to qualify for the duty free status.

Don't raise your hopes on this one as it is unlikely that any of the big manufacturers that produce out of China are likely to issue a certificate as a one off for something of low value like a slot car however there is nothing to stop them printing off a large batch to distribute to stockists in the USA to enable them to include a certificate with any sales to Europe.

Maybe if any USA retailers are viewing they would consider making a request of their suppliers to provide such certificates for inclusion with any export sales made to Europe. Maybe this request should be made through Slotcarillustrated?


Moped
 

· DT
Joined
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8,026 Posts
I have just received an item bought in the States.

item cost $125 (101.37 euros) - item marked as gift.

Customs Handling fee and clearance: 9.50 euros
Import Tax imposed by customs: 13.68 euros
Total: 25.04 euros (with French VAT on these customs fees)

That's 25% !!


Plus postage of $21

Note: this item was cleared in Germany and then forwarded on to me. It's a Euro thing. Also, just wait until the Euro governments start charging VAT/GST on eBay transactions... They will somehow - probably at the poing of sale.
 

· Allan Wakefield
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6,720 Posts
QUOTE there is nothing to stop them printing off a large batch to distribute to stockists in the USA to enable them to include a certificate with any sales to Europe.

Except I doubt very much that they approve of or want to encourage people buying at the cheapest place possible a cost to their local Distributors.
 

· Phil Smith
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4,487 Posts
Most items from the USA will arrive here in the UK via Parcel Force.
The customs charges are applied by Parcel Force by civilian workers, the parcels simply go by them on a conveyer belt and they are picked off at random, they reackon to charge about one in three parcels.

So it does not really matter what you put on labels etc it is just a matter of luck whether you get charged or not.

One thing to watch for is that the value in dollars is clearly marked as such or you will be charged at a sterling value.
Just yesterday I had a $84 package charged, there was no $ sign next to the 84 so it was charged as pounds with a £28 fee! and thats more than 50% !!!

You can make a claim if you think you have been overcharged and in my experience the customs people are very helpful.
 

· Premium Member
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5,619 Posts
Electric Dreams and TSRF will make sure that your packages sent from the USA to the UK or continental Yurrup will be dealt in such a way that you will not be assassinated by your respective governments.

What IS really sickening is that most goods from Yurrup pay little or no duty in the USA, and we have NEVER paid a CENT in duty or any other chagers for any package sent from Yurrup.

Two continents, one is really applying its policies of free trade. The other needs to come to grip with its own myopia.
Regards,

Doc Pea
 

· Registered
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723 Posts
I don't think I have ever paid duty on anything coming into the U.S. BTW don't hold your breath on there being anything done to fix this problem on our part anytime soon. There is a lot more political support on helping American companies abroad than there is on you guys paying less duties, that's for sure. Sorry
 

· Registered
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2,472 Posts
Shows how much you know about Britain. The monarchy has less power than me in the general running of the country today.

As soon as Labour is out, we might have a chance... but that's politics and has no place on this board...

McLaren
 

· Registered
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118 Posts
Just taking a friendly jab at you guys. Being of Scot-Irish heritage I know plenty about the Brits. But, I really think you guys can do something about your taxes. We did in 1776 and there was only like about 5 of us colonials here!
 

· Registered
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1,052 Posts
Discussion Starter · #35 ·
For anybody who is into the background of all this I have found an official website. A retailer who imports a lot of stock from the USA has indicated to his customers that he will have to increase prices monthly to cover the 1% duty hike each month and this surcharge currently stands at 10%. Remember that the 17.5% VAT is charged on this surcharge aswell! It only applies to his USA based products and not kit imported from, say, Japan. He provided this link as background:_

http://www.dti.gov.uk/ewt/wtorules.htm

Happy reading!



Moped
 

· Alan Tadd
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4,043 Posts
Excellent Link Mope and a very interesting article, I checked the list of items to be subjected to this tax and it would appear that these items cover our hobby :-

1694 95049010 ELECTRIC CAR RACING SETS, HAVING THE CHARACTER OF COMPETITIVE GAMES 95049010 204

1684 95038090 TOYS AND MODELS, INCORPORATING A MOTOR (EXCL. PLASTIC, ELECTRIC TRAINS, SCALE MODEL ASSEMBLY KITS, AND TOYS REPRESENTING ANIMALS, HUMAN OR NON-HUMAN CREATURES) 95038090 704

Unfortunately it will also effect Mrs. Howmet as I did notice the following items were also included :-

1451 84471210 CIRCULAR KNITTING MACHINES, WITH CYLINDER DIAMETER > 165 MM, WORKING WITH LATCH NEEDLES 84471210 3,745
1452 84471290 CIRCULAR KNITTING MACHINES, WITH CYLINDER DIAMETER > 164 MM (EXCL. SUCH MACHINES WORKING WITH LATCH NEEDLES) 84471290 1,277
1453 84472092 WARP KNITTING MACHINES, INCL. RASCHEL TYPE, STITCH-BONDING MACHINES, MOTORIZED 84472092 601
1454 84472098 FLAT KNITTING MACHINES, MOTORIZED (EXCL. WARP KNITTING MACHINES, INCL. RASCHEL TYPE) 84472098 1,160

Regards

Alan
 

· Premium Member
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470 Posts
When you send a Proxy Car or any other item for that matter out of the EEC with the intension of having it returned then you should fill out an additional form declaring that it will be coming back so that Customs doesn't pick it up for additional duty on it's return.

I think that one problem in the EU is that depending on the entry point of the item into the Zone, Customs may or may not catch the item for duty. I've noticed that items sent by FedEx that usually clear the Zone in Paris very seldom get caught by Customs while almost all items that clear through the UK and Germany get nailed. Clearance through Athens usually gets through as "Gifts" no matter the size plus all items from the east (HK, Australia, etc). The key is point of entry clearance as far as I can tell.

As an American living in Greece, I purchase many items from the U.S. from clothing to slotcars and to date, after 15 years, I can count on one hand the number of times that customs has charged extra duty(4 times) and 3 times it was by German customs on the items from the U.S.

What bugs me is not the Customs (at least not yet) but the postage charges from different countries even within the EU. I can't understand how a so called "union" can have such great differences in mail prices. In many cases I can get slotcars cheaper from Australia or the U.S. not only because of no VAT but because the mailing price is less. I can buy 40 pounds (weight) of paperback books that come "Media Mail from the U.S. cheaper than 15 pounds from the U.K. Now why is that?

Tax and postage is getting even trickier with new EU member states. Buying items through these new countries has distinct price advantages for the next few years until tax/customs inforcement gains parity with countries like the U.K. and Germany.

Jim
 
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