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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,

Just a quick bit of information that most of you might already know but for those that don't.

The Import Duty Bracket has been reduced from £18 to £15 from outside the EU so any item you order above £15 is liable for both import Tax and VAT.

Great isn't it, the price if things go up so the drop the limit, got to love this government - were in a recession so we will rip money from our people even more!!!!!

On an up note, I noticed when placing an order with Amazon.com (sorry if this goes against Forum advertising) and found that they now work out and charge you import duty on you order, this saves it getting to the post office and them charging you £8 on top so at least that's something.

(p.s. this is not a topic to start a political debate, it was for information purposes only)
 

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Thanks for the warning. It is good to know seeing as we can only really get HO cars from the States.

Annoyingly I just bought a load of bits and asked them to clearly mark that it was less than $28 which will of course now breach the £15 limit! It is so frustrating!
 

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But do you guys in the UK automatically get hit with import duties on all these orders?

I don't know what the official limit is here in France, or if there is one, but most stuff from the States or elsewhere comes through without being stopped in customs. It's supposedly random checks, but the last item that got taxed was a $300 purchase on ebay and I wound up paying 70 euros for that - still don't know how they calculated it!

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We have to pay import to the UK on anything outside the EU above £15

Our post office also carge us £8 on top for them telling us.

VAT is charged at 20% plus import duty which differs depending on the item being imported.

I wouldn't mind but we already pay the sales tax on the items in America so we pay tax twice!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ive been hit several times and can end up adding 50% to the cost.

If its marked as a gift you can get up to £40 it all depends on how it's marked from the shipper
 

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I bought lots of stuff (non slot car related) from the states or Asia and never had to pay any import tax. I guess it must be a random thing?
 

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I tend to find some things get through and some don't. Recently all my HO bodies have got through without tax (despite being above the $18 limit) but larger packages always get stopped
 

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No1 super guy
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Here's the HMRC page that outlines import charges.

You may have to pay VAT, but not import duty/tax. That starts at another threshold. You are allowed upto £40 value as a gift before paying VAT.

Also note that any postage costs are included in the £15, so if you buy something that was £10 and are then charged £5.50 postage you may be hit with the VAT charge.

I've never been hit by Royal Mail, but if you use a seller that sends by the likes of DHL you will receive a demand in the post a few days later for payment of VAT and the use of their deferment account that they hold with HMRC. There are ways out of this, but it's not guaranteed to work.
 

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Andy Player
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I often treat myself to a parcel of HO stuff from the States every month or two. I used to risk going over the £18 limit and I got stung for VAT about 3 times out of 5. That was until I got done on a packet marked $28 when the exchange rate was £18 = $27.90. An £8 fee plus 17.5% VAT (as it once was) convinced me to stay under £18.

I can see that staying under £15 each time is going to mean more frequent parcels


Don is right about France. When I lived there, I got a couple of big parcels (but under $300) from the States and never got charged any VAT or import tax and the HO guys I was in contact with there never had any problems getting sets and stuff over. The 70€ fee on $300 would appear to be VAT (at 19.6%) and import tax (at 15%).

Personally, I would pay VAT on everything I buy from the States, if that's what the Government want and they made it easy. What I object to is paying a £8 handling fee on goods that might be worth only £20 and have my packet delayed by a week or more.

BTW, the postage cost has never been used in the calculation when I've been charged by customs. Maybe this is UK customs way of being 'kind' to us?
 

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Ordering cars from here in South Africa is actually fine! The UK retailers take the VAT off, and 95% of the time I am caught by customs and have to pay VAT. The only additional charge is a "carriage charge", which is about 1 pound. However, I have noticed that when I have to pay VAT the slip from the Post Office is sent out the day it arrives, whilst when I don't...


In South Africa we have a much bigger problem, and that's the rate of parcels that go missing. I have found that when my parcels are sent by Royal Mail Registered, they ALWAYS arrive. However, earlier this year I won an item off the 'bay, and the seller sent it Royal Mail Small Packets. It didn't arrive...:/

Just my 2 cents


Cheers,
Chris
 

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If you are paying sales tax on an item ordered from the States, you're doing something wrong. we don't pay sales tax here if we order out of our home state. Sales tax is an individual state added levy, not a country-wide tax.

Chris
 

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A bit off topic but as we are discussing postage, roughly how long do you find it takes for parcels to arrive from the US.

Regards Keith
 

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Two to four weeks.
 

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Andy Player
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6-8 days - that's a small packet by airmail from the US to the south coast.

Chris - We don't have to pay the local US sales tax. However we're supposed to pay a value-added tax on everything imported into the UK, as well as most things bought here. The rate is currently 20%, although there is no tax on basic foodstuffs and only 5% on domestic heating.
 
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