Lens imports USA to UK

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by chorleyjeff, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. chorleyjeff

    chorleyjeff Member

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    Have bought a Bronica lens on Ebay from USA and UPS tried to deliver yesterday but I was out of the house. The note left by the delivery person says £18.23 payment is due on delivery. This is on top of postage already paid.
    I guess this is a customs duty payment (something I had forgotten about living and trading in the EU) and the question is how is this payment calculated on secondhand camera equipment imported from the USA so that I can factor this in when bidding in the future? Two dollars to the pound makes USA prices seem very yummy!
    Cheers
    Jeff
     
  2. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    I have just had the same experience. The charge is VAT added on the $ price stated on the export label plus an £8.00 handling fee by the Post Office

    Cheers

    Phill
     
  3. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Vat @ 17.5% plus import duty of (I think -- it's a long time since I did this) 8-10 percent on the declared value on the package. Often there's a courier handling charge too, typically as much as GBP 10.

    Courier companies usually (but not always) make these charges; the Post Office often doesn't bother if they're small, and doesn't (or at least, used not to) impose a handling charge.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  4. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Roger

    I was told by the PO that the PO now charge an £8.00 handling fee on goods where they have to retreive the VAT for the Custom Office. No import duties were charged but VAT was calculated on the $ amount stated on the ticket

    Ticket stated $80 , VAT was £7.15 (17.5% of (£40 odd pounds)

    Phill
     
  5. chorleyjeff

    chorleyjeff Member

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    Blimey that was quick!
    Thanks for the very helpful info.
    Cheers
    Jeff
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    On second-hand equipment I've usually been charged 3% import duty and VAT, this is all payable on the cost of the item including the shipping.

    The surprise is we get taxed on the shipping too, and as the taxes are cumulative it works out more like 22%.

    Having said that I've bought quite a few lenses from the US & Canada and have paid no import duty on any of them, the two 10x8 cameras though were taxed.

    Even with the tax though it is still far cheaper to buy from the US.

    Ian
     
  7. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Phill,

    Ah, yes... Hence my arse-covering 'used not to'.

    But I thought it better to post an imperfect answer, because (a) it's better than nothing and (b) someone woukd soon correct me...

    The import duty does seem to be somewhat randomly applied.

    Thanks,

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  8. toyotadesigner

    toyotadesigner Member

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    AFAIK there will be no import duty/tax or VAT charged if

    01. the item is used
    02. the item has been purchased from a private individual
    03. the buyer is a private individual

    However, if you purchase anything from a dealer in the US (commercial), you have to pay

    01. import duty
    02. VAT based on product value plus shipping costs plus import duty
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Entirely wrong !!!!!!!!!!!!

    No EU duty has ever been paid -- So you pay it.

    Customs don't care who you buy from business or private individual, and you don't just pay VAT you also pay import duty which starts at 3%, it can add up to 22% plus. Oh and I forgot you also pay tax on the postage/carriage.

    Having said that I've only really been made to pay full tax on 2 items, both 10"x8" cameras, and I buy nearly everything from the US, and import to the UK.

    Ian
     
  10. m_liddell

    m_liddell Member

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    This is true, I checked with customs a while back.

    Ordering stuff from KEH and importing to UK I normally get hit with an extra 20%.
     
  11. Paul Kirchhoff

    Paul Kirchhoff Member

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    If the declared value including shipping is less than about 25 USD customs do not interfere. It depends on the exchange rate.

    Over 25 USD there is import duty at 3-6 % for photographic equipment over the purchase price with shipping and an additional 17,5 for imports into the U.K.

    The carrier may add a handling charge as extra off course.
     
  12. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Duty is waived if the amount of duty payable is under £7 and there is no VAT if the total is under £18. In practice, I have gone some way over the VAT threshold in the past (to about £25) without Customs taking any interest.

    Customs duty depends on the item. Lenses are high at 6.7% (35mm SLRs are 4.9% and DSLRs get in free of duty... Grrrrrrrrrrr!). VAT and duty are payable on used goods in the same way as for new. The only differences come in if the goods are gifts, in which case the rules change and VAT & duty can usually be avoided.

    In this case in would seem that no duty would be payable on a lens until you hit £104.48p inc postage & insurance etc, but VAT would still be payable.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2007
  13. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    My experience suggests that you factor in +25% on the purchase price, but expect the occasional surprise when C&E think the value is mis-stated on the declaration and make their own higher one.
     
  14. Brac

    Brac Member

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    It can be luck of the draw, sometimes the Customs will not charge for items that are well over the point where charges are theoretically payable (about £18). It may be with the volume of goods coming in some kind of spot-checking system is used.

    But I had a case where I bought an item under this amount from the US and the seller didn't understand the necessity of putting a large dot or dash between the dollars & the cents on the declaration label. So the Customs assumed it was all dollars and levied a charge and Royal Mail wanted their fee too. It took a struggle to get the seller to confirm his error and I had to post emails and order details to Customs but eventually all the charges were lifted and I got the goods.