Author Topic: Christmas gifts caught by customs  (Read 2005 times)

fd3

Christmas gifts caught by customs
« on: November 16, 2020, 02:45:03 pm »
My mother posted Christmas gifts from USania, but did not label them as gifts so we have been stung with import duty and handling fee.  Is there anything we can do or do we just have to pay up?

Postage + import is ~ value of gifts...
And we know the flag of love is from above/And we can force you to be free

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2020, 03:11:50 pm »
When I was in the RAF back in December 1987, I was coming home for xmas from Cyprus,
landing at RAF Brize Norton. I had three bottles of Keo brandy (which I intended to give to
family members). The brandy cost buttons out there, but the duty I was required to pay at
Brize Norton in order to take bottles with me far exceeded what I originally paid for them.
I told the RAF police to donate the bottles to their xmas party stash. >:(

fd3

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2020, 05:48:03 pm »
Les fecking bastardoes!

Got the parcel today, it has "gift" marked on it.  So parcelforce lied to us when we rang and we haz been stung by customs.

Who do I killz first and how?
And we know the flag of love is from above/And we can force you to be free

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2020, 05:51:06 pm »
How much is it worth? And what is the value claimed on the label?
Gifts worth more than £39 are liable for import VAT. Plus import duty if more than £135.

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2020, 06:30:02 pm »
I had this a couple of years ago. Mine also was labelled correctly as a gift, with all the correct declarations for value. Customs decided they thought it was worth more than declared and simply wouldn't accept any documentation that said otherwise.

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2020, 06:46:18 pm »
I bought a couple of running t shirts recently from a US trader because even with import duty and postage they were significantly cheaper than from the UK or Europe.  The package is not marked as gift or with the package value but it just came straight through.

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2020, 08:58:26 pm »
My experience is that you have to cough.
And cough for the handling charge.

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2020, 09:02:10 pm »
Gift does not exempt you, unless value very low.

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2020, 08:47:57 am »
The three bike frames I bought from xacd in China did not attract any form of customs duty. ??? :D


[Edit: Admittedly they were bought individually, during different years and not during xmas period]

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2020, 09:08:00 am »
Sounds very poor.

But we can reflect in the glory of knowing that now we have Taken Back Control, this will happen from places across the world, not just ghastly foreign regimes...
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2020, 09:30:42 am »
Yup, look forward to your eBay and Internet purchases from the EU being just as expensive and fraught as this.  Even if there is a free trade deal, it's possible customs inspections and the Parcelfarce handling fee will still be a thing.

Ironically, buying from China usually escapes all of this because customs laws don't mean shit to Chinese sellers and most things are labelled as $5 samples.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2020, 12:37:04 pm »
Yes.  The Chinese seem more interested in keeping their customers rather than Customs and Excise happy.   

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2020, 01:27:24 pm »
..... customs laws don't mean shit to Chinese sellers and most things are labelled as $5 samples.
The carbon fibre wheels for my Brompton were labelled thusly, despite their value being a tad higher than the cost of an entry level Brompton from Evans.

StuAff

  • Folding not boring
Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2020, 10:38:52 pm »
I've had both getting stung and getting away with it. Bought a few CD & DVDs from the States a while back, and the (single box) shipment doubled in price. Definitely not fair that postage charges are included in the tax & duty calculations.

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2020, 09:55:11 am »
I've had both getting stung and getting away with it. Bought a few CD & DVDs from the States a while back, and the (single box) shipment doubled in price. Definitely not fair that postage charges are included in the tax & duty calculations.

It's intensely irritating,  I agree, but if they didn't do that there would be even greater incentive for sellers to do the "item cost $1.00, shipping and handling cost $79.99" thing they already do to get to the top of product searches sorted by price. Which gives even more scope for unscrupulous sellers to gain (tax-dodging) advantage over legit ones, which would (IMO) be even more definitely "not fair".

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2020, 10:39:01 am »
I have ordered some earrings for MrsC from Transpondia. They were not particularly expensive, but I am now expecting that
a) They will not arrive until after Christmas
b) They will at least double in cost

Oh well. Fortunately I have other things ordered for her as well so there will not be a big blank space under the tree.
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2020, 12:26:33 pm »
I've had both getting stung and getting away with it. Bought a few CD & DVDs from the States a while back, and the (single box) shipment doubled in price. Definitely not fair that postage charges are included in the tax & duty calculations.

WTO rulez innit.

There are companies that deal with all the shit as part of the process, or at least claim to.

Oddly Mum got note of a parcel with a 37 quid VAT (27) + Handling (10) charge with origin of "Germany"

I tried to see if I could work out where it had really come from but the tracking number only turned up on the RM site after various messing about
So all we know is it arrived at some RM international arrivals lounge end of November

I did suggest it could be any of her friends or family in: Oz, Saffa, Croatia, Canadia or possibly even USAnia; but apparently they always say somethings on its way.

She wasn't expecting anything from anywhere so has ignored it.
hm...

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2020, 12:38:35 pm »
Yup, look forward to your eBay and Internet purchases from the EU being just as expensive and fraught as this.  Even if there is a free trade deal, it's possible customs inspections and the Parcelfarce handling fee will still be a thing.

I read that several carriers (DPD included) have said they will no longer ship from the EU to the UK for private packages. Not worth the hassle presumably, They will still be doing business to business shipping.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2020, 12:41:55 pm »
I've had both getting stung and getting away with it. Bought a few CD & DVDs from the States a while back, and the (single box) shipment doubled in price. Definitely not fair that postage charges are included in the tax & duty calculations.

WTO rulez innit.

There are companies that deal with all the shit as part of the process, or at least claim to.


eBay have an internation shipping service (at least from the US to the UK). The seller posts it to an eBay hub and they handle the international bit. They guarantee that all customs and tax costs are included in the quoted fee. I bought some drive trays for a workstation that were an order of magnitude cheaper in the US than the UK this way, it wasn't quick but it was painless.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2020, 06:51:23 pm »
I've had both getting stung and getting away with it. Bought a few CD & DVDs from the States a while back, and the (single box) shipment doubled in price. Definitely not fair that postage charges are included in the tax & duty calculations.

WTO rulez innit.

There are companies that deal with all the shit as part of the process, or at least claim to.


eBay have an internation shipping service (at least from the US to the UK). The seller posts it an eBay hub and they handle the international bit. They guarantee that all customs and tax costs are included in the quoted fee. I bought some drive trays for a workstation that were an order of magnitude cheaper in the US than the UK this way, it wasn't quick but it was painless.

That's exactly the model I was thinking of when I posted that, there are a few variants though.

Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2020, 08:03:25 am »
I've had both getting stung and getting away with it. Bought a few CD & DVDs from the States a while back, and the (single box) shipment doubled in price. Definitely not fair that postage charges are included in the tax & duty calculations.

WTO rulez innit.

There are companies that deal with all the shit as part of the process, or at least claim to.

Oddly Mum got note of a parcel with a 37 quid VAT (27) + Handling (10) charge with origin of "Germany"

I tried to see if I could work out where it had really come from but the tracking number only turned up on the RM site after various messing about
So all we know is it arrived at some RM international arrivals lounge end of November

I did suggest it could be any of her friends or family in: Oz, Saffa, Croatia, Canadia or possibly even USAnia; but apparently they always say somethings on its way.

She wasn't expecting anything from anywhere so has ignored it.
hm...

Your mum is probably right.  There’s warnings being issued by banks of a ‘customs charge’ scam doing the rounds, often involving DPD.  They’re saying that unless you’re expecting something, treat any request with caution. 
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

Hilldodger

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2020, 08:59:13 am »
I bought some vintage motorbike spares from a company in Turkey a while ago and DPD sent me a demand for money before they'd deliver it.

I politely told them to eff off as the amount they were asking was more than the value of the parts.

A month later and the parcel was delivered without any charge or further communication. :-)

fd3

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2020, 05:11:27 pm »
For added irritation:
US post won't insure the parcel unless the value is at least $100 (or so they told my mum) hence a £30 parcel got taxed at $100. 
Then they taxed me on £100 instead of $100.
Never again!
And we know the flag of love is from above/And we can force you to be free

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2020, 05:28:27 pm »
For added irritation:
US post won't insure the parcel unless the value is at least $100 (or so they told my mum) hence a £30 parcel got taxed at $100. 
Then they taxed me on £100 instead of $100.
Never again!

You can dispute the charges, you just need to show them proof of the real value.

Re: Christmas gifts caught by customs
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2020, 09:19:29 am »
A lot is down to plain good luck.
About 12-13 years ago, I bought a set of new OEM Mazda MX5 side skirts. Factory painted in the right colour, fitting kit etc, delivered for $199 (we were getting almost $2/£1 at the time) UK prices were £169 unpainted.
Arrived in a 6'x1'x1' box
No customs intervention at all  ;D