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Does anyone know anything about importing stuff?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Doitforfree, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    My choir needs new risers. The choice in the UK is small and expensive. If we bought our risers in the states they would cost about a third of the price and we could get exactly what we want rather than an expensive compromise. I'm assuming there would be tax to pay, but how does this work?
     
  2. VanEyssen

    VanEyssen Established commenter

    You pay VAT and any customs duties on the type of goods. You may find the info online or from HMRC helpline.
     
  3. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    The imposition of import duty is a pretty random affair if the item is posted by a country's national postal service - most of the time you don't get clobbered, but occasionally you do.

    However, if you buy from the USA via eBay and the seller has opted into their global shipping program, import duty will be charged automatically - be careful to check the small print and the total before buying.

    There are some unscrupulous unprincipled rogues who deny Mr Osborne his just dues by asking the sender to declare the item(s) as a 'gift' on their post office's Customs declaration form. This is a bit naughty and I would never advocate such base trickery. Oh no.
     
  4. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Although, of course, it is not 'Mr Osborne's' just dues but taxation that helps to fund core public services, including schools.
     
    lizziescat likes this.
  5. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    We wouldn't be trying to avoid whatever is due, I just wasn't sure how it works. We would be buying direct from the company that makes them and ewither they would ship the itmes or we would arrnage it ourselve.s They'd be coming by ship. Thanks for pointing me to HMRC. I'll see if i can find out what the amounts might be. Is it charged when the things are delivered to us?
     
  6. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    The shipping agent usually sends an invoice for the shipping cost, VAT and import duty before releasing the goods.

    The amount of duty you will have to pay depends on the tariff assigned to the particular goods. My experience has been that there can be a range of tariffs that could be interpreted as being the one to apply, but only one will be the correct one, if that makes sense. In other words, if the shipper isn't familiar with the goods, he may inadvertently apply the incorrect tariff.
     
  7. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    This link gives the main details.
    https://www.gov.uk/goods-sent-from-abroad/tax-and-duty

    If it's sent from inside the EU then VAT is paid at source and no additional charges are due.
    Outside the EU if the goods are £15 or less then no VAT is due. This figure includes shipping. If the goods are more than £15 then VAT is due but the first £9 of VAT is waived which gets you up to £45 including shipping.
    Beyond £135 import duty is due on top of VAT and the amount will depend upon the type of goods. You need to ring HMRC for details.

    The simplest way is if the seller knows the systems and can charge you directly. If this is not the case then it may be easiest dealing with HMRC directly to find out the best way to get the things into the country. Otherwise you can have the stuff stuck at the port for weeks whilst you try to persuade HMRC to release them.
     
  8. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    You get ripped something rotten when you import from outside the EU over a certain sum. You not only pay import tax, but the Post Office pays it for you initially and then holds your goods to ransom until you pay the tax plus their 'holding fee', which amounts to doing very little.Rip Off UK!
     
  9. Cliffedge

    Cliffedge Occasional commenter

    Ah but you get ripped off inside it in so many other ways. :(
     
  10. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    You just order and pay for the stuff. The merchandiser fills in the relevant info on the shipping form and, if it's send Fedex, they pay the duty etc and invoice you, or, if sent EMS it comes via Royal Mail/Parcelforce. If stopped at customs they send you a bill and your items are released and posted on once it's paid.
    Be careful if sent on 49/24 hour service as Royal Mail charge more even though you don't get your items any quicker.

    You don't need to work out duty, it is done for you.
     
  11. felltogroundinberkeleysquare

    felltogroundinberkeleysquare Established commenter

    I'm quite sure the Russian didn't come by Royal Mail. Just a lot of paperwork!
     

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