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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:16 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:47 pm
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Location: Stratford upon Avon
I have just got stung by royal mail and HMRC buying some bike bits from the US.

I have had lots of things posted to me in the past marked as gift and never had to pay any form of charge.

It seem like customs have tighten up their control of goods coming into the UK and are making sure anything with a value over £40 has VAT added to it, when this occurs our friends at RM also kindly add a £8 handling charge. :cry:

Has anyone else notices this become more prevalent recently or have I just been very lucky in the past?

I assume the only way around this is to state the value of the goods below £40 but this may leave the sender out of pocket insurance wise if anything goes wrong?


Last edited by dan smith on Fri May 17, 2013 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 6:40 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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I think it is inevitable as everything is highly computerised now.

Ten years ago I reckoned on paying charges of any kind on only two out or three shipments.

Always felt like Christmas when I dodged a hit! It pays to check you have been charged appropriately, as I often found they had calculated the charges on the $ not the £, for example.

The 'gift' thing is one way of reducing charges, but as you say a loss or damage can then become an issue.


Last edited by highlandsflyer on Fri May 17, 2013 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 7:50 pm 
retrobike rider
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The computerised thing is bollox, sorry. It's been computerised for more than 10 years. The reason is that we are bumping along at the bottom, the government need every penny, so they can pay themselves handsomely (don't forget the expenses!), and cut everything else. For this reason they cannot get more tax from us, so they are going after every import. The gift thing is dodgy as hell, and not legal, and won't be accepted if it's from a company. Insurance doesn't need to be organised by the carrier ;)


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 9:24 pm 
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I have separated my points, as I did not infer they have only been computerised in the last ten years. Just making the point that ten years ago plenty of my goods were getting delivered with no customs attention.

Started importing US goods in the eighties, when I was able to do so for free using the US Airforce.

Resorted to shipping companies once that avenue closed. My experience goes back thirty years.

The computerisation is the reason they are able to screw down the hatch.

Even ten years ago many items were not closely tracked, now just about everything is and the information is available to multiple agencies. Right?

:)


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 9:46 pm 
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To be honest i dont mind paying the VAT too much, thou i makes me wonder why VAT is not charged on all private sales? Is it just because it is unenforceable at the moment!?

Its more the £8 RM charge that is really annoying. :twisted:


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:24 pm 
retrobike rider
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I've got my diploma in customs procedures. I've been in logistics for 11 years. Trust me, it used to be a random selection for private importers, now they are screwing everyone.

The £8 is to pay for the person that has to deal with customs time. It's legitimate, and frankly, very cheap. I've charged some people £125 for the experience ;)


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:26 pm 
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Pyro Tim wrote:
I've charged some people £125 for the experience ;)


Ouch! was that to receive a £10 item :) j/k


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:40 pm 
retrobike rider
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No, but then you don't pay any taxes on a £10 item ;)

It used to be my standard charge, and I even charged my old man that figure, when I re-imported his yacht


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:55 pm 
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Pyro Tim wrote:
I've been in logistics for 11 years. Trust me, it used to be a random selection for private importers, now they are screwing everyone.


That absolutely explains my experience, thanks for the insight!


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 12:33 am 
rBoTM Winner
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Just so you know, as an ebay seller in the US, the problems, taxes, higher costs are killing me too. I have always attempted to get the lowest cost for my international buyers but USPS just doubled the price and Ebay is reluctant to provide seller protections if you do not print a shipping label directly through Paypal. This means the actual auction price is on the customs form and it is marked as merchandise. Seems like the Wild West days of the internet are in the past


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