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International import duty / customs charges / questions [inc. USA]

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International import duty / customs charges / questions [inc. USA]

Old 11-07-01, 03:01 AM
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import duties

Hi there!
Recently I became a steady european resident and I'm experiencing some trouble with my DVDs shipped from the US.
As far as I know Amazon is the only retailer who guarantees youl'll not pay import duties. Other companies - as CDNow - say clearly their shipment can be subject to import duties.
Is this the real situation?
Old 11-07-01, 04:27 AM
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Re: import duties

Originally posted by will_munny
Hi there!
Recently I became a steady european resident and I'm experiencing some trouble with my DVDs shipped from the US.
As far as I know Amazon is the only retailer who guarantees youl'll not pay import duties. Other companies - as CDNow - say clearly their shipment can be subject to import duties.
Is this the real situation?
Eh????

This from Amazon's help page:
You may be subject to import duties and taxes, which are levied once a shipment reaches your country. Additional charges for customs clearance must be borne by you; we have no control over these charges and cannot predict what they may be. Customs policies vary widely from country to country; you should contact your local customs office for further information. Additionally, when ordering from Amazon.com, you are considered the importer of record and must comply with all laws and regulations of the country in which you are receiving the goods.
I think you'll be slugged unless your package slips through, or is under the limit, regardless of where you order from.
Old 11-07-01, 01:27 PM
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There may be an older post that explains this better but....

.... my understanding is that if you reside within what used to be called the European Economic Community and buy within that zone your goods will be subject to the prevailing rate of Value Added Tax in the country of purchase but will not be charged VAT or additional import duties when arriving at your country of residence. This is great for European residents ordering from a low price/low VAT European country.

As indicated, the same people ordering from Amazon.com risk facing VAT and import duties when their goods hit the local border: it depends on the priorities of the countries concerned and their local limits. In the UK the limit is around 18GBP/30USD which is about 2 CDs or one DVD. Once or twice I slipped the third CD in during a sale but Amazon and CDNow were always annoyingly honest about showing the full retail couponless price on the packaging which could have cost me. Oddly, B&N tended to label everything as "books" which was great for me and fellow UK residents as books do not incur a VAT charge in the UK: my CD-shaped books sailed through!

People from outside Europe &/or not covered by the "free trade" agreement may well be charged additional tariffs. Anecdotal evidence from this forum suggests that Amazon.co.uk at least will remove the VAT charge from goods shipping, for example, to North America.
Old 11-07-01, 02:43 PM
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I'm not raving in delirium
Amazon provides import duties: this what said Diego Piacentini - #3 in Amazon hierarchy - in italian leading newpaper internet forum corriere.it a few months ago.

http://www.corriere.it/globnet/sever...ICA=INTERSECT#

follow this link and see by yourself.

Last edited by will_munny; 11-07-01 at 03:13 PM.
Old 02-03-02, 10:38 AM
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Customs Question!!!!!!!!!!

I am planning to order a bunch of DVDs from Europe (France) and I was wondering what has been people's experiences with customs. For example, how many DVDs can I purchase without paying customs taxes, how much I would have to pay per disc if I was over that amount, etc. Thanks for all your help. I'm so glad there's an internet community like this to help us newbies out. Thanks again.
Old 02-03-02, 11:52 AM
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See the info under the "Internet Purchases" heading at this link http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/import/in..._purchases.xml
on the US Custom's website .

Last edited by cine; 10-29-05 at 07:32 PM.
Old 05-08-02, 02:33 PM
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Check out this regarding VAT being charged on all ecommerce purchases outside the eu to start in 2003 http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/bu...00/1973390.stm
Old 05-08-02, 09:05 PM
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I have to admit my Italian is rather crappy, but I am afraid I have to confirm benedict's post ... unless you stay under 18 Pounds Sterling (or about 22 Ä including postage (!)), your imports are subject to local duties and VAT charges (that's why one non-EU etailer used to be called "under18.org" ).
You might/can avoid taxes if you order from an unknown e-tailer (i.e. NOT amazon), have them labelled as "gift" from a private address, or order from one that ships from an EU or tax-exempt country (like dvdboxoffice.com) or from one that constantly has prices lower than 18 UK pounds (like play.com). Some people claim that DHL shipments (e.g. from dv-depot.com) are less likely to incur customs charges than regular mail shipments ...
You don't write where you actually live, so your mileage may vary ...
Old 05-10-02, 02:34 AM
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Originally posted by MOZZ
Check out this regarding VAT being charged on all ecommerce purchases outside the eu to start in 2003 http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/bu...00/1973390.stm

I think thatís the single most alarming thing Iíve read on the net.That will effectively kill the reason to order from the US if you live in Europe (which is exactly what they want). Looks like there is a small glimmer of hope in that :

The US, which has already threatened to refer the issue to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), fears that the rules could be used to shut
non-EU firms out of the market.


Without even reading between the lines you can tell that this is purely retailiatory because of the US tax on steel imports.

Tit-for-tat politics: disgraceful.
Old 02-15-03, 01:31 PM
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Does Australian Customs have a list of what you cant import

Want to get a few dvd's but I've heard they are banned in Australia.

Does customs have anything online that shows you what you cant bring into the country?
Old 02-17-03, 09:23 AM
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If you are trying to find if a film is banned in Australia, search the title at:

Office of Film and Literature Classification

You can search for RC (Refused Classification) films by ticking a box in the advanced search function. If is is banned (that is RC) according to that site, there is a chance that Customs knows about it and may confiscate any copy found coming into Australia.
Old 02-17-03, 05:59 PM
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This site also contains some interesting information on the topic:

http://www.refused-classification.com/

Michael
Old 02-17-03, 10:25 PM
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If it's being sent as a gift from another country (personal mail rather than an order) I don't think customs check the title.
Old 02-18-03, 07:08 PM
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ok thanks guys for your help
Old 02-20-03, 01:37 AM
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Originally posted by Michael A
This site also contains some interesting information on the topic:

http://www.refused-classification.com/

Michael
This is kind of distressing. I hate it when democracies try to tell people what they can and can't see.

If Herr Ashcroft hears about this, he'll turn green with envy...
Old 03-10-03, 09:37 AM
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Newbie Question on VAT/Import Duty

Hi, I'm new to purchasing DVDs overseas and had a question on VAT/Import Duty.

I'm in the US & I have made a purchase in excess of $150 US from England with VAT/Import Duty never mentioned or charged upon delivery. However, I went to make a purchase of $30 from CDWow & received the following message:

You MAY be charged VAT / IMPORT DUTY as the value of this item is in excess of your personal import allowance. This tax is collected by the Postman / Postal Agent.

"May" be charged, so it isn't definite? Can anyone tell me how likely it is that I'll be charged? If I am charged, can anyone tell me what to expect to pay on $30 US?

Thanks for helping!
Old 03-10-03, 06:06 PM
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Cant help you specifically but you were more likely to get hit for the $150 than by the $30 its just that cd-wow have pointed it out. Someone will come along that knows the US duty limits but in the meantime which cd-wow site did you use...

U.K site ... http://www6.cd-wow.com/index.php?affid=5502
U.S site ... http://www5.cd-wow.net/index.php?affid=5502

or the Hong Kong site ... http://www2.cd-wow.com.hk/index.php?affid=5502

All three are basically the same site but dont all carry the same dvd's, if the one you're after is on the HK site buy it there and try adjusting the hk price to $US on the final payment page this may reduce the price a little and keep it below customs, it also save you the exchange charge put on by most credit card companies.

Or you could try this link, not sure if its still working...
http://www.mastercard.com/specialoff...rd/143801.html


Hope thats not all too confusing.


Smiler
Old 03-10-03, 07:06 PM
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customs question

i was looking into ordering a dvd from amazon.fr, does anyone here know what decides if you will be charged for customs or not? thanks
Old 03-10-03, 07:54 PM
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CdWow WILL NOT charge you VAT...I just got my order from them.

As you probably already know...VAT is charged only in EU...IF HOWEVER for some reason you get an invoice from a place that charges you VAT you could email them and ask that the VAT is removed (happened to me twice with an etailer from Norway).

If you're based in the US it is not legal for them to charge you VAT (though there have been examples in the past where BLACKSTAR tried to neglect this rule).
Old 03-10-03, 08:48 PM
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The total purchase amount can not exceed $800, if it does then you pay taxes on the excess. I believe it is now $800. It used to be $400.
Old 03-11-03, 07:37 AM
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Thanks, smiler, for the reply & the coupon link!

Thank you too, pro.
Old 07-27-03, 02:12 PM
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Digging up this older thread . . .

I am also confused. I live in the US & recently purchased my Malata & am now hoping to plunder all the R2 PAL riches out there.

I know that Amazon UK lists their prices without VAT if you live outside the EU, but I understood that the other major UK etailers (such as Bensons World, Blackstar, etc.) do not. So if I want to order from, say, Blackstar, should I automatically deduct 17.5% from their prices, assuming they won't charge me VAT? Or will they bill me the EU price & I'll have to request that the VAT be refunded?

At what dollar amount does Import Duty kick in?

I would just like to compare apples with apples & oranges with oranges.

Thanks for your help.
Old 07-27-03, 02:38 PM
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I live in london and buy a lot of region 1 dvds of the internet. When the die hard boxset come out I purchused it and was hit with a £20 VAT charge, when I paid the charge I contacted the UK customs office I was told any item imported over £18 you are liable for VAT. But since then I have 2 dvds delivered that i should have paid VAT on them put got away with them, anyway perhaps the postman was feeling good.
I know that doesn't help you, being FROM the states but it my help UK owners wondering about the situation.
Old 07-27-03, 02:40 PM
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"...VAT is charged only in EU..."

...not true!... Australia e.g. also charges a similar tax, which is called GST, instead of VAT... - but - as I pointed out in another post, VAT is a LOCAL tax only, as is GST... VAT does NOT apply to orders placed from a country OUTSIDE THE EU (for orders placed with EU companies) nor does GST apply to orders placed from a country OUTSIDE AUSTRALIA (for orders placed with OZ companies)...

...IMPORT DUTY is an altogether different thingy...

. . . . . .

Last edited by Hendrik; 07-27-03 at 02:47 PM.
Old 07-27-03, 03:30 PM
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Again, from the UK perspective....

<small>
Originally posted by jdslater
I live in london and buy a lot of region 1 dvds of the internet. When the die hard boxset come out I purchused it and was hit with a £20 VAT charge, when I paid the charge I contacted the UK customs office I was told any item imported over £18 you are liable for VAT. But since then I have 2 dvds delivered that i should have paid VAT on them put got away with them, anyway perhaps the postman was feeling good.
</small>VAT, Import and handling charges can be hit and miss when importing items into the UK. Sometimes if you go over 18UKP it will be spotted and you will be hit for the charges; other times it will slip through. The trick is to keep your order size down.

The good thing about CD-Wow, in my experience, is that they split all orders - sending CDs and DVDs in separate packages - so if you are ordering from their US or HK websites you will not normally tend to go over the 18UKP limit.

I once challenged a courier firm (DHL I think) who sent me a bill a month or so later. The major part of the bill was their handling charge which they are allowed to impose for the bit of work they do for the Customs & Excise people. Anyways, the printout was meaningless and I said that if they had provided this from the outset I would have refused to accept delivery. They let me off all the charges.... (again, in my early CD "importing" days I paid a Parcelforce charge imposed at source and - aside from making a couple of calls - could not be bothered at the time to mount a challenge! I did hear that people were asking the authorities to change the rules so that the carriers admin charge would be removed but don't think that has got anywhere yet).

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