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Extra Charges

jabb0
Grafter
Posts: 716
Registered: 18-09-2007

Extra Charges

I remember about 2 or 3 years ago I ordered an mp3 player from Canada, i duely paid using my credit card and the item was shipped, then arrived as expected.
This was all great except that a fortnight after this, i recieved a bill from the courier saying that they had paid my customs and excise charges and i owed them money, which was about a third the cost of the product i had just bought.
A bit of a surprise, but i hadnt got much choice.

Now i am looking at a set of speakers on ebay which come from america, they come to about £160 with about £30 courier cost.

How can i find out how much i will be charged by customes and excise when they get into this country, cos if the rate is as high as my mp3 player was i am definitly not going to bother. (ie if it is goin to be a 3rd like he mp3 player thats an extra, and unaceptable £50)

is anyone anyways savy in this kind of thing?
Can you help me out?

cheers
6 REPLIES
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Re: Extra Charges

Quote
i recieved a bill from the courier saying that they had paid my customs and excise charges and i owed them money

Something doesn't sound right here.
I can't help feeling you fell for a con here.
I really dont think a courier would pay someones C & E bill, deliver your stuff and then wait a fortnight before asking you to pay.
Or would they :?:
N/A

Extra Charges

Yes they do.

What is more, most will not even deliver the goods until the C&E is paid, or unless you provide CoD.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Extra Charges

I bought a mini disc player on ebay from america last year, i got caught by customs and had to pay a charge + £12 handling fee by Parcel Force for dealing with the customs. No pay = no item. It's a shame its so expensive to import.

Chris
jabb0
Grafter
Posts: 716
Registered: 18-09-2007

Extra Charges

I thought it was a con at first, and i did think about telling them where to go, as i was already in possession of my product - but then i just paid them, for an easy life.
It was DHL, an i have to give these guys some respect as they are the only ones who can find my house without getting lost (all the other couriers just give up and i have to end up taking them step by step over the phone to my front door).
I had a look at the C&E website and its not exactly simple - can anyone like tell me where i could get the relevant info - perhaps DHL would have something (ill try thier site)
I can understand the bigger picture in having to pay C&E charges, in that no one would buy from the UK if it was always a lot cheaper buying from abroad.
One point to note for anyone else buying online, buying from the EU doesnt incur such a charge, and can often end up alot cheaper (ie bought a graphics card thats costs over £200 in this country for about £120, buying this from germany i didnt incur any extra costs)
channel
Grafter
Posts: 697
Registered: 03-09-2007

Extra Charges

The truth is that courier firms are very keen indeed for C&E to have a look through your packages and slap on the tax. That way the courier firm can slap an excess charge on yourself because they paid the tax for you.

Typically, if you are dealing with a reputable seller, the best thing may be to get them to ship to you via the standard US postal service, not a courier. It then becomes much less likely that your package is opened, especially if the seller is... ahem... helpful with the declaration on the package in terms of describing the contents.
N/A

Extra Charges

As far as I know if an item has a retail value of over £18 and you purchased it as an import then they put VAT on it.

If it's a gift, then you can have up to £36 in value before VAT is applied.

This part of Customs and Excise's web site should help you