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Customs / VAT on item bought from USA over Ebay

Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Customs / VAT on item bought from USA over Ebay

Does anyone know, if I have to pay any customs duty, or vat, on a photographic item. (telephoto lens) purchased via Ebay, from the USA?
If so, any ideas how much?  (percentage or base rate?) and how the payment is collected....
The item will be shipped via USPS First Class Mail International .
8 REPLIES
VileReynard
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Customs / VAT on item bought from USA over Ebay

Definitely no VAT.
Customs duty - depends on how the sender describes it and whether Customs pick up on it. Smiley

Community Veteran
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Re: Customs / VAT on item bought from USA over Ebay

OK. thanks.... it will be coming from a Photographic Business in the US. so I expect they will describe it fairly accurately.... Value is less than $75 
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Customs / VAT on item bought from USA over Ebay

Here's a link that will answer your question:
DUTY
According to the site VAT could be charged.
Community Veteran
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Re: Customs / VAT on item bought from USA over Ebay

OK thanks for the linky .!  Wink
Community Veteran
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Re: Customs / VAT on item bought from USA over Ebay

Quote from: A
Definitely no VAT.

Uh, there are *very* few times which you will not be asked to pay VAT on anything imported from outside the EU/EEC.
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Community Veteran
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Re: Customs / VAT on item bought from USA over Ebay

When I personally brought an item into the UK from the USA I was hit with import duty plus VAT on top of the whole thing.
Before you ask - it was rather too large to fit into my baggage
Community Veteran
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Re: Customs / VAT on item bought from USA over Ebay

Customs and Excise have tightened up on the collection of duty in recent years. It's not as easy to get away without paying as it used to be.  It used to be possible to have a delivery marked as a present but this loophole has now been closed.
Community Veteran
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Re: Customs / VAT on item bought from USA over Ebay

Also bear in mind that Royal Mail charge an £8 handling fee for any packages that require them to collect customs duties etc. from the recipient. (To clarify: this means that Royal Mail do not charge a handling fee if an item is inspected by customs but no duties etc. are payable.)