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US Airmail+Customs

Koopa Avatar
8y, 10m agoPosted 8 years, 10 months ago
I believe the limit is £18/19 on ordering overseas before getting charged on customs. Does this include postage? I'm wanting R1 Prison Break from Amazon :)

Cheers.
Koopa Avatar
8y, 10m agoPosted 8 years, 10 months ago
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(17) Jump to unreadPost a comment
Comments/page:
#1
As far as i'm aware its the item only.
#2
im sure its the item only upto $40
#3
No its the TOTAL cost inc postage. That's what they'll tax you on the *******s. I bought something from an ebay seller in the US just before xmas and the postage alone was $37, didn't get taxed though :lol: Consider it a lottery ;-)
#4
Shengis
No its the TOTAL cost inc postage.


No it's not, it's just the item itself that has to be £18 or under. :)

*However* If you are over that limit and you have to pay tax, then the tax is calculated using the total cost of the item *and* the postage.

Just to confirm, this is taken from the HMRC Website:

2.3 Are import duties and import VAT always payable?

Import VAT is not payable on:
- commercial consignments eg goods purchased over the internet with an intrinsic value not exceeding £18, but this does not include alcohol, tobacco products, perfume or toilet waters

-gifts, excluding alcohol, tobacco, perfumes and toilet waters, with a value not exceeding £36 and which comply with the rules shown in paragraph 2.4.



You should also note that the HMRC has it's own exchange rate for Customs and VAT purposes. You can find a list of the latest rates here.

The current HMRC exchange rate (for January) is £1 = $2.0034, so currently £18 = $36.06.
[helper]#5
I agree with Shengis - the £18 limit is based on the value of the package which includes postage costs.....
#6
Yes I always thought the £18 limit included postage costs. It is actually rather confusing as government departments tend to be.

To quote HMR&C website

3.1 How are customs charges calculated?

Charges are raised by Customs staff at the postal depots where the packages are received. However, in some cases special arrangements are in place for goods purchased on the internet (see paragraph 3.4 below).

The amount of customs charges payable will depend on the type of goods imported and the value (converted using the rates of exchange for the month of importation as shown on the HMRC website) stated on the customs declaration (CN22/CN23):

Customs duty - this is usually charged as a percentage of the value. The percentage varies depending on the type of goods and their country of origin. Duty is charged on the price paid for the goods including any local sales taxes plus postage, packing and insurance costs. However, postage is excluded from the calculation for duty on gifts sent by post except for Express Mail Service (EMS).

Where the value of gifts is below £290 per consignment a flat rate of duty of 3.5% will be applied, but only if it is to your advantage.

Note: Customs duty will be waived if the amount is less than £7.

Excise duty - this is charged on alcohol and tobacco products and is additional to customs duty. The excise duty on wines and spirits depends on the alcohol content and whether wine is sparkling or still. Duty on cigarettes is based on the percentage of the recommended retail selling price combined with a quantity charge. On other tobacco products eg cigars or hand rolling tobacco, it is charged on the net weight.

Value Added Tax (VAT) - Import VAT is charged at the same rate that applies to similar goods sold in the UK. The value of the goods for import VAT is based on the value for customs duty plus any import duties charged.

They also imply that if the duty charge is less than £7 then it is waived, so infact you will probably get away with a bit more than £18, but not sure how much as they only mention 3.5% duty on gifts under £290

Very confusing :-)
#7
elitom
Yes I always thought the £18 limit included postage costs. It is actually rather confusing as government departments tend to be.

To quote HMR&C website

3.1 How are customs charges calculated?


Please note, what you have just quoted is how the charges are calcuated (i.e. how they work out how much tax you need to pay should you need to pay it), that is different to how much you are able to import before you are actually charged, which is covered in section 2.

Unfortunately, it's very poorly worded, which is why people get confused by it. :-(

As I stated before, the £18 amount is for goods only. i.e. It excludes postage.

However if you go over that limit, it is at that point that you get charged, and when working out how much to charge you, it is then that they also take into account the amount you paid for postage.
banned#8
Well if the OP wasn't confused before he posted - he is now!!!
#9
nightswimmer
Please note, what you have just quoted is how the charges are calcuated (i.e. how they work out how much tax you need to pay should you need to pay it), that is different to how much you are able to import before you are actually charged, which is covered in section 2.

Unfortunately, it's very poorly worded, which is why people get confused by it. :-(

As I stated before, the £18 amount is for goods only. i.e. It excludes postage.

However if you go over that limit, it is at that point that you get charged, and when working out how much to charge you, it is then that they also take into account the amount you paid for postage.


If you want to go get a CN22/23 (or in the US, maybe a CP72) I believe you will find it clearly states that the total entered HAS to include postage and handling charges. The reason being you have also 'bought' the services of the postal company and that is taxable. Said total on the CN22 is what HMRC etc use in the first inst to base their decision on whether ANY tax is due. Filling in the form incorrectly (ie putting $5 and marking it as a gift) is no defence and is liable to get you an even higher tax bill.

As I said though, it's a lottery. Some you win, some you lose.
#10
Shengis
If you want to go get a CN22/23 (or in the US, maybe a CP72) I believe you will find it clearly states that the total entered HAS to include postage and handling charges. The reason being you have also 'bought' the services of the postal company and that is taxable.


I have one in my hand (USPS CP72) and it doesn't say this. There are two boxes, one for the value of the Goods, and one for the seperate cost of Postage and Fees. (You can download a .pdf of this form from the USPS website here.)

The reason being Services are not Goods. And it is the value of Goods that has to be £18 or under as it clearly states on the HMRC website.

I've been dealing with this for 10+ years, but if anyone has any doubts, I suggest they give the HMRC a call because I know there is no reason to believe what I say. :)
#11
My understanding is the same as nightswimmer, I have bought items at 18 pounds with postage that has put them over that cost and not been charged. However when the item has just slipped over the 18 pound mark I have been charged for the total including postage which is somewhat annoying.

John
#12
Thanks for all the responses:thumbsup:

So just to clarify, buying this (I love Leslie Nielsen) will be fine?:)
#13
Koopa
Thanks for all the responses:thumbsup:

So just to clarify, buying this (I love Leslie Nielsen) will be fine?:)


Yeah thats less than £10 with postage:thumbsup:

To nightswimmer. I'm just basing my comments on personal experience. For example i've bought things from the US and china with a 'value' of over £50 and not got charged. Admittedly the chinese tend to put Gift valuer $1 lol. On the other had i've had items of less than £18 value from the US and been stung for tax and RM charges. For example I needed some plastic case bits for my laptop. Bought them for about $20 (was about £15 back then) and had to pay about £7(with RM charges) as the postage was way higher than the item value :-( The last thing I bought from the US was a few Xbox games. I paid $12.50+$37 postage. The seller stated $25 on the declaration. So therefore IF the package had been stopped for whatever reason i'd have been stitched by the seller who was probably just trying to help out (it clearly stated $37 on the postage stamp :lol:).

I sometimes think that whoever checks packages isn't 100% sticking to the 'rules'.
#14
Shengis
To nightswimmer. I'm just basing my comments on personal experience. For example i've bought things from the US and china with a 'value' of over £50 and not got charged. Admittedly the chinese tend to put Gift valuer $1 lol. On the other had i've had items of less than £18 value from the US and been stung for tax and RM charges. For example I needed some plastic case bits for my laptop. Bought them for about $20 (was about £15 back then) and had to pay about £7(with RM charges) as the postage was way higher than the item value :-(


If the limits were the same back then, then you were wrongly charged and should have fought it. You are right though, sometimes you are lucky and things do slip through that don't get taxed that should. I've had it happen a couple times to me too. :thumbsup:

I know the Official HMRC website is worded badly which makes things confusing, but just to confirm what I've been saying from a more clearly worded source, this is from the DHL website:

Are there any reliefs from Duty and VAT?
Yes, they include:

- Goods of £18 or less in value (excluding postage, packing and other miscellaneous costs) this does not include alcohol, tobacco products, perfume or toilet waters
- Gifts from one private individual to another providing the value does not exceed £36. (Exception: There is a very restricted gift allowance on excise goods but you are advised to contact Customs for further information)
- Personal effects of people returning to the EU after residing abroad
- Goods found to be defective or damaged or not otherwise as ordered. (Customs must be notified before qualifying goods can be returned overseas. Otherwise duty relief may be lost)
- Goods imported into the EU for processing and repair before re-export from the EU. (Your local office of HM Customs and Excise can provide you with further details)


I sometimes think that whoever checks packages isn't 100% sticking to the 'rules'.


That is quite true, unfortunately. :x Or in some instances, fortunately. ;-)
#15
And just to make it even more confusing im pretty sure everythings taxed at a different rate :lol:

Going back to what I said before about HMRC charging on the total inc postage etc....

17.2 Are all of the costs to be included in the customs value?

No. Only costs up to the place of introduction of the imported goods into the customs territory of the EC are to be included.

Remember you must include in the customs value all inland transport and associated costs in the country of export.

17.3 Where is the “place of introduction”?

* Sea
- If the goods are delivered direct to the UK the place of introduction is the port of importation into the UK.
- If the goods are delivered to another member state before being sent to the UK the place of introduction is the port of unloading in that member state.
- If the goods are transhipped within the EC the place of introduction is the port of transhipment. (This is subject to transhipment being certified by Customs at that port).
* Air The place of introduction is the point where the EC border is first crossed during the air journey.
* Road, Rail or Inland Waterway The place of introduction is the point where the goods first pass a Customs office on EC territory.

This is usually the point when the goods cross the EC border.

* Post The place of introduction is the address for delivery, for example your office or home.


What does it mean? Your guess is as good as mine :lol: Link Here.
#16
Shengis
And just to make it even more confusing im pretty sure everythings taxed at a different rate :lol:


Yep, see here.

What does it mean? Your guess is as good as mine :lol: Link Here.


LOL, that comes from living in the EU. Basically when working out the tax you owe (should you go over the lmits ;-)), they are only allowed to charge tax on shipping (and associated costs) up to the point it enters the EU. This normally wouldn't affect the everyday person, as most things are shipped by air, but if you were having a grand piano shipped in from Russia, it would. ;-)
banned#17
Koopa;1449406
Thanks for all the responses:thumbsup:

So just to clarify, buying this (I love Leslie Nielsen) will be fine?:)

BTW, see ebay item 140191437849 as its only £6 incl delivery.

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