Expired

Avoiding Import Duty/VAT from USA

Found 22nd Apr 2008
As the title says, does anyone know how to do this?

18 Comments

orders online or when coming back via air ?

via air my technique is as following (fool proof!):
I remove items from box, and keep only the main stuff (i.e for a laptop, only the laptop and the charger):
all accessroies and box i post it to my residence in regular eco post with £0 declared value

now, via post, i think the best way is to pray that customs don't check your items... praying alwyas helps a ltitle

If ordering online, try and keep it below £18. HMRC use the rate published here: customs.hmrc.gov.uk/cha…485

At the April rate, that means you can spend $35.74 on the item, plus delivery. If your item comes to above that then you'll be charged tax on the whole amount including delivery.

Remember to be careful when ordering special offers like buy-one-get-one-free, as some companies (such as Amazon) declare the total value rather than the price you paid...

If you're bringing your items back yourself, you're allowed to bring back items to the value of £145 through customs without declaring...customs.hmrc.gov.uk/cha…ent

Banned

hashman;1944655

via air my technique is as following (fool proof!):I remove items from … via air my technique is as following (fool proof!):I remove items from box, and keep only the main stuff (i.e for a laptop, only the laptop and the charger):all accessroies and box i post it to my residence in regular eco post with £0 declared value



Absolute nonsense to claim that is foolproof.

Firstly, customs are no fools. They would see if its new or not by its condition. They can easily check the SN to verify its country of origin. Lastly, I know of someone who had to foot the bill for bringing their own UK paid laptop back into the country because they were unable to prove they didn't buy it on their trip.

guv;1944904

Absolute nonsense to claim that is foolproof.Firstly, customs are no … Absolute nonsense to claim that is foolproof.Firstly, customs are no fools. They would see if its new or not by its condition. They can easily check the SN to verify its country of origin. Lastly, I know of someone who had to foot the bill for bringing their own UK paid laptop back into the country because they were unable to prove they didn't buy it on their trip.



Did they not have stuff on it that was dated before their trip? I would have guessed that old files etc would be enough proof, bit scary that it may not be.

Banned

kidcat;1944937

Did they not have stuff on it that was dated before their trip? I would … Did they not have stuff on it that was dated before their trip? I would have guessed that old files etc would be enough proof, bit scary that it may not be.



Yup. It was an old machine. They made that point - but were told there is nothing to prove the machine wasnt bought from overseas and duty not paid unless they could provide a receipt. Now, think of the number of items you could get caught of with by this problem (cameras, lappys, video cameras - ie anything electircal.)

My mum just came back from the states & bought my youngest boy some Ralph Lauren clothes for his birthday & took the labels off. The only problem was that she bought clothes that were age 4 when he's 5 now so bit of a tight fit :lol:

I think it is just your luck...Does anyone know if you buy goods second hand ie. from Ebay etc. if the parcel is marked "second hand goods" if you still pay the current duty/import rates? I have always wondered this,as there is often guitars that I would like to buy from USA Ebay,but would hate to have to pay duty on something that is not new. Thanks.
* I have had stuff sent that I personally never paid as much duty on as the sender marked the item as being worth less than what it was ie. $100 instead of $500. But the problem there is if it breaks,goes missing etc. as you can only claim back what the item value was marked at. Might work with "recorded delivery" or secure post...

rehydrated;1945109

Does anyone know if you buy goods second hand ie. from Ebay etc. if the … Does anyone know if you buy goods second hand ie. from Ebay etc. if the parcel is marked "second hand goods" if you still pay the current duty/import rates?



Yep, you still have to pay, only it is worked out on the price you paid for the item rather than the price of the item when it was new.

Original Poster

nightswimmer;1945166

Yep, you still have to pay, only it is worked out on the price you paid … Yep, you still have to pay, only it is worked out on the price you paid for the item rather than the price of the item when it was new.



So therefore couldn't you make an agreement with the ebay seller where you pay him a small amount via paypal and pretend this is the amount you paid for it, while paying the larger amount by another method? I understand this is possibly risky

samc;1946587

So therefore couldn't you make an agreement with the ebay seller where … So therefore couldn't you make an agreement with the ebay seller where you pay him a small amount via paypal and pretend this is the amount you paid for it, while paying the larger amount by another method? I understand this is possibly risky



Yup you could but lying on anything on the custom declaration form is against the law.

There is no way to avoiding import tax. You can hope the customs miss your package though. If the sender send the package using normal mail, then there are chances that it might not get taxed and slip through the customs. But if the sender uses expedited mail such as UPS/Fedex/etc, then you are almost be certain you will get taxed. So there you have it, ask the sender to send using regular USPS mail from the USA.

guv;1945006

Yup. It was an old machine. They made that point - but were told there is … Yup. It was an old machine. They made that point - but were told there is nothing to prove the machine wasnt bought from overseas and duty not paid unless they could provide a receipt. Now, think of the number of items you could get caught of with by this problem (cameras, lappys, video cameras - ie anything electircal.)




Maybe the pound sign above the 3 could have given it away?

so if i go on holiday with 10 laptop reciepts and come back with 10 laptops and an enlarged middle finger i can point them to this thread right?

Is duty still due if the items are bought by a 'friend' in the US, and sent as a 'gift' to the recipient in the UK?

FrootCake

Is duty still due if the items are bought by a 'friend' in the US, and … Is duty still due if the items are bought by a 'friend' in the US, and sent as a 'gift' to the recipient in the UK?



Same rules apply except for gifts the limit is £36 rather than the £18, at least it was this a few years ago.

Original Poster

Wow, my thread's still going strong 3 years later. There must be a way round the tax somehow

I ordered a high end pair of headphones from US, Stax 009's which cost about £4,000 over here including VAT.

I paid $4985 including shipping and managed to dodge any import duty and VAT, so only cost me about £3000 in the end.

Seller kindly marked them as "Warranty Replacement" and saved me £800 which was enough to buy a really nice amp to power them, up yours mr government

ALWAYS ask foreign sellers if they'll mark your item as warranty replacement, it can save you bundles of cash, and often theres hundreds of sellers of the same item abroad so shop around firing emails off to them, more often than not they'll bow to the pressure just to get a sale.

I'm now in a situation where i can sell these headphones and make a huge profit if i had the cash i'd buy another 5 pairs.

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