Been charged customs on a item under £18!!

Found 19th Apr 2011
went to the post office today to pick something up with a customs charge of about £13 (including a royal mail handling fee of £8 plus another £1) the cost of the item was $13 plus $8 shipping so $21 well under £18 (which i believe is the threshold) is this correct.?????
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if they believe the item has been marked down to a lower cost to avoid duty then they can class it as higher in value.

Also what value was on the customs dec, you can appeal I believe
Depends what the item was. If it was a DVD they shouldn`t have charged, if it was booze they should.
it was a tshirt and the customs charge was about £3.80 i think.

im more annoyed about the £8 whihc i believe woldnt have been put on if i didnt get the customs charge

From HMRC site

Commercial consignments of £18 or less are free from customs duty and … Commercial consignments of £18 or less are free from customs duty and import VAT. For example, goods purchased over the internet with an intrinsic value not exceeding £18, will not be charged any duty or VAT but this does not include alcohol, tobacco products, perfume or toilet waters. See paragraph 2.5, 2.6 and section 3.


If customs charges are payable upon importation, Royal Mail charge a … If customs charges are payable upon importation, Royal Mail charge a handling fee to cover the costs for carrying out customs procedures paying any customs duties or VAT due and collecting it from you. If customs examination is required, or if information is missing from the declaration, Royal Mail open, repack and reseal the package. Royal Mail fees are itemised separately on the charge label and are collected at the same time as customs charges. As they are completely separate from any customs charges, any queries about them should be raised with Royal Mail or Parcelforce Worldwide as appropriate.

So, if HMRC have wrongly charged you you`ll need to raise two separate claims, one for the import charges and one for the Royal Mail handling charge.
I'd have left it there.
thanks for the help dont mind letting the 3 quid odd go but the £8 is shocking il go see what they have to say tomorrow
next time use someone like UPS or DHL, last time i had a package they had a my package from america they only charged about £1 for there own handling fee
my mum sent me a birthday card, but she just put a 1st class stamp on it, she should have paid an extra 10p, so royal mail charged me £1 plus the 10 sodding pence. grrrrrrrrrrrr.

I also just bought something from china about £100 and didnt pay anything. I thought it was up to £108 now?
in our sorting office it states that they charge £ 8 for their service in dealing with imported items
Hi mumbojumbo that's great thanks for the help I don't think I will be buying from the USA anytime soon
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