Custom, VAT & excise for GIFT sent from OUTSIDE EU...

Found 2nd May 2009
Will i be charged duty/VAT/excise if I am sent a gift (electronics with value say 300£) from family for birthday ...

Anyone has experience with this?

Please help

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They don't normally charge if "Gift" is printed on customs label. Some companies in the US which I deal with get around the customs this way. Make sure your parents put a birthday card in the box because the customs often open parcels.

Original Poster

Predikuesi... thanks. That was what i thought but i get confused after reading RoyalMail's description here: royalmail.com/por…362

All postal items that enter the United Kingdom may be examined by … All postal items that enter the United Kingdom may be examined by Customs, but normally letters, postcards and packets containing only documents or similar forms of correspondence are excluded.If you are receiving a package from overseas (apart from another EU Country), please be aware that it may incur customs charges. Any package assessed by HM Revenue and Customs as being liable for Customs charges will also incur a Royal Mail handling fee of £8.The Royal Mail customs handling fee is charged for customs clearance of items in respect of which import duty and/or tax is due. Items in respect of which no import duty and/or tax is due will continue to be cleared through customs free of charge.Any goods imported into the UK over the value of £18 are liable to import VAT; gifts between private individuals over the value of £36 are also liable for VAT. Goods and gifts over these values may also be liable for Customs duty. As of the 1st of December 2008 you will no longer be required to pay customs duty for goods up to the value of £105, however you will still be required to pay import VAT and excise duty where applicable.

nuabdi;5102349

Predikuesi... thanks. That was what i thought but i get confused after … Predikuesi... thanks. That was what i thought but i get confused after reading RoyalMail's description here: http://www.royalmail.com/portal/rm/content1?catId=400044&mediaId=400362



I see what you mean. It has never happened to me, but a friend of mine did have to pay because the word Gift was not on the label. I suppose there is not much you can do but pay up if they are feeling mean that day. Hope you don't!

Original Poster

OK ... thanks.... heres what ive got from ]HM Custom and Revenue site:

Goods[/url] sent as a gift are not free of import duties and import VAT. … Goods[/url] sent as a gift are not free of import duties and import VAT. However, customs duty will not be collected if the amount is less than £7, and import VAT is not chargeable if: * the value of the gift does not exceed £36 * the customs declaration is completed correctly * the gift has been sent from a private person outside the EU to a private person(s) in this country * the gift is for the use of either yourself or your family * there is no commercial or trade element and the gift has not been paid for either directly or indirectly * the gift is of an occasional nature only eg for a birthday or anniversary.Please note the purchase of goods from outside the EU to give as a gift to a relative or friend, whether or not addressed to that person, is treated as a ‘commercial consignment’ for which the import VAT relief threshold is £18 (paragraph 2.3 refers).



Once again cheers for helping.... hope someone here can explain further

they dont normally charge probably because they dont check - if they do check and think the item value is too high then the above comes into force.

Original Poster

brilly;5102438

they dont normally charge probably because they dont check - if they do … they dont normally charge probably because they dont check - if they do check and think the item value is too high then the above comes into force.



so basically its gambling then?

nuabdi;5102475

so basically its gambling then?


afaik yes, you probably have a good chance of being missed but if not then 15% VAT + handling + potentially duty too depending on exact stuff coming in and values.

Original Poster

brilly;5102509

afaik yes, you probably have a good chance of being missed but if not … afaik yes, you probably have a good chance of being missed but if not then 15% VAT + handling + potentially duty too depending on exact stuff coming in and values.



OK thanks alot .... :thumbsup:
now I have to tell them how to filll the custom declaration lol

can you suggest whats the best way to describe the item i.e. is it better to state high value or have a shot with stating a lower value?
most likely the item is a camcorder

iff i were you i would get them to take it out off the box, put it in another box and put a note in there saying something allong the lines off "forwarding this on, you left it when you visited last, get them to record something on it."

Certainly put that the item is off lower value, if you fill out a declaration. very hit and miss with these things. They onnly usually target companies and the sender will have to put address on the parcell, if its a private address less likely to attract attention. good luck.

Original Poster

leecroot;5103780

iff i were you i would get them to take it out off the box, put it in … iff i were you i would get them to take it out off the box, put it in another box and put a note in there saying something allong the lines off "forwarding this on, you left it when you visited last, get them to record something on it." Certainly put that the item is off lower value, if you fill out a declaration. very hit and miss with these things. They onnly usually target companies and the sender will have to put address on the parcell, if its a private address less likely to attract attention. good luck.



Thanks....
hopefully it may work.... problem is if i get caught i may have to pay penalty as well lol
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