FedEx advancement fee

Found 27th Sep 2013
I just received an invoice from FedEx asking for me to pay VAT (fine by me) and then a £10.50 advancement fee. At first I thought this was customs duty, but after calculating the % that £10.50 is over the total value of my goods, it turned out at something like 17.2938275..., so clearly not a fixed percentage charge. Also, assuming a 9% customs fee (apparently the top end of the average % charge) I would pay a tad over £5, so under the £9 borderline where they waiver your customs fee. I was wondering what on earth this random fee is, and whether I can refuse to pay without an explanation as to why I've been hit with this joyous surcharge. Has anyone else used FedEx and got this charge as well, and got out of paying it? Thanks, John
Community Updates
This is the fee that couriers collect as a result of them continously paying HMRC VAT / Duty on behalf of customers. Think of the fee as lending money of someone and paying it back with interest. I'd stop using FedEx as DHL charge £5 instead of £10.50
FedEx did this to me - I queried it and said I would not be paying it until they sent me a revised bill with the correct VAT. they cancelled the invoice in full and never invoiced me anything
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