Import Duty and VAT?

    hi all,

    Am looking to buy a watch and when looking on the web I've noticed that its quite a lot cheaper to buy one from the US (because of the exchange rate) and have it shipped over via fedex.

    I know you are supposed to pay import duty (4.5% I think) and VAT (17.5%) on watches shipped in from overseas.

    Do you always get collared for this or is it just if you are unlucky? Do Fedex ask for the money on your doorstep or do you get in invoice from the gov - or are you supposed to declare it yourself.

    I've ordered the odd thing from the US and never had to pay it but this is 400 quid+ so might catch someones attention.

    Anyone know?



    If its sent by gift, its not always caught.

    Fedex will askfor the money at the door and wont even let you touch the box until you give them the money, if you refuse, they return your item.

    I got charged £50 on a psp from hong kong when they came out and i only paid £150 for it

    the import duty varies depending on the item, you need to look up the code on the HMCE site.

    Any of the main couriers (fedex, ups etc) will ALWAYS custom clear items on behalf of HMCE. They will also charge you an admin fee on top too!

    duty is applied to the cost of the goods including postage, then vat is applied onto that, then the admin fee.

    If it's sent via usps then it's a bit more of a lottery as to whether you will get charged by royal mail/parcelforce at this end.

    Also make sure your watch has an international warranty card and stamped by the dealer! (not always possible depending on the brand)

    Original Poster

    thanks guys. checked the gov website and its 4.5% import duty on watches.

    when you add all the costs up its only a few quid cheaper than buying it from here. not sure its worth the risk.

    shame that, could have been a nice way to save a few quid.

    I think the threshold for Import Duty is close to £18.

    Regarding your watch, add the duty to the total inc. the shipping cost and see if it's worth it. If you can manage to have it posted as a gift and not merchandise you will usually not pay import tax unless customs do a random check on your item. They are entitled to open any package they wish for inspection. Any enclosed receipt or documentation relating to your purchase will give the game away and a fine could be issued by Customs & Excise.

    A few years ago I purchased 4 CDs from the USA.. A note through my letter box said I had to collect the parcel. At that time the note didn't mention anything about paying IDVAT so I had to drive to a particular Royal Mail Post Office a 2nd time as I didn't have any payment method on the first. I had to pay about £8 (£2 per CD) import duty.

    Now I order less than £18 at a time.

    Even if you mark it as a gift, if it's worth more than £36 you will get charged.

    Also if it's marked as a gift and it's been sent from a company instead of a private individual they will charge you.

    Now if you can manage to get the value under-declared, you have to bear in mind any insurance from the couriers will be for the declared amount.

    Original Poster

    I once ordered something from ebay and the sending sent it as a gift so didn't get charged. like you say though, i wouldn't buy a 400 quid watch without insurance and so it will be obvious its not a gift and what its value is.

    oh well.

    You will end up paying about £135 duty & vat and admin charge plus your courier charge.
    Post a comment
      Top Discussions
      1. Surprise! The HUKD Summer Flamedeer Hunt 2017 **OFFICIAL THREAD** (trading …3961637
      2. Jeremy Corbyn #traingate77
      3. If you had £50,000 to start a business what would it be ?2341
      4. WONGA REFUNDS DUE188929

      See more discussions