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Old Oct 22, 2007, 02:35 PM   #1
Philpo
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iPhone to UK customs & import charges

Hey guys,

I'm in the UK & I've been wanting an iPhone since they came out! I think I've finally found a way of getting one (didn't want to be ripped off on ebay) as I have a friend who has moved out to Miami. I know we are only just over 2 weeks away from the UK release but I have a horrible feeling the UK version of the iPhone will come out with 1.1.2 software and won't be unlockable and I figured I'd try to save some pennies in the process.

The question is does anyone know the process of him sending it to me in the UK and how much customs will charge for handling etc?

Anyone got any tips with whoom he should send it or what service he should use etc? I think I'm definitely doing this, just wanted some tips and advice.

How much do you think it will likely cost with US Tax, shipping and possbily customs?

Cheers guys, would love to hear from anyone who has imported themselves!

Philpo
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Old Oct 22, 2007, 02:45 PM   #2
MrT8064
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Hi, I am also in the UK, and bourght an iPhone (from ebay) a couple of weeks ago from america.

the postage by USPS cost about 35$ (international express) i think

with no lieing or anyting illegal... i was not charged any VAT on entry to the UK... i was prepared to pay, if i had to, but i was very happy not to

i do not know about US sales tax, but i think i may have read that US citizens are not charged sales tax if they buy stuff online (you would have to check this, i really dont know)

anyway... after lots of auction watching and bidding, i got an 8GB iPhone for $375 + $37 postage, because the seller was slow to post, they gave me $20 to say sorry, so after paypal had taken some commision for the transactons, i ended up paying the nice little sum of £199 - the same price as an 8GB iPod Touch..

i agree, i think the UK release may well be 1.1.2 or even be different hardware (mebby a sealed sim card?)

i was very worried about importing from the US, i have to say waiting for the delivery was stressfull, but that stress is worth the hundreds and hundreds i would have to pay for the UK iPhone contract!!!

Just to add: i have read in lots of places that poeple will NOT be charged VAT on entry to the uk, when goods are posted with USPS, but it is almost certain that people will be charged when they use services like DHL or UPS etc.

I think USPS international express is great, pretty well priced, and it only took 4 days for my iPhone to come (once the seller posted it!!!!)


hope this helps

Last edited by MrT8064; Oct 22, 2007 at 02:48 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old Oct 22, 2007, 02:50 PM   #3
Deezer-D
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I bought one off E-Bay and had to pay 37 customs charges - 13 of which was a Parcel Force handling fee.
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Old Oct 22, 2007, 03:16 PM   #4
CD3660
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpo View Post
Hey guys,

I'm in the UK & I've been wanting an iPhone since they came out! I think I've finally found a way of getting one (didn't want to be ripped off on ebay) as I have a friend who has moved out to Miami. I know we are only just over 2 weeks away from the UK release but I have a horrible feeling the UK version of the iPhone will come out with 1.1.2 software and won't be unlockable and I figured I'd try to save some pennies in the process.

The question is does anyone know the process of him sending it to me in the UK and how much customs will charge for handling etc?

Anyone got any tips with whoom he should send it or what service he should use etc? I think I'm definitely doing this, just wanted some tips and advice.

How much do you think it will likely cost with US Tax, shipping and possbily customs?

Cheers guys, would love to hear from anyone who has imported themselves!

Philpo
Florida sales tax is 6%.

It is pot luck whether you will be charged by Customs in the U.K. but they are very alert to the fact that a lot of people are importing things by post at the moment because of the weak dollar.

I have been charged V.A.T. of 17.5% plus a handing fee of about 13 on two separate occasions for items shipped by USPS, so it can add a fair chunk to the overall bill.
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Old Oct 22, 2007, 04:31 PM   #5
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Varies from the looks of it. I have a friend who imported via eBay and ended up paying 270+28 shipping (the seller milked the US/UK Exchange rate shamelessly by charging the same prices as the US....IN THE UK) for (and this is the best part) a 4GB Model!!. Then had to pay a 42 customs/parcelforce charge making a total of 340 for a 4GB unlocked model.

The guy says its worth it because the phone works very well and doesn't have the negative black issue which would have pissed him off if he did. Also he has a collectible iPhone (4GB no longer sold)

To each his own
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Old Oct 22, 2007, 04:36 PM   #6
sananda
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it's 3.5% import duty and 17.5% import VAT.
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Old Oct 22, 2007, 04:40 PM   #7
sweetice2007
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i didnt have to pay upon delivery but i recieved a letter just the other day from fedex with an invoice in there for 24.63 but what the hell i dont mind paying for it since it still cheaper than tying into a contract with o2 :-)
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Old Oct 22, 2007, 04:43 PM   #8
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i've just bought an 8gb unlocked iphone from the US off ebay - it cost me 290 plus 10 pounds shipping.

it was shipped last monday, so it has been a whole week and still no iphone! - hopefully it'll come tomorrow....

this customs charges debate isn't making me feel to good though - i think its so unfair how random it is! the iphone is going through USPS (6-8 day delivery)
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Old Oct 22, 2007, 05:56 PM   #9
drenk1976
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Not an iPhone, but I just got a jacket from an American website, and got charged 50 by UPS, so had a really good look at the rules because I though they'd got it wrong.

You pay duty on the "landed value" which means the item vlaue plus whatever you paid to have it delivered (so all of the sudden the cheap surface mail option looks much better!). Theoretically though, a mobile phone should be zero rated (although an MP3 player is 2% so make up your own mind). There are literally thousands of classifications of EU duty which vary wildly. Digital Camera =0%. Television = 14%.

Then you pay VAT on the amount after the duty.

So, if you buy an iPhone for 200, you may or may not get charged 2% or indeed some other rate. This would be 4.

The would then take this 204 and add VAT at 17.5%, so that's another 35.70. This means you're looking at about 40. If you use UPS or someone like that, expect them to whack another 12 or so no top as an admin fee. Thanks.

In terms of what carrier to use, my understanding is that UPS, Fedex etc insist on knowing exactly what's in the package and what it's worth before they accept it for international delivery. They then volunteer the information to Customs when it gets here and stump the cash. This means Customs fast-track it and that's why they're so fast. The down side is that you'll definitely pay the duty.

If you choose the USPS/Royal Mail dream ticket however, it sits in a holding area when it gets to the UK whilst customs decide whether to open it or not. If they do, you get a bill. If they don't, you don't.

The conclusion I've come to, is that since you can get a ticket to some very nice places in the States for 200 or so, you should save your money and treat yourself to a little holiday and do a bit of shopping. Most airlines give you a 2 x 32kg baggage allowance.

I know they can technically make me pay duty at the airport, but if I come through costoms with a suitcase full of new looking jeans/trainers/gadgets with price tickets removed, I'd like to see them prove where I've bought them from!
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Old Oct 22, 2007, 06:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhuk01 View Post

this customs charges debate isn't making me feel to good though - i think its so unfair how random it is! the iphone is going through USPS (6-8 day delivery)
you are supposed to fill out the customs declarations. if you don't you might get caught or you might not, but you should be declaring and volunteering to pay.
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Old Oct 22, 2007, 06:54 PM   #11
mhuk01
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you are supposed to fill out the customs declarations. if you don't you might get caught or you might not, but you should be declaring and volunteering to pay.
what do you mean, i'm supposed to fill out the customs declarations? i just bought something on ebay, i'm the BUYER not seller.
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Old Oct 23, 2007, 12:04 AM   #12
CD3660
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Originally Posted by mhuk01 View Post
I think its so unfair how random it is! the iphone is going through USPS (6-8 day delivery)
Consider it a bonus (and yourself lucky) if you don't get charged. In law you are liable to pay.

Incidentally, I once had to wait 21 days for a USPS delivery that should have taken only 5 business days. Their delivery 'guarantees' are useless.
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Old Oct 23, 2007, 12:15 AM   #13
sananda
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what do you mean, i'm supposed to fill out the customs declarations? i just bought something on ebay, i'm the BUYER not seller.
then you should ensure that it is agreed that the seller properly makes the declarations. you can contact the seller prior to the end of the auction. the difficulty is that just marking these parcels as nil value gifts slows down the process of sending things and incurs further royal mail costs.
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Old Oct 23, 2007, 01:39 AM   #14
CD3660
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......the difficulty is that just marking these parcels as nil value gifts slows down the process of sending things and incurs further royal mail costs.
...and it also has insurance implications if the item goes missing.
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Old Oct 23, 2007, 06:38 AM   #15
MrT8064
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i would be very worried if my item went missing, i dont think my iPhone was insured for delivery (seller wanted to save money), if anything had gone wrong, perhaps i would need to claim with paypal??
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Old Oct 23, 2007, 06:38 AM   #16
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I think USPS post sent by the 3-5 day option does not need a customs form attached, any thing taking any longer does...


or perhaps if you have insurance you are more likely to be charged VAT, i dont know!!
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Old Oct 23, 2007, 11:25 AM   #17
Philpo
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Hey guys,

Thanks for all of your comments they have helped me very much. I think I'm going to wait until the iphone is released here in a couple of weeks and see what version of the software it comes out with. If i get lucky it will be 1.1.1 and i'll save a few quid, otherwise I may look at importing again.

At the moment though it seems like there are charges at every turn and I'd rather wait and see if I can avoid them, especially if I can get a warranty for buying it in the UK for the same sort of price as it is to import.

Once again thanks guys.
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