anyone know the deal for sending a computer to the uk from the states?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by robins2001, Dec 26, 2003.

  1. robins2001 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    #1
    hi there,

    ive been thinking to get a friend (in the us) to buy a computer for me as it would work out a bit cheaper, then ship it over to me as a gift. does anyone know anything about this?

    i have looked on the customs and exice site and they say any gift over the value of £36.00 is subject to duty / tax but then somwhere else there is a list of things and there duty %'s i.e dvd players 14% - video games 2.2% etc and it says that computers (incl peripherals) are free :eek:

    i wondered if anyone here has done anything similar and how it went?

    thanks
     
  2. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #2
    http://help.customs.gov/cgi-bin/cus..._cat_lvl2=~any~&p_search_text=&p_new_search=1


    Bona fide, unsolicited gifts will clear Customs duty-free as long as their fair retail value does not exceed $100 and the recipient does not receive more than $100 worth of gifts in the same day. (See 19 CFR Section 10.152.) There is no duty waiver for shipments containing alcohol-based perfume or tobacco products unless the entire shipment is worth less than $5 retail. (19 CFR 10.153(e))The duty-free limit is increased to $200 fair retail value for bona fide gifts sent to the United States from the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, or American Samoa. The duty waiver for gifts does not apply to "gifts" mailed to oneself or mail-ordered from the United States. It also does not apply where two or more persons traveling abroad together mail gifts to each other. But in these cases, the personal-use waiver of $200 would apply, which is more generous than the gift waiver.

    rules maybe different for private shippers. i.e. fedex, ups etc.

    http://help.customs.gov/cgi-bin/cus..._cat_lvl2=~any~&p_search_text=&p_new_search=1

    Question
    Is a license required to export a computer?

    Answer
    Call the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at 202-482-4811, to inquire about license requirements. Alternatively, check their web site for the list of controlled items.

    i think this only applies to like super computer and such, but UK isn't on munition ban list anways and i doubt your on the munition ban list yourself. so i think you will be ok.

    another thing is i *think* used items are a cheaper duty, you'd have to cheap with the post office. so if you friend were to use your Mac for 5 mins. when you move from the US to europe i know that, they tax for any new items your bring.

    http://www.usps.com/global/duties.htm
     
  3. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

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    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #3
    UK customs seem to be tightening up on this 'Gift' scam. I've bought non-computer stuff from US stores a few times and not had any hassles with VAT and they seem to try the 'gift' declaration. The last few times I've been hit with a demand for VAT (on both the product price and the shipping) and a handling charge. Also I'd strongly advise insurance on your package - which might be expensive on a computer...
     
  4. robins2001 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 20, 2003
    #4
    if i got it sent through ups or fedex would the customs still open it up and check what it is etc?

    and on the description it said, second hand computer, gift..?
     
  5. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #5
    you still have to fill out a custom form using fedex. i think they use 'custom clearing agents' though, so their fees maybe different. i'd just call fedex and usps and find out.
     
  6. vollspacken macrumors 65816

    vollspacken

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    Boogie-Down Berlintown
    #6
    I orderd an used IBM thinkpad from eBay US (I live in Germany), and I had to pay customs. If I remember correctly, the value should not exceed 100,- EUR... since GB is a member of the EU, this should also apply to your case (I don't know how many pounds that would be though...)

    but I may as well be wrong

    vSpacken
     
  7. robins2001 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 20, 2003
  8. vollspacken macrumors 65816

    vollspacken

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    Location:
    Boogie-Down Berlintown
    #8
    the thinkpad was 300,- Eur and I had to pay about 60,- Eur for customs...

    that sucked, and worst of all, my roommate threw it off my desk (I got a decent amount of money from the insurance company, but now I'm stuck with a notebook that I can't get a new screen for... aarrghh)

    I wouldn't order such a high priced good from the US (maybe an iPod, but not something bigger and more expensive like a G5)

    vSpacken
     
  9. robins2001 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    #9
    i just recived this email from customs and exise for anyone who is interested....

    Dear Ben,yes computers are free of import duty but there will still be 17.5% VAT on the value plus the carriage(post) getting it from US to UK.The carrier this side of the Atlantic will add a commercial clearance fee e.g. Parcel Force between £5 & £13. Regards

    so looks like you only have to pay the VAT and the delivery costs...it might still be worth it? :confused:
     
  10. VAG macrumors member

    VAG

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    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Greece
    #10
    Guys I have an example happend to me a couple of months ago.
    I bought a used iBook G3 700Mhz 640MB ram etc. for $750.00 from a great guy over eBay.
    The Apple shipped via USPS Express Mail for $60 (with insurance of course) from NY to Greece (where I live) , Greece is a European Union member since 82'.
    Anyway I DIDN'T paid anything for customs, the original box that still has the stickers on it, writes that is NOT merchantise item, but a GIFT from an Individual to an individual.

    After I bought this great iBook, I bought from Singapore (on eBay,from a Store) a Seiko Kinetic Auto relay watch , it's cost was $255.00.
    The shipping option was only FedEX, so I paid $40.00 (insurance included) (and GIFT Marked on invoice) to come to me.
    .......I saw on online tracking site that the item was "on hold" status in Athens Greece from FedEX and from customs.
    I called them and they said to me that I had to pay another 180 Euros to take it off the customs and delivered to me.
    After a heavy argument with those f_ckers, i declined the recievement cause I though that the delivery was under my company's name address and that's why I had to pay the extra custom fees......

    After sending the item back to Singapore then seller and me decided to resent the same item to another address to an individual (my grandmother's home address), ad also marked as GIFT....

    Same sh_t happend, finaly I paid 172Euros to get the watch wich the cost of it here is about 600Euros so won about 250 Euros than buying it from here......

    The CEO of FedEX Greece and the director of customs told me that FedEX in Greece and maybe in the rest of the E.U countries uses it's own customs, so every item comes outside E.U shipping with FedEX HAS to pay fees for items above 35Euros price(insane) .
    USPS customs for E.U are in Germany to any item is coming inside E.U from the rest of the world.
    So , the conclusion is to me that I ONLY will ship via USPS , and I'll let the f_ucking FedEX rot in hell with it's own justice and fees.

    No more FedEX to me, USPS is the way.
    I haven't tried UPS so far but I believe will be like USPS (I hope).

    I hope this example to help some people here when they will be in time to decide which "service" to use buying from eBay or elsewhere.

    LaterZzz friends.
    VAG
     
  11. kansaigaijin macrumors 6502

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    Jan 7, 2002
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    the great ether
    #11
    do all EU countries have the same regulations/customs/excise taxes/rules?

    what has the US border protection got to do with imports into the UK?

    and what a laugh it is to see someone get caught cheating, importing goods from the US and Singapore, committing fraud, (labelling something a gift when it is not)
    and calling the shipping service f*kkers because they are not corrupt like you.


    and the fees they charge? in the old days, you had to go down to the customs office to pick up your goods, after they decided what to charge you.

    grow up.
     
  12. VAG macrumors member

    VAG

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    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Greece
    #12
    My friend kansaigaijin I'm old enough to see the corruption of some services like FedEX are into today.

    If you are rich enough to pay almost double a price of something you buy from the net, then it's ok by me.
    But first land over the reality and learn how to compare services worldwide.

    Maybe you're newbie and talking about other people's experiences, but I'm not corrupted as you just called me, but smart enough to see the differences among worldwide services.

    And yeah, you're right about the old days, but if don't like the improovement in our daily life in 2004, go live in a village on the mountains and go to the local office there to take the goods.
    As a customer, since I pay them to ship something to my door, and since I have something insured for damage/lost at it's original price, I don't like some guys to cheat me on this adding fees for something that is marked as Gift, cause both of the above items I described above were gifts for real.

    And btw where are you from????
     
  13. Dale Sorel macrumors 6502a

    Dale Sorel

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    #13
    I think they just run it through a really strong magnetic field...

    (just kidding, I hope ;) )
     
  14. kansaigaijin macrumors 6502

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    Jan 7, 2002
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    the great ether
    #14
    "I don't like some guys to cheat me on this adding fees for something that is marked as Gift,"

    no I believe you stated you bought them on e-bay, so that would make them purchases.

    you are trying to avoid paying your country's applicable taxes, if you got away with it, who cares, but you are complaining because someone was actually doing their job.

    "After I bought this great iBook, I bought from Singapore (on eBay,from a Store) a Seiko Kinetic Auto"

    and also a liar. a mistake when it can so easily be confirmed, no?

    maybe we should define "gift"?

    what would Her Majesty's custom and excise say is a gift? maybe something you didn't buy from the sender?
     
  15. d.f macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    #15
    just a suggestion

    Why don't you go to the US buy the item, take it out of the box and carry the laptop back with you.

    return flight to NY / NJ are about £200. Plus you get a bit of a shopping holiday.....

    New Jersey is the cheapest place to do this as they don't even a very low retail tax. (about 5% i think).
     
  16. robins2001 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    #16
    thats a good idea but i am actually talking about gettin a power mac :( dont think i could fit that in my suite case...well maybe could but think it would raise a few eye brows :)
     
  17. d.f macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    #17
    just a suggestion

    Why don't you go to the US buy the item, take it out of the box and carry the laptop back with you.

    return flight to NY / NJ are about £200. Plus you get a bit of a shopping holiday.....

    New Jersey is the cheapest place to do this as they don't even a very low retail tax. (about 5% i think).
     
  18. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #18
    I believe technically a 'gift' is something a person has bought in a foreign country (say your aunt or something) and it is being sent to you as a present from that person.

    Buying something overseas, getting it shipped to you then giving it to someone else does not make it a gift. It's a purchase. Tax and duty are chargable even if you've bought a laptop to give to your dear old grandmother :rolleyes:

    Buying something overseas and keeping it for yourself isn't a gift so don't pretend it is and get arsey when customs catch you out. If you get away with it feel lucky. If they spot it then well that's tough so you should expect to pay tax on anything you import.

    BTW, all USPS to the UK comes into Coventry ultimately and apparently UK customs pick certain containers of mail to check and tax. Some don't get picked and so the stuff in there doesn't get tax...it's a lottery. Apparently they're checking more than they used to.
     
  19. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    Nov 7, 2003
    #19
    ok here is what you do. there are actually ppl who are travel on with full towers to goto convention for booths etc. you can look into buying a case design for that. they usually are on dolly style wheels with a plastic case surrouding it. buy your powermac, open up and stick in the case. when you head though custom, dress the part, and throw in some business type papers in with your computer. if you get question, i wouldn't suggest lieing about it unless you story can check out. they will ask oh where did you go? who did you see? i dunno if a trip to the states and buying the bag will be worth not paying the VAT.
     

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