Beware EU Import Duty

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by caveman_uk, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #1
    I just found this out but currently the EU is in a bit of a trade dispute with the US (like usual). As part of this the EU is adding an additional import duty onto many goods imported from the US. It started at 5% in March and goes up 1% each month - It's 14% this month.

    So if you're think of buying a mac in the US you need to include it in your calculations. The standard duty rate plus the 14% is charged on the whole cost including shipping and THEN vat at 17.5% is charged on top of the combined figure. So it pretty much works out at between 30 and 40% tax on the shipped cost of an item. This applies to items mailed to the EU or brought in personally.

    So a 15" Combo powerbook costs $1999.

    Add shipping ($100?) = $2099
    Add 14% Duty = $2393
    Add 17.5% VAT = $2812 (£1442 - UK store price £1399)

    Apple isn't paying this as it imports into the EU from Taiwan.

    This also applies to all purchases (ebay etc) over a certain, small value.

    Worth bearing in mind....Oh and next month it's 15%
     
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #2
    Does this apply to all American goods or just certain categories? I'm not aware of any comprehensive tariffs at the moment and I would be surprised if it applied to computers and software.
     
  3. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #3
    but if you bought a laptop and acted as if you have had it before your trip to the states; ie ditch the box then you can still get away from the vat and import duty
     
  4. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #4
    This may apply only to the US; many years ago I was told you needed to have proof of previous purchase of any high-value items before leaving the country. Or in the least be able to prove prior purchase.
     
  5. caveman_uk thread starter Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #5
    It's not everything - I didn't search through the pages of TARIC codes to see what was covered but certain electronic goods were.
     
  6. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #6
    That is pathetic indeed, I am guessing that its all a load of :rolleyes: If I want to enter a country with my notebook or iPod that is of high value there is no one who can tell me otherwise.

    Lets see stop me from entering the country and spending money and contributing to they economy or sending me back and never come back along with spreading the bad word. Yeah I thought so. :rolleyes:

    This would not only cause delays however also many many many complaints.
     
  7. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #7
    I understand where you are coming from. Though there are several issues that I may not have addressed properly. Being into photography, I'll use cameras as an example.

    I am leaving the US for a trip overseas. Taking my Japanese or German camera out of the country, I was told that I needed to prove that I owned that equipement before leaving. So that upon my return to the US, I would not be subject to taxes for that I already own.

    I know of no laws or tariffs that would prohibit (other than laws governing the transfer of "sensitive technology") that would disallow you to buy something to take back home to your country. I guess many other countries are of the same mindset. The problem is when you get back "home". Being able to prove that you are not "importing" an item that taxes/tariffs have not been paid on.

    In the end "Caesar what's what do him". Whether you or I agree with that or not.
     
  8. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #8
    you are grossly mistaken. if you think the customs can't or won't fine the absolute crap out of you because you can't prove that you had purchased a high value item before you left for a foreign country, you are wrong. if they catch you smuggling in a high value item without declaring it and paying import duties on it, then they will fine and tax you big time. the burden to prove that you had purchased it before you left (thus paying all the taxes/duties) falls on you, not on them.

    it happened to me. i had to pay $90 on a used $300 palm pilot. at a commuting border between geneva and france. yeah, people complain, etc. but it happens.
     
  9. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #9
    Its a fine blurry line, in your case you mentioned that you crossed by road not air. It all depends on the person, customs agent. I have never had to prove that my laptop or anything else like my dSLR were not legally mine.

    Sorry to hear you have to pay for your own palm pilot, strikes me as odd that is all. I know that if you are carrying a BOX that it would be taxes, etc...however an open item :: weird :: Anyhow it has never happened to me :: cross fingers :: :)
     
  10. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #10
    Good luck to you on your inter-country travels. Some of us have heard to many stories to counter yours. As countries look for a way to increase "revenue", it can only get worse.
     
  11. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #11
    all i was saying is that it happens - no matter the mode of transportation and no matter the item being imported. custom agents have that power - and you almost sounded like daring them to bust you because you seemed to believe it was impossible. it is not.
     
  12. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #12
    For most people crossing an international border rarely involves having your luggage opened and examined.......but it does happen. And if you're a returning citizen you might indeed have to prove that you already owned a valuable item that you took with you left the country.

    It's been common advice to travelers for years that they should be prepared to prove that they owned their valuables such as cameras, jewelry, and electronics before they went abroad.

    For example, the Canadian Border Services Agency publishings a pamphlet called "I Declare" that gives advice to traveling Canadians. The following is a quote from the pamphlet;

    "...Protecting your valuables

    Before travelling abroad with valuable items, you can take advantage of a free identification procedure at any of our customs offices. This service is available for items that have serial numbers or other unique markings. For items that do not have such markings, we can apply a sticker to give them a serial number.

    When you show your valuables to the customs officer and state that you got them in Canada or lawfully imported them, the officer will list your valuables and their serial numbers on a wallet-sized card. If you are questioned about your goods when you return to Canada, simply show your card to the customs officer. This will help identify the valuables that were in your possession before leaving the country..."
     

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