Arghhhh! How does UK import duty work?

Mr Skills

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 21, 2005
801
1
:confused:

I am thinking of buying a microphone from a shop in America and getting it sent to the UK, but I don't know how much customs will charge and every website I look at makes my head hurt. Can anyone give me a simple formula for that kind of item?


..


..
 

Mr Skills

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 21, 2005
801
1
Thanks! Unfortunately, that's one of the sites that was already making my head hurt!

On the positive side, I saw a PDF there that I hadn't noticed before that gives a rough guide for common goods. Of course it does not mention microphones but I will assume they are charged the same as "mixing decks" unless I find out otherwise...

.

.
 

Markleshark

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2006
6,240
0
Carlisle, Up Norf!
Yeah, Im finding this to be a real pain myself. Currently waiting on an iBook (to the value of $350 or £190) and ive been researching this myself. If it gets shipped USPS (US version of royal mail) it will get transfered to ParcelForce Worldwide when it enters this country, now, depending on the value will depend on if you have to pay import tax. ParcelForce will pay this for you automatically, however, before they will deliver your item you will receive a letter saying you owe ParcelForce X Number of pounds. Exactly how much I am unsure of as I am yet to receive my iBook or a letter from ParcelForce.
 

Mr Skills

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 21, 2005
801
1
It's soooo complicated. Even the offical explanation on the UK Customs site links you to loads of other sites where you are meant to look things up on tables and come back... why can't someone make an automated website that guides you through it?

And if it's too complicated to do that, then the system is really. too. complicated. How can you be sure you're being charged fairly?

.

.
 

Brize

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2004
732
0
Europe
I've imported quite a few items from the US, and I've never been charged duty, only VAT at 17.5 per cent.

Bear in mind that Royal Mail charge a clearance fee of £4.00.
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,873
219
Harrogate
When I've had small things shipped from Asia I've had them marked as gifts or sometimes (memory cards normally) documents! No import duty.

Do this at your own risk. It is probably a criminal offense and so on...
 

AndyR

macrumors 6502a
Dec 9, 2005
906
30
Auckland, New Zealand
Bought tons of stuff from the USA and Hong-Kong and only once got charged import duty and that was on a digitial camera from HK. Still worked out cheaper than the UK even with that added, about £10 on a £250 camera.
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
19,182
15
London, England
Mr Skills said:
...
And if it's too complicated to do that, then the system is really. too. complicated. How can you be sure you're being charged fairly?
You can't. It's annoying as hell too.

I moved here and sent up my own stuff by mail and got charged a VAT on ONE (out of the EIGHT or so) of the boxes. They recommended I pay it (£35) and try to get a refund, blah blah blah or I wouldn't probably see my things for another month, IF they even waived the fee/didn't send it back, etc. Total load of crap. I paid, got my things, still haven't bothered with the refund.

It seems to be hit or miss if they catch the parcel and mark it for a random amount of VAT levy. <shrugs>
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.