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savvv

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 15, 2014
2
0
Hey all! I checked the forum and google but couldn't find anything recent enough to be applicable to my situation. Sorry if I have missed something.

I am from the UK and am looking at getting the highest end Macbook Pro, it is looking to cost about £2200. My best mate is from the states however and could pick me up one for about $2000, which is damn near a $1500 difference!

I was wondering what would happen if he shipped it to me from the states. Import tax? VAT? Fines? Would taking it out of the packaging make a difference?

Currently, it would be cheaper for me to fly to the US and buy it then it would be for me to buy from the UK.

Anyway, thank you for reading! Thoughts?
 

Playa!!

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2014
15
6
Planet Earth
Yes, there will be VAT element to the incoming shipment. How much will be VAT be? God Knows. Best if you call up the HMRC and enquire.

I ordered a $100 watch and the VAT on that was £18 (approx.) I even got a VAT bill for a tie sent from the US.

Maybe a package without the box and custom declaration form stating that its a gift (maybe), it might escape the VAT charges. Its best to call up HMRC a bunch of times to see which scenario will have the least VAT charges.

Hey all! I checked the forum and google but couldn't find anything recent enough to be applicable to my situation. Sorry if I have missed something.

I am from the UK and am looking at getting the highest end Macbook Pro, it is looking to cost about £2200. My best mate is from the states however and could pick me up one for about $2000, which is damn near a $1500 difference!

I was wondering what would happen if he shipped it to me from the states. Import tax? VAT? Fines? Would taking it out of the packaging make a difference?

Currently, it would be cheaper for me to fly to the US and buy it then it would be for me to buy from the UK.

Anyway, thank you for reading! Thoughts?
 

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,947
1,025
Manchester, UK
I was wondering what would happen if he shipped it to me from the states. Import tax?
Yes.

Yes, at standard rate.

Dunno, certainly a handling charge from the shipping agent.

Would taking it out of the packaging make a difference?
Not to the importation costs, but it will likely get damaged.

A gift declaration only applies to anything under $18 IIRC.

I'd say jump on a flight, go pay him a visit. I bought myself a 2006 MBP while on holiday in Florida, saved £300+ vs the £1479 UK price.
 

qcmacmini

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2014
299
4
The Netherlands
Would that be less the combined VAT, tariffs, fees?

Yes, as long as you get a good deal on your flight.

The UK pricing is ridiculous.

Another option is get a friend in the EU to buy it where pricing is cheaper, as it's not consistent across Europe. They can't charge you VAT on EU shipments. It's a free trade zone.

FYI - Australia is the cheapest for these purchases unless you go to an American state without sales tax.

USA don't do duty free purchase schemes in any states AFAIK, where as in Australia you can buy your item anywhere then claim back 9% (1/11 of the purchase cost is GST) from the TRS desk in the Airport on your way out.

You can also go to Australia return right now with Malaysian airlines for 900EUR!

You could pretty much buy a maxxed nMP for AUD $12k+ and put it in your carry on and claim back 9% at the airport.
 

Giev

macrumors member
Aug 20, 2013
94
7
Cheapest way to get it in UK, is to get a Student buy it for you. You will get the EDU discount (14%) + free 3 year Applecare.

If you ship from US, both import Duty and VAT would apply. The Macbook is far beyond the "gift" limit so I really doubt you could classify it as a gift with/without boxes etc.
 

joe-h2o

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2012
997
445
Be aware that even if you take the route of "consumer tourism" and buy the MBP in the US yourself and bring it back with you then HMRC might still require you to pay VAT if they suspect that you bought it outside of the UK and are bringing it in permanently.

If you end up as a random customs inspection and they find any evidence that the MBP was bought abroad you will be charged VAT - to avoid this it generally means throwing out the box and any receipts you are carrying. They're less likely to suspect it's new if you just have it in a laptop bag or in your backpack.
 

savvv

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 15, 2014
2
0
Thanks for the answers so far chaps, super helpful! Will the VAT be charged on the $ or £ value?
 

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,947
1,025
Manchester, UK
Thanks for the answers so far chaps, super helpful! Will the VAT be charged on the $ or £ value?

Doesn't matter - 20% is 20% in whatever currency!

Keep in mind you'll also likely pay local sales taxes in the US, which you can't claim back. They vary by state. So you'd be paying both UK and US VAT in effect.
 

qcmacmini

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2014
299
4
The Netherlands
Shipping from US to UK

Be aware that even if you take the route of "consumer tourism" and buy the MBP in the US yourself and bring it back with you then HMRC might still require you to pay VAT if they suspect that you bought it outside of the UK and are bringing it in permanently.



If you end up as a random customs inspection and they find any evidence that the MBP was bought abroad you will be charged VAT - to avoid this it generally means throwing out the box and any receipts you are carrying. They're less likely to suspect it's new if you just have it in a laptop bag or in your backpack.


Correct, also don't buy it in the airport, there is customs co-operation between countries now too.

However, border force officers are pretty lazy for customs purposes these days from what I've seen.
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,216
1,608
If you can fly over it'll be better for you.

Basically you put it in your carry on and ship the box back listing it on the customs slip as an empty box so no fee's will be applied.

If you choose to get it shipped to you you'll end up paying duty and vat and there not dumb it'll be checked against the current models
 

Queen6

macrumors G4
One the cheapest countries for buying a Mac is Malaysia, a high end 15" Retina is RM7,899, which is $2272.14 USD. Anyone you know going there for a holiday? I just bought my new 13" 2.8Ghz, 512Gb for RM5,699 ($1639.31 USD) same for several others, equally I don't live in the UK, prices of everything are just insane there...


Q-6
 
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