Taking a MBA to the UK from the US

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by DenzelKG, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. DenzelKG macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    #1
    I'm not sure if this has already been asked or not but I bought an MBA today from New York since I'm here on holiday. I want to take it back to the UK since that's where I live and will be studying at Uni. I know there are duty fees and what not and was wondering if there is a way to avoid this by just putting it in my suitcase when I fly back.
     
  2. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 9, 2014
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    Shanghai, PRC
    #2
    If you only have this one notebook with you and you just bring the MBA with the charger and not the box etc, nobody will ask any questions.
     
  3. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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  4. cerberusss macrumors 6502a

    cerberusss

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    #4
    Send the empty box via postal mail and as others said, put it in your backpack.

    To make it more believable, put some stickers on it and scratch it up a little. Put a firm dink in the side! You'll whistle past customs :p
     
  5. MehkBehk macrumors newbie

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    Jun 20, 2014
    #5
    Customs won't stop you unless they have a reason to believe they should.
     
  6. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #6
    Legally: No. A cheaper iPad model may be below the allowed limits, an MBA isn't.
    Illegally: Sure. If they don't know about this. It's highly unlikely that your suitcase would be searched. Now if you carry an Apple box with the MBA with you as your hand luggage, customs are not blind and stupid.

    Only problem would be if at any time you'd have to prove ownership of the MBA (let's say it gets stolen and your insurance company wants to see a receipt).
     
  7. abta1 macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Paris, France
    #7
    This, on one trip I bought a MBA and iPad mini while already having a 15" MBP and Nexus 7 with me. Came back with all the boxes. Just pack the boxes in your checked luggage and you'll be fine. It's perfectly reasonable to need separate laptops for work reasons.
     
  8. Ed Miliband macrumors member

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    Aug 27, 2014
    #8
    good job op

    slap in the face to whoever made british customers pay 50% more for exactly the same product
     
  9. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    Jun 2, 2010
    #9
    This is such a bad idea. I know someone who did this with a Rolex purchase some years ago. The box was intecepted and the Customs turned up with the delivery of the Empty Rolex box to enquire about the watch.

    The best place for the Box is the garbage.
     
  10. cerberusss macrumors 6502a

    cerberusss

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    #10
    Heh, hadn't thought about that... You're totally right, that's not worth it at all.
     
  11. Bah-Bah macrumors member

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    Jan 28, 2013
    #11
    OP, you should be aware that if you are stopped and customs look at the laptop, it will be fairly obvious it's not from the UK by the keyboard layout (no pound symbol).
     
  12. madKIR, Sep 2, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014

    madKIR macrumors 6502

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    #12
    WOW and LOL at the same time.

    I travel transatlantically with my MacBooks all the time. Last time it was both a Macbook Air and a Macbook Pro. Both in my backpack. Nobody says anything at the customs. Why would they? It's your stuff. It's not a brand-new sealed box intended to be sold. Even if it is, it might be a gift that is also allowed. There are different limits in different counties on what you can bring with you before it's treated as commercial stuff. In most of them a laptop is perfectly fine and way below the allowed money limit.
     
  13. abta1 macrumors 6502

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    #13
    When you order your laptop from Apple, you can select which keyboard layout you want from a whole host of different ones, so that doesn't mean anything.
     
  14. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    Jun 2, 2010
    #14
    Just so you know. The duty free allowance when returning from the US to the UK provided you have been away for more than 48 hours is $800.

    A large percentage of people travel with laptops everyday and no one pays attention to it. However, if it is in original packaging that is a different matter. In the UK an honesty policy operates you can walk through the Green line or the Red line. You are unlikely to be stopped when walking through the green line but if by chance you are stopped and have something you have not declared then the penalty gets more severe than just tax.

    ----------

    No one travelling on a short trip to New York is going to order a laptop from Apple and specify keyboard type. They walk into a store and pick up a US keyboard model.
     
  15. Zxxv Suspended

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    Nov 13, 2011
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    UK
    #15
    and the first words out of my mouth

    "what the **** someones knicked my ****ing watch!!!!"
     
  16. abta1 macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Irregardless, my point is that it is possible to choose any keyboard config you want, so that as evidence of the laptop being purchased abroad is not conclusive.
     
  17. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    .. London ..
    #17
    A friend coming over from the USA brought over a 2013 MBA as a gift for me.

    I picked it out on a members only marketplace not a million miles from MR's marketplace, the payment was done, it was delivered to her house, she had a little play on it to check it was working, put it in a nice sleeve, and happily presented me with it.

    No problems with customs as it wasn't in original box. Cost considerably less than half of the equivalent model in the UK Apple store, & still had some weeks of the Applecare warranty on it.

    Negatives:

    -searching for the right model on private forums (I wanted 8GB RAM & didn't want to use eBay or Craigslist) against a deadline
    - hoping it would get delivered in time,
    - checking out the background of members I was thinking of buying off.
    - hoping I wouldn't get ripped off

    - US keyboard has a very different shaped RETURN key, and two or three keys are in other locations including the tilde which I use all the time (apple+`) for switching between apps. Minor speedbumps.
     
  18. shenan1982 macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #18
    I don't get it... there's nothing wrong with buying things while traveling if they're for personal use, no import on that in the UK. You'll run into issues if they happen to spot-check your bag and find 6 MBAs in there.... but 1 you can leave it in there just fine. Those who suggest mailing the box back are out of their mind. There's nothing wrong with buying a laptop while on holiday and taking the laptop (and the box) home with you.

    I travel internationally one week of the month every month. It's always amazing the utter horse dung that people seem to think. They think they can't take $500 with them in their wallet because it's a lot of cash to carry around. They think it's a good idea to exchange currency in the US for Euros before getting on the plane to Europe. They think if they buy something in Asia that customs won't let them pass coming back. I could write a book about all the funny things Americans and other nationals' infrequent travelers say and do. LOL
     
  19. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #19
    How do you guys think I bought a Mac Pro. I carried it home in a backpack as carry on. The only hard part of was explaining to security what it was.
     
  20. abta1 macrumors 6502

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    Paris, France
    #20
    Precisely. There is no way to prove that having a laptop in your bag with it's box (especially if it is no longer factory sealed) is intended for sale. Customs have much bigger problems to worry about.
     
  21. nebo1ss, Sep 9, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014

    nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    #21
    I am sorry but you are providing a lot of mis-information here. The fact that you will most likely get away with it does not make it legal. The law is outlined in the attached URL. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/arriving/arrivingnoneu.htm

    Just to save you the trouble of reading it your allowance is £390 and if the item is more than this you pay duty on the full amount not just the amount over £390. There are also requirements on how long you have to be out of the country and when last you used the £390 allowance.

    Please check before mis-informing.

    If you go through the green channel and you get stopped and asked if you purchased goods in excess of the allowance and you say no, they then find a receipt for the item in your wallet. It will not be a fun experience.
     
  22. shenan1982 macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #22
    Good luck getting caught bringing ONE laptop in. They have no reason to suspect you didn't have it when you left.

    Easy way to do it... electronic receipt. If I come in and they ask me for a receipt I'm going to say what are u talking about, I own the laptop. Why would I have a receipt on me?

    Bottom line, if it's one laptop, no issue. If you're bringing in 10, yeah, you'll have an issue.
     
  23. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    #23
    Like I said in my response you are very unlikely to get caught. I was simply pointing out that you were making it seem it is perfectly legal and within your rights to bring back anything personal irrespective of price or where purchased.
    Believe me I have traveled between London and New York for 25 years and only been stopped and searched perhaps three times. Most people don't think about it but believe me they look for receipts in your case. If they are suspicious about a particular item. They have the means to check serial numbers and can ask to see your wallet.

    My only problem was a while back when I bought a new Nikon camera and came in at Gatwick. No Box, no receipt it was slung over my shoulder. He simply asked me if I bought it while I was abroad and I immediately said yes.
    He had a long and detail price list for valuation, gave me a lecture and charged me duty. Believe me it would have been a lot worst if I had lied.

    You may not realise this but Customs officers have some of the most powers of any of the authorities in this country.
     
  24. gnasher729, Sep 9, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014

    gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #24
    Except that this only works up to certain limits, and an MBA is above those limits. Here is the link to the HMRC customs website:

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/arriving/arrivingnoneu.htm#1

    You can bring in other goods worth up to £390 without having to pay tax and/or duty. The duty is not much, just 2.5% of the amount over £390 (up to £630), but full VAT is due on the full value. And since the product is one that you could buy in the UK, the "full value" will be the cost excluding VAT that you would pay in the UK.

    Precisely wrong. For an iPad worth less than £390 excluding VAT tax would only be due if it wasn't brought for personal use or as a gift. Above that, it doesn't matter.

    I mean it would be really awful if the OP listened to your advise and told customs "I bought myself this brand new iPad, but I don't need to pay duty and tax because you can't prove it's for resale". It's up to him what he does, but it's up to us to tell him _correctly_ what it means what he is doing.

    Here's what especially important: It's one thing to bring an MBA or MBP home for yourself, knowing the risk and all that. It's a different thing if a pushy "friend" or relative asks you to bring something home for them. They don't care that you spend your time going shopping for them instead of enjoying yourself, they won't care if you have to pay extra because your luggage is too heavy, and guess what happens should you get caught. Don't do something illegal for someone else who wouldn't give a damn about you.
     
  25. solsearchin macrumors member

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    Apr 18, 2012
    #25
    Ship the box back and put something in it ( glass plate wrapped in newspaper ). That way if they inquire " it's a sentimental piece that I wanted well protected " ;).
     

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