UK customs question
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 2:01 pm 
 

Quick question for you guys in the UK (I know this has been mentioned before, but I have forgotten the answer).

How much can be declared as "Books" with no customs tax?

Someone just bought a bunch of items from me - they wanted me to declare it as a "gift" (which I won't do), but I explained that I thought (though wasn't sure) there would be no tax on $142.  Is that right?


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 2:18 pm 
 

Not sure if there is a limit (certainly i've never paid any) - we just don't pay tax on books I think. They are zero rated for value added tax (and presumably customs).  Same reason that the National Gallery was set up for free entrance in 1824 (he says, somewhat off topic).

Best to get advice from someone who knows about these things though - I am rubbish with finance and business stuff.  :)


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 2:57 pm 
 

Beyondthebreach wrote:but I explained that I thought (though wasn't sure) there would be no tax on $142.  Is that right?

No. The limit is £18 or £36 as a "gift" (which it isn't).
Customs duty is usually waived if the amount is no more than £7 or so.

On a purchase price of $142 (£80, say) with $25 (£15) postage, the total fee will be:
Import Duty: waived (unless you choose a really bad description)
VAT: around £17 (levied on both the item + postage!)
Clearance Fee: typically £8

Total fees if you just send "as is": £25.
Fees if sent as "Used Books": Zero.

There is no limit to sending as "Used Books", afaik; I've had $2k+ packages and Al's had more.

Do not send as "Game Books" since that's ambiguous and even worse to try to clear the mess up afterwards than "Games", if the customs people take exception!
(I currently have a black folder PotVQ in limbo (in transit back to the US) since they agreed with the original sender's description of "Game Book" whereas they might have casually dismissed as a sender error a description of "Game". And no way was I forking out $175-180 in fees! :roll:)

=
In the case above unless you know the buyer, probably best sent Parcel Post with Insurance since there's little for the seller to gain in declaring as a low ($30-40) value gift; and that would open you to the possibility of a buyer claiming the parcel never arrived or a charge of colluding in avoidance of customs fees.

(Of course, if they want M-Bag shipping...)

There really shouldn't be any problems. :)

  

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Post Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 4:51 pm 
 

right guys, yeah i had a $20k container sent to me and we didnt get charged any duty (we had a customs inspection too).

just send items as "USED BOOKS" and youre fine

technically maps and such are not books and are actually liable to duty, so you have to be very careful how you describe something. also game books (as david says) incurs duty too.

USED BOOKS will always pull it through for you tho.

it did it for me and you wont get parcels as big as the one i had to go and get from the warehouse by Liverpool docks :D

Al



  

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Post Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 4:52 pm 
 

Thanks . . . he's already going for Parcel plus insurance.  I usually declare things as "Books", but "Used Books" sounds even better.

I've never done an M-Bag shipment before . . . (though I am working on my first one with an acaeum member).  I always just tell them Air Parcel and leave it at that . . . they don't ask . . . I don't offer.  :D


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 4:58 pm 
 

Beyondthebreach wrote:Thanks . . . he's already going for Parcel plus insurance.  I usually declare things as "Books", but "Used Books" sounds even better.

I've never done an M-Bag shipment before . . . (though I am working on my first one with an acaeum member).  I always just tell them Air Parcel and leave it at that . . . they don't ask . . . I don't offer.  :D


well between ppl on here, things normally go perfectly fine, so it will be a-ok.

but at least you know in the future anyway!

Al



  


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Post Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 9:13 am 
 

I've seldom had a problem importing stuff across from america. The limit is £18 and that doesn't include the postage cost. The only time i've had a problem was someone labelling things as being worth 100 dollars when they weren't ... meant I had to fork out much more in customs fees -_-

you the seller don't have to really worry about fees. Just ensure you label the item as it's actual sale price before postage and then it's the buyers responsibility

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 8:21 pm 
 

There may be some overall waiver for items of any type under a certain minimal value.

As part of the EU I'd have thought that the import duty to the UK would be set out in the TARIC site. I suppose the difficulty is in identifying the precise TARIC code for whatever is being imported.

VAT is not charged on books, as far as I know.

Bottom line is making a clear and honest declaration of both the value and the nature of the goods, and agreeing where responisibility lies for whatever import duties are properly due and owing.


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Post Posted: Mon May 01, 2006 5:03 am 
 

obiter wrote:There may be some overall waiver for items of any type under a certain minimal value.

As part of the EU I'd have thought that the import duty to the UK would be set out in the TARIC site. I suppose the difficulty is in identifying the precise TARIC code for whatever is being imported.

VAT is not charged on books, as far as I know.

Bottom line is making a clear and honest declaration of both the value and the nature of the goods, and agreeing where responisibility lies for whatever import duties are properly due and owing.


you have to be very careful when referring to books in the UK. they dont treat a book the same when it is a book WITH a map...trust me i asked. it then gets classed as something different and is liable to duty - so we just argued that it was all used book stock (as it was all 25 years or so old which was handy) - and this was appx 20,000 books AND a VAT officer did an inspection (we had to also provide samples).

so my advice is to go down that route. i also had 6 m-bags of JG books sent once too under the same premise "used books" and that went off without a hitch too.

in the end, if you do a bit of checking and cover your bases beforehand, you should be fine. a quick call to customs enquiries should do the trick.

i have a very good friend who works in customs, so anything of that ilk, i can find out very easily, so we know we are doing the right thing.

Al



  
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