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Polluxtroy69

Importation - Charges by HMRC

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I bought a replacement part for my gun direct from G&G Taiwan. The total cost of the part including PayPal fees was $24.99. I've just had a letter from Parcel Force asking me to pay an import charge of £16.18 ($21.03) surely that can not be right. It's about an 85% duty on an item. Anyone any idea about import charges and the % I should be paying? 

Thank you 

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How much of that is the actual duty, and how much is the extra free that Parcel Farce slaps on for doing the job that they've already been paid to do?

 

Oh, here we go: With effect from the 7th August 2017 the customs clearance fee charges for express and standard parcels are £11.25 for low value goods and £25 for high value goods (value over £873)

 

My anecdotal understanding is that Parcel Farce actually own the buildings where Customs operate, and charge them a fee for doing so.  So they're really getting paid three times for each delivery that attracts duty.  Sounds like a nice racket.

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10 minutes ago, Rogerborg said:

How much of that is the actual duty, and how much is the extra free that Parcel Farce slaps on for doing the job that they've already been paid to do?

 

Oh, here we go: With effect from the 7th August 2017 the customs clearance fee charges for express and standard parcels are £11.25 for low value goods and £25 for high value goods (value over £873)

 

My anecdotal understanding is that Parcel Farce actually own the buildings where Customs operate, and charge them a fee for doing so.  So they're really getting paid three times for each delivery that attracts duty.  Sounds like a nice racket.

I'm on the phone to them now. One person said it's a duty that you pay on the value of what the company put on the parcel (in this case it was 600NT$ or £15), around what I had paid without PayPal fees and delivery.

The depot in Preston has said that it's a standard charge of £11.25 with an additional £4.93 as a VAT. So I have to take it up with G&G as looking back nothing on our email thread says anything about import charges (PF said that they should have told me about such charges; which I already expected but didn't expect it to cost more than the item, minus paypal fees and postage). I have contacted G&G which I doubt that they will respond with anything useful but it's a bit of a piss take that daylight robbery wins again. 

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Yep, unfortunately this is normal. The charge is a convenience fee for them paying it for you. Parcelforce aren't the only ones. Every single retail courier does the same sort of thing.

 

If you can buy spares within the EU then of course they won't get hit. Can sometimes give you more options with certain things, but with spares they almost always have to come from HK or Japan.

 

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Just now, Polluxtroy69 said:

I'm on the phone to them now. One person said it's a duty that you pay on the value of what the company put on the parcel (in this case it was 600NT$ or £15), around what I had paid without PayPal fees and delivery.

The depot in Preston has said that it's a standard charge of £11.25 with an additional £4.93 as a VAT. So I have to take it up with G&G as looking back nothing on our email thread says anything about import charges (PF said that they should have told me about such charges; which I already expected but didn't expect it to cost more than the item, minus paypal fees and postage). I have contacted G&G which I doubt that they will respond with anything useful but it's a bit of a piss take that daylight robbery wins again. 

 

You may find that the website you bought it from will have in small print that they will not be accountable for customs charges at port of entry and that the buyer will take account for those, which is why most china-bay shops send with the import notice stating "gift" although i think for the most part that has been cottoned onto now.

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Just now, proffrink said:

G&G won't be liable for these charges - you can be sure of that much. It's your responsibility to know the laws if you're importing it.

 

Unfortunately normal public wouldnt have knowledge of incoterms either which can also screw people over.

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What part was it that couldn't be obtained over here? Unless the saving (before parcel force charges) was considerably cheaper.

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Just now, L3wisD said:

What part was it that couldn't be obtained over here? Unless the saving (before parcel force charges) was considerably cheaper.

 

 

On this - If I cant get a part but its a seemingly readily available part that most places would have to repair guns I usually mail around a few UK places to see if anyone has any spares that aren't listed on websites... so far I haven't needed to go overseas for parts by doing that, even if they don't have the part they have offered something that does the same just from a differing brand.

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18 minutes ago, clumpyedge said:

 

You may find that the website you bought it from will have in small print that they will not be accountable for customs charges at port of entry and that the buyer will take account for those, which is why most china-bay shops send with the import notice stating "gift" although i think for the most part that has been cottoned onto now.

I didn't buy it from their website. It was directly through email. I enquired and they sent me a charge via PayPal. 

6 minutes ago, L3wisD said:

What part was it that couldn't be obtained over here? Unless the saving (before parcel force charges) was considerably cheaper.

Charging handle for the G&G UMG. Nowhere stocks it other than G&G themselves. Nothing to do with any savings, only the fact that I couldn't source it anywhere else. 

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Its their handling fee not the customs charge.  The actual customs levy on airsoft stuff is around 3-5%, but they usually apply the wrong levy code to it.  Sadly, they also charge you on delivery fee so if you buy a $10 part and it costs $50 shipping you get charged on all of it (plus handling).

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I assume that there's no way of anticipating the likely customs charge so that it can be paid in advance, hopefully avoiding the pf charge for levying the charge?

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33 minutes ago, EvilMonkee said:

Its their handling fee not the customs charge.  The actual customs levy on airsoft stuff is around 3-5%, but they usually apply the wrong levy code to it.  Sadly, they also charge you on delivery fee so if you buy a $10 part and it costs $50 shipping you get charged on all of it (plus handling).

The letter they sent just talks about customs charges raised by Border Force and any queries about it I habe to go to HMRC 

 

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36 minutes ago, EvilMonkee said:

Its their handling fee not the customs charge.  The actual customs levy on airsoft stuff is around 3-5%, but they usually apply the wrong levy code to it.  Sadly, they also charge you on delivery fee so if you buy a $10 part and it costs $50 shipping you get charged on all of it (plus handling).

The whole fee that I'm being charged is basically the same as the item and postage.. Which is my concern  

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What that's saying is that Customs have bagged it as attracting VAT (but not duty), and that Parcel Farce will pass on that VAT money on your behalf for the low, low fee of only £11.25 (the actual cost to them is doubtless fractions of a penny).

 

I'd love it if there was some way to pay the VAT directly to HMRC, and then tell Parcel Farce to shove their "clearance fee" since you have no contract with them, but I'm not aware of one.  Anyone had any success on it?

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6 minutes ago, Rogerborg said:

What that's saying is that Customs have bagged it as attracting VAT (but not duty), and that Parcel Farce will pass on that VAT money on your behalf for the low, low fee of only £11.25 (the actual cost to them is doubtless fractions of a penny).

 

I'd love it if there was some way to pay the VAT directly to HMRC, and then tell Parcel Farce to shove their "clearance fee" since you have no contract with them, but I'm not aware of one.  Anyone had any success on it?

I'm about to find out. I'm on hold to Customs 

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10 minutes ago, Rogerborg said:

What that's saying is that Customs have bagged it as attracting VAT (but not duty), and that Parcel Farce will pass on that VAT money on your behalf for the low, low fee of only £11.25 (the actual cost to them is doubtless fractions of a penny).

 

I'd love it if there was some way to pay the VAT directly to HMRC, and then tell Parcel Farce to shove their "clearance fee" since you have no contract with them, but I'm not aware of one.  Anyone had any success on it?

Finished on the phone to Customs and was passed from pillow to post. And they said there's nothing I can do about PF ridiculous charges. I've to go back to sender and find out who they used when sending the item - China Air. My tracking number directs me to their website which I then have to agree to it being translated into English. We shouldn't be made to use PF. We should have the option of who is used shouldn't we? 

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Unfortunate fact of life bud. I just got stung on a part declared at $20 (shhhh, it was loads more lol), £3 VAT and around £8 PF fee.

Where it becomes more viable in in high value items, the PF fee doesn’t change much. I had a package valued at £350 arrive the other week, total charges where £25 I think

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2 minutes ago, rocketdogbert said:

Unfortunate fact of life bud. I just got stung on a part declared at $20 (shhhh, it was loads more lol), £3 VAT and around £8 PF fee.

Where it becomes more viable in in high value items, the PF fee doesn’t change much. I had a package valued at £350 arrive the other week, total charges where £25 I think

Surely we shouldn't be held to ransom by parcel force though. It should come to Customs. I should get a bill for the tax, pay that then it gets released and it's on it's way.

At no point have I said I would like to pay parcel force for the privilege of paying my tab then charging me triple for doing it. 

 

 

 

Obviously I'm going to pay it but the  point to this is that it's a piss take that we are held to ransom. 

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Never been stung yet, but I tend only to by small bits and pieces from abroad.  Three packages turned up today, total less that £10, so I would tell RM where to stick their tax if they tried to collect from me.

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2 hours ago, Polluxtroy69 said:

Surely we shouldn't be held to ransom by parcel force though. It should come to Customs. I should get a bill for the tax, pay that then it gets released and it's on it's way.

At no point have I said I would like to pay parcel force for the privilege of paying my tab then charging me triple for doing it. 

 

 

 

Obviously I'm going to pay it but the  point to this is that it's a piss take that we are held to ransom. 

 

Problem is that if you make HMRC do the legwork then a) you'll wait FOREVER for your goods to be released and b) they'll charge you a lot more than Royal Mail/ParcelForce do.

As far as they're concerned you chose to import something so you're liable and they'll find the most expedient way of making you pay up. Just be grateful you didn't get it sent by FedEx.

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You can pay custom fees directly but it is a sod to get through to customs and also means you will have to pay full whac every time (which you legally have to but hope you don't) 

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Having the luck? of working in this field...if you've any questions regarding the processes on bringing something in and why it's handled the way is is please by all means drop me a PM. 

 

As to answer the most often raised point about why you can't clear it through customs yourself and why it goes to Royal Mail/Parcelforce...Under various postal statues and laws if...(and the key word is if) the importer (Addressee) hasn't made prior arrangements (to the parcel arriving into the UK) to clear an item through customs themselves or using a clearance agent, legally Royal Mail Group have to clear the items on your behalf through the customs process...and they're legally allowed to charge a fee for this.

 

From personal experience of clearing items myself and also using an agent....the hassle and costs involved are usually hellish, and often involve meeting the item at the import location to process paperwork etc in person.

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Just a charging handle?  Was it sent in quite a large box?  I've found over the years the smaller the box the less chance of being hit, that combined with a low value declaration.  You weren't to know though and as others have said it's not G&G's responsibility.  

 

I've never had anything stopped via China Air though, EMS yes.  The sad part is you have to pay all these extra charges, yet your package will ultimately get delayed for a week whilst customs / PF tried to figure out how much to fleece. It's painful visiting their tracking site every day only to see nothing change 😞

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