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Stung by Customs ............ AGAIN.

AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
edited May 2010 in Commuting chat
I ordered a t-shirt (with a cycle motif) from Zazzle.com.

Their website doesn't make it clear that it would be an import, from the main site I clicked on their UK site zazzle.co.uk before I finalised my order.

Anyhoo, the shirt cost £24 , I've just received a card from Royal Mail saying the parcel will only be released if I pay £12 import tax .... 50% increase on the purchase price.

Mates at work often buy goods from the US and they have NEVER had to pay import tax, on the 2 occasions I've ordered stuff (last one 2yrs ago) I've been stung twice.

The words p issed and off spring to mind :evil:

Be warned !!!

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Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
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Posts

  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    The tax shouldn't be that high - has the value been misread or is there a handling fee there too?

    I've never paid any import duty/VAT on stuff from abroad - have tended to get things marked down such as 'commerical sample, value $1'or similar.

    Maybe look at the T&Cs on the site you bought from to see if you've grounds for complaint.
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    pastryboy wrote:
    The tax shouldn't be that high - has the value been misread or is there a handling fee there too?

    .

    £1 handling fee, I'll search royal mail's website later, I did check last time and they were right.

    Some companies actually pay the tax for the customer, I also think it depends on their status, as you say 50% tax doesn't sound right.


    .
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    I've taken a quick look ...... goods over £18 you have to pay import VAT.

    VAT @ 17.5 % on my purchase of £24 = £4.20 + £1 handling fee = £5.20 :evil:


    I shall be having a word at my local post office tomorrow :x


    BTW, obviously I've been dealing with companies that don't give a monkeys and expect the customer to foot the bill.


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    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • davmaggsdavmaggs Posts: 1,008
    The courier firms have a really nice earner with import duty. I've been hit by a £10 "tax handling fee" before. They won't let you pay HMRC directly so you are stuffed.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Royal Mail actually usually charge about £8 for their handling fee. If you read or were told it's only a £1 - that is wrong. I've been through this with them many times before.

    (Usually the card breaks down the costs)


    Scandalous.
  • suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
    My Gran was sent a letter with the wrong postage on it. The postage was only about 8p short but the handling fee for Royal Mail was £3.
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    I think I know what's happened here, customs have had it, they've imposed the correct import VAT duty, they then have charged their handling fee, thrown it to Royal Mail, who have charged me a £1 handling fee (that amount is pre-printed on the card) for putting a card through my letter box and for holding on to the package till I pay up.

    I'll get a break down of the charges tomorrow, clearly it's all b/s from my initial order with zazzle.com for failing to make it clear it would be an import and there would be additional charges, to everyone else adding their costs.


    Think I'll puncture my posties tyre's tomorrow and offer to repair it for £12 , cheaper than Evans anyway :roll:


    From now on, I'll stick with the websites I know.


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    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • WooliferkinsWooliferkins Posts: 2,060
    AndyManc wrote:
    I've taken a quick look ...... goods over £18 you have to pay import VAT.

    BTW, obviously I've been dealing with companies that don't give a monkeys and expect the customer to foot the bill.
    .
    No Andy, sorry the import dutyis your responsibility as you are the importer.
    Neil
    Help I'm Being Oppressed
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    It sucks in your case as you didn't know it was an import, but this is how it goes these days - ignorance of excise duties/VAT etc. is no excuse to get pissy. Those who get away with it are very much in the minority nowadays.
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    AndyManc wrote:
    I've taken a quick look ...... goods over £18 you have to pay import VAT.

    BTW, obviously I've been dealing with companies that don't give a monkeys and expect the customer to foot the bill.
    .
    No Andy, sorry the import dutyis your responsibility as you are the importer.

    A mate at work has bought 2 guitars from the US, he was not charged a penny in import VAT.

    It's the websites fault for failing to inform, it should be made clear import duties apply.

    I don't know anyone that is aware of import regulations especially when they are so inconsistent.


    All charges MUST be apparent .


    .
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    biondino wrote:
    It sucks in your case as you didn't know it was an import, but this is how it goes these days - ignorance of excise duties/VAT etc. is no excuse to get pissy. Those who get away with it are very much in the minority nowadays.



    There are around 14,000 different classifications. The duty rate percentage for each may vary according to the country the goods come from. The average percentage is between 5 and 9 per cent, but it can be as low as 0 per cent or as high as 85 per cent.


    Do you want to start naming the 14,000 different classifications now seeing that you're such an expert ?


    .
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • carrotcrunchercarrotcruncher Posts: 45
    edited May 2010
    To try and help clear this up for anyone:

    Royal mail handling fee is £ 8 (paragraph 2)

    http://www.royalmail.com/portal/rm/cont ... aId=400362

    Customs are cracking down on imported goods slipping through the tax system as it obviously means they collect less revenue.

    Goods imported under £ 18 value are not subject to VAT or Duty

    VAT is calulated on the landed value - that means invoice value of goods + freight (or in this case postage, packaging,insurance) costs + any import duty.

    Duty is chargeable on any item over £ 135 in value, but is then waived if the duty value is £9 or less.

    This all applies to both new and second hand goods (ebay purchases etc).

    Gifts up to £ 40 are allowed tax free - but it must clearly be sent by a private individual, no trade element etc.

    You cannot pay HMR&C directly as they do not have the manpower to collect thousands of small payments each day - therefore the charge is collected via the sole 'agent' - Royal Mail. They have already paid Customs via their VAT account before you get the goods delivered, so the admin charge covers all the work entering the goods through Customs, and for them extending you the credit between them paying Customs and collecting it from you.


    This of course isn't what people want to read, but it is costing the country millions in tax revenues, which of course pay for services, which we all whine about not getting enough of.



    To the original poster - with regard to zazzle, I suggest you get onto them and quote this page and point numbers 3 & 5 & 6 out to them - http://forum.zazzle.co.uk/news/zazzles_new_uk_site_faq
    good luck :D
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393



    To th original poster - with regard to zazzle, I suggest you get onto them and quote this page and point numbers 3 & 5 & 6 out to them - http://forum.zazzle.co.uk/news/zazzles_new_uk_site_faq
    good luck :D


    Well spotted :wink:

    .
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,156
    suzyb wrote:
    My Gran was sent a letter with the wrong postage on it. The postage was only about 8p short but the handling fee for Royal Mail was £3.

    yup used to be 10p so most posties just posted it and paid for it them selfs, so rm started ramping up the cost as most folk will pay. On the whole it's bad for rm as it's time consuming.
  • WooliferkinsWooliferkins Posts: 2,060
    Two separate things here.
    1, If you are the importer OR the exporter of an item YOU are responsible for the outgoing tax (exporter) or incoming tax (importer) from your country of residence.
    2. In the UK small items get passed through from HMRC to the PO. It's not the posties fault it's yours for not doing your homework. We all get away with it more often than not (unless you're in business) grasp your bits and live with it. Ignorance is no excuse. If you can find cheap stuff abroad online you're bright enough to discover your tax responsibilties at home and you get caught thank your stars you dont live in in Sweden or Denmark or come to that Australia
    Neil
    Help I'm Being Oppressed
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Two separate things here.
    1, If you are the importer OR the exporter of an item YOU are responsible for the outgoing tax (exporter) or incoming tax (importer) from your country of residence.
    2. In the UK small items get passed through from HMRC to the PO. It's not the posties fault it's yours for not doing your homework. We all get away with it more often than not (unless you're in business) grasp your bits and live with it. Ignorance is no excuse. If you can find cheap stuff abroad online you're bright enough to discover your tax responsibilties at home and you get caught thank your stars you dont live in in Sweden or Denmark or come to that Australia

    Two things here;

    OI gobby, if YOU did your homework by reading this thread you would realise that the website involved promises that there will be NO import tax to pay.

    And what sort of vacuous individual says ... "live with it" FFS

    "We all get away with it "

    No we f******** dont.


    .
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • WooliferkinsWooliferkins Posts: 2,060
    AndyManc wrote:

    Two things here;

    OI gobby, if YOU did your homework by reading this thread you would realise that the website involved promises that there will be NO import tax to pay.

    And what sort of vacuous individual says ... "live with it" FFS

    "
    .
    Then it is making promises it cant keep.

    The sentence is we all get away with it on the whole which changes the meaning somewhat.

    As for, "live with it", probably not the most helpful statement, but, are you going after your retailer with the verve shown here? Will you change things? Doubtful? So sorry you'll probably have to live with it.
    Neil
    Help I'm Being Oppressed
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Import duty can be complex, and it can be costly...

    When we come back from holidays to the US we make sure we have everything accounted for as we are usually close to or just over the limit, so have all receipts etc, twice I've gone into the red channel and when I explained we were circa £100 over and started digging out the receipts and logs, we've been thanked for being honest and waived through!

    In this case Zazle appear to have not followed their own T&C's are should be responsible for the full extra costs incurred.

    Simon
  • beverickbeverick Posts: 3,461
    Their web site makes no claim that all taxes will be inlcuded in the purchase price. The 'clauses' above are from a forum.

    HMRC allow retailers in certain countries to pre-pay VAT and excise - the USA is not covered by such an agreement.

    It's the UK Border Agency that intercepts, assesses and levies VAT and import taxes on behalf of the HMRC, not the HMRC themselves. Royal Mail act as a recovey agent collecting the taxes levied by the UKBA and due to HMRC.

    See: http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPort ... 4#P22_2021

    The .co.uk site is just a satellite site of the main trading company's site. It's still a Californian company exporting goods to the UK.

    Bob
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Andy, why not take the position that if you do happen to get away with it, great, but if not then hey ho, that's how it goes. You'll just keep getting apoplectic if you keep getting charged while assuming you're somehow OWED a tax break for no reason.
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    biondino wrote:
    Andy, why not take the position that if you do happen to get away with it, great, but if not then hey ho, that's how it goes. You'll just keep getting apoplectic if you keep getting charged while assuming you're somehow OWED a tax break for no reason.

    I DO NOT want to get away with anything, what I expect is transparency from on-line companies, I'm not p issed that I may have to pay import tax, I'm p issed that it wasn't made clear, I believe it's a regulation under consumer law that all costs must be apparent.

    Clearly zazzle are not making their policies clear and I will investigate further.

    I'm not apoplectic, my heightened state of 'enthusiasm' is a result of decades of cycling the streets of Manchester, anyone that's cycled down Oxford Road will understand :twisted:


    .
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    beverick wrote:
    Their web site makes no claim that all taxes will be inlcuded in the purchase price. The 'clauses' above are from a forum.

    HMRC allow retailers in certain countries to pre-pay VAT and excise - the USA is not covered by such an agreement.

    It's the UK Border Agency that intercepts, assesses and levies VAT and import taxes on behalf of the HMRC, not the HMRC themselves. Royal Mail act as a recovey agent collecting the taxes levied by the UKBA and due to HMRC.

    See: http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPort ... 4#P22_2021

    The .co.uk site is just a satellite site of the main trading company's site. It's still a Californian company exporting goods to the UK.

    Bob

    The claims might be from a forum, but it is the company themselves that have answered their own F.A.Q.'s!!! They have said that the .co.uk prices include ALL UK VAT/taxes. Therefore OP has legitimate claim against the company. Yes, they are still exporting goods, but pricing them as inclusive of all tax/vat!! Double whammy for the OP, bad news for the company.
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
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