View Full Version : Import tax/duty or whatever

15-10-2004, 12:00 PM
I ordered some special paper from america, the company used DHL, it was ENOUGH money for shipping as it is

Now I get an Invoice from DHL for VAT and administration charges!

What the hell!?!


15-10-2004, 12:05 PM
The joys of importing Charlene!

I refer to this I wrote ages ago as a basic guide, useful links for you to read!!:


OK, regarding importing minefield its pretty simple once you get into the swing.

Basically, if your goods are dutyable, you pay duty on import and you will also pay VAT on import too (Usually COD). You can set up a deferment account to defer your VAT payments sometimes upto 30 days...which can help your cash flow.

How much admin was you charged & what was the value of your goods.........probably related. Also, did that include fuel surcharges?


15-10-2004, 07:14 PM
"Hidden" costs always hit hardest! Goods+shipping then add duty (probably 5% for paper) and then VAT to the lot. If the value is over 18GBP then you get nailed. Ask them to send you x amount of paper in packages not exceeding 18 quid value! I would however check to make sure they (DHL) have applied the correct commodity code.....I once brought a "Trikke" scooter sample from China and was charged the rate for a bicycle! Some 5% difference. Admin ? not so sure about that one.

16-10-2004, 03:16 PM
You are require of payment of VAT for imports from America. You can later claim it back if you are VAT registered. If you ... you can't but you still have to pay it.

17-10-2004, 01:28 AM
Originally posted by Anglo-Sino
I once brought a "Trikke" scooter sample from China and was charged the rate for a bicycle! Some 5% difference. Ask the supplier to mark the package as a product sample, then you shouldn't need to pay. NOT as gift - fraud is viewed very seriously.

Also you're less likely to be hit with a VAT & Duty bill if you have it shipped surface mail. Small low cost parcels often go through because they're not worth the effort.

17-10-2004, 09:16 AM
Afraid it does not work like that! I have tried various methods if it is a commercial sample with a retail value exceeding 18GBP (if you have paid for the sample) you will pay duty and VAT. Surface mail/sea freight/air mail whatever. In my experience this is the case.
Shipping companies simply look at the "value" or insured value....yes there are ways round it but as suggested that would be fraudulent and that is bad!! I know "someone" who bought a laptop from the states and asked the supplier to mark the value as 100GBP therefore VAT and duty was v low....naughty person but nice lappy! If however it had been damaged in transit/lost then the insured value was only 100GBP.

18-10-2004, 12:36 PM
hello charlene,

i would agree with anglo-sino on this.i run a wholesale business and we buy some items direct from china and some from the usa and theres no way around the duty or vat.

good luck for next time.

18-10-2004, 08:52 PM
Thanks for all the info guys.

I'm just so annoyed, someone could have mentioned it earlier! I mean, it costs enough just to ship it.

So let me ask a question, if someone from the USA buys it for me, then sends it on to me, would I still have to pay?


18-10-2004, 09:03 PM
In theory you should still pay. Lawfully there is no way around it but if you wish to play the game and "cheat" then yes there is less chance of being stung when it is from a private address.....the possibility of being charged is however still there. I would look at using another service. Can you ship LCL (Sea freight) to save money. Noting that it depends on the quantity you are shipping. If it is a regular order then maybe get 6 months worth of stock rather than three. Difficult to give a good indication of best method without knowing size, weight etc etc.
PS Not your size and weight!!