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Author: Subject: Buying stuff from USA and VAT charges?

posted on 18/6/13 at 07:21 AM Reply With Quote
Buying stuff from USA and VAT charges?

Anyone know what the deal is with VAT on small/moderate purchases from USA. I brought a bike exhaust from China for couple of hundred and didn't get charged any but not sure if I just got lucky once...

I know when I lived in New Zealand you would get taxed if they could get more then $50 out of you otherwise they wouldn't bother. Anyone know if its similar in UK and what the threshold is?

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posted on 18/6/13 at 08:41 AM Reply With Quote
When you import from USA you pay import duty which is equivalent to VAT, but on top of that Royal Mail charge you a small handling fee because they pay the duty then collect it from you.

Do a search on google there are sites which calculate for you how much.

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posted on 18/6/13 at 08:58 AM Reply With Quote
As above, with parcel force is VAT + 8.

Sometimes you don't get charged.

There is a threshold on values before this comes in, but that is around 15.

If it is more than 135 then you ALSO pay import duty. Not sure what percentage that is.

This will explain better than I can:

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posted on 18/6/13 at 09:04 AM Reply With Quote
I was charged VAT on some welder bits from China, it's just luck of the draw I think.

yours, Pete

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posted on 18/6/13 at 09:27 AM Reply With Quote
Bit pot luck , but if its a bit chunkey value wise, you will have to pay the duty on the landed value, plus vat on the total including the duty plus the handling charge. If they are used parts less likely to get caned.


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posted on 18/6/13 at 10:05 AM Reply With Quote
As others have said, I believe the limit before you start getting charged is 18, you will normally pay duty on top of the purchase price (Sometimes its purchase plus shipping cost) and then VAT ontop of all that.

The duty rate varies for what the item is, I think this has been covered before on the forum as I remember looking it up.

Just did a search and found this I posted in January.

Duty varies based on what the item is, from the HMRC website "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."
I always remember 10% as that is what it was to import a car when I bought one from Japan about 8 years ago.

Then add 20% of (Item Cost+Shipping+Duty) for VAT (Robbing Bastards)

Works out to 32% then add the Couriers charge ontop

Some arent too bad I think Royal Mails the worst

Just had a check and it seems anything below 135 you dont have to pay Duty just VAT.
Below 15 you dont have to pay anything.

Also gifts over 40 you have to pay VAT and over 135 you have to pay Duty and VAT.

A little hard work never killed anyone, but why take the risk!

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posted on 18/6/13 at 10:11 AM Reply With Quote
Import duties and VAT are two completely different things - VAT will be applied dependent on the nature of the goods, the UK currently has three VAT rates, with some items exempt. As an individual, aka the final consumer, you bear all of the VAT, if you are purchasing as a business you may be able to credit the input VAT on import.

Duties are completely separate, and will depend on two things - where the goods are coming from (just because you order them from the US, doesn't necessarily mean the goods are considered to come from the US for customs purposes, particularly if the US company is just a reseller, ask the seller about the Certificate of Origin for the goods, it may exempt or reduce the customs rate!) and what the goods are, you can usually find the given import duty for any good from any country using its HS code and a quick google search!

A bird in the hand....

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posted on 18/6/13 at 12:53 PM Reply With Quote
Looks like I'll be calling on a friend who goes there fairly regularly....might have to wait a while though
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