464 forum posts
I am making a new thread but it goes back to one I have already posted.
I now am beginning to understand the reasoning to Ebay and its GSP with regard to customs. As Paul has already answered me, it appears this is a very true statement but I do want to bring to peoples attention that if your buying from the USA or outside of the EU be very aware customs are paying more attention to declarations and formality of content of things coming into the country.
At present I am being given the run around with ever changing processes but as in learning with stamps, it is the same principle here. The simple fact is, just as customs have charged me import tax or VAT, they now do not like the questions I am asking in response to that.
However, it is interesting to know that you need to be aware that practices are changing and the information you need to be prepared for is all on the Gov.UK web site and this alone is not an easy site to navigate and do I dare say intended to be this way?
It is with this in mind, as to now I understand why Ebay has rolled out their Global Shipping Programme which is to provide and avoid the hassle of learning the hard way of HMRC, as I am doing now and it goes to show how changes are happening because I can see Ebay have jumped at the chance of making money from sellers because of rules being tightened up upon, which is actually stated that customs admit, that they have been lapse in the past with goods coming in privately. As Paul has said, if what I am hearing is correct, I have been getting away with things for some time regarding import taxes.
Once my own case is sorted in conclusion, I will be able to advise you better and in fact, rather than guess work.
But if you buy and sell be very aware your items may well be under scrutiny more than they were and that your items may well start disappearing or being returned to you because of these customs charges and changes. Most people will not pay extra, on top of what they have already paid in shipping, so the items will be returned and of course this process alone can take weeks if not months depending on the way it was sent!!!
Right now, this is what I should have done in respect to the situation I am in.
However, I cannot blame the seller except for their wrong customs declaration which is why at present I think this issue has arisen, it will mean much more however when the process is concluded.
At present, I understand fully Ebays GSP but in the same breath it will now make dealing with the USA or Australia very different and your items will take on a new found value, you never thought of through tax!!!! The reason I say this is, I would never buy items under the GSP charges made by Ebay and if you start to watch sellers shipping costs this will give you a very good idea of the taxes you would pay if not done through it. THEY ARE HORRENDOUS and just like the other EBAY SCAM of charging % on shipping, this is the same thing because customs do the same, the shipping cost is included to value of the item! Let alone the charge made by RM for the privilege of telling you this fact £8
As I told customs yesterday, this is me done with buying things from outside of the EU and the worrying thing there is, now we are intending to leave the EU this could well expand again here??? So we could end up in Paul's situation entirely. Also with regard to the post made about the guy coming from Australia with suitcase full of stamps of his fathers inherited stamp collection,it takes on a WHOLE NEW MEANING!!!! And right now I am eating my own words, and if he's reading this, YES DO IT THAT WAY, BRING THEM. You would have to have a very special stamp to warrant taxes and know that your going to pay more because of its value!!!!
And trust me I know what your thinking about ways of avoiding this but in the long run, is it worth the risk as a buyer or seller????
So this post is about making you AWARE, be very aware????
Edited By Julian on 12/05/2017 13:03:36
505 forum posts
I'm sorry about your adverse experiences with Customs.
Customs will pick you up if you purchase items over a certain value and in the past I have had to pay Custom charges, though not for over a decade now. I got wise pretty darn fast and didn't get caught out again.
I do not know your circumstances, but reading your original comments I take it that you paid for goods for a reduced price but the seller put the original price on the postal form?
The seller may have done that to protect himself in case the item was lost in the system and he had to make an insurance claim.
Anyhow, I have used the Global Shipping Programme for some time now, in fact I have received an American parcel just today which went thru it. I have never had any problems with it and am quite happy to pay the extra to prevent the old hassle of getting a card thru the letter box stating I have a parcel waiting at the depot which requires a Customs payment. The item I received today was $9 postage and $10 for the Global Shipping Programme, which I think is reasonable enough. I also like the tracking which means I can plan ahead if I'm expecting something.
Edited By Alex on 12/05/2017 16:28:44
464 forum posts
Hi Alex this is why I cannot be to sure right now of the facts. At the moment I am being given the run around from them.
There are 3 levels which incur non or payment of customs charges. There is also codes for each type of collectible you import which can effect the level of tax.
However yes your very right, I am still sure it is the sender declaring postage on top of the item, when it should have been included which has flagged customs but they are telling me a different story!
They are saying even if my item was in a free band it still may incur import taxes!!! She did say on the information I have given her it would still be around £25.
But anyhow I will see this through to the end and can only wait when the end is concluded before I am going to say anything further but it does make sense when you see Ebays GSP charges that this must have a ring of truth about it. Lol there's a tad more to this story which I will declare when I know the facts but it will make you laugh your socks off. Anything to do with my dealings will make you laugh "Rodders"
I will take my chances with the Police but I do not mess around with HMRC, they are a law unto themselves.
I do not buy small things usually from the States they are collections and unfortunately on this occasion I did not have my friend to hand and have paid dearly for it. BUT if what the customs people are saying is true, as Paul has said I have been very lucky in the past because I have got away with 100's of pounds worth of taxes. But you try getting one of these customs people to stipulate the rules!!!! But this is the same as sending as well and I am fearing the worst with a few of my items at present. which I sent last month.
So right now my Diana collecting looks like a nose dive into oblivion because shes not worth that much to me!!!!!
Its a crying shame to say the least but we shall see. It is also worth mentioning I have become aware of clauses in sellers postage instructions about this subject (customs), so there is obviously a ring of truth in a number of areas.
Personally I cannot be bothered to try and wrangle ways around this and deceive people in my listings.
I will say this though, I would never ever dream of importing what I have in the past if customs were going to impose these import taxes. And yes I am well aware of the little ways of cheating and on small items you can still do it but not on what I import lol lol. Which is why you need friends in other countries, makes life a whole lot easier. But even in saying that, if what customs are saying is true, it is not worth the risk, I would then have to accept your answer Alex but as I say, Diana is not worth the extra cost.. In the past I have at least recouped my postage costs through reselling and indeed the actual item/s I wanted at times, with these type added costs there's no way. In fact, you would be paying more in costs than the items worth itself. Bless her she's collectible but not antique but it might stop me buying illegal and "C" stamps which are worthless anyway
464 forum posts
Ok further to my posts, the confusion is arising over two things Tax and Customs duty, its the customs duty which seems to be why my item has been flagged up, this of course then sets the other criteria of Tax into motion, or at least the way I am reading this, all imported items fit into a criteria, I found two very good sites for explaining this. However it is the import tax which customs are tightening up on, where as in the past they did not pay much attention to this probably for very good reasons when you think about it but of course we live in a world of numb skull bureaucrat's where money money money rules. (pity they did not have the same intentions of other areas eh)
The problem I am having is getting customs to tell me which criteria has indeed caused the issue. If it is the tax criteria then anything over £15 is liable even as a gift which rises to $35 and as most of us know, you tick this box and don't put in a invoice (it would need investigation time which the are not going to be bothered with). But of course once importing large items and declaring values you can sort of work out or deduce, they are not going to be gifts anyway lol lol.
The Customs Duty comes is on top of Ta,x on items over £135 and what makes this hard to work out is, which exchange rate customs go by and what lea way is given to correctness as this always varies between broker and this includes shipping AND insurance.
On top of this each item has its own unique code so you then have to go to the Gov.UK web site to find out these codes and thus they also influence the Tax charge rate!!! So now you can start to appreciate Ebays GSP even though its still a con but they are not going to do all this for nothing, so maybe unfair of me to say this. If Customs are tightening up on the import tax then everything the way I see it is now under scrutiny and makes good sense to use the Ebay's GSP even thought it makes me choke to say that. It all depends on how you risk your sold items, if it does not matter you losing a few quid then fine don't worry just carry on but if like me its large items it changes the ball game significantly.
What I love about this procedure is, it always FALLS onto you, no has to inform you, you just find it out the hard way!!!
So in my particular dilemma, its a mistake which has caused the problem BUT customs are tightening up with this anyway and which is why Ebay rolled out the GSP a year or two ago mainstream. The advice give from Customs to me is also that as a sender you need to be aware of customs in America and ITS procedure and limits. So you can see why it makes good sense to use EBAYS GSP on STRAIGHT forward items!!!!!!!
Its actually the Import Taxes that are now coming under scrutiny and implemented, so my item would have flagged up anyway, even if it was marked as a gift which holds the same Tax bracket £35 to £135. The things I have had shipped to me from the States in the past have all been around the $80 to $100 which is probably why Customs have never bothered worrying. Its the shipping which usually is worth more than the item in my case but this is a big game changer and one in which alters my dealing with the States, even with my friend helping, this changes everything.
The truth is, no matter which way you try to beat this in manipulation, its near impossible, well on larger items anyway. Smaller items the risks are still the same and nothing changes, other than making false declarations which is a stress I do not need???
So in fact I am just going to accept this as a shock learning curve because the difference what I have been charged to $25 they still reckon I would pay tax on, is not worth the agro in disputing, it just upsets me I have given RM £8 for the privilege of telling me its been caught by customs which hurts. It also makes sense that Customs cannot back track from the interception, as I would have to lie and say it was a gift and only avoiding the Customs duty anyway.
So all of you that do buy and sell outside of your own countries if your in the EU and its outside of the EU you need to be aware, there has always been this risk I agree and you could say awe well it was the error which was the issue but the question is "WAS IT?"
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