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01-19-2012, 08:57 PM   #1
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Import tax on a camera

I live in the UK, if I bought a camera off the members market would I have to pay import tax on it? Wasn't sure where to post this, hopefully it's ok here.

01-19-2012, 08:59 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by olliedell Quote
I live in the UK, if I bought a camera off the members market would I have to pay import tax on it? Wasn't sure where to post this, hopefully it's ok here.
I'm not from the UK, but I've shipped there before so I'll take a stab at the answer. As far as I know, if you buy something from outside the EU, then you will have to pay a fairly substantial import tax based on the declared value of the item being sent to you. If you buy something from within the EU, it is my understanding that you won't have to pay any import tax.
01-19-2012, 09:03 PM   #3
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Ah that's a pain in the neck... Is there no way around it, claiming it is a present? That's a shame as I was hoping to buy from the US but the threat of tax might just put me off...
01-19-2012, 09:08 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by olliedell Quote
Ah that's a pain in the neck... Is there no way around it, claiming it is a present? That's a shame as I was hoping to buy from the US but the threat of tax might just put me off...
You could have it sent as a "gift", but my understanding is that even if you do that, if it's over a certain threshold (and that threshold is pretty low if I recall correctly), then you'd have to pay the tax on the declared value anyway. Obviously you could try and have value declared lower than the item is actually worth, assuming the seller was willing to do that. The problem with that, other than the fact that it's technically illegal, is that you can't insure a package for more than the declared value. So should something happen during shipping (lost/damaged), there would be no recourse and you could out a substantial amount of money.

01-19-2012, 09:12 PM   #5
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Hmmm stupid taxes and laws... I'll go to royal mail and ask them, hopefully they'll be able to quote me something. Thanks for the help, such a shame that they feel the need to tax everything
01-19-2012, 09:23 PM   #6
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Why not contact the customs, they should be able to tell you everything and their answer is official.
01-19-2012, 10:23 PM   #7
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A lot of the times if you just sent the package via regular mail (EMS, airmail, etc.) they don't charge you any customs fees. On the other hand, if you ship with a courier it's almost guaranteed as they do their own brokerage.

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01-19-2012, 10:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
A lot of the times if you just sent the package via regular mail (EMS, airmail, etc.) they don't charge you any customs fees. On the other hand, if you ship with a courier it's almost guaranteed as they do their own brokerage.
Yeah, when you send a package via UPS or FedEx from the US to another country you typically get slammed with fees. USPS/EMS is certainly the way to go.

01-19-2012, 10:27 PM   #9
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So using USPS/EMS I won't end up paying a hefty import tax? That sounds pretty good to me
01-19-2012, 10:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by olliedell Quote
So using USPS/EMS I won't end up paying a hefty import tax? That sounds pretty good to me
No, unfortunately, that's not the case when shipping to the UK. Using USPS/EMS avoids the brokerage fees, but you will be charged an import tax on the declared value of the package. Same goes whether it's first class mail or EMS/Express. Again, if it's declared for something very low, like $20, it might pass through without any charges. But even when I sent a $200 lens to the UK last year and declared the value at $50, the buyer had to pay about 25-30% of the $50 declared value to receive the lens.
01-19-2012, 10:54 PM   #11
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Hmm will they believe a K-7 is only worth $20 though. Also if it gets damaged I'll be stuck with only $20 insurance.. Seems awfully unfair to me.
01-19-2012, 10:58 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by olliedell Quote
Hmm will they believe a K-7 is only worth $20 though. Also if it gets damaged I'll be stuck with only $20 insurance.. Seems awfully unfair to me.
Answer to the first question, only if they don't open the package. If they do, they'll decide what it's worth and you'll have to pay the tax on that amount.

Answer to the second question, yes, if you declare it for $20, then you'd be stuck with a maximum of $20 of insurance. FWIW, you can't actually get insurance (nor tracking) with regular airmail (unless it's registered).

As to whether it's fair or not... that's an issue to take up with your government as they're the ones imposing the tax
01-23-2012, 09:09 AM   #13
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I'm in the UK and worked in a university postroom for 5 years before studying...

If you buy a cam from US... You are liable for import duties... Unless the seller is prepared to do full documentation (Pro-forma invoice) of product stating that it is a gift (or is being returned from repair; meaning that duty has already been payed) this documentation needs to be (normally) in triplicate and it helps if seller uses a company such as DHL or FedEX (which will cost a BOMB!!)

Think yourself lucky that camera's are not shipped in dry-ice as that would open up an entirely different can of worms and create a severe amount of paperwork for all parties...

Unfortuately your best bet is to shop for a camera from UK sellers... Try the Classified section at Pentaxuser.co.uk
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