General vintage slot machine related topics.
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Import duty, shipping costs, etc. from USA

Postby stoxman22 » Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:44 pm

I want to buy an Allwin from the USA but the seller says that due to its weight it can only go DHL Air at a cost of $750. Has anyone got a way of organising a collection from the States from here in the UK at a more realistic cost?

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Postby Bent Copper » Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:37 pm

Your seller is talking b*ll*cks.

The last time I had a machine sent from the States it cost me around $220 (just over £110). You can have it sent Surface for much less than that, but it takes about 6 weeks to get here.

I also had a Rol-A-Top sent over in a wooden crate by Fedex for $300 (about £150). I can't imagine that your Allwin weighs more than a Rol-A-Top!

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Postby pennymachines » Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:02 pm

Remember to include in your calculations the import duty you may be charged by Custom & Excise based on the declared value of the item when it arrives in the UK.

See also:

Note - you should only pay 5% duty on items imported from the US if they're over 50 years old.

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daylight robbery

Postby mervyngoodhew » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:39 pm

Topic merged - site admin.

I have just received some parts from the U.S.A. costing £50. I had to pay £8.50 customs duty and £8.00 to the Post Office for putting a sticker on saying I had to pay £8.50 duty - total £16.50. What a rip off!

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Re: daylight robbery

Postby badpenny » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:32 pm

Welcome to the Rip-Off Club. I recently had to pay an identical amount for the privilege of receiving what in essence was an angled piece of mild steel and two coach bolts valued at about eight quid. As yours was worth forty two squids more I'd suggest you got the better deal there chap.

I've now decided that my lump of old steel is far too valuable to stick inside a tatty old slot and plan to have it mounted on a field of ermine and framed. !!SUICIDAL!!

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Re: daylight robbery

Postby treefrog » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:39 pm

It's a lucky dip. About 1 in 10 of my parcels over the years have been stopped. The other thing is whether the seller declares the goods at all. If not, you get a charge anyway. Also if they put a low value, below I think £26 or whatever (the value is in dollars), you will not get charged. Trouble is, some sellers either cannot be bothered or won't undervalue the item.

I had one two weeks ago, with some denominator buttons and an award card; the value was just over this limit with postage, but the seller had put the total I paid...... I was very tempted to leave it at the Post Office. It will cost the Post Office more, because they have to send it back if not collected. I wish I had, as the bits turned out to be a load of rubbish. :oops:

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Re: daylight robbery

Postby operator bell » Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:36 pm

The Lucky Dip mainly applies to things sent by mail - if they're sent by a courier service like Federal Express or UPS, in my experience those services use a customs broker for everything and always get hit for duty and VAT. For regular mail there does indeed seem to be a threshold below which they don't bother. I sent a bunch of things to UK recently and packages valued at $50 or less got through, while people who bought several at once and had a value of $100 or more all got hit. It would seem that if you buy several items, it's cheaper to pay the extra postage and have them sent in separate packages.


Re: daylight robbery

Postby malcy » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:03 pm

Can you not get away with the good old writing 'gift' on the labels anymore to avoid customs charges?
Used to be the norm when I bought and sold from the States and I never got charged. I see now that many ebayers in the States are stating that they wont write 'gift'. I suppose it constitutes tax avoidance and big penalties for our US cousins.

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Import duties when buying from US?

Postby bamsefar1 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:45 pm

Topic merged - site admin.

Anybody know if there are import duties/VAT to answer for when importing an item for use from the US? !PUZZLED!

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Re: Import duties when buying from US?

Postby treefrog » Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:49 am

Yes, both Customs Duty and VAT. On top of that, the carrier often charge you the privilege for collecting these taxes. The % seems to vary, but around 5 or 6 % + VAT. Also they base this on the customs declaration form the sender is supposed to fill out. If the sender does not fill out the paperwork, it can turn out even worse and the custom team will decide on the value. This can be really annoying :evil:

I cannot remember the amount, but below a certain value (Maybe $75) it is exempt, but it is a lottery as to which packages they decide to pick on and not all deliveries get these charges. I would say 80% of my deliveries never get charged, but it also depends on what the sender writes down as the description of the goods and value... Some goods are supposed to be exempt, e.g. gold, paperwork and a few others, but you have to put the right code on the declaration forms (most sellers cannot be bothered). In theory, you are supposed to be able to challenge the charge with the Customs Office, if you have worked out the rules and can be bothered. See complex HMRC guideline:
Valuation of imported goods for customs purposes, VAT and trade statistics

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