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Customs Charge Warning to EU Collectors


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Hey folks, I recently purchased a jersey from eBay from Texas valued at $30. I've had no trouble purchasing jerseys from North America before until a few days ago and I got this through the door:

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I went to my depot thinking that the postage hadn't been paid. Turns out the EU has started adding VAT to imports into the Union. Goods valued at £15 (approx. US $24.14) or more, and gifts valued at £40 (approx. US $64.36) are now taxed. If you don't pay the fee, then you don't get your package. So in my case I had to shell out $18.81 in VAT for a $30 jersey.

Here's the sticker that was attached to the package I got:

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I don't have a solution, apart from asking the seller to mark the package as a 'gift' if the value is under £40. I wasn't as unfortunate as the guy in front of me in the depot who had the same card, he'd got the new iPad imported from the US... a lot of bills were exchanged.

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Heck, that's nothing. Before NAFTA, I got hit with an $85.00 customs bill on a jersey I had ordered from Canada. I got the jersey no problem but a week later I got the customs bill in the mail.

I've bought numerous jerseys from across the Atlantic which have costed way more before and never had that problem. Now thanks to them deciding to slap MORE tax on it, I'll need to raise extra just to 'pay off' customs. "You are free... to do what we tell you!"

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Was it shipped as "merchandise" or "gift"? I know on ebay some sellers ship products as "gifts" to avoid duty fees but I think businesses hands are tied when it comes to shipping internationally.

It was marked as 'Merchandise' but they're even taxing gifts of a value greater than $64.36.

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And the money goes to:

Personally, I think Greece should pull out of the Euro, go back to the Drachma and be rid of Germany's yoke... but I'll stop now before personal politics take over. :thumbsup:

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  • 3 weeks later...

It was marked as 'Merchandise' but they're even taxing gifts of a value greater than $64.36.

This is no sudden rule, you just have been lucky so far ;) . Well until this one ... aNy experienced shopper would have experienced this by now :closedeyes: . The old limits was ~15gbp/22 euro for everything, gifts included and not just vat but import tax as well. Remember once paying 60% of the value in additional taxes before the limit changes :glare: .

The thing is, jerseys are small packages and don't stand out on a conveyor belt when passing royal mail at the airport. Only a small percentage of incoming parcels is ever checked unless sent by courier service or EMS. So always have it shipped first class or priority (of course if it get's lost you are only insured for the marked value so your risk. First class has none at all or very little insurance anyway, priority something like up to $500 I think).

Now picture yourself buying an authentic from a store online that for insurance purposes marks it at actual value and it get's picked out. 20% VAT bill + import tax on clothing of >10% iirc at values over 150 euro. AND the VAT is charged over the (jersey value + import tax + shipping cost)

Remember US prices do not include VAT yet so a much heard argument that "we already paid VAT in the US and now we pay it twice?!?" is an invalid argument ...

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