Naivety on my part but I bought some electronic hobby kit off ebay
(sent from China). It arrived ok works fine etc. Now some 3 weeks
later I get an invoice from the shipping Co asking for some £50 ('made
up of 3 parts with codes meaning give us your money so we can give it
to the gov. for more UK bombs to attack other countries'). Sorry - but
it feels like that. It's about 1/3 the price of the item!
Anyway, at the end of said invoice was the text: "We have paid this
amount of import duty in good faith. Please pay us". So the shippers
are acting as tax collectors then?
Maybe it was always so - but first time for me to buy this way.
Watch those charges chaps.
They really should ask up front before delivery. after all nobody would if
they did it the way mentioned. I'd no pay it without a real letter from the
revenue. However i know the post office collect it as a friend told me they
refused to deliver it until they were paid, and they also had a handling
charge they put on to encourage folk to pay it beforehand. does not seem to
matter that the customer did not know.
This newsgroup posting comes to you directly from...
It does seem odd to me that a carrier would pay what *you* owe up front
then try and claim it back from you. Asking for trouble. And not worth
suing for such a relatively small amount.
Here, I got a card from IIRC the PO, and had to go online and pay.
Including something like a 15 quid service charge. Outrageous for a simple
online payment. Only then was the package delivered. And it wasn't the PO
handling the UK end of the package either - it was a large US one like UPS.
*Caution: I drive like you do.
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
On Mon, 08 Feb 2016 10:41:56 +0000, "michael newport"
Yes, it's long been the case that delivery companies deal with
VAT/duty and then add on a fee for doing it.
Just had a demand Fedex a month after the item was delivered, so I
thought I'd got away with it!
It's pot luck to some extent, depends on the value and the carrier and
the phase of the moon. For multiple items it's often best to buy them
individually as low cost items are more likely to get through than one
Not come across that before. I *thought* that Customs could put some
sort of "mark" on a package which meant the Post Office would hold on to
it until you paid up. That happened to me on a £200 leather bag (still
amazing value after paying the duty).
I've found with small Chinese products off eBay the Customs Form is
sometimes marked up a bit creatively, e.g. with "Gift" or a value a bit
below the actual value (say $5 rather than $15).
I'd also heard about the HMRC "de minimis" of 18 dollars / euros /
pounds, didn't Amazon use that to fiddle prices of CDs supplied from
Jersey at one time?
That doesn't work if the carrier is not the Royal Mail. My guess is
that the problem arises with major international carriers who don't
normally do domestic deliveries.
I had a lens from Hong Kong a few years ago, with no request for
payment and no marks on the package about duty. Sometime later, when
I'd forgotten all about it, I receiced a statement from the carrier
(DHL or Fedex) for an overdue account. As I didn't do business with
them I assumed it was a glitch and threw it away. And the next one.
When I received a solicitors' letter I realised what it was about and
paid up but neither of the statements or the letter had said what I
was being charged for. Perhaps there had been an invoice that I hadn't
(I heard a story some years ago about someone being (correctly)
charged duty on an item from the Channel Islands. They complained to
the supplier and were reimbursed. I don't know if the supplier had
been advertising 'nothing more to pay' or if they gor away with it
enough that they could afford to be generous when they didn't.)
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