Import duty payable from USA goods?

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #1

Has anyone imported items from the USA?
I have recently purchased something and paid “up front” a duty charge in the initial order.
Imagine my surprise when the post lady asked me for a further 182 euros when it was delivered!
I recently looked into purchasing a Kindle Reader from Amazon and was given the overall impression that whilst a duty charge was to be levied at the time of purchase, there may well have been an additional charge to pay on delivery.
As I have the option to have it delivered to the UK, I decided to hang fire and do a bit more investigation.
My husband ordered the pc for me as a surprise - it is a very lightweight model and easy to transport, but was rather disappointed when we were charged this extra amount.
We have purchased before from the USA, but it has always been delivered to a business address in the UK.
I would be interested yo know of anyone else’s experiences on this topic.

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #2

I think in future I will avoid purchasing from the USA.

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #3

Thanks so much - very interesting what you say about your friend paying nothing when you did.
It was a one off purchases so we will be very cautious in future.
It might sound rather critical, but I feel it is a symptom of French protectionist mentality - Did you remember all the fuss around and their free delivery - they were threatened with huge fines as the book sellers union (or some other body) made a huge fuss - so much for the global market eh?
Seriously, I don’t want to use the sight to moan as that is not really the overall game here, but with buying on line overseas purchasing is becoming more and more common, so it is good to know in advance I feel.
When I mentioned the Kindle purchase, Amazon indicated that they were unsure as to how much import tax might have to be finally paid, even though they were charging approx 50 euros import duty up front on the purchase.
I am still very pleased with my new pc and it was as a result of it blowing up last year in a bad storm that blew everything in the house - the insurance company, whilst very slow have ensured everything has been replaced as good as new - as so many of my items had reduced in price as is the way with electrical goods (dvd player for example) we had more than enough to cover the items which meant we were able to buy a real state of the art laptop - mustn’t complain too much really

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #4

Thanks - that is really useful info. Much appreciated.

(Tony Hill) #5

Hi Helen,

I bought a camera from Japan and had to pay import duty but on something else I bought,I didn’t. It seems a bit hit and miss as Sandra said, but for me,it was this way in the UK as well.

I guess the bigger ticket items are more likely to attract attention. The limit in the UK used to be £18.00 for commercial items or £36.00 for “gifts”.


(Sandra Hanks) #6

Hi Helen
I have ordered contact lenses from the States and have not had to pay any import charges, but I do know someone that was charged an extra Euro 30 who used the same company. I think it is hit and miss. I used to live in the States and when I was selling on Ebay, anything going out of the US - I always put on the customs form “gift” so that they were not charged any “extras”. The small print on most US websites delivering to Europe do say that they are not liable to any customs/tax/import duty charges to the country they are delivering to. Luckily for us I purchased everything we needed in the States prior to moving to France and then shipped it over in a 20ft container. Made sure everything was purchased 6 months prior and took off labels etc so it looked like it was “used”. Had no problems with customs at all - the container went straight through.