Author Topic: Customs service export/import  (Read 5734 times)

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Offline Achilles

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Customs service export/import
« on: October 27, 2011, 09:01:07 am »
Hey Folks,
I am curious about your experiences with your Customs service.... I don't mean the usual "Oh man, I bought sth. in America and I really have to pay taxes for that here...", more about how it works (paperworks).
One thing you may know, or should know...Germany love paperwork and rules. I am quite sure there is some official paperwork for breathing here (you know...emissions and so on).

So, why all the hack. We have to send a sensor for a repair to the manufacturer in the US (and have done that before, too). Some years ago it was like taking the sensor, walk to the customs office in our city and do the paperwork with an officer there. Pack the parcel and post it. The Papers were needed for the return of the parcel, to show that VAT and so on is already paid.
Then it was only possible to go online (started begin of last year), search through some cryptical lists for the customs number of your part you want to send and fill out the forms online, print it and go with it and the device to customs. Then the checked it there, date, stamp, done....shipping.
That one worked and was a little more work (brainwork) than before.
Now you can still just do it online, but you have to register with your VAT number in a Platform that is also used for your tax declaration where you get a freaky file and pin code. These you need to log on in the system of the Customs service and fill out the forms and so on like before.
Well, there is one file and pin for our whole university and we need these to ship our sensor for a repair..... these data are also used for sensible work like tax declaration.........very smart, don't you think ;)
Hehe, our secretary is trying to find out these data for over a week now ;).........

How is it in the US, Great Britain, France, Australia?!....Is it that much of a mess, too?

PS: Funny thing aside that fits in here, too. Several bureaucracy depleting laws have been filed in the last decade, but they have built new departments for that and well.....you see above  ;D ....we seem to need that stuff......
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2011, 09:28:51 am »
Customs is depending on your country rules, my experience with my customs will not be the same as yours. Our customs is ok, less hassle, during 3-5years online transactions, i only have minor issue with them1-2 times. i saw many sellers refused to send to South Africa or Italy (IIRC), maybe the customs or post service handle things very badly there.
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Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2011, 09:52:53 am »
I feel sorry for all the customs offices worldwide,  the Chinese invasion ( thousands small packages daily)  it had destroy even their launch break.  ;D
 

Offline johnboxall

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2011, 09:58:14 am »
Hey Folks,
I am curious about your experiences with your Customs service....

How is it in the US, Great Britain, France, Australia?!....Is it that much of a mess, too?

Australia is great. If the parcel is declared on the CN22 form as being under Au$1000 it just gets x-rayed and zooms through Customs. Over $1000 and duty/taxes are payable - http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page5549.asp
Even then just have the sender set the value to <$1000... my MSO came from the US with a value of over $9k, invoiced at $1k - blasted through clearance in less than five hours. Win.

Offline Achilles

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2011, 10:21:53 am »
Customs is depending on your country rules, my experience with my customs will not be the same as yours.
Yeah, that's why I was asking ;). To find out how it works on the other hemisphere/side of the world. I know each country is different but I have been curious if it's always a lot of work or if some  country has fond a "painless" way of dealing with it ;).

@Tronixstuff:
Yeah import works here quite well, too (if it has been declared with this little green customs sticker and an invoice is attached on the outside). They also just xray the parcel to look what's inside, but the declared value has to fit to the content of course ;).
I just pay my taxes when the parcel is delivered or if I have to pick it up at the customs office.
If you buy a multimeter for 400USD and declare it as 100USD (not the legal way thogh) chances are high that it slips through, because they can't control and open every parcel.
So that direction is quite fast here, too. It usually goes through scanning/processing in one day.
 

Uncle Vernon

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2011, 11:41:56 am »
Hey Folks,
I am curious about your experiences with your Customs service....

How is it in the US, Great Britain, France, Australia?!....Is it that much of a mess, too?

Australia is great. If the parcel is declared on the CN22 form as being under Au$1000 it just gets x-rayed and zooms through Customs. Over $1000 and duty/taxes are payable

Australia is usually great I get regular imports from China, Denmark, USA and New Zealand.
In most cases delivery varies from 1 to 7 days. China being the most random. From Europe and the US generally 2 to 4 days. Packages will at random be selected for a more thorough customs check at AU customs which generally will add 2 to 3 days.
The sub $1K exemption is a bane of contention here particularly for one noisy retailer used to too high margins.
A word of caution on this, if you are making more than the occasional purchase for business pay the GST, business isn't entitled to the exemptions even if regular orders fall below that $1K threshold.
I use a freight forwarder who pay the GST and bill me within 14 days, not the cheapest option but definitely the most reliable and least likely to have your package held in customs hell.
 

Offline RCMR

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2011, 11:44:09 am »
Our customs doesn't care, so long as the value of the package is low enough not to attract more than $50 GST (sales tax) which means we can import a USD value of around $320 including shipping.

If your consignment is worth more than the threshold however, they start adding all sorts of fees, taxes and levies that really push the price up -- plus, sometimes they'll require you to have (or use the services of someone who has) an importer's number.  This means if it's just a "one off" import, the costs go even higher!

Underdeclaring the value of a package is one option -- but it is cheating and you also run the risk that if the package goes missing, the carrier will probably only pay out to the declared value.  Worth the risk?  I don't know -- I'd just rather pay the taxes in most cases.
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2011, 12:29:44 pm »
I never care about cheating on taxes, but I was always afraid the freelancer agents fee, that was and is a stealing.
 

Online BravoV

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2011, 05:53:49 pm »
I guess I'm luckier, here where I live, since we considered ourself as a developing country, any technology related "tool"category like dmm and scope, are considered as a product that will contribute in developing this country, of course simple and low tech tools like silly screw driver or an hacksaw are not in the list  :D, hence it has almost no import tax or at least very minimal like under 1 or 2% at certain cases, but on finished good for "consumer grade product" like those electronic like tv, blue disc player, cell phone etc..etc, they put quite some hefty tax for it.

Offline McMonster

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2011, 08:18:01 pm »
There's one more thing about pricing and taxes more specific to EU countrier, the shipping cost itself. I'm not completely aware what are the shipping prices inside old EU countries, but shipping from any other country (EU or not) to Poland is usually a few times higher than national shipping.

For those not understanding how does it seem strange, most EU countries (plus Norway) have no border control between themselves (google for Schengen zone), the only clue that you are crossing the border is usually a small sign. One would think this would equalize costs of shipping inside EU, but it does not. I live in a city close to German and Czech borders and it really annoys me that it's cheaper to buy something in a shop over 500 km away, than buying something in Germany, just 100 km from here. It's even more annoying when you see free shipping from US or China on eBay.
 

Offline Achilles

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2011, 08:35:59 pm »
Hey McMonster/Neighbor,
I know what you mean, but I think that is common around everywhere. The courier services charge extra just to cross the border. At least we have the big advantage that we don't have to pay no extra takes for inner-eu purchases. Just buy on ebay and ship it ;).

As far as I experienced the shipping prices vary much from country to country. Sometimes it's ok, but one have to calculate if it's worth.
For example: a parcel in Germany via DHL is 4.10€ (smallest one), to UK it is 8.90€, Poland is 8.90€, France is 8.90, Switzerland is 15.90, US is 15.90.
So they seem to charge: Inner Country, EU, World just by it's political borders. So that's a matter of the Postage Services. At least you are in EU and you could just cross the border to pick it up Yourself. I have done that myself to puck up some frogs in the Netherlands. A day trip over the border, some sightseeing and still less expensive than shipping with a specialized courier.....well, and I know how they were kept

Schengen at least helps for travel and speeding up postage and adding no extra cost for customs and so on. In the US they often charge for residents in the same state. Am I right if I guess outside these states they charge you the local tax in your state at delivery? (for our americans here)
 

Offline rf-loop

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2011, 09:00:07 pm »
"For example: a parcel in Germany via DHL is 4.10€ (smallest one), to UK it is 8.90€, Poland is 8.90€, France is 8.90, Switzerland is 15.90, US is 15.90."

It is becouse German coverment do something what is illegal in EU.

If there is Chinese company and China coverment supply them we are very agry and nearly put these things to "restricted list" or extremely high protectionist extra customes. Example some chinese bicycles maybe 70% customs just becouse in EU we do accept only honest business competition. How competition can be honest if some country coverment (or they hidden hand) give money to support they own country business for make low prices possible. many times our finger show to China and we forget look more close or maybe we close our eyes if problem is too close us.

Our coverment do not this and we have 2-4 times higher prices in shipping. Postal service and also example DHL here locally.

Very easy here I can pick-up one single parcel more than 100km with my self and still I win.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 09:05:32 pm by rf-loop »
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Offline Achilles

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2011, 09:27:31 pm »
"For example: a parcel in Germany via DHL is 4.10€ (smallest one), to UK it is 8.90€, Poland is 8.90€, France is 8.90, Switzerland is 15.90, US is 15.90."

It is becouse German coverment do something what is illegal in EU.

If there is Chinese company and China coverment supply them we are very agry and nearly put these things to "restricted list" or extremely high protectionist extra customes. Example some chinese bicycles maybe 70% customs just becouse in EU we do accept only honest business competition. How competition can be honest if some country coverment (or they hidden hand) give money to support they own country business for make low prices possible. many times our finger show to China and we forget look more close or maybe we close our eyes if problem is too close us.

Our coverment do not this and we have 2-4 times higher prices in shipping. Postal service and also example DHL here locally.

Very easy here I can pick-up one single parcel more than 100km with my self and still I win.


Quite hard to understand you, but I think I got it after several times reading. So you say because of taxes the country (GER) closes down the market to foreign competitor (i.e. China). I really believe you that part, but I don't believe you that the tax on a chinese bicycle is 70%. Maybe you mean the price will increase about 70% after shipping, VAT, customs. That may be possible (depending on the price of the bike of course). If it would be really so tough for china we wouldn't be flooded with cheap chinese products, because no one is going to struggle with customs and so on just to earn 1% on a product.
The other things you mention are subventiosn I think. Yeah, that is quite common around in the EU. Especially in agrar-industrie, to keep that one alive on the market because of low income regions where acres are grown and harvested by half-dead workers. Well, that's our fault because we always struggle if sth. gets more expensive.
Sadly those hidden market regulations are very common around the globe and needed to keep a country alive, more or less. You want to keep your money in your country as much as possible to strengthen local market. Ever wondered why the Porsche 911 has grown in size that much over the past few years? Or how the Porsche Targa has been invented...that convertible/coupe mix up thing......;). We aren't allowed to buy as much european bananas as we want and and and...... there is a lot of this stuff all around ;)

And honestly, there must be sth. like that in China, too. Or how do I get an iphone cover for 1USD shipped from china. I barely believe that postage is that cheap.

 

Offline PetrosA

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2011, 11:43:28 pm »
I don't do enough international buying here to know the system well, but I don't think it's anywhere near as bad as what I experienced living in Poland. I paid up to 100% of an items value in customs (not VAT) for items sent over by family by regular post. UPS was faster but required someone be home or go to their pickup point.

Here in the US the current issue is state sales tax in many areas. Online retailers must collect state sales tax for sales within their own state and within states where they maintain stores, but not for sales to other states with some exceptions. My state (Pennsylvania) is trying to enforce collection of sales tax for online purchases by forcing residents to declare their online purchases and paying sales tax on them at the end of each year. We'll see how this all ends - I know PA wants Amazon to collect (it's one of the biggest online sellers) but they're resisting.
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Offline Achilles

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2011, 12:24:37 am »
That's interesting PetrosA... So that means if I buy from a shop in Texas for example, but get it delivered to Oregon for example, and the shop has no sideoffice there, they won't collect tax (as I expectd due to all the notes on US onlineshops).
And there is no sales tax then collected on delivery?! So it means no tax for purchases from another state? That would be kind of crazy I think.....

To the Poland customs: maybe you got the wrong person there and they added "custom customs". My brother lost some things in customs in France. He bought a Blackberry (from a Reseller) in the US and got a quote that is has been confiscated as not genuine in customs. Then he called the customs office and well, the Filenumber he had been given didn't exist. There was no incoming parcel for him. A Friedn of him had the same issue with an Digicam has uncle bought on Amazon in Japan and sent him (his Parents are Japanese and moved to France).

These things never happened to me, but I also wouldn't buy very expensive parts in China or the US.
 

Offline rf-loop

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2011, 07:53:18 am »
maybe my 70% was littlebit too high (or too low if look other way becouse VAT calculate after duties)

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:261:0002:0018:EN:PDF

so this "anti dumping" duty is "only" 48.5% for Chinese made bicycles.

It was other product where percent was 70% (some building material)

So if I buy 100 Euro bicycle. Duty is 48.5 euro. If there are no shipping cost, after 148.5 Eur (dependent of country VAT%) example after VAT25% price is now 186 Euro free inside country. Nearly 1/3 of VAT total is only just as tax over tax (duty and VAT both are "tax like" payments.. This VAT after duties and total including shipping etc... it is really from black hole..

We are lucky with chinese digital oscilloscopes becouse duty is 0%. Only need pay VAT for total (item itself + shipping)
I think also it is better to buy to Luxembourg and then send to other EU country. (if someone buy more than just one or two.)

BTW it is restricted in EU to give hidden subvention..... but some countries do not follow rules..  but still they ask others follow rules.

I do not like protectionism and double standards.

« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 08:17:45 am by rf-loop »
If practice and theory is not equal it tells that used application of theory  is wrong or the theory itself is wrong.
It is much easier to think an apple fall to the ground than to think that the earth and the apple will begin to move toward each other and collide.
 

Offline Mat

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2011, 09:56:45 am »
In Switzerland, VAT is 8%. If the value of VAT for the item (including shipping costs) is higher than CHF 5.- (5 Swiss Francs = 5.8 USD), then you have to pay VAT plus CHF 18.- for customs clearance. This means that you don't have to pay anything for items below CHF 62.- (= 72 USD). If you have to pay, you simply pay the postman when he delivers the parcel.

M.
 

Offline PetrosA

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2011, 01:20:11 pm »
That's interesting PetrosA... So that means if I buy from a shop in Texas for example, but get it delivered to Oregon for example, and the shop has no sideoffice there, they won't collect tax (as I expectd due to all the notes on US onlineshops).
And there is no sales tax then collected on delivery?! So it means no tax for purchases from another state? That would be kind of crazy I think.....

That's exactly how it works. I recently bought an Asus Transformer in a local store for $399, plus 6% PA sales tax (total = $422.94) plus fuel to get to the store. If I had bought it online from Amazon I would have paid $389.88 with no state sales tax AND I would have qualified for free shipping from Amazon. Since I wanted to use this for my business and include it as a cost, I have two options: I can either buy it locally like I did and pay a little more, or I can buy it from Amazon or someone else, fill out a bunch of paperwork and report the purchase to the state and pay the 6% sales tax. I personally REALLY hate paperwork, so I prefer to buy it locally and pay a little more. There are some online stores that calculate and collect various state taxes for their customers even if they don't have stores in that state, but it does increase their pretax prices since they have to do all the tax work.

On the one hand, it seems ridiculous that vendors don't collect state taxes but the other side of the coin is that there are 50 states with different tax codes and conforming to all of them can get very complicated. One company that I have bought from online that does this is Hilti. I had to call them because they had charged my card some outrageous tax amount and they explained that some states have state, county and township taxes that all have to be calculated and charged, and their system sometimes has hiccups because of this. It would be much easier if the 50 states could make their tax codes more uniform on this issue.
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Offline Achilles

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Re: Customs service export/import
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2011, 06:33:03 pm »
Ah OK, the official way is to report the purchase and pay tax, but it's interesting that they don't charge automatically.

At least, it looks, it is a lot of work there too to take the official way.
 


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