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> Importing Gear From The Us, just a hint
MickeM
post Aug 18 2008, 11:09 AM
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There was a topic some time ago about importing a guitar from the US and if the customs would add a fee.

From europe, that's one thing. But from the US i belive they are tough on electric parcel containments.
Got my parcel today with new tubes and an attenuator. I had to pay an extra 450 SEK ($70) fee for VAT and customs fee. The goods costed 160 USD and the postal feel was 45 USD so compared to the cost of goods the $70 fee was quite a bit. And I just was handed an unspecified reciept of the cost so I don't know exactly what the customs billed me for.

So it didn't just slip through as I expected it to. My bet is that electronics is what they picked up on.


I never ordered tubes from the US before, just did it now since I was buying a Weber attenuator at the same time. Perhaps tubes alone would have gone through without VAT and custom fees. Idk.


Best thing for you guys who are imporing guitars to find out if an electric guitar would get VAT and taxes added is to call customs and ask. I was just dealing with small amounts so it didn't matter too mch on my account, I got my attenuator and the tubes ended up costing the same they would here. But with a guitar you're dealing with a lot more money.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 18 2008, 11:25 AM
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Thanks for sharing the experience mate, it means a lot. Many of us wants to order something from USA, since there is the best gear, and although it is safe to say that the goods always make it through here, quite often the problem is - customs and nothing else sad.gif . As you say, if we check out custom rules and regulations, than possibly it would not be too much of a hassle to order something and don't worry too much for taxes.


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fire
post Aug 18 2008, 11:43 AM
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yeah IMO its very unlikely that ANY packets make it through the customs from the US, exspecially since the dollar is so low.

I even had to pay the incoming taxes for my GMC price (pandora 4XD) ~22$ for me. Even i said it was a gift (and i had a letter, too) they didnt believed me :/

I think they just open any packet coming over the sea, that seems to have kind of a "worthy" content, cause the custom makes lots of money this way..

just my opinion:P

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2mazzo
post Aug 18 2008, 11:45 AM
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I bought my schecter C-7 from the us, and the price was 750 usd. I was expecting to pay 180 usd in vat and custom fee. The bill vas on 60usd. They had sendt the guitar as a gift valued at 200 usd. In Norway you can get gifts valued up to 180 usd without paying taxes. So you can save some money if you check the customs home page first smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 18 2008, 11:48 AM
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That is very clever thing to do 2mazzo, I'll try to do something similar wink.gif


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Bondy
post Aug 18 2008, 11:48 AM
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I have ordered gear from the USA a couple of times and have had to Pay a customs charge of £29{$60} it sucks but the gear was still cheaper than here in the uk
BEWARE of the dreaded import tax lol


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 18 2008, 11:49 AM
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Import taxes for guitars are lower than for electronic equipment here, don't know why unsure.gif


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Fran
post Aug 18 2008, 12:01 PM
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QUOTE (fire @ Aug 18 2008, 12:43 PM) *
I even had to pay the incoming taxes for my GMC price (pandora 4XD) ~22$ for me. Even i said it was a gift (and i had a letter, too) they didnt believed me :/


I didn't have to pay a single cent of customs for my prize, maybe I got lucky smile.gif

Matter of fact, I have never in my life payed a cent on customs, and I have some friends in the US who send me stuff now and then, but they always label their packages as "gift", and they always arrive safe & sound. The same is true about the packages I send their way.

I have even ordered some stuff (mainly Cds) from US amazon back in the day, or ebay stuff from people overseas, and they never charged me on customs... maybe I'm just lucky!

Most of the time when I order something it's from some other country here in Europe though, and those are always customs free.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 18 2008, 12:27 PM
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It really depends from country to country I guess. Somewhere taxes are so small on some goods that customs don't even look to smaller goods and imports, only the large ones. The important thing to know is now the customs work in order to find some way around.

I ordered a package of 4 elixir strings from eBay, and they sure charged me big money for customs, but I didn't send it to me as a gift or anything, and that is probably the reason why sad.gif Nevertheless the strings in the end cost me less then here. (Elixirs goes here @ 32$ per set!!)


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Bogdan Radovic
post Aug 18 2008, 12:33 PM
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Well I'm really into this stuff and have ordered online and didn't pay for customs not once...I'm really interested in buying more expensive gear in the future to see how it goes..Labeling "gift" helps I think...


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MickeM
post Aug 18 2008, 12:52 PM
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Labeling "gift" is a popular way of skipping customs. But I don't think it's water proof. If customs suspect something to be fishy they can withold the package and you don't get it released until you either prove it's a gift or cough up the customs feel.
And trying to fool the customs is an illeagal act so there could be more to come if you get caught. If they even borther to check the gift packages that is. Maybe they never do.


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Bogdan Radovic
post Aug 18 2008, 01:09 PM
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I wander what qualifies for "Gift" labeling ? How much value etc ? Its quite possible to have friends overseas buy some expensive stuff and send it as a gift for some special occasion smile.gif


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-Zion-
post Aug 18 2008, 09:19 PM
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well.. as some of you may know, i have been looking for ways to not pay customs.

I've heard both the "gift" option as well as the "to be repaired" phrases being used, and i know for a fact that the "gift" option usually doesn't work..

The fact of the matter is that every package coming from outside is supposed to be taxed. Those lucky enough to get through is probably because the value of the package is below a certain amount so it doesn't qualify, or the customs officers just were too busy that day.

That said i am still going to take a guitar home with me from the US. Even though i live in Sweden i use Copenhagen airport to travel. So my plan is to buy a guitar in the US, mail the original receipt to my home address, then have the same shop (or some other random fellow in the us) to write me a "I have sold this guitar for this amount of value to this particular guy" receipt.

These "receipts" is something that is usually done in Denmark when buying stuff from other private users. In case you get stopped on your way home with loads of hardware, you can present the note from the seller and be on your way.

So anyways. I will have this receipt with me and my guitar. im guessing the amount will say 40-50% of the original value, and when i land back home in copenhagen i will just walk through as i would usually do.

Should i be stopped by customs agents i say i didn't realize i had to register the guitar in denmark, since i dont live in denmark, but actually live in sweden. (actually i just learned yesterday that they can actually put taxes on it in denmark, and when you register your product in sweden you will get the taxes from denmark back.. However, i will act like i dont know this)

But should i get stopped by agents, i will now have a receipt on me stating the price of 40-50% of the original value, making my tax-bill that much lower than it would otherwise have been. Thats the plan anyways. I mean, how can they check that it's not the right price?

So, if you buy stuff online from the us, you could have the seller put a lower selling value on the package. However, keep in mind that the package is only insured for the value stated on the package, so should anything happen to the package, well then it could very well end up being more expensive than just paying the taxes.

It's a trade-off, and you should make sure whether or not you are willing to take such risks. Both in the customs department and in the lowering of package value department.

just my two cents.. smile.gif

edit: 100 post.. first milestone.. biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by -Zion-: Aug 18 2008, 09:22 PM
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rokchik
post Aug 19 2008, 12:20 AM
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I can't speak for other countries but I know for Canada the "gift" option is only for $60.00 CDN. Anything over and above that amount is subject to duty and tax. Now coming from the USA for us, as long as the guitar is made in the USA, it should be duty free due to NAFTA and only GST will apply ( or HST depending on what province you live in) I would assume most other countries would have a $$$ amount listed for any gift exemption.

Best to check with a local customs office if looking to import anything. They should be able to advise you of any taxes, excise taxes, import fees, or any permits etc. that may possibly be needed / assessed. This way you can do all the math to see if things will indeed be cheaper smile.gif

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