International shipping to the UK

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International shipping to the UK

Joined: May 22nd, 2010, 1:04 am

May 26th, 2012, 9:13 pm #1

I recently shipped a punch and die set to a modeller in the UK. He contacted me today saying that he was unhappy because the post office said not enough shipping was paid and he would have to pay it in order to get his package.
I've shipped a few of these to other modellers in the UK, and have never had anybody contact me about this. I've also shipped other packages to the UK and haven't had any problems.
I told him that it was taken to a USPS post office, weighed by them, and the proper postage was applied. I also informed him that I didn't think the post office would even process it, let alone ship it, without the proper postage.
I figured it was probably some sort of customs charge they were trying to pass off as "not enough postage".
Anybody have any ideas or similar experiences?
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Joined: March 2nd, 2005, 3:52 pm

May 26th, 2012, 9:23 pm #2

You're right - the postage on the part of the USPS would have to have been correct, otherwise they wouldn't have sent it. The UK's parcel system is privatized, and from everything I've seen and heard in recent years, it's simply a racket to extort money from recipients. There are numerous, unevenly applied, and arbitrary charges for receipt of packages.

Once it's accepted into USPS custody, it's out of your hands (literally and figuratively), and there's nothing whatever you can do about it.
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Joined: May 22nd, 2010, 1:04 am

May 26th, 2012, 9:33 pm #3

He told me what he had to pay extra, and it was just shy of $25USD. It only cost $7.68USD to ship it from the USA to the UK.
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Joined: March 19th, 2007, 9:06 am

May 26th, 2012, 9:38 pm #4

Probably VAT, although I don't know what it is and isn't applied too.
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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 1:47 pm

May 26th, 2012, 9:39 pm #5

I recently shipped a punch and die set to a modeller in the UK. He contacted me today saying that he was unhappy because the post office said not enough shipping was paid and he would have to pay it in order to get his package.
I've shipped a few of these to other modellers in the UK, and have never had anybody contact me about this. I've also shipped other packages to the UK and haven't had any problems.
I told him that it was taken to a USPS post office, weighed by them, and the proper postage was applied. I also informed him that I didn't think the post office would even process it, let alone ship it, without the proper postage.
I figured it was probably some sort of customs charge they were trying to pass off as "not enough postage".
Anybody have any ideas or similar experiences?
Before people go too far down the bad mouthing route..

Normally, in my experience, shipping is (or is often used as) a collective term for everything, when in fact it splits down into three component parts.

1- shipping- if you agree and pay your end,then this is what it will only ever be- period- end of.

2- Import duty- normally a set rate (I think 10%?) However, this is normally bundled in with something called a "customs clearance fee" which is charged by HMRC (you don't **c* with HMRC= Her Majesty's revenue and Customs.)

I imagine if you were a real pedant, one could say they do not want to pay that charge- but then you may have to wait an extremely long time for customs to be cleared and the package released to the British Post Office for final delivery. The exception to this is if lets say the whole transaction is entrusted to Fedex or similar for customer to customer delivery. I would imagine in the small print of the docket you sign when the parcel is collected from the sender, that it states that there may be fees to pay at the other end.

3- VAT- Value Added Tax- currently running at 20% in the UK. On small packages it may well be waivered, especially if it is plain to see the contents must be a gift below a certain value. For even small business shipments ( I have many times ordered parts for my business from the US- and they are ALWAYS subject to VAT.) If for example one ordered three expensive kits- the thinking to be to save on carriage by doing it this way, then the declared value will be large- and therefore very likely to be collared for VAT.

It seems to me, that the sender may unfortunately not have been aware that his customer was maybe not really aware of what might happen once the package begins it's tortuous journey through UK Customs.
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Joined: October 2nd, 2008, 12:12 am

May 26th, 2012, 9:44 pm #6

I recently shipped a punch and die set to a modeller in the UK. He contacted me today saying that he was unhappy because the post office said not enough shipping was paid and he would have to pay it in order to get his package.
I've shipped a few of these to other modellers in the UK, and have never had anybody contact me about this. I've also shipped other packages to the UK and haven't had any problems.
I told him that it was taken to a USPS post office, weighed by them, and the proper postage was applied. I also informed him that I didn't think the post office would even process it, let alone ship it, without the proper postage.
I figured it was probably some sort of customs charge they were trying to pass off as "not enough postage".
Anybody have any ideas or similar experiences?
Customs charges. If you took it to your local USPS, I'm sure the shipping charge was correct. OTOH, VAT, Fee's etc, are not the responsibility of the shipper but the buyer, and are not included in the USPS shipping charge. Not your problem, but the buyers problem.
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Joined: May 22nd, 2010, 1:04 am

May 26th, 2012, 9:52 pm #7

I recently shipped a punch and die set to a modeller in the UK. He contacted me today saying that he was unhappy because the post office said not enough shipping was paid and he would have to pay it in order to get his package.
I've shipped a few of these to other modellers in the UK, and have never had anybody contact me about this. I've also shipped other packages to the UK and haven't had any problems.
I told him that it was taken to a USPS post office, weighed by them, and the proper postage was applied. I also informed him that I didn't think the post office would even process it, let alone ship it, without the proper postage.
I figured it was probably some sort of customs charge they were trying to pass off as "not enough postage".
Anybody have any ideas or similar experiences?
Sorry, I should have posted this in the Lounge, nt.
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Joined: May 22nd, 2010, 1:04 am

May 26th, 2012, 10:03 pm #8

Before people go too far down the bad mouthing route..

Normally, in my experience, shipping is (or is often used as) a collective term for everything, when in fact it splits down into three component parts.

1- shipping- if you agree and pay your end,then this is what it will only ever be- period- end of.

2- Import duty- normally a set rate (I think 10%?) However, this is normally bundled in with something called a "customs clearance fee" which is charged by HMRC (you don't **c* with HMRC= Her Majesty's revenue and Customs.)

I imagine if you were a real pedant, one could say they do not want to pay that charge- but then you may have to wait an extremely long time for customs to be cleared and the package released to the British Post Office for final delivery. The exception to this is if lets say the whole transaction is entrusted to Fedex or similar for customer to customer delivery. I would imagine in the small print of the docket you sign when the parcel is collected from the sender, that it states that there may be fees to pay at the other end.

3- VAT- Value Added Tax- currently running at 20% in the UK. On small packages it may well be waivered, especially if it is plain to see the contents must be a gift below a certain value. For even small business shipments ( I have many times ordered parts for my business from the US- and they are ALWAYS subject to VAT.) If for example one ordered three expensive kits- the thinking to be to save on carriage by doing it this way, then the declared value will be large- and therefore very likely to be collared for VAT.

It seems to me, that the sender may unfortunately not have been aware that his customer was maybe not really aware of what might happen once the package begins it's tortuous journey through UK Customs.
of all the possible extra charges, once the package got into UK customs. From now on I think I'll include some sort of disclaimer stating that VAT's, customs fees, etc. are not included in the shipping charges and are the responsibility of the buyer.
Thanks for all the responses.

Chad
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Joined: November 17th, 2006, 1:18 pm

May 26th, 2012, 10:41 pm #9

Sorry, I should have posted this in the Lounge, nt.
Lots of traffic here on HS from UK buyers of WNW's 32nd kits in the past 2-3 yrs. 70+ USD and free post from NZ to the UK for the kit, but then they were getting hit w/ UK Parcel Force 'handling' fees and such. In many cases adding 20+ USD to the final total for UK modellers to finally ransom/free their WNW pkg from the authorities. And it was usually just for 'paperwork'!

I get the feeling from UK HS posters that it can be hit or miss. Some inbound to the UK pkgs get thru w/o charge.

Oh, and I think it's on the buyer to know his local postal/customs req'ts. It's in the fine print of all the big online model shops (HLJ, Lucky, Sq, Sprue, etc). Don't ask, they won't label it as a 'gift' AND local custom's fees are the responsibility of the buyer. Your customer must not buy from overseas much. In the USofA, we're lucky, hobby stuff comes in w/o custom's chgs. Knock wood!

From the HLJ Help Page,

4. I'm worried about import duties and taxes I may have to pay. Can you mark my package as a gift, or lower the declared value so I don't have to pay as much?

No, we cannot. The full value of your purchase will be displayed on the customs label on the outside of the package. There are no exceptions. False customs declarations are a crime, and HobbyLink Japan plays by the rules. We depend on good relations with the post office to get packages to our customers. The postal agents in many countries, especially the ones here in Japan, are also familiar with our company and know that we don't ship gifts.

To USA Customers: Please note that there are no taxes, duties or tariffs on the import of hobby products or toys into the United States. You will not pay any extra to buy from us.

To Customers in Other Countries: While we sympathize with you, especially those persons in some S. American countries who pay import duties of up to 60%, taxes are a part of life and you will simply have to add these costs into your purchase planning when you decide whether or not to use our service. Please note that since importers in your country also have pay these same taxes, and also tend to mark the price of the merchandise up significantly, we think you'll find that buying from us is cheaper than buying locally even when you add in the cost of import duties.

NOTE: Please be aware that in all cases the customer is responsible for paying these fees and for providing any and all documents required by Customs; failure to pay fees or provide documents will result in the package being sent back to us, at our initial expense. The customer will then be held responsible for that cost and all return shipping costs, non-payment of which will result in the customer's open orders being cancelled and the customer's account being locked. If a reship is requested, those shipping fees will also be charged.
Last edited by bookmark460 on May 26th, 2012, 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: March 2nd, 2005, 3:52 pm

May 26th, 2012, 10:54 pm #10

of all the possible extra charges, once the package got into UK customs. From now on I think I'll include some sort of disclaimer stating that VAT's, customs fees, etc. are not included in the shipping charges and are the responsibility of the buyer.
Thanks for all the responses.

Chad
If you're not in the UK as the sender, it's not your responsibility. You can't possibly know the customs/postal regulations of every other country. If someone lives in the UK, it's their responsibility to know the rules and abide (or not) by them.
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