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Customs tax from USA?

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Hausofhana

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I have been looking at buying some beauty products from the USA online, mainly because I can save a couple of quid because of the currency conversion rates (don't judge me, we're in a recession!!)

I Often get nail tips, bowls, jewellery, brushes, eyelashes from china and have had no problems with import tax. However I'm not sure if the USA is different, as I know you have to pay a lot if you buy a pair of expensive shoes like Jeffrey Campbell's from America.

Any knowledge on the subject would be greatly appreciated!
 

Divine h & b

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I ordered loads of nail art supplies a few years ago it came to about £40 worth didn't get any customs tax!
 

Hausofhana

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LondonRee

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In theory yes, you should pay VAT (20%) on entry. But sometimes they slip through the net.

Otherwise we'd all buy everything overseas!
 

kasik

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Just ask in your Customs Office. In Germany under 50 EUR is free, between 50 to 150 EUR I pay VAT, all above - 19% VAT and around 10% duty. I guess in UK numbers may be different, but pattern similar. And quite often small packages slip through customs.
 

persianista

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I just bought some art, and got stung for around 30% import tax.
 

Divine h & b

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Hausofhana

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persianista

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I claimed it back off my next vat return, but if you are not vat registered you won't be able to do this.
I was really shocked at it. I bought a painting from a Canadian artist for £150 and had to pay another £50 to release it from the theiving bandits at customs.
 

Catherine S

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They seem really hot on stuff coming in from the USA. I ordered a leather journal for my dad for his birthday, I asked them to tick "gift" on the customs declaration (and they did) thinking that should do the trick - still got a £45 import bill, more than the thing was worth. The problem is they charge not only the 20% (on the goods AND the postal charge), but they then charge a handling fee for having to clear it for you (like you had a choice) which always seems to be at least £10.

I think the reason for this is because stuff sent with USPS gets handled by ParcelForce, who come after you for every penny. The only other choices from the US are expensive couriers like DHL and FedEx and UPS but they won't be much better, they do everything by the book too. Whereas when you order stuff from China, their channels (for small packets anyway) seem to go unchecked, I don't know if the Chinese companies are just a bit more lax and don't bother declaring stuff for customs purposes or what, but I definitely know what you mean because I've ordered a few small things from China before and only got a customs bill once, and this was for £4 or something silly.
 

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