Import duty

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l3jog | 12:32 Tue 05th May 2009 | Business & Finance
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I want to buy some dog grooming clippers via e bay from Hong Kong as they so much cheaper than the UK, but not if I have to pay loads of duty on them. Does anyone know anything about rates of duty etc or where i can find out from please? Thank you!


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It's complex.

Goods under �18 do not attract duty or VAT.

Over �18 and you may have to pay customs duty, VAT and an administration charge set by the company delivering the goods. These charges are calculated on the overall cost including postage costs.

Allow around 30% of the overall cost of the goods and you have a very rough estimate of the total costs.

Customs duty is only payable on imported goods (from outside the EU) with a value of �150 (�120), although payment is waived if the amount of duty is less than �10 (�7).

Import VAT is payable on all internet shopping bought from outside the EU where the value is above �22 (�18).

If you have to pay one, or both of the above, then you will also be charged an administration/collection fee by the carrier (Royal Mail, Parcelforce etc.).

Question Author
Thank you both, thats very helpful - at the moment the item is below the �18.00 barrier but would be over obviously with the postage and packing - I'm assuming that is not taken into consideration? This same item is selling for over �100 in the UK so you can see what a saving it is, even if I have to pay the duty, - but I didn't want to get charged on the UK price, as you say its very complex!
Two points then.

1. If the item itself costs less than �18 then the postage charge is ignored in the total.

2. If something only costs less than �18 from Hong Kong that costs over �100 in the UK then you should ask yourself the question - "Is what I am buying genuine?".

If it looks too good to be true then it very probably is too good to be true !!!!

Question Author
Yes Rollo, I did consider that! However as there are several others offered all at a much higher price, I'm hoping they are selling the first one off cheaply in order to get the ball rolling.... If its not the real deal - well, I can easily put it back on, can't I? Many thanks for the info

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