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"Customs for UK-to-US Purchases?" Topic

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Lepanto05 Sep 2013 10:10 a.m. PST

I am in the US and have never before purchased figures from makers in the UK (or anywhere overseas.) Can anyone tell me about what to expect for the tariffs and other charges from US Customs and the Postal Service? Any other thoughts on the process are also appreciated.

Thank you.

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Sep 2013 10:18 a.m. PST

Nil normally – I don't know the threshold values / exempt categories for US import duty offhand, but I've never had a US customer mention being charged duty.

evilcartoonist05 Sep 2013 10:20 a.m. PST

I order often from the UK, and I've never had any extra charges.

Lee Brilleaux Fezian05 Sep 2013 1:45 p.m. PST

You'll be fine. Unless you want a couple of thousand dollars worth at once. Even then, the problem will mostly be muscle strain.

John Sowerby05 Sep 2013 1:58 p.m. PST

I believe it's up to $200. USD

GarrisonMiniatures05 Sep 2013 2:05 p.m. PST

I've never had a customer mention paying any customs dues.

Generally it's too expensive to send large orders in one package, so they are normally send as two or more and wouldn't hit a $200 USD limit anyway.

45thdiv05 Sep 2013 2:08 p.m. PST

If it is shipped DHL you will pay . I have never had any issues with any figures I have purchased from the UK, but last year I purchased some tea that my wife likes and paid $30 USD USD in duties that DHL claims they have paid.

If you order anything do not have them send it via DHL.


Mako1105 Sep 2013 2:16 p.m. PST

Yea, agreed.

They tack on fees for everything.

Lepanto05 Sep 2013 7:23 p.m. PST

Thank you all. This is all good to know.

SJDonovan06 Sep 2013 3:34 a.m. PST

Coming the other way – US to UK – I am convinced whether you get charged customs depends on the size of the box rather than the value of the contents. I buy loads of stuff from eBay vendors in the States and the only times I've been hit with customs charges are when the stuff has been packed in an unnecessarily large carton.

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Sep 2013 4:25 a.m. PST

There is an element of that; enforecement's been getting more rigorous for quite a while, but if checks happen to be a bit patchy when your parcel comes through, big boxes will be the ones that attract notice.

Lepanto06 Sep 2013 2:22 p.m. PST

I have another, somewhat related, question. Some vendors explain on their websites the details of removing VAT charges for orders shipped outside the UK/EU zone, while others make no mention of this. Do I need to ask those in the latter group to remove the charge and invoice me outside of their standard check-out system?

Lee Brilleaux Fezian06 Sep 2013 2:54 p.m. PST

Most of the small vendors don't pay VAT anyway – they are below the income threshold.

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Sep 2013 3:03 p.m. PST

What he said – the majority of wargames firms are too small to be VAT-registered in the first place, in which case there's no VAT to remove. There's never any harm in double checking, but 9 times out of 10 the omission's because there's no VAT in the first place.

myrm1108 Sep 2013 9:16 a.m. PST

Its a common mistake to assume that VAT will automatically be removed – its normally US posters because they are a) the largest in number b) outside the EU so could remove it and c) used to seeing sales taxes being removed in a number of instances cross state etc. These combine to make the non-removal of VAT seem unfair to them, but it is just the way the UK system works.

While VAT is a sales tax it is not the same as US sales taxes and small enough businesses do not have to register to be levied VAT, so have nothing to remove (it means the business in question cannot avoid VAT on things it buys to run). So you get this two tier system and a lot of businesses in our market fall into the non-VAT registered group bt not the big boys

darclegion08 Sep 2013 4:45 p.m. PST

Spent probably $10,000 USD plus over in the UK, never paid any taxes anywhere. Go for it!!!


Lepanto09 Sep 2013 8:59 a.m. PST

Thank you all again--I appreciate the instruction.

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