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  1. Hi All I am not sure if people are aware of the charges by customs in the UK for gifts sent to family and friends. I have lived here for 6 years and posted (as you may imagine) many presents over this time. The last few i have been late sending so used Express Courier International. This is a 'quick' service which has proved to be a joke! They are suppised to take around 3 working days, each one i have sent has taken at least 2 weeks! They get held up at the sorting office, then when tracking it states 'delivery attempted' NO CARD IS LEFT, then when they do deliver they take to to any neighbour who happens to be in and get them to sign for it! Very secure NOT!!!! Anyway, i paid $80 to send my sisters 50th birthday presents on 1 October, they got held in customs and she has had to pay VAT and clearance fees on her present. Apparently these fees have always been there (even though there have never been charges before), so i have checked into this, after speakng with a 'stroppy Essex Girl' at Romford ( and i am from Essex so this is not a dig), who told me to call customs and then calling customs 10 times (from Brisbane at 11.41pm so i am tired and feeling stroppy) only to be constantly cut off as soon as the call goes through - i can hear them talking to each other!!!!! :arghh: I have found the following: 2.3 What are the limits for customs duty and import VAT? Commercial consignments of £18 or less are free from customs duty and import VAT. For example, goods purchased over the internet with an intrinsic value not exceeding £18, will not be charged any duty or VAT but this does not include alcohol, tobacco products, perfume or toilet waters, see paragraph 2.5, 2.6 and section 3. If you are sent a gift with a value of £36 or less, and which complies ,with the rules shown in paragraph 2.4. it will be free from customs duty and import VAT, but this does not include alcohol, tobacco, perfumes and toilet waters. Customs duty becomes payable if the value of the goods is over £120 but duty is waived if the amount of duty calculated is less than £7. There are a number of other circumstances where relief from some or all customs charges may be available. If you think your goods may be eligible for a relief you should contact the Helpline for further information. top ^ 2.4 Gifts Goods sent as a gift that are over £36 in value are liable to import VAT. Customs duty also becomes payable if the value of the goods is over £120 but is waived if the amount of duty calculated is less than £7. To qualify as a gift: the customs declaration must be completed correctly the gift must be sent from a private person outside the EU to a private person(s) in this country there is no commercial or trade element and the gift has not been paid for either directly or indirectly the gift is of an occasional nature only, for example, for a birthday or anniversary. Please note if you purchase goods from outside the EU to give as a gift to a relative or friend, whether or not addressed to that person, is treated as a ‘commercial consignment’ for which the import VAT relief threshold is £18 (paragraph 2.3 refers). top ^ 2.5 Do gifts of alcohol and tobacco products qualify for relief from import duties and import VAT? NO. Excise duty is payable on all alcohol and tobacco products regardless of whether they are a gift. Oh, and to top it all, she arrives here on Monday for a 3 week holiday so i should have just held them till she arrived! So, in future i will be sending several small parcels, all under 18 pounds in value or otherwise just lie about the value!! Rant over Cheryl
  2. Guest

    BEWARE - Rentals and Pets

    I want to let you all know how hard it is to find a rental with a pet in Perth at the moment. I wish someone had advised me of this before I made the decision to move here as I would not have arrived without accommodation sorted. I left my dog in the UK, he is due to fly out next week... sadly though I can not bring him as I still can not find a rental that allows pets. I am crushed... I cry every day and basically if it does not happen soon then I am going to go back to the UK with my family in tow. Everyone says 'get over it, it's a dog' NO... He is MY dog, MY family and I want life with him... I would NEVER have left him in the UK... from day 1 he was always coming... I honestly thought I would have found a house ready for his arrival... but no... there is nothing!! Please, please bear this in mind... I have not only shed a million tears, I have also lost a hell of a lot of money too :sad: (So you know, I am looking for a 4x2 NOR Perth WA)
  3. Guest

    Beware Apple iPhones etc.

    http://news.yahoo.com/iphone-4-explodes-midflight-australian-airline-224014583.html Honestly, I value my life more than any personalized training they can provide. That said, does the training include a part on extinguishing fires by any chance???? :tongue:
  4. Hi all, I did all the right things, set up my account with Common wealth Bank from the UK...the only issue was, I set up a joint account for myself and my wife. A week before I came out, I transferred over circa 10k (can't find the pound sign on a Aussie keyboard). I then got to Sydney last week and absolutely love it...only problem is, I can't access my funds. I did everything right, went to the bank with my passport and other ID, the only problem is, because it's a joint account, my wife has also have to be identified :arghh: I thought that I could get my ATM and credit card however, if it's a joint account, you both have to be ID'd by the bank. My wife will be out in two weeks time as I came out first whilst she waits to ship the goods. Beware if your situation is the same. I have to say that the bank manager has been excellent and has allowed me some funds. Also, CBA in London have also been excellent and been in touch with my wife to get a bank/accountant in the UK to copy her ID and email through to the local branch. I guess you learn these things as you go however, if I knew this was to be the case, I would have opened the account in my own name and then add my wife when she got here. Hope this helps someone. Regards Mike (In Sydney and it has surpassed all my expectations)
  5. Guest

    Beware of Pigs in Cairns!

    Pigs might not fly, but they occasionally fly off the handle like one feral porker in north Queensland. Weighing in at over 100kg, he has terrorised a town north of Cairns, rampaging through a hospital and attacking the locals. Apparently alarmed by a fire in a nearby sugar plantation, the pig lumbered through the front doors of the Mossman Hospital on June 26, announcing his presence with a chorus of squeals and oinks. Increasingly agitated by a lot of people in a confined space, he made an emergency exit by smashing through a window and fled down the street, chased by two men in a truck who hoped to herd it back into bushland. But the porker scurried across the Captain Cook Highway, dodging traffic before splintering the front gate of Ken and Zhanna Belsar's home. Mrs Belsar was in the front yard at the time and tried to fend the beast off with a garden shovel. But the pig broke the shovel and bit Mrs Belsar on the leg before she managed to scramble back inside her house. 'It was terrifying, I screamed so loud the whole neighbourhood heard it,' Mrs Belsar told AAP. Her husband said it was then that the two men who'd chased the pig arrived on the scene. One of them, a big fellow, tried to grab the animal, but he couldn't hold on and it tossed him several metres. Finally the pair were able to subdue the distressed animal and kill it. 'We can laugh about it all now but at the time it was really frightening,' Mr Belsar told AAP. 'I don't know what we would have done if those two blokes hadn't been there because we had this feral pig stuck in our back yard and the poor thing was really agitated.' Mrs Belsar later went to the hospital to have her wound treated. 'She's from the Ukraine and they don't have anything like this over there so it was pretty scary for her,' her husband said.
  6. I thought I start a new thread for this so other people will be informed too. In the last few days I had a lively email exchange with different airlines regarding luggage allowance for persons who are going to Australia for the first time on a temporary (also long-stay 457) visa. So after four tiring email attempts with BA I finally got a short and clear answer: ---- Dear Dr M, I am sorry if previous replies failed to answer your enquiry. Qantas do not offer any special baggage allowance for passengers entering Australia. They have an excess baggage charge of 50 Aussie dollars per kilogram in excess of 23 kilograms. Regards Barry British Airways ---- This means everyone booking a flight via BA which is operated by Qantas (see small print or details while booking) or with Qantas directly can only take 20kg per person. However, this seems to apply mainly for flights from London to Melbourne. I just thought I might share this so you will be able to avoid the shock of a lifetime.
  7. helenarthur

    Beware time zone - medicals!!!!!!

  8. paulv

    Vigilante's beware!

    Make sure you take a deep breath before you go all gung ho... Boss forced to pay £13k to compensate stealing employee - Telegraph
  9. I would just like to warn any Engineers thinking of moving to Queensland. In Queensland it is illeagal to work as an Engineer unless you are a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) or are directly supervised by one. It is a costly and time consuming exercise so unless you know for sure that you will be supervised by one do not take a job as an Engineer. It is you as an individual that will be prosecuted not the company so beware. Engineers Australia administer the scheme but you will find that you will also need to splash out a lot of money to join them first, although apparently thats not a requirement!. They also have very rigid membership criteria that does not recognise work based learning so unless you have a 4 year engineering degree forget it. My advice to Engineers wanting to move to Australia is to think very hard about Queensland and if you still want to practice here make sure that you can either survive for at least 6 months without work or work for a company that has an RPEQ to supervise you. Only Queensland have been crazy enough to implement this restrictive policy and hopefully it will soon be thrown out. Many RPEQ engineers are very unhappy with the arrangement because they pay money to become an RPEQ then they get prosecuted by the same body they have paid the money to if they or someone supervised by them make a mistake. The policy is also damaging the QLD economy by restricting the inflow of talented Engineers from outside QLD. I was lucky enough to find a company with an RPEQ but should an engineer from the UK with over 35 years experience with some of the top companies need to be supervised? They do in QLD!
  10. Guest

    Beware Buses!

    Just nearly been taken off the road for the second time in a week by a bus. It's give way to buses here but the bus drivers push this to the limit. One pulled out about 10 metres in front of me on a main highway with me doing 80K and caused me the screech to a halt! He then drove away as if nothing had happened. Watch these guys they can be dangerous. If you see a bus treat it like its a loose elephant on the road and you'll be OK.
  11. I am not entirely sure how many lines of work this could affect but... from my own experience and talking directly with other ex-pats, it could be a significant number. We emigrated in 2008 after the usual elongated process of ensuring our qualification met the "exacting" standards of the Australian Imigration Authorities who in our particular case, meant that they needed to satisfy themselves that the internationally recognised ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) was creditable. Nevertheless, after a great deal of toing and froing we obtained our independent visa only to find when we got here, that the tax authorities do not recognise the qualification and therefore you are basically worthless. Likewise a friend of ours had all his electrical and plumbing qualifications that he had obtained over many years in the UK and which were totally acceptable to the imigration department when applying for entry. However, when he went searching for work in Oz, he was told he would need to requalify as these pieces of paper confirming his levels of expertise meant absolutely nothing. My hairdresser told me of a similar experience she had when first arriving. The qualifications that were scrutinised and checked so methodically by the authorities prior to getting the visas appear to be next to useless when actually finding work once you have arrived on these shores. In the end, she had to return to college and retrain in order to prove what she and everyone else already knew. If these are isolated cases then all I can say is how unfortunate I and my friends have been but I do recall watching an episode of "Wanted Down Under" when a police officer who was working in quite a senior position on helicopters in the UK was told by the australian police force that he would have to return to "the beat" if he wanted to continue his career in the force once he had emigrated, even though it looked as if he knew more than his interviewer during the tv interview. Me thinks all this is part of the Aussie Psyche which leads them to believe they are so much better than anyone else. Possibly because being so isolated and sadly lacking any significant means of understanding world affairs or feeling that what goes on elswhere is totally irrelevant. What's particularly frustrating is that when the Australian Government hold these wonderful Migration Seminars in the UK almost begging you to move to Oz, they tell you absolutely nothing about these hurdles. For many, the consequences could be devasting. Just imagine arriving "down under" hoping for a better life and ending up in a situation where you cannot get work doing what you are qualified to do, just because the government and the trade associations don't communicate with one another.
  12. Jag Khairra


    I just came across this website Australia Visa | Australia Immigration | Visa for Australia through another forum and it seems that this company has no ABN records or OMARA registration information on their website. As per their website, they seem to be operating from their Melbourne office at Level 27, 101 Collins Street Melbourne, VIC 3000 which is a virtual office.
  13. loulou1205

    Australian Phone Scam - Beware!!

    Everyone beware of this: PHONE CON: No, that is not "Microsoft" calling We had a phonecall this evening from a woman claiming to be from Microsoft. She said that there was a virus on our computer and that they were calling to repair it. This rang alarm bells because how did she get our number (via our wireless router she told me!!!!!!) and why would Microsoft call us?!!!!! I questioned her on this and she hung up. Luckily I didn't do what she was asking me to (go to run and run a program she was giving us the name for). I did a search on google and found this news item (link above) and hundreds of forums of other people experiencing this and falling for it, having bank accounts emptied and paying $250 for the privilidge!!! I expect this has been posted before but thought, as this just happened today, might be worth telling everyone!! Seem to be targeting Aussies. Made me very angry because mother in law was just about falling for it. Hoping they will call back so I can tell them what I think of them!!
  14. We had a land/house that fell through recently. To cut a long story short it was an acre piece of land with a shabby house on it. It was sold to us with 'live here while you build your dream home ...' The agent is based in Olinda We paid the deposit, signed contracts etc, 4 days before move date we had a letter from our solicitor stateing that the house had an order of it to be demolished and that we cannot live there!!!! The agent knew about this but did not tell us!!! We manage to get all of our deposit back. The agent concerned has not replied to my letters or emails at all!!! It has cost us $3000k in fees (building plans, legal fees etc). I want these back! If anyone wants to know the name of the agent PM me and I will tell you. He is a crooK!!! I am in the middle of making a complaint with REIV I work with the public in many places. It is a great way of having a conversation. 'Do you live locally?' 'Well no we had a house that fell through ...' óh, what happened .... well there as this agent ..............' :arghh: If there is just one customer that maybe might just thin twice about using this agent after my experience then that would be great.
  15. Guest

    House buyers beware

    Here's a little story about Fred and Betty (Names changed for legal reasons). Fred and Betty were over the moon, they'd only gone and found a nice little house, a little piece of oz, a little bit of soil with a structure on it, something they could call home. A bit like little house on the prarie, good night Jon boy, get the picture etc, etc. Fred and Betty were as i say made up, put offer in on house and it was accepted. Now this is where Fred and Betty became a little alarmed as their solicitor informed them that part of the house had no planning approval, and would you Adam and Eve it, the seller forgot to mention this, and the estate agent certainly forgot to mention it. It only came about because Fred and Betty made sure they did council seaches for their own piece of mind as this is not bought up when the building inspector comes round. You can imagine poor ol' Fred and Betty's alarm when they found this out. Now luckily after hounding the agent, the sellers have now come up with council approval so luckily for Fred and Betty this has now become a clause in their contract that all documents be shown and proven within the next couple of weeks before settlement. So Fred and Betty have a get out clause if this crucial piece of paper doesn't materialise. So the moral of the story that Fred and Betty would like to share is make sure you check what you're buying has council approval for everything that is upon it. Fred and Betty would like to thank you for your time and hope you enjoyed their little story and learn by it. Just in case any solicitors or legal bodies are reading this Fred and Betty would like their final word to be 'allegedly'.
  16. Guest

    Beware of Blondes!!

    Ok so I just need somewhere to vent.... Will probably look back in a few days and think its hillarious!! So I was really homesick when we moved over (nearly 6 months ago), so when I heard that all my friends in Scotland had got TinthePark tickets I was straight on to get mine!! Firgure i'll just tell one of my friends and keep it as a surprise for the rest of them!! Well its gone and blown up in my face!! Best friend, the bimbo that she is has only gone and sold her ticket so that she can come over on holiday!!! So i've had to ruin my surprise and tell her that she can't come on holiday, cos I won't be here!! :arghh: So she is now off to see if she can get her ticket back, fingers crossed!! :eek: Sorry for the long post just needed to get it off my chest!!
  17. Mongrel

    Beware rental police

    Hi peeps Beware of the rental police , we left a rental aug 31 after 2 weeks in uk landed 23rd OH cleaned it like a new pin ,apert for one red wine stain ( not me ), thats after having the carpet cleaned by a so called pro! . Got bond form back ,we knew they had got someone to get stain out no dramas , OH YES $350 F%^&((*( BUCKS , gizza job i can do that . Oh and 350 clearin urban rubbish ,a few and I mean a few at the side from yhr next doors trees ,, beware peeps Mally peed off and ripped off
  18. Guest

    beware of telemarketing

    i took the job but then it was hard selling on the phoine when people are having thier dinner and you get told to ***** of so decided it wasent for me was a bit like school as well. julie:sad:
  19. megmor

    mechanics beware

    As from the 30th of june ALL motor mechanics have to be licenced to carry out repairs in wa inc plant mechanics The wa goverment have split the licence into subclasses to raise extra revenue. we came here 2 months ago and set up our own business in the vehicle repair sector. We now have to register the garage as well as well as all the staff. the cost of the individual licence approx $75 The company name licence approx $2000 Although its another headache providing police checks, planning permission paperwork it will stop all the back yard mechanics in wa. hope this helps ian and paula
  20. Hi Everyone, When it comes time to wind everything up in the UK, and you close your accounts with utility companies etc – (In my case, phone companies….) confirm when the last payment will be taken from your account by the phone company. After the final payment has been taken from your account, CANCEL your direct debit. If you use online banking, do not simply cancel the DD on there – phone your bank and do it. And make sure that they cancel ALL DDs to that particular company. A particular phone company has a reputation for setting up not one, not two, but THREE direct debits when you sign up with them. When you simply cancel your DD online, they will just take more money against one of the other 2 remaining DDs.:jimlad: We did contact the phone company (on about 4 occasions now) and they could not explain how they were able to take the money, and, as we had cancellation references, they were full of promises to refund us the money. (This started in February, and we’re still waiting!!) I had to contact our bank in the UK to find out what was going on, and how they were able to continue to take money out of our account. The lady at the bank explained the business of the 3 DD’s on our account. She also said that there were other companies who worked the same way – she named some well known gyms and internet providers. The bank was very good and refunded us the money as they could see we had cancelled the DD twice already, however it is a real pain in the backside when you need to resolve issues like this from half way around the world!! Save yourself the headache!!:idea: Cheers Jules
  21. Hi Guys, This may sound a bit negative - and I'm not usually so bear with me. If you are on CSL and get asked to go for your meds and PCs you may feel safe enough in doing that - but are you ?? We did, we spent the money ( for the 5 of us it cost around the £1,000 mark ). However, less than 3 months after the original CSL was published as we all know it changed without warning. Those having been told to get their PCs and meds who dropped off the list are not being processed any further. There are quite a number of us out here. With no promise of processing before our meds and PCs expire we have been abandoned by the Australian authorities. This can't be right but no-one seems able to do anything about it. My point for you lucky ones still on the CSL is watch out - ask DIAC if there is another update planned before you go and pay for those meds otherwise you could end up like us. I'm starting another post for all of us who have been victim to this - so if you were told to get your meds by DIAC and have now dropped off the CSL please share your story. You are not alone !
  22. Hi guys, Mr Wattswalkabout here. Firstly i would like to say that my family and i have been in Pacific Pines on the Gold Coast for 6 weeks now and we are just loving it. There is not a day goes by that we do not pinch ourselves incase we are dreaming that we live here. Its the best thing, by a mile, that we have ever done. The place is paradise and we have met some truly lovely people along the way. If any of you guys are having second thoughts about moving here, then dont, get your bags packed and get over here. Come and join the rest of us and have the time of your lives. Whether we are walking, biking, driving or just lazing around we have a permanant smile on our faces. It was well worth all the two and a half years of worry and stress trying to get here. Now to the work side of things.... This is a different story! I am a Carpenter/Joiner with 29 years experience in the Uk. Of that i spent the last five years working for myself. So, obviously, that is the skill that got my family into Australia. I was fully prepared, before i got here, to go back into the workshop enviroment, no problem. Well!! having marched around the different companies around this area and getting the same response from them all...we havent got much on at the moment but leave us you details etc....i decided that i didnt want to be stuck in a workshop all day anyway if i was honest with myself. Not in this climate anyway! With that i decided that i would set up my own business as a sole trader. This is where the fun starts. Firstly, i got my Australian Business Number, no probs there. Then i proceeded to get my Business name sorted, somehow we came up with Zoom Joinery, fine, i got that passed. $250. I then thought i was up and running, Oh no! On trying to get an ad in the local paper i was told i would need a license to be able to work for the public and also the Government bloke on the phone said he suggests i put the word carpentry in my name otherwise i would not be able to fit kitchens and cabinets etc and would have to do a course to the cost of $2500. So i took his advice and got the name changed to his suggestion, another $250. I am now Zoom Carpentry and Joinery. I then downloaded all the forms for a building License and took them along to the appropriate office. Great!! Have you got your overseas assessment certificate sir?? No, i replied. i have my TRA though that got me into the country....That does not mean anything sir,and you also need to go on a business management course... What??? Dont be daft, i have been doing this for 29 years, i said... So what? was the reply. I went home with my tail between my legs and phoned the assessors. He also said that the TRA did not mean a thing and i would have to fill in loads of forms to prove my experience and i would have to take a practical test etc etc. Then he would assess my forms and seek out all my references and they have an office in the UK that would be able to see if i was telling the truth or not. After completeing all the checks and so on he would then come round to my house and have a dicussion with me about my trade and conduct a small theory test and then proceed to go through my TRA with me. WHAT!!!!!!!! I said. The same bloody TRA that does not mean anything in this country??? Yes, HE said. Oh and by the way, all this was going to cost $960 plus the cost of the management course. I proceeded to fill in the relevent forms and included, My stat decs from the UK, my accounts letter, suppliers letters, references, photos, you name it and it was in. It was then that i stepped back.... Wait! Why should i do this? I know that i can do this job..29 years infact.. They were beginning to make me doubt i was capable. With that i opened a drawer and chucked all the paperwork in to it, That is where it is still! I am not going to be involved in what i think is just a money making scam to prove something that i have been doing as a professional for so long. I have decided to leave that for a while because i can work for the public on contracts upto the value of $1100 and i can sub-contract with no probs. I have though had to get Liability ins. $600 and Accident and Sickness ins $750 and have all my power tools checked and tagged, i do not know the cost yet. Anyway, i am determined to make all this work come hell or high water and i will not be beaten. The place and lifestyle is to fantastic for me to give up. This is just a warning for those of you that think you will walk straight into a job, It may prove to be harder than you first thought. Thanks to everybody who has been giving me there advice and support. THE DREAM IS A REALITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  23. keily

    Beware !!!!!!!!!

  24. hi all just thought i would let you know i have just booked my tickets to adelaide and agent said both emirates and singapore allow 40 kgs .the trouble is that emirates do not fly direct to adelaide so you have to change at sydney or perth this is where the problem is as you then change to a domestic flight and they do not allow 40kgs. i did not know this as i nearly booked on the internet with emirates hope this helps . dobba
  25. Guest

    tradesman beware ?

    hi all , sorry about the headline . I just want to give a little bit of advise as regards the construction industry in W.AUSTRALIA . My brother has just come back from WA after traveling some 6000k over the last six weeks throughout the state .Me being a brickie waiting for my visa , find out what's going on ? basically from talking to lots of trades the general feeling is that things were getting very tight , the price's were coming down quite a bit , which mean's things are slowing down .Like i say I'm a brickie that's been sat on my arse for the last month ,checking status page everyday ,no work in sight at the moment, but i am at home in familiar surroundings . Please think carefully about selling up and going to the promised land , things are'nt that rosy for the locals let alone us wannabe's ? I am trying to be totally upbeat ( ive been selling this idea to family & friends for the last 4 years ) but there is lots of underlying issue's that are out of my hands . Like i say dont want to be an alarmist, but a little bit worried !