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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

    customs- robbing barstewards!

    We had six dinning room chairs out of our shipment that needed treating as they had straw seats. We were told that the backlog for treating is six weeks so not to expect them in a while. I have had them delivered 5 days after the rest of our stuff arrived. In exactly the same packaging that they were sent in! Two of them have been opened but they were packed in such a way that you would not be able to get them back in without it being obvious. They do not smell or appear to have had anything done to them at all! And for this... we have been charged $285. Daylight robbery A X
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