Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Purchasing kit from non-EU countries

A salient tale for anyone looking to purchase kit or other goods from non-EU countries.


Having got all excited about purchasing an American made Tomahawk the HMRC quickly rained on my parade. Rather naively perhaps I thought that with me sorting the sale and postage the only thing I'd need to add was patience.

$270.00 was the total cost and when I converted from dollars to sterling it became £208.00 which almost seemed like a saving.

Once I started tracking it online I found that it had been through around half-a-dozen different places during it's journey and once holed up in Coventry I noticed the phrase revised customs charges raised. After a brief and unfulfilling look at the customs information charges online  I rang to find out what the charge might be and was told that the figure would be £57.52! 

So let's have a look at my charge breakdown...

Customs duty £2.73
Import vat £41.92
Clearance fee £13.50 (zero rated for VAT, well phew, thank goodness for that!)

It feels like everyone has dipped their bread and whilst the information was out there to check I feel like this has really soured the whole buying experience. I know it was a slightly extravagant purchase (for me at least) and I initially wavered with the postage added but as I previously said, it all seemed OK when I converted dollars to sterling as it is a lower number, 'You only live once' then decided it for me.

For a fuller breakdown of any potential fleecing visit the HMRC website and read Notice 143: a guide for international post users.

Interesting too to note that the journey from the USA to England was three days, time in England to clear through this daylight robbery red tape was eight days.

Suffice to say if I'd known about the pre-delivery financial kicking I was going to get it would have made me wobble and we'll have to see what happens post Brexit too. All that said I'm really really pleased with my hawk.

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