I hate customs charges, but buying from abroad does incur them but they invariably get it wrong. Charging used clothing (about 5% charge) as new clothing (12%) charge and you NEVER have a come back for it. I have tried before but you might as well ask the Queen.
My last kimono parcel for the next 12 months has been marred by an inaccurate hideous charge. I work out charges normally using this: http://www.dutycalculator.com/ because when they do catch you (and lets face it is not all the time so I should not complain) it helps you understand what you have to pay. Royal mail charge about a £12 processing fee, Parcelforce charge about £8.
However in classic bumbling they have charged the ‘new clothing’ rate to a load of ‘vintage’ clothing. It says vintage/used on the parcel in ENGLISH but they don’t seem to be able to read,due to the problems with illiteracy in the UK I am not surprised to be honest.
Fortunately these kimono are a business venture (rental) so it will count against tax so I almost ‘get back’ 20% of the cost, which off sets the customs charge in the end. But not now, right before Christmas with more presents to buy.
Well that’s MY rant over, no wonder business hates to import stuff to sell and set up warehouses abroad. The government needs to help business import so we can export because the last government killed any manufacturing in the UK we don’t make anything here any more 🙁
In the states you can import up to $200 for personal use before you pay taxes, in the UK we can have something costing £37 (this must include shipping costs) to not incur a charge.
One of the main reasons I am not going to buy anything from abroad next year is due to the VAT rising. I imagine import duties will rise also as the government tries to keep the money circulating in the UK. This is a double edged sword, good in some respects (keeps the money in the UK and in my bank account) bad in others (I, like many others will just stop spending next year).
On the upside, now I am down from my soap box…I have tomorrow off 🙂