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Author Topic: International shipping....customs,customs,customs  (Read 2815 times)
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Location: Navarre, FL

« on: December 11, 2011, 04:17 AM »

Alright, some of the reason people don't like doing things is that they are often unfamiliar with the rules and the terminology.   As is my case with a customs doc and insurance value. 

Can I insure for any value even if it's not the same as the declared value?  I can't afford to be left short-changed if the package is lost or thrashed in shipment.   I don't like eating costs to save a buck or two. 

The buyer said to mark the package as a gift with a declared value below $60. Will this not directly effect the insurance coverage amount?

Please someone who shipped outside the US clarify this a little. 
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2011, 04:36 AM »

this will affect the basic coverage that the shipping company will give you if something happens to it....
you can always pay more for insurance...and the shipping rate will go right up!

Kites kayaks & corgis again!!!
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Location: Long Island

« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2011, 05:15 AM »

Hey Justin...
It's the buyer's loss if anything happens to it. They're the ones dictating the terms of the shipping, so they're the ones taking the risk if something should go wrong. Just my 2 cents...

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Location: Port Louis, Mauritius

« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2011, 08:08 AM »

Hi all,

interesting thread here. As i am not in the US and purchase always online and always deal with these kind of things, would like to know a bit more of it.
Tom is selling a kite to Jerry for $100 and shipping to him cost $20
What amount Tom needs to declare and fill out customs form and insurance?
Jerry needs to be sure if anything goes wrong with the package, Tom and himself get back amount or similar so no one loose money here. Jerry of course will take any additional cost his local customs ask here.

Tom is selling a kite to Jerry for $100 and shipping to him cost $20
Can Tom put only insurance amount and shipping amount without mentioning it has been a sale and say it is a gift to Jerry? In this case what minimum amount can be put here to protect both buyer and seller.

Thanks for any inputs by those used to ship worlwide



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Location: Lincolnshire, UK

« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2011, 09:40 AM »

OK, I think this is right for the UK - the Revenue Service web site isn't the easiest to understand and I used to work for them!!

Goods below 15 or Gifts below 40 aren't liable to charges.

Goods between 15 ( or gifts over 40) and 135 are only liable to import Value Added Tax (VAT) @20%

Over 135 they are liable to VAT plus Customs Duty usually charged at 2.5% of value but this charge is waived if it is below 9.

On top of this there may be a handling charge from Customs and the Post Office to deliver to your nearest office where you pay customs charges. Worst of all these charges seem to vary wildly and no-one seems to pay the same amount even on similar goods! It all seem to depend on which side of the bed the Customs Officer got out of!

It all adds up!

So if I were to buy say a BMK Exile from one of you guys and you sent it as a gift worth under 40 it would save me a lot of money as I doubt many Custom Officials would know the difference between a BMK and something cheap and nasty.  Once I had paid you for the kite and if we agreed to do this, then as far as I'm concerned if it gets lost in the post thats my risk and I would accept that I would be out of pocket.

A friend of mine imported a silver Fox this year all properly declared and paid 27 in VAT and clearance charges.

Of course if I import from Europe most of the above doesn't apply
« Last Edit: December 11, 2011, 09:45 AM by Hadge » Logged

Age and cunning will always overcome youth and skill!

In the bag - HQ Shadow, Prism 4D, Flying Wings Soul Mid Vent, HQ Jive (1), Spiderkites Zodarion, 'Paw' modded HQ Maestro ll, HQ Delta Hawk.
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Location: UK south coast

« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2011, 10:28 AM »

That sounds about right (I'm UK-based as well). If I ask seller to declare a lower value, and kite gets lost in the post, I'm out of pocket, as insurance will only cover declared value.

I've bought kites from the US on several occasions, and always had the real value declared as I didn't want to run the risk. Of course, that's my choice. From experience, my rule of thumbs is that I pay in the price of the kite in $$$ once shipping, import & customs duties, handling fees, etc are taken into account.

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Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2011, 01:33 PM »

I live in Argentina, here we pay 50% (duties + VAT + etc) of the CIF (Cost, Insurance, Freight) value, so if I buy a 200 US dollars kite and pay $20 shipping, I'd have to pay another $110 USD here to get it out of Customs. So, a Prism E3  would cost me $270 ( 160 + 20 + 90 ) here; expensive, isn't it?
As an anecdote, I once won a Prism 3D in VF15 (IIRC) it was air mailed to me all exactly declared at $100 + $20 shipping, I had to pay $60 USD here at Customs. In another opportunity my Australia resident son sent me a Prism Zephyr as a gift, it was declared at 300 Australian dollars, local Customs decided Australian dollars were the same as US dollars and charged me 150 US dollars. Sometimes gifts are quite expensive here :-(
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2011, 02:07 PM »

Customs and duties -- ugh! We regularly get yelled at by nice customers who get ugly surprises. And there is very little we can do about it!

Rules change for each country and are applied with varying degrees of regularity. In other words, you may get charged one time and not another. And this may vary depending on how a parcel is sent.

International post is cheapest. But there is a size limit that vary by country. No tracking. And I find the insurance on international post useless. if something goes wrong, each country blames the other and we never collect.

Fed Ex takes bigger parcels, and offers good tracking and insurance. But it is also more expensive, and you may get stung with broker fees.

We are regularly asked to list a lower value for the product to save on taxes. Putting aside for a moment ethical issues and the consequences of getting caught lying on these forms, if the value is listed lower, you can't insure for a higher amount. Or if you do, you'll only get reimbursed for the lower amount....

We're often asked for a shipping estimate. That's a reasonable request. But it requires us to pack, weigh and measure a parcel, to often be told the cost is too much.

All international shipments require special handling, and lots of extra paperwork.

The answers depend on where you live and how big or long the package is.

Bottom line -- international shipping is a PITA. It takes more time and often gets customers (unfairly) angry with us. That's why most stores don't bother.
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2011, 07:32 AM »

If the buyer asks you to declare a lower value make sure they understand they accept all liabilty for the difference in the case that the package is lost or damaged and keep a record of that agreement.

It's scary hearing what these import costs can be, even on gifts. My niece spent a year in England in school and missed some of the foods we have here (peanut butter especially) that are not readily available there. I think she could've almost flew home home, gorged herself and flew back for what she had to pay to get that jar and the Reeses her mom sent her out of customs. Probably some problems with how she declared everything, I hooked her up with Steve here to help her get it right next time.

"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see" John W Lennon

"People do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" George Bernard Shaw
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