View Full Version : importing from U.S

el pescador
26-Nov-2012, 02:22
I'm thinking about buying some camera equipment from a dealer in the U.S, and i'm wondering whether there are any import taxes to pay on the goods and if so how they would be collected and how much they're likely to be? Anyone had any experience on this matter?

26-Nov-2012, 02:28
That will entirely depend on your location...

el pescador
26-Nov-2012, 02:33
sorry i forgot to mention I'm in the U.K

26-Nov-2012, 02:38
Here you go:


In practice, when I used to live in the UK, I bought plenty of items for more than 135 and never got taxed on it.

26-Nov-2012, 02:44
If you're lucky you may not pay anything extra.

Other times it's Import duty around 7% then VAT at 20% on the item(s) and the postage, that works out over 30% as these all compound, then the Post Office or UPS etc charge 8-10 to collect these duties.

Having said that US prices are so much lower than the UK that you save money even if you do get caught for the duties/tax. It seems that they are getting more efficient unfortunately, at one time I rarely paid anything extra now it's become more usual.


26-Nov-2012, 03:30
I'm also in the uk and have successfully bought new and secondhand camera items from the USA mindful of the need to pay the proper duties/import tax on them. I use a service called bundle box.com (http://www.bundlebox.com) which provides you with a US postal address and then they organise all the forward shipping calculating tax/import/duties and courier costs into account. This service works well for me anyway and I usually get the items within 3-5 days, essentially they make their money on the courier costs. There is a ready reckoner calculator on their website that gives you some indication as to what the likely costs are going to be. Often even with these additional costs it still works out cheaper than the UK.

26-Nov-2012, 05:30
With one exception I have always had to pay duty and VAT on my US imports. Once HMRC got it wrong and charged me 50% vat but with the requisite form I got a refund. I would advise against getting the sender to declare it as a low value gift (it is fraud and many vendors won't do it) as this makes claiming insurance for lost items difficult. My principal beef is with the brokerage charge levied by the post office and many courier companies but it is unavoidable.

26-Nov-2012, 05:31
On another note if you think the US prices are reasonable you should see some of the bargains that are coming out of Japan. Also on balance I have found their postal service to be more efficient.