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rknewcomb
17-Dec-2009, 13:27
I'm trying to send a camera to Linhof Studio in England for a repair. I'm afraid of the possibility of a big hit on import duties or VAT tax through UK Customs even though the camera is not changing ownership - just there for a few days for service and repair.
Does anyone here know how I go about avoiding these taxes?
thank you.

Patrick Dixon
17-Dec-2009, 13:51
The best approach is probably to ask Linhof Studio how to avoid it, and if they don't know, ask them to phone the Customs and Excise helpline to find out.

rknewcomb
17-Dec-2009, 14:28
They didn't quite know either. I know when Custom bellows in England made a bellows for me, they had me put " IPR SUSPENSION” on the package, but I don't know if that applies to this situation. Maybe they can call the tax people and find out as you said.

Patrick Dixon
17-Dec-2009, 14:45
If they are VAT registered (which I assume they are), they could just pay the VAT and claim it back as 'input VAT' on their VAT return - but that's probably not technically the right thing to do. I'll ask a friend of mine tomorrow - he may know.

The IPR SUSPENSION thing might work, but it might be that you have to pre-register to be able to receive goods that way.

Bob Salomon
17-Dec-2009, 16:33
Where are you located?

eddie
17-Dec-2009, 17:58
mark the customs forms "return for repair" or something similar. what value are you insuring it for? if you can trust them only insure it for a bit and then you will have no problems. EMS mail from the PO is very fast and they have not lost any of my stuff yet. you can track it on line as well.

keep us posted.

eddie

GPS
17-Dec-2009, 18:11
mark the customs forms "return for repair" or something similar. what value are you insuring it for? if you can trust them only insure it for a bit and then you will have no problems. EMS mail from the PO is very fast and they have not lost any of my stuff yet. you can track it on line as well.

keep us posted.

eddie

That's what Grimes wrote on my shutter, insured for the whole value... I paid the whole amount of taxes regardless...:)

rknewcomb
17-Dec-2009, 18:33
I'm in the USA.
I think I'd pucker too much not insuring it:eek:
I went to the UK Import Duties webpage and wrote them an email. Maybe they will give me some good information.
I probably will contact the Linhof Studio again to see if they can help on that end.
If all else fails, I'll write on the customs form "in for repair" and hope for the best.
Since we're this close to the holiday, going to wait until the first of the year, although I would have liked to have the work in progress.
If anyone comes up with some good information please let me know.
Thanks for the help.
Robert

big_ben_blue
17-Dec-2009, 20:52
I usually put on the declarations form "temporary export for repair/service". Worked the few times I had to send stuff out for repair (although Canada-US, not across the pond).

B.S.Kumar
17-Dec-2009, 23:51
In Japan, I have to get the customs office to record the item as being sent out for repair. This ensures that when the item is returned, no duty is charged in Japan. I was also told that it would help the repairer avoid paying duty. Perhaps something similar might work for you?

Kumar

Steve Hamley
18-Dec-2009, 00:28
Robert,

Mark it "Export for repair and return" and there shouldn't be a problem, and declare the value as zero. I've done that before sending items to businesses.

Cheers, Steve

deadpan
19-Dec-2009, 14:42
Speak to HM Customs in the UK. They told me a while ago exactly what to do (Sorry forgotten exactly what they advise) and how to mark any paperwork - this was, however for sending a camera for repair out of the UK rather than into. I think they hold a reference as well. Linhof studio could make the call for you to save $$$ on your phone bill. I think you need to inc. a copy of the purchase receipt in the package to prove that you have paid any duties due in your own country, and to prove that you have already purchased it.

When I phoned they told me because I had logged the case, if any duties were payable, I could claim them back due to having a reference number for the case.

GPS
19-Dec-2009, 14:59
...

I think you need to inc. a copy of the purchase receipt in the package to prove that you have paid any duties due in your own country, and to prove that you have already purchased it.

...

I remember something similar too, when I was told, after-hand, how to proceed. The paperwork was such that I gladly forgot it for the future. Unless I had papers for every Paypal payment and Ebay purchase step for the item I would be out of luck anyway...

Bob Salomon
19-Dec-2009, 15:37
The whole matter is pointless since Linhof factory service in the USA (Marflex) is as good or better then anywhere else. There is no reason to run the risks of export and repair in a foreign country. Unless you just want to spend money.

rknewcomb
19-Dec-2009, 18:45
I'll be sending the equipment to Martin at Marflex. The shipping costs and tax risk are too high.
Thanks for all the help.

eddie
20-Dec-2009, 04:52
That's what Grimes wrote on my shutter, insured for the whole value... I paid the whole amount of taxes regardless...:)

boy, that sucks. you could not convince them it was yours to start with. sounds kind of dodgy that you would have to pay duty on an item you already owned.......

i am glad the USA does not charge customs duties on anything of mine. i even declared 1200$ of commercial goods at the airport one day (we get $800 no worries) just to see what happens. they let me go no tax, no worries.....but i have very good luck with customs, immigration etc etc.

GPS
20-Dec-2009, 05:36
boy, that sucks. you could not convince them it was yours to start with. sounds kind of dodgy that you would have to pay duty on an item you already owned.......

...

It does suck, indeed. And I needed to pay a tax even from the postage of the package!:) Grimes (not even asked to do so!) had the best intentions though...:)

rknewcomb
20-Dec-2009, 08:09
I once bought a petzval lens from a company in the UK. It turned out not to be what had been stated so I returned it. Marked the package "returning to country of origin" and still had to pay $50 taxes. So it cost me $50 plus shipping just to look at the lens.

GPS
20-Dec-2009, 10:05
Right. Custom officers were infamous already in the biblical times...;-) Nowadays it seems as if with the greater travel freedom (at least in Europe) they invented even more ways to take you to the cleaners. In some cases, sending the merchandise to a friend in the country of its origin and bringing it back with a cheap airline undeclared is a better option - especially, when you plan the visit anyway.
When I used to receive checks from photo stock agencies in a foreign country I cashed them there to avoid several additional rips off at home. Now even this is not possible - although double imposition is avoided by new measures.

Dirk Rösler
20-Dec-2009, 19:57
Be sure to mark as "No Commercial Value" and avoid UPS/DHL etc, use EMS. Set the value low or zero, insure appropriately to actual value.

Dirk Rösler
20-Dec-2009, 21:22
Why do you think the shipping forms have separate sections for item value and insurance value then? I inquired at the post office about this before and the two values do not necessarily have to be related.

If it is insured and gets lost or damaged you are indeed entitled to compensation under the terms of the insurance. That's why you pay the insurance premium. The item value is for import/customs purposes. You can choose to under- or overinsure I suppose, depending on your preferences. It also depends on the country where you are importing and their rules.

rknewcomb
21-Dec-2009, 07:41
Maybe I'm being too honest... I would not want to set the value at zero and then try to insure for $2500.
It still remains that I won't know for sure on the import taxes until after it is in their hands and I'll have no way to recover the expense.
It is also a situation with the US Post Office. One can insure an item via Express Mail for up to only $650 not the $2500 that is more in line with it's true value. To get the true value insurance one must send it Global Express Guaranteed which will cost about $200
it just isn't going to happen.
thanks though.

Patrick Dixon
21-Dec-2009, 09:25
Declaring a value as one thing and insuring it for what it's worth is neither dishonest nor fraud: it's not like you should be paying any duties on a temporary import for repair purposes only, it's just that the bureaucratic system is not designed to cope with the relatively small number of transactions involved. It is your duty as a free citizen in a democratic world to make the system, flawed as it is, work for you in the correct way, and marking the goods as TEMPORARY IMPORT FOR REPAIR: VALUE FOR CUSTOMS PURPOSES = NIL, whilst insuring it against loss or damage by the carrier, is doing just that.

GPS
21-Dec-2009, 09:46
...
It is your duty as a free citizen in a democratic world to make the system, flawed as it is, work for you in the correct way, and marking the goods as TEMPORARY IMPORT FOR REPAIR: VALUE FOR CUSTOMS PURPOSES = NIL, whilst insuring it against loss or damage by the carrier, is doing just that.

As already said by others, marking the goods in this way doesn't help. If it worked in this way, whatever dude could write it there when buying goods and be happy...
You need to add proofs of purchase and ownership first and only then write the story about a repair...

Patrick Dixon
21-Dec-2009, 11:14
As already said by others, marking the goods in this way doesn't help. If it worked in this way, whatever dude could write it there when buying goods and be happy...
You need to add proofs of purchase and ownership first and only then write the story about a repair...

Actually it does. Providing you mark the goods as less than £18 they will pass through without attracting duty. The people that have posted here that have had a problem (including yourself), have AFAICT, put the replacement value of the goods on the customs form - which being more than £18, will attract duty and a non-returnable 'processing' fee.

If you send to a VAT registered business they should be able to claim the VAT element back anyway (which is usually most if not all of the customs charges), but they will still incur the processing fee and the inconvenience.

GPS
21-Dec-2009, 12:09
As Dirk said, it also depends on the country where you're importing and their rules. See also post #12... Also, declaring value as 0 can be fraud in itself if the value is not such. You cannot import a pound of gold and mark its value as 0. Let alone the fact than in many cases the shipping postage itself is more than £18 limit etc.

Patrick Dixon
21-Dec-2009, 13:19
You can legitimately mark the value as zero because that is what you are charging the receiver for the goods. They are not paying you anything for the items so there is no value to declare duty on and the cost of shipping is irrelevant because it doesn't form part of the 'price' of the items.. That doesn't mean the item is worth nothing from an insurance ptv though.

I believe the title of the thread is "UK import Duties ..." so if you want to discuss other country requirements you might prefer to start a new thread.

Patrick Dixon
21-Dec-2009, 13:21
I guess given that I'm now the only one that can 'see' GPS' posts, this must look like a bit of a rant on my part ...

GPS
21-Dec-2009, 13:39
You can legitimately mark the value as zero because that is what you are charging the receiver for the goods. They are not paying you anything for the items so there is no value to declare duty on and the cost of shipping is irrelevant because it doesn't form part of the 'price' of the items.. That doesn't mean the item is worth nothing from an insurance ptv though.

I believe the title of the thread is "UK import Duties ..." so if you want to discuss other country requirements you might prefer to start a new thread.

See the p.*12 though...
And yes, even if shipping is not a part of the price of the item it enters into the taxes calculation, that's the bad point.

GPS
21-Dec-2009, 13:47
I guess given that I'm now the only one that can 'see' GPS' posts, this must look like a bit of a rant on my part ...

Don't worry, the fact that somebody sees or not my posts doesn't change anything on the quality of your rants...

GPS
21-Dec-2009, 13:54
I'm trying to send a camera to Linhof Studio in England for a repair. I'm afraid of the possibility of a big hit on import duties or VAT tax through UK Customs even though the camera is not changing ownership - just there for a few days for service and repair.
Does anyone here know how I go about avoiding these taxes?
thank you.

In fact, your problem is the opposite. You wouldn't need to pay an import tax for the camera arriving to the UK but rather when arriving back to you from there. For that you would need to ask your domestic customs. The repairing firms have their own way to avoid getting taxed for cameras coming in for a repair. In that the poster #12 was right.

rknewcomb
21-Dec-2009, 17:25
Yes, I "should" be able to send something to a country for a temporary amount of time and not have to pay duties. And, I "might" be able to fill out forms in such a way that I "might" get away without added taxes.
The problem is that "if" it doesn't work It will cost me a lot of money that I don't have
Or, can I ask for donations from eveyone here if the tax axe falls on me?

percepts
21-Dec-2009, 17:56
In fact, your problem is the opposite. You wouldn't need to pay an import tax for the camera arriving to the UK but rather when arriving back to you from there. For that you would need to ask your domestic customs. The repairing firms have their own way to avoid getting taxed for cameras coming in for a repair. In that the poster #12 was right.


So you think the repairer is going to bear the cost of import taxes for his camera do you. Clever...:rolleyes:

GPS
22-Dec-2009, 02:55
...
The repairing firms have their own way to avoid getting taxed for cameras coming in for a repair. In that the poster #12 was right.


So you think the repairer is going to bear the cost of import taxes for his camera do you. Clever...:rolleyes:

How did you come to that "clever" conclusion?:rolleyes: