Bag Stuck In Customs, They Want My Ss#???

  1. Technically, I guess this is not an eBay issue, but I am hoping maybe someone who deals with eBay may have some advice.

    I finally bought one of the bags I have been wanting from a friend overseas. I posted awhile back about wether to declare full value etc... I decided that it was too risky to underdeclare, so I told my friend to put the correct value and I would pay the customs fees. Now it says there is a "clearance delay", so I called and was told that they need either my social security number if the item is for personal use, or my tax ID number if the item is for commercial (resale) use.

    My friend marked it a gift.....why in earth would they think it was for commercial use? It's not like I bought 5 of the same bag. They want me to fax the info they requested. I am not crazy about having to fax my personal info. to anyone because I had a problem with identity theft a few years ago. Has this ever happened to anyone? I am more then a little upset by this. Thanks.
     
  2. I thought if the item is marked as gift, you don't have to pay custom fees
     
  3. No, that is not how it works. I believe every country has a limit on how much can be declared as a gift. In Canada, we pay duty on everything valued over $60.
     
  4. If the item is marked a gift, and is worth less than $100, you don't have to pay duty (in the US). For any value over that, the 'gift' designation is completely irrelevant.

    I think the SSN is required just because it's a general taxation issue, but I don't think you'll be able to get the bag without providing it. I had to do this once and the customs broker was very clear - no SSN, no package. Alternatively, you could tell them to return it to your friend and have her re-send it via a different method - (e.g. EMS if she used a courier this time) - and you might have better luck.
     
  5. She used EMS - the bag is coming by DHL. I finally faxed them the info that they requested because, just as you said, they told me my package would not budge until they received the info. Now I have to wait for the info. to be "processed" and put into my "file". According to DHL, my package was just randomly selected to be verified. Lucky me. :mad:
     
  6. I had this happen to me before and It took a while to get through to someone to talk to and then it was easily straightened out!
     
  7. it happened to me too, i have a used bag sent marked as gift but the value put on 600$ and they want me to pay freaking 450$ for custom!

    i have the bag sent back and asked a friend when they came from US to bring it to me a year later
     
  8. Yes - you have to give the SSN, unfortunately.

    In therms of taxation, etc., they may be using a computer to check and see if someone imports a bunch of goods, in which case you may be running an undiclared business to avoid paying taxes.

    I had to fill out a Dept of Homeland Security form when I bought a wallet on eBay from germany. I've never had to do it before. The bag I bought from England didn't require one although I paid customs for both.