CL Customs charges- advice needed

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  1. I purchased a pair of Wallis Zeppa's from ebay, really good price of £100. I found out yesterday that there were customs charges that needed paying but I had to wait for a letter from Parcelforce confirming the amount before I could pay it and get my package sent to me (I am in the UK and package was sent from the US).

    I emailed the seller just to find out how much she put as the worth, and from what she said it sounds like she put the receipt in the package rather than a copy of the ebay invoice, so obviously it would look like the shoes cost me $700 -ish dollars rather than the $200 -ish dollars that it really did, I called up Parcelforce just now and they confirmed that customs would have worked out the charges based on a receipt if they found one in the package and my charges are likely to be £70-100 pounds!

    I am not really sure what to do, I would never have bought them for £200 ($400) and think it is unfair that I am being charged so much because she put the wrong invoice in the package.

    Is there any way I can pay the charges and then claim some back from revenue and customs if I send them the ebay invoice? Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Hi, I too am in the UK and from experience, customs will work out the duty based on the value she says you paid on the customs declaration that will be attached on the front of the parcel. If you do not agree with the charge customs say is due, you can always call their helpline and the number can be found via google. Just so you don't get a shock, Parcelforce will also take a fee from you, usually between £8-£13 just for delivering it to you, but they will say that that charge is for organising your customs paperwork - frankly its a lot to handle the parcel, but it does sound like you got a bargain on your shoes! Parcelforce will send you a letter staing all of the costs so I'd sit tight and see what happens. she may well have marked it as a gift, they shouldn't need to open your parcel as the dec should say it all
     
  3. I'm not in the UK, but if I were you I would wait until you receive the letter confirming how much you have to pay, and if the amount is incorrect according to what you paid for the item, I'd call them and tell them there's been an error, and offer to send them the PayPal receipt (add a print out of the item description from ebay as well, just to be sure) Customs should probably also have an office where you could go and talk to them and show them the documents in person, but in my experience the lines are usually a mile long and you might end up waiting half the day for your turn. I'd look up UK customs regulations if I were you, to figure out how much you should pay, so you'll know if it's correct or not when you receive the bill. Here it's 25% of the package worth plus a $40 handling fee.
     
  4. Actually, sometimes they will just estimate the price themselves, despite what is marked on the customs declaration, and then you have to pay customs according to their estimation. There are stories about this all over the ebay forum; I remember one woman bought boots for $300 and they were marked as a gift, but customs decided they were worth $1000 and charged her as such.
     
  5. ^that seems like it shouldnt be right. i know people might try and cheat to get away without paying customs charges but it just doesnt seem right that they can decide how much they are worth and charge you accordingly without any proof?
     
  6. I've heard these stories too, but it just doesn't sit right with me, legally. If the buyer can prove that (s)he paid a certain amount for an item, it just can't be legally acceptable that the customs office can "decide" that the item is worth more (logically, if the buyer couldn't find anyone willing to pay more for the item, it isn't worth more in the free market) I have a feeling that in most of these cases, the buyer just hasn't bothered / known to pursue it further. I know that when the customs here question the declared value of a package, they mail me asking for proof of what I've paid, and they bill me accordingly. Of course, it might be different from country to country, but if I just can't see that it could be widely accepted and according to law that the customs officers have the right to just decide how much a package is worth, in spite of documents stating otherwise (bank/cc statements, ebay and PayPal records) I've never had to pay too much custom fees on any of my packages, but if it ever happened to me (the seller declared a too high value) the first thing I would do is to call the customs, or go to their office in person, and straighten things out.:shrugs:
     
  7. ^^Yeah, I'm not sure what the outcome was of that story, but hopefully if she had proof, they wouldn't be able to do that. It's just such a hassle to deal with either way.
     
  8. That's true. I once had to go to the customs office (I can't remember why - it could have something to do with the fact that I was importing 1000 belly rings :P) and I had to wait for hours before it was my turn in line. I imagine it to be almost equally big a hassle to do it over the phone. I just know that if I'd been a lawyer or had the money to hire one for sh*ts and giggles, I'd challenge the customs office if that ever happened to me, as there just can't be legal precedence for such a practice.
     
  9. ^^I sure hope not. Such scandal.
     
  10. Hmm.. do they do it here in the US? Because I have never had to pay customs before. I've had stuff ship from other countries (ie Australia and Canada) and I've never had to pay any sort of customs fee or duties or taxes or whatever.
     
  11. ^^Me neither. I think if the value is under a certain amount, you don't have to pay customs.
     
  12. I was just researching that and it says under $200 then you don't have to pay customs, but I've had a Chanel bag (purchased on Ebay for $900) shipped from Japan and didn't have to pay a penny, so I don't know...so wierd...the seller even noted that the value was $900
     
  13. ^^Yeah, I think we get pretty lucky here in the US. There was actually a thread in the ebay forum about customs on items sent from Asia to the US, and people have had $1000 items sent without paying customs.
     
  14. US citizens may get certain exemptions for customs. Depends where the item was made. I know that Canadians bringing in goods from the US do have certain exemptions on goods if they are part of the Free Trade Agreement (i.e. made in either the US or Canada). If I ship stuff to the US, there needs to be a value, and in my case, in terms of books and such, where they were published/printed. If it's the US, no customs charges on the other end. You'd need to check with US Customs - maybe they have a website that explains what is exempt and what will be charged.
     
  15. ^^You know, I've searched for a site about US customs, but wasn't able to find one. I'd appreciate a link if someone else was able to!