Does anyone know if customs taxes in Italy are really high?

  1. I shipped a bag express mail to a buyer in Italy on August 2nd and it cleared customs on the 10th. Delivery attempts have been made on the 13th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 20th. I'm starting to get worried that the buyer decided she didn't want to pay the customs tax and is avoiding delivery of the bag. I do have a disclosure on all of my listings that the buyer is responsible to find out what the tax is and for paying it. Does anyone know if the customs tax in Italy is really high? The bag was $550USD. The buyer paid $600 with shipping. Should I contact the buyer and see what's up? If so, what should I say?
  2. I checked the buyers feedback and it looks like they have bought some items from the U.S. and other countries besides Italy, but nothing expensive. Any thoughts?
  3. Actually I don't think you are supposed to be able to ship bags or shoes INTO Italy at all. I have NO idea why the person isn't getting their item, if it's being held at a PO instead of customs, or whether customs is due on it, etc. Definitely weird and I would definitely contact the buyer! :sad:
  4. Usually we have to pay 20% taxes, which correspond to our VAT, and eventually other fees due to import. She should have known that importing luxury items from non EC countries can be very expensive. Just curiosity, what bag was that? Because if she's to pay 720 $ which are about 535 € for an item she could have bought here for 550 €, she didn't had that big deal...
  5. It was a large Cartier leather tote bag that she bought for $550USD. I have a feeling she wasn't aware of all the taxes, even though I had it on my listing.
  6. I've shipped a couple of other bags to Italy with no problem. They weren't as high a dollar value though. I will email her to try to find out what is going on. I didn't know that you couldn't ship handbags to Italy.(well until I think you or someone else mentioned it on another thread) This one has cleared customs, but the PO has been trying to deliver it to her every day for over a week now and she hasn't contacted me. Weird....
  7. Yeah I am thinking leather is a restriction?
  8. That's what I was thinking... The other bag I shipped to Italy wasn't leather. It was a bag that was in the movie "The Devil Wears Prada" and was nothing special, but for some reason international buyers were buying them like crazy!
  9. I've never heard of this, it sounds very strange. There's a law that says that you won't pay any import tax if the item you've bought outside the EC isn't produced in any of the EC countries, otherwise you have to pay them, but I've never heard of restriction about bags. I think you can ship a leather bag without any problem, as long as the buyer pays custom duties everything goes smooth. It was bank holiday here on the 15th August, maybe she is away in this period? Did she leave you any message about her eventual holidays?
  10. Maryg1, according to the USPS web site which list items you cannot ship from the USA to Italy, no leather goods. I looked it up and sure enough there it is.
  11. Why custom did clear it then? Moreover they tried to deliver it unsuccessfully, I can't explain it!
  12. I don't remember if I put "leather" on the customs form. I think I just said it was a Cartier women's tote. And maybe they didn't select it for a random search. I wasn't aware of the restriction, but now I know!
  13. Did the buyer answered your messages? I def. think she had buyer's remorse
  14. I still have the email in my drafts. I need to finish it up and then translate it into Italian through MS word because she had told me in a previous email that she doesn't really understand English. I wish I could speak and write Italian. My family is Italian, but my grandfather never spoke it to my father or my aunts. I think he and my grandmother would only speak in Italian when they didn't want my dad and my aunts to understand what they were saying. How wrong is that! Thanks for reminding me though, I actually had forgotten it was still sitting in my drafts! I'll let you know what she says if she responds....
  15. Skigirl, just PM me if you need assistance with Italian language. I can translate your letter if you want.
    Besides, some info to set the record straight:

    - There are no problems with importing leather goods in Italy. The important is that the leather does not come from an endangered species (listed in the CITES). In extreme cases, the customs office might ask the recipient of the parcel to undersign a self-declaration in which he/she states, under his/her responsibility, that the leather is not from a endangered species.

    - The information on the USPS site is out of date (of like 30 years!). This also concerning other articles, not only leather goods. The list on the USPS site is actually quite enterntaining to browse.

    - So far, based on my personal experience, the only thing that is really a PITA to have delivered to Italy from outside the EU is cosmetic products (soaps, bathing oils and things like that). These goods are subject to a sanitary inspection and the procedure takes a helluva long time.

    - Regarding import duties: anything over 45 Euros (+/- 50 US$) is subject to an import duty. If the parcel is marked as a gift, usually we have to pay only an import duty that is specific to the kind of good imported (might be from 5% to 15% as far as I know). If the parcel is not marked as a gift, on top of the import duties we also have to pay VAT, which is 20% of the declared value PLUS the postage paid. in your case the fees would be calculated on the declared value + the postage paid = on the whole 600$. That's quite an amount to pay... but such is life. I purchase a lot from the States and sometimes even with all the taxes it is still convenient for me.

    - Italian postal service is a huge pile of cr*p. Some parcels get taxed, others not, others are taxed ridiculously and others outrageously and you'll never know the logic behind this. Some parcels arrive in a week from the US but most of them take two or more weeks. The only things that I am absolutely sure to get are those sent via private couriers (UPS, DHL and alike) and these get *surely* taxed, but at least they get to their destination! Currently I'm waiting for a small gift from a US friend of mine, and the packet has been sitting at the customs from the 12th of August with no means of contacting the office in Milan to have info about the status of it.

    - Italy is literally *dead* in August. The vast majority of people is on holiday. So maybe the person was just not at home to sign for the parcel. As far as my experience goes, if you refuse a parcel there won't be more attempts to deliver it. So probably she just wasn't there to accept the delivery, or maybe, used as we are to postal delays, she didn't think that the parcel could arrive so quickly.