US Duty Tax responsibility

  1. Hey all... i bought an item from a person who's living part time in the US and France.

    FedEx just sent me a notice of duty tax that I owe of around $500. I was very surprised b/c i've bought items of much higher value shipped from France before and never had an issue with the tax/customs when using FedEx.

    Who's responsible for the tax, me or the seller? also, does it matter where it was originally purchased? This is totally new to me and surprising!

    Please inform me thanks!
  2. You are responsible for the tax, because you imported the item into your country. It doesn't matter if it was originally bought in the US, taken overseas and shipped back, unless it was registered with Customs when it was taken overseas.

    You need to go to the US Customs website and read all the information. I do not live in the US, and even I read the tax information for the sake of my US buyers!
  3. yes, the Buyer is responsible.
  4. Just to add: some retailers, like net-a-porter UK, already include local duty and taxes in their shipping quote, so the items are sent delivery duty paid (DDP), in which case no additional duties are necessary.

    In the past when you had shipments by FedEx, did the seller declare the full value? Aloha Rag, for example, under-declares the value of the contents, so no tax or minimum tax is paid. If the full value was declared and FedEx did not charge you, count yourself lucky! The allowable value for tax-free import into the US is only USD100, and the package has to be declared as an unsolicited gift.
  5. thanks Roxane and Swanky, i had no idea. I've just started out on eBay and this is all new to me, so every transaction is a learning experience.

    in my previous transactions, i have no idea if the full value was declared, it wasn't something i thought about. so no, i never had an issue in the past few transactions.

    darnit, ugh! i can't believe i have to pay this additionally!! thank goodness that was my last eBay transaction for awhile, and now i know.

    thank goodness for this forum and your expertise!!
  6. Definitely the buyers responsibility. Just like State sales taxes.
  7. Always the buyers responsiblity -- it was nice when I purchased from NAP - they charged me ahead of time so I didn't have to deal with customs.
    I have heard that some eBay sellers have stopped shipping Internationally because buyers are refusing packages based on high customs fees. Sellers can't control customs/tax/duties!