What are the US custom fees?

Oct 17, 2006
1,767
447
I want to buy a handbag over $2000 US. The bag is from a UK seller. How much customs fees will I have to pay?
Some time ago, there was a thread in which some of you claimed you never had to pay for customs. Under what circumstances?
Thanks in advance for your help.
 

Sarsi

O.G.
Jun 23, 2006
1,984
87
Hi,
I'm no expert and only read this information here too...
plus I got a bag from Singapore worth $700
The seller declared the bag used bag and gift and just wrote $45 value.

I think anything over $200 will be taxed, dont know how much though...

I also got some 1st ed books from UK worth $400
I dont know if the seller declared it gifts, because I did not pay tax.

hope someone could give you more information.
 

Roo

member
O.G.
Apr 28, 2006
10,430
39
To import in from Europe, you can receive $300 without paying customs duty. Anything above that, you will if the seller declares and insures the item for it's full value.

As a seller, I NEVER undervalue anything. The reason is because then I assume all the risk if it's lost. That's why I generally do not sell to overseas bidders. They always want you to undervalue things and then get angry if customs in their country busts them.

It is also ILLEGAL to lie on a US Customs form.
 
Nov 11, 2006
3,329
4
Sometimes I wonder if they check when it comes in. One UK seller marked it as gift although I didn't ask her to (which was nice). The other put the amount as $800 and customs didn't charge me anything (?) I was waiting for the customs bill but it never came. Maybe they're busy this time of year or just assume a lot of packages are gifts?
 

Irissy

Balenciaga's lover
O.G.
Oct 29, 2005
10,729
84
I just called the US Customs today because I might buy a bag on ebay from Europe. They said for general leather handbags over $200 value, it's usually 9% plus a merchandise fee. They also mention that the duties vary day by day but the average duty rate is about 9%.

For more info, you can go to: TIC Tariff and Tax Information
 
Oct 17, 2006
1,767
447
Thanks for the info.

Well, based on the info., I have decided, once again, to stay away from international sellers, no matter how reputable they are, and no matter how gorgeous the items are. The 9% cutoms fees, extra shipping charge (due to distance), foreign exchange fees, credit card fees (3% additional for foreign currency, in addition to Paypal fees) all add up to something really significant.

I do not want to risk loss, so I always insist on declaring full value and purchase sufficient insurance accordingly. Therefore, there is no way for me to get around not paying the hefty cutom duties.
 

CeeJay

A BAL-enced Life!
O.G.
Dec 6, 2005
15,052
25,333
Gals/Guys ... I would strongly recommend that you review the US Customs Website BEFORE buying anything overseas (either online or within a store)!

CBP.gov - home page

So many people believe that when they order something from overseas, they are not required to pay customs/duties ... WRONG!!!

Generally speaking, a US Citizen can bring back up to $800 per person duty-free. However, some items are exempt (antiques over 100 years old) and some items cannot be brought in at all (endangered species, certain foods, etc.). When on the flight back home, you will be required to fill out the Customs form and identify all your purchases (make sure to save all receipts - the US Customs Agents could ask for them).

I have found that 100% HONESTY is always the best policy. Oftentimes, you will find that the US Customs agents will treat you much better and will many times assess you a lower percentage (resulting in a lower fee!!). Believe me, I buy a fair amount when overseas on holiday (> $5000) ... and still, my Customs/Duties have never exceeded $150. If you lie and get caught, you're life will be HELL from that point forward as they will *note* that you tried to bring in goods illegally and will SEARCH you every time you come back into the US regardless of whether it's business or personal travel.

Good luck ...
 

Roo

member
O.G.
Apr 28, 2006
10,430
39
Excellent advice CeeJay- I always declare stuff from my travels too. I can't count the number of times I've declared stuff over my allowance and was told "go ahead and go through- you don't have that much..."

It's certainly not worth being flagged, that's for sure.

Gals/Guys ... I would strongly recommend that you review the US Customs Website BEFORE buying anything overseas (either online or within a store)!

CBP.gov - home page

So many people believe that when they order something from overseas, they are not required to pay customs/duties ... WRONG!!!

Generally speaking, a US Citizen can bring back up to $800 per person duty-free. However, some items are exempt (antiques over 100 years old) and some items cannot be brought in at all (endangered species, certain foods, etc.). When on the flight back home, you will be required to fill out the Customs form and identify all your purchases (make sure to save all receipts - the US Customs Agents could ask for them).

I have found that 100% HONESTY is always the best policy. Oftentimes, you will find that the US Customs agents will treat you much better and will many times assess you a lower percentage (resulting in a lower fee!!). Believe me, I buy a fair amount when overseas on holiday (> $5000) ... and still, my Customs/Duties have never exceeded $150. If you lie and get caught, you're life will be HELL from that point forward as they will *note* that you tried to bring in goods illegally and will SEARCH you every time you come back into the US regardless of whether it's business or personal travel.

Good luck ...
 

BagAngel

Louis Vuitton Addict
O.G.
Oct 30, 2006
18,568
7
Oh forgot to mention as long as i send by international signed for postage i can still get 500GBP insurance on the parcel so it's not all bad! Only with fedex do you have to declare the full value to get insurance but most of ny buyers don't want fedex as it's very expensive from here!
 
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