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trzes
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I am about to stay in the UK most of the time for a year or so. And I can have tarot decks from outside Europe delivered either to the UK or to Germany.

What I have learned about UK customs so far is that customs fees only apply if the total amount to be paid would exceed 9 GBP. VAT is 20%, other fees only apply if the total value exceeds 135 GBP. That is you pay if the total value exceeds 45 GBP. I also read online that the Postal Services charge an extra fee for dealing with the customs on my behalf.

What I could not find out so far:
1. Does VAT apply to tarot cards at all or with a reduced rate? (they are a sort of printed items, but the list with types of goods online was quite amgiguous)
2. How much do the Postal Services charge?
3. What happens if the customs declaration hasn't been filled out properly by the sender? Can I hand in additional information? Do I deal with the customs authorities directly? Does the postal service charge even more in that case?

Does anyone who has some experience with UK customs know more? Thanks for any information!

AdamMcLean
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1. Vat on tarot cards is currently 20%. This applies
on items over GBP 15.
For items valued above GBP 135 there will be an additional import duty applied.

2. If delivered by Royal Mail the handling fee is GBP 8.
Parcel force appears to make the same charge.

3. You cannot deal with the UK Customs directly. If
you don't pay within a fixed time the packet will be
sent back to the seller. The Royal Mail staff have
no room for discretion or negotiation.

In practice the postal system is so busy that only a few
items are charged. You will find that often you will
not be charged for months on end then suddenly one
will get charged. It is a bit of a lottery. Many items
get through without being charged, even though they should be.

Last edited on Sun Aug 10th, 2014 04:15 pm by AdamMcLean

trzes
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Thanks, Adam, for all the information.

I seems that the German Customs are easier to deal with, as they are quite predictable (once one has understood their system) .

Just in case anyone's interested, from my experiecnce the German customs behave like this:
- No customs fees for decks coming from so-called "developing countries" (Russia, China, Indonesia, Turkey included)
- No customs fees for anything worth less than 50 Euros
- Customs are very strict and bureaucratic about properly filled customs forms
- But addional information can be handed in directly to the customs office (in case the declaration is not complete or the invoice is missing)
- postal services don't charge extra (few exceptions are reported about some couriers)
- Parcels from the US are virtually always opened and checked

All in all that looks like the better deal.

gregory
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I once had to pay the 8 pounds for an item that had attracted 89 pence in VAT. I was NOT pleased.

On the other hand (I HOPE no-one in authority is watching) from time to time our postman - who gets well fed up - will just drop something with a PAY NOW sticker on it in our parcel bin. I have virtuously waited for a note from customs asking why I didn't pay - and I have never got one yet... (as you are supposed to pay on the spot, as far as I remember there is nothing on it to say where to send money if you didn't :cl Not that I would have followed up if there had been, as I think the Royal Mail charge is appallingly unreasonable.)

In the UK also - the limit for a GIFT is much higher (I forget what) and many sellers on Etsy etc will do that for you...

trzes
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gregory wrote: In the UK also - the limit for a GIFT is much higher (I forget what) and many sellers on Etsy etc will do that for you...
That's a point in favour of the UK as being declared as gift or not doesn't make any difference at all in Germany.

gregory
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IF the seller will do that. Etsy sellers often will, ebay not so much, gamecrafter ABSOLUTELY not.

Mind you - with Germany having a 50 euro cut off - the UK gift thing isn't much higher than that, as I recall...

truelighth
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Trzes, I can't tell you which one would be best. But some things to look into or consider:

Here in the Netherlands, they also have a cut-off at 50 euro (or 35 euro, I don't know anymore). But that amount includes the cost of shipping! So you should check if this is the case in Germany. I mean, if I buy a deck worth 30 euro and the shipping cost is 24 euro, I still go over and I still have to pay.

Over here it is also like a lottery, it depends on weather they pick it out. If they do, you get to pay another 12 euro on processing fees... grrr! :ww

I have noticed that if you own a postbox in the Netherlands, oversees packages are less likely to be stopped. They seem to think you are a company and they don't seem to be so strict with those. So I have a postbox. I still sometimes get charged, but a lot less.

Packages from Europe don't get charged. And from experience I know packages from Taiwan etc also seem to just get through easily. I have no idea why.

And it doesn't matter if you mark it gift either :sd

Anyway, as you can tell, I got plenty of issues with the customs here.. :ww:ee:ww

One thing to consider, if you are going to live in the UK, I would have them send to the UK. Because otherwise you may save some charges from the postal system, but you will have extra cost for having the packages send from Germany to the UK and that is also not cheap. Just a thought :bl

truelighth
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gregory wrote:
I once had to pay the 8 pounds for an item that had attracted 89 pence in VAT. I was NOT pleased.

On the other hand (I HOPE no-one in authority is watching) from time to time our postman - who gets well fed up - will just drop something with a PAY NOW sticker on it in our parcel bin. I have virtuously waited for a note from customs asking why I didn't pay - and I have never got one yet...


Gregory, I know that feeling. Having to pay 13 euro extra on a charge of only 3 euro in tax. And btw, I don't know how it is in the UK, but that charge is not from the post, but from customs.

And how lucky that your postman just drops it in your parcel bin. That never ever happens here in the Netherlands. If there is a sticker on it, they will not give it unless you pay. And they always forward it to your home address, instead of the postbox. Annoying!:cc:f:ww

gregory
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The 8 pounds is the post office's charge for performing the huge service of collecting the 89 pence on behalf of customs !


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