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Customs charges - ouch!!

(35 Posts)
Piffpaffpoff Wed 27-Mar-13 14:06:50

I bought an item from a US seller and have had card through door this morning from Royal Mail saying customs duty is due, plus an astronomical £8 Royal Mail 'admin' charge. Was not aware there would be any customs duty due and was given no warning of this at the time of sale.  The amount due in total is about half of what the item cost and had I known about this I would not have bought the item.

Am I just going to have to suck it up or should the vendor be paying this? Advice/Opinions welcomed.

PoodleChops Mon 01-Apr-13 15:10:32

fergoose said:

"Poodle - my seller told me they filled it in for the higher amount so if the item was lost they could claim for the lost item for more money - so yes, my seller did lie actually. And it wasn't an 'insurance' value - they were clearly fraudulent.

Yes and you could have appealed the HM Customs charge

You say you don't need a lecture, you're not getting one. You asked if you should overpay on an inaccurate declaration and I told you you don't have to. Would you have paid the HM Customs if they had declared it accurately?

PoodleChops Mon 01-Apr-13 15:13:08

Piffpaffpoff said:
"What i do have a problem with is that I had to pay Royal Mail £8 for sticking a sticker on a box, sending me a card postcard informing me of that charge and then processing a payment of £3.91 to customs and I have a bigger problem with the fact that there appears to be no way whatsoever of avoiding or pre-empting that charge. A charge on a sliding scale, related to the value of the item, might feel fairer.

I also have a huge issue with the whopping charge RM or Parcelforce levy - it's outrageous. Are you saying you wish you knew how to avoid HM Customs charge, or RM charges?

SoupDreggon Mon 01-Apr-13 15:23:31

Not paying the customs charge so it is returned to the seller when there is no good reason like over charging, just because you don't want to pay the customs charge and can claim money back through Ebay is a horrible thing to do.

The £8 Royal Mail charge has been £8 for many years though - I've not had to pay customs charges for ages and it was £8 then. There seems to be an element of luck involved with customs charges though as not every parcel gets charged for.

Piffpaffpoff Mon 01-Apr-13 15:27:42

I don't want to avoid Customs charges, I've no problem with paying those charges, as I said in my last post, providing they are applied correctly ( which they were in my case). I want to know how to avoid having to paying £8 to RM - at the moment I don't seem to be able to see any way of not having to pay it, which seems wrong to me.

SoupDreggon Mon 01-Apr-13 15:31:50

I'm surprised there's no way to pay the charge without RM getting involved - especially when virtually everything can be done online now.

I don't have a problem with RM charging something as there is admin involved but £8 is steep.

Piffpaffpoff Mon 01-Apr-13 15:36:52

soup I've no problem with some sort of charge from RM either, but £8 for a £3.91 tax charge just feels wrong. A sliding scale would be better, with a fixed upper limit.

PoodleChops Sat 06-Apr-13 13:52:29

I always factor in the customs charge to any bids I make. If I'm overcharged due to the seller over-inflating the value on the CN22, then I claim it back and appeal.
What I wouldn't do, is refuse to pay, thus getting it sent back to the seller? Afterall, why would I, if I wanted the item in the first place and I knew there was a way for me to pay the correct HM Customs charge?? confused But I suppose we're all different and if one doesn't want the item badly enough in the first place.....

PoodleChops Sat 06-Apr-13 13:53:30

..or it's "buyer remorse"....

PhilJVTaylor Fri 27-Jan-17 19:19:49

Saw your post. Trying to do something myself to stop this international mail charge rip off, see below. The most effective tactic I think is to persuade Competition and Markets Authority to investigate.

nauticant Fri 27-Jan-17 19:39:16

I'm surprised there's no way to pay the charge without RM getting involved - especially when virtually everything can be done online now.

There is actually a way. You buy from a merchant who uses a shipping agent such that they can pre-pay the VAT. When this is done the item gets waived through without any payment being required as a result of processing on arrival in the UK.

Other than that I'm seeing a thread containing suggestions of fraud and dishonesty. I'm unconvinced by protestations of "only suggesting what some people might choose to do".

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