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Customs or Import Fees with International Purchases?

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Customs or Import Fees with International Purchases?

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Old 12-14-14, 01:56 PM
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mm718
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Customs or Import Fees with International Purchases?

I am wondering if anyone has encountered customs or import fees when buying from merchants internationally. I was thinking of buying some Vittoria Voyager Hyper tires from Planet X in the UK but noted the information below about international shipping.

4 Hours left of the sale so any quick information appreciated.

Delivery outside the EU may be subject to local import taxes. Where they apply, these are your responsibility. The shipping company should advise you of the charges due or else you should consult your local customs office. Unfortunately we cannot advise you what these charges will be, and Planet X is not responsible for them.
If these local import/custom charges are refused or not paid by the customer, then the item could be returned to Planet X, or possibly destroyed if too expensive to return. Please note: If this happens, we may not be able to refund you for your order. We would not be able to refund any original postage costs paid and can only refund for the returned product(s), minus any costs incurred in returning them to Planet X.
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Old 12-14-14, 01:59 PM
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Small personal purchases seem to come in to the USA without customs fees. You also often don't get charged European VAT either,
"Commercial" purchases may incur customs.
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Old 12-14-14, 02:03 PM
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mm718
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Small personal purchases seem to come in to the USA without customs fees. You also often don't get charged European VAT either,
"Commercial" purchases may incur customs.
Good to know! Thanks. Anyone else have any thoughts or experience with this issue?

Last edited by mm718; 12-14-14 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 12-14-14, 02:21 PM
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I've purchased several items from Chain Reaction Cycles in the UK, and never had to deal with customs issues. There seems to be a $200 limit before duty fees kick in.

This is in their customs information:*Shipping | Chain Reaction Cycles
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Old 12-14-14, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I've purchased several items from Chain Reaction Cycles in the UK, and never had to deal with customs issues. There seems to be a $200 limit before duty fees kick in.

This is in their customs information:*Shipping | Chain Reaction Cycles
This is my experience, also --- just break your purchases up by dollar amount.
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Old 12-14-14, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
This is my experience, also --- just break your purchases up by dollar amount.
Thanks for the quick replies. I just placed the order and will post back here if anything noteworthy happens.
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Old 12-14-14, 03:25 PM
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I bought several items from UK, France and Germany. On a bike frame and fork, where I also had rims and tires in the box, I expected to pay 4 percent duty but it was closer to 6 percent. On my other orders, no duty was charged. One of the orders that I did not have to pay duty was over $1,000 USD. I think a complete bike is 10 or 11 percent but I have not bought a complete bike from anyone for past several decades. In other words, the one really big box required I pay duty, others not.

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Old 12-14-14, 05:51 PM
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I only order internationally when the shipper uses their local postal service. The courier services can charge you customs brokerage fees, which can exceed the actual duties.
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Old 12-14-14, 06:52 PM
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Friend don't let friends use UPS. Only use the your postal system for importing international products. Seriously.

It's more common than not to not pay any import fees on items from my experience. I've gotten away with multi thousand dollar boxes shipped from overseas without paying any duties more than a few times. If possible, ask the company to write their personal name on the box vs their company, that seems to work well into fooling customs, even when the correct value is written on the box.
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Old 12-14-14, 08:26 PM
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I've purchased from Probikekit and Chain Reaction and have never had customs or import charges. This included several wheel sets that cost $600-800 each. These were all shipped via Royal mail and US mail
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Old 12-15-14, 06:59 AM
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It depends on where you are. Canada Post bills me for duty about half the time, seemingly at random. China waives duty on personal imports below 130USD.
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Old 12-15-14, 11:18 AM
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just the other week I saw an article somewhere showing how Canada puts duty on items at a much lower dollar rate compared to the States and other countries. Dont have link but this reflects my experience here in Canada and being much more wary of duty costs as it can be a significant addition to what appears to be a good deal.

I think it was along the lines of duty gets put on after $40 or 50, as compared to $200 for in the States. Could be wrong but it was somewhere along those lines.

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Old 12-15-14, 12:51 PM
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I've ordered items from various bike merchants in England and Ireland, and I've never been charged any import duties or fees. One was a bike frame and fork from Bob Jackson, which cost more than $600, and no import or customs fees were assessed.
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Old 12-15-14, 01:28 PM
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A 10 tire bundle shipped in from Finland in '97 , no customs hold for payment of duty was assessed.
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Old 12-15-14, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
just the other week I saw an article somewhere showing how Canada puts duty on items at a much lower dollar rate compared to the States and other countries. Dont have link but this reflects my experience here in Canada and being much more wary of duty costs as it can be a significant addition to what appears to be a good deal.

I think it was along the lines of duty gets put on after $40 or 50, as compared to $200 for in the States. Could be wrong but it was somewhere along those lines.
While this certainly may be true, I have ordered a LOT of stuff from the US, UK, and China over $40. The smallest amount on which I have ever been charged duty was about $150. And I have had plenty of orders in the $150 to $250 range that never got charged. YMMV.

As the Canada Customs staff shrinks with every budget cut, I am sure the threshold only goes up and up, since limited staff means they get more bucks in duty if they focus on higher-priced imports.
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Old 12-15-14, 08:40 PM
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I tend to agree with you dh, we have had hit and miss situations also. The worst was a family member ordering a t-shirt from the states, maybe 20 or 25 $ but it ended up having a about $20 of cross border fees and such on it, we never really understood why but I do think it comes down to luck sometimes (or bad luck in this case)
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Old 12-29-14, 02:27 AM
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You guys are so lucky! I live in Switzerland, a country of only about 7 million people so there are no internet retailers that come close to the prices offered by the big boys, and it is not part of he EU so everything ordered from elsewhere goes through customs. EVERY delivery over a value of about US$60 (there is no luck component, just Swiss efficiency) gets charged taxes and processing fees - 8% tax plus $20-$30 in flat fees. If it's handled by the local postal service, the processing fees are slightly less, but it doesn't make much difference.

In addition, if the package arrives in the country without all of the required paperwork attached to the box then they write the customer a letter requesting the full information, which further delays the process!

I actually work in a local bike shop, so I can get a lot of stuff at wholesale prices instead of retail (even so, our wholesale prices are only slightly less than the retail prices at the big online stores). However, because the market in this country is so small, there are many smaller brands who don't have a local distributor, and for even those that do, the local distributor doesn't carry the full product line (e.g., no 165mm-long Shimano cranks, only the more common items and sizes). That is why I'm still frequently buying stuff online, or having it shipped to my parents in the UK for me to collect when I visit.

So don't complain about any import fees that you may have to pay because there are many places where it's far more of a problem.
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Old 12-29-14, 10:09 AM
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I received my package. Shipping was $16 and no extra fees. It took 11 days to ship from England to NY. Thanks again for the info. I got a great deal on these tires--$41 including shipping for the pair (would have been about $120 in the US).
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