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Old 01-30-2008, 04:35 PM   #1
Loke666
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New USPS rules - bad for european collectors!!

My last two orders are stuck in danish customs - due to the fact that (as I'm informed) US postal service have made new rules: - all packages over 4 pounds can only be send with a tracking number - meaning that instead of a unregistered package - there will be both a tracking number and a value stated on the package.

This also means that the gestapo-types working for Danish hi-jacks all parcells and declare them for tax - even if the value isn't so high and there by the customs tax - danish postal service have also made new rules - so that they charge 150 DKR = 30 USD for the handling of the tax issue.

So even if the USD is low now - shipping (including much higher shipping rate) + tax + tax handling fee - makes its a very rotten deal to buy in the US.

If there is no way to work around this - I'll switch my order to European shops - wich mostly doesn't have the same supply of figures and loose stuff.

I would like to know if any other europeans have had similar problems.

Even if your customs don't work as sinister as the danish customs - you must have felt the increased US shipping fees?

Henrik
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Old 01-30-2008, 06:22 PM   #2
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I recently have been selling off larger pieces of my collection on eBay and allot of the Buyers were European (Spain, France, etc. etc.)... So far no MAJOR problem to speak of and they've all seemed fairly happy with their transactions... I try to make it a simple as possible for them but it IS expensive especially with BIG packages (like the Callanta Hetzer I sent to Spain)... Also I know what you mean about the USPS forms, they've all called for a "Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note-CP 72" form to be attached that REQUIRES a value and detailed description of what's being shipped...
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:23 PM   #3
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here in Belgium, it's a kind of lottery. Sometimes no taxe (even for big bos like the AH 250) and sometimes taxe (15$).

I had to pay 15$ taxe for the Schwimmer. I was worry because it was registered and insured with a declared value but just 15$ taxe. lucky me

phil
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:35 PM   #4
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Is this bad for ALL European collectors, or just Danish collectors?

The issue of tracking shipments in Europe has been a bit of a problem for many U.S. sellers, as without proof of delivery the seller is liable if the buyer decides to claim the "package never arrived". I know this is a big problem with using Paypal to accept payments from outside the U.S.

This is just my opinion, but I see a fair amount of complaints about "Value Added Taxes" from people in European and other countries. I may be naive, but it is my assumption these taxes are to protect businesses within the European countries, e.g. tariffs. I would think the proper course of action is to seek changes in the local governments if these VATs are so egregious.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:50 PM   #5
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Unfortunately Reese, VAT applies to most purchases in the UK ( certain things like food,kids clothing and books are exempt) and is basicaly another form of licensed thievery by the guvmint. It is not just applied to imported goods but is one of the duties added to the cost of imported goods if customs get their sticky hands on them.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev Longino";p=&quot View Post
Unfortunately Reese, VAT applies to most purchases in the UK ( certain things like food,kids clothing and books are exempt) and is basicaly another form of licensed thievery by the guvmint. It is not just applied to imported goods but is one of the duties added to the cost of imported goods if customs get their sticky hands on them.
cannot say better !

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Old 01-30-2008, 09:31 PM   #7
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Reese the danish handling fee on customs tax decalaration - is only a danish problem - but the- apparantly new rule - that all USPS boxes over 4 pounds should be send with the tracking option will soon be a lot of europeans problems - and no matter what I do to my own govement - I'm pretty sure they can't change USPS policies.

For one thing the tracking-shipping is more expensive than just plain airmail - also it means that customs in Europe have much better chance of tax declaring our boxes.

SO I'm payin more in 3 ways - first more in shipping for a tracking option I dont need (so far I have never lost anything (7-9-13)) - then tax - and the a fee for handling the tax.
Besides the added cost the shipping time has also been doubled!!

Also the 4 pound rule must be new - the stuff I ordered for x-mas went through with out problems - but everything I have ordered since news years have gone haywire!!

If there are way to avoid the 4 pound rule - I would like to know!!

Henrik
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:41 PM   #8
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i had this problem already 1,5 years ago when i bought a custom figure for 40$ at ebay and took an insurence on my shipping (probably just tracking) the shipping was about 25$ dollar because of the insurance and when the postman stood for my door he asked 40 euro's for the dutch customs :| and that figure suddenly became my most expensive figure i have and i also couldn't send it back because i really wanted him
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:11 PM   #9
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Everything I've shipped from the US via the USPS recently has utilized the required Customs form PS 2976-A (the large, full form). This form is used on larger sized packages not dependent upon the weight. Yes it does have a "value" section that shows what the shipper says the price of the piece was. Certain countries have different restrictions for how much an item with a marked value can enter without duties. It's always good for a shipper to see what this is on the USPS website's International Mailer Manual.

The PS 2976-A has a customs number on it (CP#...#US) that works as a tracking number to most countries and does not have any added cost. This applies to airmail and surface mail. The accuracy is mostly based on the receiving country's postal system. The level of shipping also provides certain amounts of insurance built in such as Priority mail Int'l and Express mail Int'l.

One may always ask the shipper to declare a lower value on the customs form but in doing this are risking lower returns in case of loss. Plus it's illegal to knowingly mark false info down on a custom's form but risks are risks!

I'm not trying to justify the USPS system of rates and fees or any requirements, I do understand your pain. It does get very expensive to ship items overseas lightweight and heavy all the same. The rates keep going up with fuel increases (it's a cost of business when you're in the delivery industry) and economic woes.

I wish you Europeans all the best in your shipping battles...
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:43 AM   #10
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Avoid orders totalling more than 3 lbs 15 oz!
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loke666";p=&quot View Post
Reese the danish handling fee on customs tax decalaration - is only a danish problem - but the- apparantly new rule - that all USPS boxes over 4 pounds should be send with the tracking option will soon be a lot of europeans problems - and no matter what I do to my own govement - I'm pretty sure they can't change USPS policies.

For one thing the tracking-shipping is more expensive than just plain airmail - also it means that customs in Europe have much better chance of tax declaring our boxes.

SO I'm payin more in 3 ways - first more in shipping for a tracking option I dont need (so far I have never lost anything (7-9-13)) - then tax - and the a fee for handling the tax.
Besides the added cost the shipping time has also been doubled!!

Also the 4 pound rule must be new - the stuff I ordered for x-mas went through with out problems - but everything I have ordered since news years have gone haywire!!

If there are way to avoid the 4 pound rule - I would like to know!!

Henrik
I´m sad four you.
Dame gestapo are everywhere, some time in Sweden too.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:58 AM   #12
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When you import goods into pretty much any country the value which Customs take for tax purposes is known as cif (cost insurance freight). What this means is that you will be taxed on the cost of the item plus the cost of shipping.

Imports into the European Union (EU) from outside the EU are subject to two taxes (note : imports from any other EU country can not be taxed). These are (1) EU import duty (also known as an import tariff) which is common to all EU countries and (2) value added tax (VAT) which varies from one EU country to another. For most categories of "toy" the EU import tax is 4.7%. In the UK the rate of VAT is 17.5% but in Denmark it is 25%. For national VAT rates see :

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs...t_rates_en.pdf

If your item does have to pay tax your national postal service will also make a charge for taking your parcel through customs. These are often more than the amount of tax paid. For example, in the UK the current charge is 8 pounds ($16) but it is soon to go up to 13 pounds ($26).

Most countries have a minimum value for shipments by post. In the UK, for example, postal shipments with a value (including shipping) less than 36 pounds (about $72) do not pay tax.

In the UK not all parcels are checked for import taxes. I was told that they only check one in five but in my experience it very much depends on the size - small but expensive ones seems to get through but large, less expensive ones do not.

I suggest that you use postal services rather than a courier (which always attracts tax). Find out the "tax free" limit for postal items in Denmark and keep within this where possible - for example, I found buying two figures separately is cheaper than combining postage because of the tax consequences. Duty free allowances are much higher when travelling in person. I have a sister in New Jersey and occasionally get her to bring things or hold onto them for me until I visit her. If it is a very expensive item it might even be worth shipping to another EU country first - for example the difference between British and Danish VAT rates is 7.5%.

I hope that this helps. Oh .. and no I am NOT a customs officer.

Allan
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:12 AM   #13
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Thanks for support, comments, sugestions and info!

I think my strategy will be like this:

1. test if this happens every time - I have a 3 package pending - if this also runs into the cellars of Wilhelmstrasse - then I know I'll have to change my buying behaviour.

2. If so - I'll order all boxed figures from the UK and only loose stuff with low weight from the US.

3. see if the same s*** happens in Sweden - if not - I know people there that can hold the boxes for me until I drop by.

4. see if I can find a shipping service in the US that doesn't required tracking just because the 4 pound mark is passed.

5. try to find freinds in the US who will send private gifts to my many bithdays (haven't tried that yet - dont know if it works)

Any other ideas are wellcome + I would like to hear from other Europeans how their next oder goes?

Henrik
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:33 AM   #14
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Well, if it makes you guys feel any better, an order I placed a month ago with TSB has`nt arrived and its looking like it never will, $125.00 down the drain. Its a shame, but I`m going to be sticking with European dealers in the future.......

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Old 02-24-2008, 08:23 AM   #15
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You need a little more patience. I won an item from the US on ebay in early December and it arrived yesterday. I don't know what happens for sure but as far as I can tell the delays are not due to USPS but to UK Customs. What I think happens is that most parcels are not selected for Customs examination and are simply delivered normally. But if an item is selected it is sent off to Customs in a central location. Even if Customs make no charges this seems to often result in a delay of one month or more.

Allan
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:13 PM   #16
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Allan, I hope you`re right, but in the past when UK customs have stopped my parcels, and they`ve stopped quite a few over the years, the delay has been no more than a few days, still, fingers crossed. I don`t know if any other UK members have had similar experiences, but its only the parcels from the US that I`ve ever had stopped. I`ve had items from all over Europe, South America and Asia and they get through every time without a hitch. Strange........

Mark.
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:46 AM   #17
Loke666
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I had most of my stuff the last couple of days - some was delayed for over a month in danish costums - I think that there have been some intern shakeup - so they have taken a lot more packages aside for declaration - and by that practice bit of much more than they could chew - I called them every day for the last 2 weeks - and they seemed very stressed. HAHA!

My last shipment went through without any delay, tax or fee - so I think they have realized that they don't have capacity for stopping all packages - but must select a few. Maybe it is the same in the UK now?

Henrik
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loke666";p=&quot View Post
I had most of my stuff the last couple of days - some was delayed for over a month in danish costums - I think that there have been some intern shakeup - so they have taken a lot more packages aside for declaration - and by that practice bit of much more than they could chew - I called them every day for the last 2 weeks - and they seemed very stressed. HAHA!

My last shipment went through without any delay, tax or fee - so I think they have realized that they don't have capacity for stopping all packages - but must select a few. Maybe it is the same in the UK now?

Henrik
I guess it's the same here in Belgium. Kind of Lotery. Strangely, big parcel with big value avoid taxes and fee. Maybe I will have to spend much for having big parcel and avoid taxes

BTW Henrick, are danish customs realy dressing parcels with danish costum ? Maybe it's the explanation why it takes so long

phil
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Old 02-26-2008, 04:20 PM   #19
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Phil - I'll dress you in a folk-costume!! or like a pixie!

For the death of me I can't remember what is spelled how - kind of like "corse" and "cause" - guess I wasn't paying attention in english classes - "why the f*** would I write in english" - hadn't thought about that many years out in the future there would be an important forum like this

Henrik
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:33 AM   #20
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I may apologise here. I perfectly understood what Henrick wanted to say but due to the mispel it was just a funny image to imagine Danish customs dressing parcel with costume.

I am realy sorry if I have hurt you. Please forgive me Henrick.

As you, english is not my mother tongue and I also make mistakes and mispel.

Sorry again for my misplaced humor.

phil
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:37 AM   #21
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And in any case your English is a lot better than most of us English-speakers attempts at other languages, if we try at all.

Allan
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:52 AM   #22
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Well I'm sorry if I came across as hurt - I took it as a joke and its allright - I like to tease and make fun myself - actually a lot of stuff I write has a sarcastic sting to it - but sometimes I discover that its not the way people read it.

Dressing Phil either in folk or pixie costume (spelling?) was also meant as a joke (I just couldn't come up with anything better -sorry) - I tried to place a couple of - but that didn't help either........

Anyway I can take and actually appreciate any freindly joke - so please continue Phil.

All this explaining have killed any humor proberly - havn't it!?

I know that some of my english spelling sucks - but then so does my danish spelling. As long as you get the meaning.

OK?

Henrik
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