(Login cbowser) HyperScale Forums from IP address 184.108.40.206
I recently shipped a punch and die set to a modeller in the UK. He contacted me today saying that he was unhappy because the post office said not enough shipping was paid and he would have to pay it in order to get his package.
I've shipped a few of these to other modellers in the UK, and have never had anybody contact me about this. I've also shipped other packages to the UK and haven't had any problems.
I told him that it was taken to a USPS post office, weighed by them, and the proper postage was applied. I also informed him that I didn't think the post office would even process it, let alone ship it, without the proper postage.
I figured it was probably some sort of customs charge they were trying to pass off as "not enough postage".
Anybody have any ideas or similar experiences?
You're right - the postage on the part of the USPS would have to have been correct, otherwise they wouldn't have sent it. The UK's parcel system is privatized, and from everything I've seen and heard in recent years, it's simply a racket to extort money from recipients. There are numerous, unevenly applied, and arbitrary charges for receipt of packages.
Once it's accepted into USPS custody, it's out of your hands (literally and figuratively), and there's nothing whatever you can do about it.
Before people go too far down the bad mouthing route..
Normally, in my experience, shipping is (or is often used as) a collective term for everything, when in fact it splits down into three component parts.
1- shipping- if you agree and pay your end,then this is what it will only ever be- period- end of.
2- Import duty- normally a set rate (I think 10%?) However, this is normally bundled in with something called a "customs clearance fee" which is charged by HMRC (you don't **c* with HMRC= Her Majesty's revenue and Customs.)
I imagine if you were a real pedant, one could say they do not want to pay that charge- but then you may have to wait an extremely long time for customs to be cleared and the package released to the British Post Office for final delivery. The exception to this is if lets say the whole transaction is entrusted to Fedex or similar for customer to customer delivery. I would imagine in the small print of the docket you sign when the parcel is collected from the sender, that it states that there may be fees to pay at the other end.
3- VAT- Value Added Tax- currently running at 20% in the UK. On small packages it may well be waivered, especially if it is plain to see the contents must be a gift below a certain value. For even small business shipments ( I have many times ordered parts for my business from the US- and they are ALWAYS subject to VAT.) If for example one ordered three expensive kits- the thinking to be to save on carriage by doing it this way, then the declared value will be large- and therefore very likely to be collared for VAT.
It seems to me, that the sender may unfortunately not have been aware that his customer was maybe not really aware of what might happen once the package begins it's tortuous journey through UK Customs.
of all the possible extra charges, once the package got into UK customs. From now on I think I'll include some sort of disclaimer stating that VAT's, customs fees, etc. are not included in the shipping charges and are the responsibility of the buyer.
Thanks for all the responses.
There's no need or requirement for you to do that...
May 26 2012, 6:54 PM
If you're not in the UK as the sender, it's not your responsibility. You can't possibly know the customs/postal regulations of every other country. If someone lives in the UK, it's their responsibility to know the rules and abide (or not) by them.
That buyers in the UK in particular have to pay an assortment of duties, taxes, fees, etc. Often they will try to get the shipper to undervalue items on customs forms to shirk the fees, or get the shipper to pay them. When i sell on eBay I say IF I even sell to your country, YOU are responsible for any and all tariffs, taxes, fees, etc. levied by YOUR postal system.
You are free to put whatever disclaimer you want to ...
May 27 2012, 11:39 AM
... I'd do the same exact thing. Better safe than sorry.
When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteor.
Sounds Like He's Confusing Shipping Charges With ....
May 26 2012, 5:44 PM
Customs charges. If you took it to your local USPS, I'm sure the shipping charge was correct. OTOH, VAT, Fee's etc, are not the responsibility of the shipper but the buyer, and are not included in the USPS shipping charge. Not your problem, but the buyers problem.
Tom Booth (Login bookmark460) HyperScale Forums 220.127.116.11
Do a search here w/ keywords Parcel Force/Wingnut Wings. ....
May 26 2012, 6:41 PM
Lots of traffic here on HS from UK buyers of WNW's 32nd kits in the past 2-3 yrs. 70+ USD and free post from NZ to the UK for the kit, but then they were getting hit w/ UK Parcel Force 'handling' fees and such. In many cases adding 20+ USD to the final total for UK modellers to finally ransom/free their WNW pkg from the authorities. And it was usually just for 'paperwork'!
I get the feeling from UK HS posters that it can be hit or miss. Some inbound to the UK pkgs get thru w/o charge.
Oh, and I think it's on the buyer to know his local postal/customs req'ts. It's in the fine print of all the big online model shops (HLJ, Lucky, Sq, Sprue, etc). Don't ask, they won't label it as a 'gift' AND local custom's fees are the responsibility of the buyer. Your customer must not buy from overseas much. In the USofA, we're lucky, hobby stuff comes in w/o custom's chgs. Knock wood!
From the HLJ Help Page,
4. I'm worried about import duties and taxes I may have to pay. Can you mark my package as a gift, or lower the declared value so I don't have to pay as much?
No, we cannot. The full value of your purchase will be displayed on the customs label on the outside of the package. There are no exceptions. False customs declarations are a crime, and HobbyLink Japan plays by the rules. We depend on good relations with the post office to get packages to our customers. The postal agents in many countries, especially the ones here in Japan, are also familiar with our company and know that we don't ship gifts.
To USA Customers: Please note that there are no taxes, duties or tariffs on the import of hobby products or toys into the United States. You will not pay any extra to buy from us.
To Customers in Other Countries: While we sympathize with you, especially those persons in some S. American countries who pay import duties of up to 60%, taxes are a part of life and you will simply have to add these costs into your purchase planning when you decide whether or not to use our service. Please note that since importers in your country also have pay these same taxes, and also tend to mark the price of the merchandise up significantly, we think you'll find that buying from us is cheaper than buying locally even when you add in the cost of import duties.
NOTE: Please be aware that in all cases the customer is responsible for paying these fees and for providing any and all documents required by Customs; failure to pay fees or provide documents will result in the package being sent back to us, at our initial expense. The customer will then be held responsible for that cost and all return shipping costs, non-payment of which will result in the customer's open orders being cancelled and the customer's account being locked. If a reship is requested, those shipping fees will also be charged.
This message has been edited by bookmark460 from IP address 18.104.22.168 on May 26, 2012 7:09 PM This message has been edited by bookmark460 from IP address 22.214.171.124 on May 26, 2012 7:01 PM This message has been edited by bookmark460 from IP address 126.96.36.199 on May 26, 2012 6:50 PM
gary kent (Login choppyloop) HyperScale Forums 188.8.131.52
Charges by Royal Mail/Parcelforce
May 27 2012, 1:49 AM
It would be nice to know who the carrier was at this end, The charge levied by Royal mail and parcelforce are dictated by HMRC and are calculated by the value of the parcel. I can't remember the exact watershed but it's somewhere in the 16 GBP region.
When in reciept of the parcel in question with a docket from HMRC a card for the charge is written out by hand and delivered to the customer. This should state if the charge is for underpaid postage or a customs charge.
Niether RM or parcelforce can waver these customs charges, if so then RM foots the bill.
I'm assuming other carriers, UPS, DPD etc have similar processes.
Not much help I know, even I have been a victim and I work for RM.
Gary Needham (Login garyneedham) HyperScale Forums 184.108.40.206
Post Charge - reply to Chad.
May 27 2012, 6:00 AM
I am 100% certain you have done nothing wrong with the postal charges and your buyer's claim about "incorrect shipping charges" is simply the tax element levied ON HIM by UK Customs - AND - the "Handling Fee" charged (legally) by the courier to, in effect, 'collect the tax on your behalf' for the exchequer. It has been discussed to death on this site by us UK guys over the past couple of years and it stinks. The hobby is identified as a "luxury" item and thus liable to tax on anything imported into the UK from outside the EU in excess of £16.00. Put simply, it's a UK / EU trade protection racket which all nations engage in but it's always the little people (you and I ) who cop for the cost.
Your P&D Set I suspect clearly exceeds that small sum and as such, the buyer has to pay to bring it into the UK. THAT'S HIS PROBLEM NOT YOURS SO PAY HIM NOTHING.
Pursuing a hobby here in the UK and buying kits etc (using money you have already been punitively taxed on at source)is seen as a luxury and thus of course taxable..........whereas Caviar is not and so it can be bought tax-free! That's the sort of mentality and mindset of our so-called ruling elite one has to deal with when trying to debate the topic of "fairness" in matters of tax.
This message has been edited by garyneedham from IP address 220.127.116.11 on May 27, 2012 6:02 AM
A punch and die set would be Tools, chapter 82, 8207.30, Tools for pressing, stamping or punching, and parts thereof...
So what did you put on there? If you didn't put down a code or you put something incorrect or vague (like "model supplies" probably in this case), the receiving country will have to hold it, make a determination on the correct import code and determine the tariff, ie, the customs fee that the end user has to pay for importing the item. Some items are duty-free, others impact the native industry and thus are charged a fee, it all depends on the code, so it's important to put the correct code.
This message has been edited by sierrascale from IP address 18.104.22.168 on May 27, 2012 8:31 AM This message has been edited by sierrascale from IP address 22.214.171.124 on May 27, 2012 8:28 AM This message has been edited by sierrascale from IP address 126.96.36.199 on May 27, 2012 8:23 AM This message has been edited by sierrascale from IP address 188.8.131.52 on May 27, 2012 8:17 AM
It's not a "shipping code." It's a customs tariff code - international,
May 27 2012, 10:46 AM
which means, by treaty, it's the same for all countries. It's for the payment of customs duties for importing goods. It has nothing to do with the mail system, except for the fact that in this case, the punch and die set traveled through the mail system.
The guy in the UK, who bought the punch and die set is essentially "importing" a "tool." If there is a customs duty on that tool, then he has to pay to import the product. All these tariffs were originally designed to protect local manufacturers from competition of cheap overseas suppliers by making the cheap overseas stuff cost more. Simple international economics.
You don't "have to" put a code on the customs declaration. But then you leave it up to some bored guy who works in the customs office of the receiving country to open the package, look at the item, look up in the international tariff book and make a wild a$$ guess as to what code matches the item.
If you are in business selling stuff to overseas buyers and you put something vague like "model supplies" on the form, then you are risking pissing off your customer when he has to wait and wait while that bored guy figures out what the item actually is. That bored guy may have a backlog of hundreds of items to go through, so it may take days of weeks for him to get to your package. It behooves you to put the correct code and country of origin on the declaration slip.
Bottom line is, get some forms at the PO and fill them out yourself - don't let the clerk at the PO do it for you - chances are he won't get the correct code - after all, it's not his job.
This message has been edited by sierrascale from IP address 184.108.40.206 on May 27, 2012 11:08 AM This message has been edited by sierrascale from IP address 220.127.116.11 on May 27, 2012 11:05 AM This message has been edited by sierrascale from IP address 18.104.22.168 on May 27, 2012 10:59 AM This message has been edited by sierrascale from IP address 22.214.171.124 on May 27, 2012 10:52 AM
Chad Bowser (Login cbowser) HyperScale Forums 126.96.36.199
May 27 2012, 2:44 PM
That is very informative.
I'm guilty as charged, because I've only ever entered "modeling tool" for a description. The post office never questioned anything, so I never gave it a second thought.
I'll have to include the proper codes from now on.
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