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Purchasing direct from ToupTek. Import Tax


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Looking to hear some experiences from anyone that has bought from ToupTek directly. I was looking at their IMX410 camera and it states tax included. So, I messaged them asking if they are covering taxes and duties for international shipments and they replied saying they did. Their camera is already significantly cheaper than ZWO’s offering but this would make it well over $1000 cheaper. Enough of a saving to push me out of the ZWO ecosystem. 

Has anyone bought from them and can confirm their price is the final all taxes included price? What was your experience? I fear buying and getting hit with a hefty tax bill when it lands on the doorstep. I doubt I would have much recourse then. 
 

Posted same in another forum, apologies if you are reading twice. 
 

Edit to add: I’m shipping to Norway and I know they have a scheme where international retailers collect VAT on their behalf. Not sure if that is what they are doing here. 

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Posted (edited)

I'd be dubious if they state they cover the import duties which is different from VAT. VAT as a norm if it's being exported usually should be collected at checkout, otherwise is an addition cost + import duty on cost of item AND shipping which your local importer will claim for to reimburse the local government once the item arrives in the country of delivery. If theyre stating lower invoice values on their export paperwork to avoid triggering import duties, well that's illegal.

Edited by Elp
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Thanks for the reply. I am dubious although I know that companies can ship to Norway collecting all relevant taxes at checkout. I’m not sure they are. At least it wasn’t clear at checkout. 
 

It actually surprises me how many companies do not know the rules when shipping items abroad. Actually, my experience has been worse with European retailers, rather than Chinese. I’ll see if I can get further clarification from customer service. 

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I find it's very rare for a company to offer shipping terms in line with DDP (delivery duties paid) because of the variables due to shipping anywhere in the world, it's far more common for companies to ship DDU (delivery duties unpaid) though these are related to actual shipping terms (by boat/air). Receiving couriers often use deferment to reimburse the country of receipt government of which then the recipient is invoiced for prior to package delivery, in such cases then you would be in a pickle if say there's an additional 10-20pc at least added on top of what you thought was covered.

In my experience buying personal, and professional, import duty always applies (if your government considers it a chargeable commodity) in addition to local VAT above your personal allowance threshold, duty is added to as part of the item cost, VAT is applicable to item cost and shipping cost, the import courier will also charge a small handling/clearing fee. 

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12 hours ago, Icesheet said:

Thanks for the reply. I am dubious although I know that companies can ship to Norway collecting all relevant taxes at checkout. I’m not sure they are. At least it wasn’t clear at checkout. 
 

It actually surprises me how many companies do not know the rules when shipping items abroad. Actually, my experience has been worse with European retailers, rather than Chinese. I’ll see if I can get further clarification from customer service. 

My ( limited ) experience is that it depends entirely on the company concerned. I've bought a reasonably expensive musical instrument from a company called Thomann in Germany and the process was totally seamless. The prices were in £ on the website and there were zero problems with customs.

Other companies have just shrugged and said "Dunno, you sort it out". I don't usually bother buying if this is the case.

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SVBony do an all inclusive shipping, vat & customs price.  

I normally pay by credit card in these instances and if I was charged extra on top of the price I paid I'd expect either SVBony or the credit card company to refund that.

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If they are doing this inclusive duties paid pricing I suspect it's to get a foothold into the market and the prices being charged at present aren't realistic or sustainable.

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1 hour ago, StevieDvd said:

SVBony do an all inclusive shipping, vat & customs price.  

I normally pay by credit card in these instances and if I was charged extra on top of the price I paid I'd expect either SVBony or the credit card company to refund that.

Svbony offered me £28 shipping charge or £30 all inclusive of customs vat handling charges etc.

I was skeptical but paid the extra £2. £515 camera order arrived 12 days later via royal mail no extra charges.

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4 hours ago, Elp said:

Did the invoice on the parcel state the true value of the item?

Er.... I didn't actually look. Still got the packing so I'll check soon as I can.

I do remember it looked rewrapped up with beige tape. So customs officers must actually exist.

no sign of price on any of the labels i can see, but some are covered by tape etc. im assuming there must be some agreement to include all the charges but maybe i just got very lucky?

Edited by TiffsAndAstro
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21 hours ago, TiffsAndAstro said:

I didn't actually look. Still got the packing so I'll check soon as I can.

And the invoice said?

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This may help, it’s a reply I got from Touptek direct as I have had one of there cameras recently sent to me for a YT review, and I asked the question about purchasing an IMX571 directly from there store…

 

IMG_2889.jpeg

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Very odd, by international (law) they have to have a commercial invoice on the outside of the parcel, sometimes in triplicate declaring the item contents and value. I'm surprised it was posted without it as couriers will reject them. Or the item was shipped from the country of destination.

Edited by Elp
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8 minutes ago, Elp said:

Very odd, by international (law) they have to have a commercial invoice on the outside of the parcel, sometimes in triplicate declaring the item contents and value. I'm surprised it was posted without it as couriers will reject them. Or the item was shipped from the country of destination.

When it’s transferred to Royal Mail or the courier, after passing customs, then very often these other paperwork’s are removed from the box and overlaid with there own internal UK label, the last few things I have got from China, this has happened with

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1 hour ago, Elp said:

Very odd, by international (law) they have to have a commercial invoice on the outside of the parcel, sometimes in triplicate declaring the item contents and value. I'm surprised it was posted without it as couriers will reject them. Or the item was shipped from the country of destination.

It could be underneath the large label royal mail stuck on. But trying to remove that label wrecks the one it's stuck too.

I doubt customs and excise track comments on this forum. Yet ;)

I think it odder that I could choose to pay £2 extra to avoid easily £100 worth of vat duty handling charges

Edited by TiffsAndAstro
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21 minutes ago, TiffsAndAstro said:

It could be underneath the large label royal mail stuck on. But trying to remove that label wrecks the one it's stuck too.

I doubt customs and excise track comments on this forum. Yet ;)

I think it odder that I could choose to pay £2 extra to avoid easily £100 worth of vat duty handling charges

It probably would be under that, as I said that is normal practice, to either remove or stick the UK label over the top, once cleared customs and moved to UK delivery company…👍🏻

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It might be the case then that they're paying duties on customer behalfs to appear cheaper than competitors, but such a business model is not sustainable. Or they have various warehouses storing their product overseas and drop ship. ATM good for consumers, but not like for like prices as it's not a commercial level playing field but I suppose you can compare the pre tax prices to get an idea.

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Thanks all, some good information here. I’ve experienced both, where I’ve had no extra fees to apt and paying the full 25% + that’s due here. 
 

6 hours ago, Stuart1971 said:

This may help, it’s a reply I got from Touptek direct as I have had one of there cameras recently sent to me for a YT review, and I asked the question about purchasing an IMX571 directly from there store…

 

IMG_2889.jpeg

I had a similar response from customer service. If they can confirm there will be no fees then I think I’ll order. Have you had a relationship with them previously or is this the first camera you have reviewed? I assume there were no customs fees for that?

I’ll take a look at your channel! 👍

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4 minutes ago, Icesheet said:

Thanks all, some good information here. I’ve experienced both, where I’ve had no extra fees to apt and paying the full 25% + that’s due here. 
 

I had a similar response from customer service. If they can confirm there will be no fees then I think I’ll order. Have you had a relationship with them previously or is this the first camera you have reviewed? I assume there were no customs fees for that?

I’ll take a look at your channel! 👍

This is the first camera I have reviewed from them, and no it came direct from china and I had no fees at all,  also there is a UK stockist of the Touptek cameras, and there prices are good, £1170 for the OSC IMX571, here is there link, so any issues you just send back to them and not to China..👍🏻

https://www.microscopecameras.co.uk/astronomy-cameras

 

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