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i am thinking of ordering a stellarvue F50M finderscope and some bits and bobs from the USA as nobody here as far as i know stocks them, so i was wondering how much the import duty might be ? my total order including shipping to the UK is $305 which is a bit less than £200 but i don't know how much import duty might be, i have never ordered anything from the USA before and for all i know it may well just go on the value of the goods but i don't know for sure does anybody have any idea ?

Rob

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I always allow 25% to cover duty/vat/customs charges

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many thanks for that Kai. i have since starting this thread read through a huge amount of old threads regarding this subject of import duty and it seems to me to not be a good idea as i thought just wish i had thought of looking into old threads first i wouldn't have bothered starting a new one. so anyway many thanks for your imput i appreciate it. am not going to bother buying from the USA now i will look elsewhere methinks.

Rob.

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Depends what you are buying i suppose. No point buying from the states when you only save £5 compared to the UK price. But in your case where you wanted something that was not available in the UK, it's a good idea. No other way of getting it.

Edited by russ

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There is a UK importer for Stellarvue though, Altair Astro and the Widescreen Centre do their kit. Drop them a line with the model you want and they can import on their next order and you can pay UK VAT with no additional import worries.

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Rob the answer is as follows:

Price of goods ($)

+ Insurance Cost ($)

+ Shipping Cost ($)

---------------

- Add that lot up and convert to GBP (£)

- Calculate Import Duty on this figure @ 2.7% and add it on.

From this new total further calculate VAT (17.5%) and add it on.

That will then give you your total true cost of this item and yes, you've spotted that a tax has been levied on top of an earlier applied tax! :)

There is a company in Germany (Johninderby uses them often) that I believe does these finder scopes and at lest buying from them will avoid paying the VAT as you are buying within europe.

Hope that helps

James

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I believe, if you buy from within the EU, there is no more duty / tax to pay provided that the local equivalent of VAT has been paid at the time of purchase.

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Don't forget the £8 handeling fee charged by the post office for the priverlige of paying C&E through them........:)

Along with other couriers as well btw , why would a business handle goods on your behalf for free ??

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Don't forget the £8 handeling fee charged by the post office for the priverlige of paying C&E through them........:)

not sure if it's £8 or whatever charge additional, but do know you do pay post office on behalf of C&E for duty/tax alone. Also think not every package gets charged for duty, only some so you can get lucky :)

Jahmanson think you may be right about no charge from EU

Edited by jam1e1

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I've imported astro gear from the US a few times and i dont recall ever been charged import duty. The only prices on my invoices were the cost of the goods+VAT+shipping.

I guess the VAT is the import duty"?.

When you buy import goods.............dont you pay the rate of the country you live in rather then the rate of the country you are buying from?

I only bought from the US when the exchange rate between the dollar and euro was GOOD.

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maybe importing goods via Ireland has hidden benefits of duty avoidance :)

I thought you pay the rate of the country you are buying from, if I find the receipt ill let you know

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maybe importing goods via Ireland has hidden benefits of duty avoidance :)

I thought you pay the rate of the country you are buying from, if I find the receipt ill let you know

I would have thought that "Import duty" means you pay the rate of the country you live in. Otherwise surely if you paid the rate from the country you buy from you would be paying "export duty"?

I really dont know. I never studied economics in school.

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I meant to say vat rate for that country, import duty for country in :)

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As a rough guide, the cost delivered is going to be the same figure in £ as it was in $.

Cost + postage + Duty (1.04) + vat (1.175) plus Parcelforce charges (£8) to collect from you any duty or vat owed to the Customs.

So if you buy $250 worth of stuff + say $50 postage ..

$300 -> £190 + £8 duty + £35 Vat + £8 Charge = £240

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I recently bought a spare battery for my 450D from a company in New Mexico (USA). If memory serves me well (and it usually does), i paid $15 for the battery and the shipping was about $5. Thats $20 all inclusive.

When i converted that into euro..........................i think i paid about 16-18 euro. The battery arrived here in Ireland via New Zealand.

For me to drive into Dublin and buy the same battery it would have cost 30-40 euro and that is not including the price of petrol or my time.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher

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I find if I buy from an individual and ask them to put $40 on the invoice they are usually willing to oblige, and it saves me having to pay import duties and taxes.

Companies will not do this.

Edited by pbyrne

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I shan't be doing it again, imported a $30 item, £3.x vat, fair enough, £8 post office handling charge! Now paying them for the service fine but about 33% of the item value and nearly 3 times what I needed to pay!!!! Never again.

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I always think that if the shipping and VAT etc is about a 3rd of the cost of the goods then it is worth it. Anything over a third and i will now buy it.

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Far as i know.......the Irish PO does not add extra charges for delivering packages/boxes that arrive in a van.

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thanks everybody for all your replies all noted and understood, i have given it all a lot of thought and have made up my mind now that i am not going to bother importing any stuff from the USA i just dont think it's worth the risk of possibilty paying a large amount of import duty at the end of the day, i will now probably will look elsewhere. cheers everybody and thanks for all your help it was much appreciated.

Rob

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Intrestingly the £8 charge from parcel force is for an unsolicited service. If customs and vat is paid then parcelforce don't have the legal right to hold the mail.

All they can do is sue for the civil charge but in the mean time they commit a criminal charge of unlawfully withholding post. So you can go down to the police station and make a statement and bring charges against them unless they deliver your parcel.

The system would be much better if you could just pay HM Revenue & Customs Direct...something that you would have thought would be so easy to do given the current electronic payment technology.

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You need to speak to HMRC and ask for import tax bands, they ask what you want to bring in and they give you a code for it (e.g. optical lenses), then you call some other department (HMRC gives you the number) and the other department tells you the rate for that type of item. I looked in to this a while ago, there are different import rates depending on what you want to bring in AND on total invoice value.

The rates are actually not bad at all, just complicated.

Re the above about handling charges from Parcel force, it depends on who delivers it, I bought a handbag for the wife delivered by DHL, who called me when they got it and delivered it the day after I paid the duty to them by card. Easy.

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