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Importing Cameras To The UK  
User currently offlineVoodoo From Niue, joined Mar 2001, 2061 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3594 times:

Some cameras can be had from U.S. on-line retailers for less in Dollars than the RRSP in the UK in Pounds. Thats too tempting even if there are warrenty issues.
I will know what the postage is when ordering but can someone remind me of the customs charges etc.? I know part of these include taxing the postage and delivery fee!


` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineHkg_clk From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 999 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3568 times:

Am I right that the inland revenue would later (i.e. after you receive the item) send you an invoice for the VAT that you would have otherwise paid on the import?


See my homepage for a comprehensive guide to spotting and photography at HKG
User currently offline737heavy From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2002, 601 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 3461 times:

If you have to pay any VAT on it they will not give the item to you until this tax has been paid. I've bought things from the US before and I've had the postman waiting 5 minutes while I wrote a cheque out. However depending on who has sent it and how it is marked may or may not affect the VAT situation.

Regards


User currently offlineManzoori From UK - England, joined Sep 2002, 1516 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3337 times:

Similar experience here I'm afraid!

I bought some books and A.Net merchandise for Xmas presents. However in the New year I was sent bills from the the courier firms (DHL & Fedex) where both had paid the import duties and then added and admin charge on top and sent me a bill.

In the end it worked out quite expensive! Something you ought to factor into the costs!

Cheers!

Rez
 Wink/being sarcastic



Flightlineimages DOT Com Photographer & Web Editor. RR Turbines Specialist
User currently offlineVoodoo From Niue, joined Mar 2001, 2061 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3197 times:

Thanks...basically I'm looking into what Customs charges percentage wise as a duty. Its not on their web site...maybe each type of item is different, so if someone knows what it is for cameras...?
VAT I guess is the usual 17.5%.....



` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
User currently offline737heavy From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2002, 601 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3168 times:

Cheapest thing might be to go there and buy the camera then bring it back with you. You should be able to claim tax back on the purchase but I don't know if they will will inform the IR and tell them send you a bill.

Regards


User currently offlineManzoori From UK - England, joined Sep 2002, 1516 posts, RR: 34
Reply 6, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3171 times:

Better yet, if you know someone well enough in the USA you could always give them the money and strict instructions on what to buy  Wink/being sarcastic and then get them to ship it to you as a gift!

Cheers!

Rez
 Wink/being sarcastic



Flightlineimages DOT Com Photographer & Web Editor. RR Turbines Specialist
User currently offlineG-CIVP From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1313 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3146 times:

Don't even attempt it! You will be whacked Excise duty, which will be a big ol' hit!

The idea of 'reclaiming the tax' is slightly lost on me - if you've purchased the item State side, surely its a done deal?


User currently offlineVoodoo From Niue, joined Mar 2001, 2061 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3129 times:

If I was flying over, then I might think of Canada where, as a tourist, you can reclaim the GST though you get it as a cheque in CDN$. You apply for it once you get home if you get the form in Canada. And, allegedly, you have to successfully stroll thru `nothing to declare' when you get back to the UK, so one would assume one would allegedly send the receipt to ones self seperately, allegedly.

So....since I am a legal sort, what is the percentage of UK import `excise duty' on cameras?
I guess that is the figure I am after.



` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
User currently offlineSkymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3093 times:

Digital still cameras do not attract excise duty when imported into the UK - believe me, I've checked and they are zero rated. They do, however, attract VAT at the standard 17.5%. I believe film cameras do attract excise duty as well as VAT, but I'm not sure of the rate of excise duty as it varies from one group of items to another.

Just a friendly warning if you buy something abroad and then just stroll through the "nothing to declare" channel... I've been stopped by customs before, and they've checked serial numbers etc before letting me go. Be aware that for most expensive items (and generally SLR cameras fall into this category) UK customs are aware of the serial batches that have been properly imported into the UK - the importers provide this information to HM customs. They can therefore tell whether you've bought a camera in the UK or not, if they have a mind to check. Also, you could get snagged by customs on not only the first time you bring that camera back into the UK - you could get snagged by customs at a later date too. If you've brought a camera into the UK, declared it and properly paid VAT and duty on it, they will keep a record and can check back - if you walk through even sometime later, get stopped and claim you've had it a while and you paid duty the first time you brought it into the country, they are able to check the truth or otherwise of what you are saying.

Andy


User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3095 times:

Good point Andy - its not just getting the camera in country - its keeping it once you get it. Customs can claim their money at ANY time, so every time you travel, have it serviced, or try and sell it on you run the risk of getting caught. And if you do get caught at a later date, you can be prosecuted as well  Smile

Yes, people do it all the time, and some get away with it ... and some people win on the lottery too  Smile

A compromise might be to check European dealers - not such a saving, but no import hassles.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineN949WP From Hong Kong, joined Feb 2000, 1437 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3086 times:

Good grief!! With all this sh*t about the VAT, it sounds almost like the UK Customs/IR are keeping tabs on everything owned by everyone just to ensure every last penny is squeezed out!

All of a sudden, I feel glad to be in Hong Kong.  Big grin

'949


User currently offlineSkymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3074 times:

949,

No its not like that. But there are risks involved in importing stuff into the UK and not declaring what you're doing - I think its worth letting people know what the issues are. I know countless people who have imported stuff without declaring it and have gotten away with it, but I know of one or two who have got snagged. And if you get snagged, it usually negates the benefits you were trying to gain in the first place. As we travel abroad a lot with our gear, if we do anything dodgy we're subjecting ourselves to more risk of getting caught than folks who just bring stuff in and never take it abroad again.

Andy


User currently offlineG-CIVP From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1313 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3063 times:

In my previous post I was using 'excise' duty as a generic term for tax. The confusing element is that VAT is administered by HM Customs & Excise from sunny Southend. My understanding of the situation is this:-

All goods imported into the EU from outside the EU are subject to Customs Duty (Import Duty or Import Tax) and Value Added Tax (VAT). All goods imported into the UK from outside the EU must be declared to HM Customs & Excise. In the majority of cases, this includes goods bought over the Internet.

Import duty is assessed first, then VAT added. The import duty element will vary depending on the nature of the goods. The person receiving the shipment is legally obliged to pay Import Duty and VAT.

And as anyone knows who works and lives in the UK, the VAT man always gets their man!


User currently offlineVoodoo From Niue, joined Mar 2001, 2061 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3023 times:

Skymonster wrote:
"if you walk through even sometime later, get stopped and claim you've had it a while and you paid duty the first time you brought it into the country, they are able to check the truth or otherwise of what you are saying"

Thats interesting because if you move, i.e. immigrate, into the UK with your personal possessions they don't take any serial numbers. So in that case they can't check (tho they may still claim it and put some sort of onus on you I imagine).

Canada used to, perhaps still does, have a system whereby you can register your cameras etc. befor eyou leave. They never asked me for any receipts etc. tho.



` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
User currently offlineSkymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3006 times:

http://europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/dds/cgi-bin/tarchap?Lang=EN

35mm SLR - import duty 4.2%, VAT 17.5%, overall effect approx +22.5%
Digital cameras - import duty 0.0%, VAT 17.5%, overall effect +17.5%

Digital cameras seem not to fall under cameras, but under electronic equipment, which is wierd, but I don't suppose anyone would complain if they're importing an expensive digital camera.

Andy


User currently offlineVoodoo From Niue, joined Mar 2001, 2061 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3007 times:

Just had a look at some German mail-order prices and they are pretty good.
e.g. Sony F717 1000 Euros = 657 GBP
If you know any German, or even if you don't, since shopping web sites are all pretty much the same....here's an example of a German comparative pricing shoppers web site for digicams:
http://www.preistrend.de/suchen.php3?keyword=more&kat=527



` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
User currently offlineDa fwog From United Kingdom, joined Aug 1999, 867 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2995 times:

Of course the advantage of buying WITHIN the EU is that you would not have to pay any VAT when importing the camera to the UK (from Germany, for example). The DISadvtange is that you will have to pay whatever the equivalent of VAT is in the country from where you are importing. Again, using Germany as the example, sales are taxed at 16%.

User currently offlineVoodoo From Niue, joined Mar 2001, 2061 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2996 times:

Well, continuing with the German Sony F717 as an example,
that 1000EUR/657GBP price includes German VAT. Unlikely to get that low a rice from a UK shop as far as I can tell.



` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
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