voodoo
Posts: 1959
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 12:14 am

Importing Cameras To The UK

Mon Feb 03, 2003 7:44 pm

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!
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hkg_clk
Posts: 980
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 2:56 pm

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Mon Feb 03, 2003 7:52 pm

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?
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737heavy
Posts: 545
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2002 9:05 pm

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Mon Feb 03, 2003 8:42 pm

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
 
manzoori
Posts: 1459
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2002 7:08 am

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Mon Feb 03, 2003 9:44 pm

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
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voodoo
Posts: 1959
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 12:14 am

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Mon Feb 03, 2003 11:12 pm

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%.....
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737heavy
Posts: 545
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2002 9:05 pm

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Tue Feb 04, 2003 1:21 am

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
 
manzoori
Posts: 1459
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RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Tue Feb 04, 2003 1:28 am

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
 
G-CIVP
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 6:38 am

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Tue Feb 04, 2003 5:51 am

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?
 
voodoo
Posts: 1959
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 12:14 am

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Tue Feb 04, 2003 8:43 am

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.
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Skymonster
Posts: 3428
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2001 7:53 pm

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Wed Feb 05, 2003 9:28 pm

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
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
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RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Wed Feb 05, 2003 10:41 pm

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
 
n949wp
Posts: 1398
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2000 3:45 pm

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Wed Feb 05, 2003 11:41 pm

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
 
Skymonster
Posts: 3428
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2001 7:53 pm

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Thu Feb 06, 2003 12:14 am

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
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
 
G-CIVP
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 6:38 am

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Thu Feb 06, 2003 5:59 am

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!
 
voodoo
Posts: 1959
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 12:14 am

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Thu Feb 06, 2003 7:48 pm

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.
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Skymonster
Posts: 3428
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2001 7:53 pm

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Thu Feb 06, 2003 8:24 pm

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
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
 
voodoo
Posts: 1959
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 12:14 am

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Thu Feb 06, 2003 9:21 pm

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
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da Fwog
Posts: 845
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 1999 5:25 am

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Thu Feb 06, 2003 9:54 pm

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%.
 
voodoo
Posts: 1959
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 12:14 am

RE: Importing Cameras To The UK

Fri Feb 07, 2003 12:09 am

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.
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