Import duty and VAT on goods brought into the UK from non EU

I saw this table on the internet and thought it
might be of use to those importing from ebay
US auctions etc. With the ££ getting stronger
against the $$ and acording to some it could
soon hit the £1 = $2 mark, all those
Custom shop Gibsons look a very good proposition.
Anyone else care to post the equivelent for their country?

Example of Import Duty and VAT calculation
The £ sign indicates UK Pounds
(sometimes written as GBP - Great Britain Pounds)
.............................................................................£................£
..............................................................................................Tax
.........................................Value of goods say:..100.00
Shipping and insurance costs to the UK, say:......15.00
Total value for Import Duty:...............................115.00
Import Duty payable at say 5% on £115.00:.........5.75.......5.75
Base value for Value Added Tax (VAT):...............120.75
VAT on £120.75 @ 17.5%:...................................21.13......21.13
_______________________________________________________
...........................................................................141.88......26.88

On top of this you have the courier handling
charge, Post office (Royal Mail) charge £4 per
Item, Parcelforce Charges start at £8 per item
and go up to £13.50 for items over 1,000 euros.
The handling fee covers the cost of the agent
picking up the goods from the customs warehouse,
and also the cost of collecting the govt duty.
So your £100 + £15 p+p bargain from ebay,
finally costs you £149.88!
Oh and you do have an allowance, i think it's
£18, so you wont pay tax the first £18 of the
purchase+shipping costs.

The most upto date info can be found here:
http://www.sloanefox.freeserve.co.uk/importukduty.htm

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My own, real life example still has its duty sticker on the box:

Bass guitar neck $46
Shipping $28
Import Duty £0
Customs £0
Value Added Tax £7.35
"Handling Fee" £8

I also bought a bass body for $95, plus some shipping. The VAT came to about £15 and (back then, things must've improved) ParcelFarce made sure their handling fee was over and above the VAT. The gits.

Lee's right, you can import goods to the value of £18 without attracting tax on either the goods or its shipping costs (gifts can be worth up to £36). Above this value, you pay tax on the item and its shipping cost.

e.g. Item = $35 and shipping = $20, no tax to pay.
Item = $40 and shipping = $5, you pay 17.5% tax on the equivalent of $45.

Here's an update to a recent change brought about by USPS. For larger parcel items, USPS has dropped both surface mail (unbelievably slow, but cheap) and even regular airmail. Items now have to be sent by International Priority (which was never quicker than regular airmail anyway).

This has a terrible effect on something large like a 100W valve head weighing circa 45lbs or approx 20kg. Posting from the US to the UK for such an item would now be a whopping $175. For me, personally, this has kiboshed any attempt to import some of the cheaper Fender amp copies over there. I have passed on Silvertone 1484s, Univoxes and a Plush P1000S (even a Fender Bassman Ten chassis) at ridiculous $<200 prices, simply because the shipping is too much. Heartbreaking. For small, under 4lb weight items, the Global Priority Mail envelope is definitely your best bet. For larger items up to 25kg, the Parcel2go.com website is good competition for USPS at around £80.

Just a thought.. i was looking on ebay for a Gibson Firebird when i came across a BIN for $1500, it was listed as new, unplayed, if he exports it to the UK, do i still pay the tax which is included in his $1500 BIN price?? or am i US tax exempt but pay the UK tax, or as i think the answer is going to be, do i pay Tax twice??
Silly question when you think about it, you pay tax on the shipping twice, so why not on the product.

You'll be exempt from local State tax (like anybody in the other 49 states would) but have to pay the UK VAT @17.5% on the value + shipping. You may be exempt from US tax on a new item, but that might require some penpushing on the seller's part. For $1500, he may be persuaded.

Anyone know if this applies to uk made goods being brought back?

There are loads of uk Burns made baldwin branded guitars in the states for not bad prices, and I rather fancy one.

Even though made in the UK, it will still be liable for 17.5% VAT on both the value of the guitar and its shipping, Joe. Sorry :(

1bassleft wrote:
Even though made in the UK, it will still be liable for 17.5% VAT on both the value of the guitar and its shipping, Joe. Sorry :(

I'm considering posting my guitars from the States to UK. Does anyone know if I would still have to pay VAT, Customs etc? Thanks.

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