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> Disturbing Postage Cost at Trainsafe
alanoes
post 22 Feb 2021, 21:20
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Hi all,
As some of you may know, I use "Trainsafe Vision" display cases for my locos and rolling stock.
I decided the other day to get a couple more cases. These aren't cheap, around the 100 euro mark for a 120cm case, and I don't mind paying that as they are good quality and do the job I want. I have bought many in the past and not considered the shipping cost to be over excessive.
But when going to checkout, they only have one shipping option, "GLS" and I discovered by trial and error, as soon as I put something in my basket a meter long or over, they wanted 280 euros shipping !!
This can't be anything to do with the old Brexit excuse (unless its just them) as I obviously didn't proceed, but did a google search for the 120cm vision cases and found a German model shop that had 2 in stock and only charged £13.13 for shipping and they arrived today (less than a week) I had to pay a little more for the cases than Trainsafe charge but still about £230 better off.
I could do with a 150cm case as well but needless to say, I wont be getting it from Trainsafe with those shipping costs, I'll just keep searching.
Regards
Alan
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Babz
post 22 Feb 2021, 22:26
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Hi Alan WOW that could have been one heck of postage. Which shop did you get them from. As it was the cost of the postage that put me off.If you do not mind me asking who was the courier in the End and how much was the fees for importing. I have heard that HMRC are charging 30% VAT????. What was your experience. Thank you. Babs
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Bear 1923
post 22 Feb 2021, 22:34
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AFAIK HMRC "only charge 20% VAT - BUT - they charge it on the postage as well as the product... Which feels like a real rippoff to me.

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dwb
post 22 Feb 2021, 23:31
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Sounds to me like Trainsafe are not geared up for shipping outside the EU and made a bad choice of courier. As you have already found, it is better to use one of their dealers who has a large ex-EU customer base.

I've read a lot of articles online from sources I trust about the duty, VAT, carriage etc. When the total cost is < £135 the seller should charge you local VAT. On arrival in the UK, there will be no VAT or duty to pay but you will have the courier's customs clearance charges. The seller in the EU has to be registered with HMRC to do this. Many companies with small sales to the UK have decided it's not worth the expense so have stopped selling to the UK.

When the total cost is > £135, HRMC will charge applicable duties and UK VAT at 20%. So it is important that the seller deducts their local VAT before shipping. I think the VAT is calculated after duties are added. ie a tax on a tax - but that's always been the case - just thing of how the price of petrol is calculated. The same goes for postage / shipping charges.

The unknown factor is the rate of duty but this can be found on the HMRC website. You just have to ask the right question. Search for model trains and you will find it has its own category and a duty rate of 0%.

Plastic building kits is an interesting case. If they cannot be dismantled after assembly they fall into a category with 0%. If they can be dismantled the duty is 4%. Think Faller construction kit vs Lego... I suppose.

So for us the questions to ask are:
* Does the supplier handle the VAT correctly for < £135 and > £135?
* What charges does their courier make for customs clearance and admin?
* How much does it cost to pay for the goods in Euro?

If there's no supplier in the UK then the only choice you have is whether you really want the item or not.
If there's a supplier in the UK but the EU supplier is cheaper, is the cost saving worth the trouble? One thing I don't know is, what warranty you get on any goods purchased although the cost of return for repair may be prohibitive.

For the present I am buying in the UK but getting less for my money.

David


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Babz
post 23 Feb 2021, 09:08
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Hi Everyone DwB I have read the boring HMRC document regarding importing. How boring it was. Model Railways have a zero % Duty on them. But It seems that when they charge the vat they calculate it as if there is Duty involved and the lowest exchange rate not the commercial one. So you have an inflated charge. Now who does this HMRC or is it the courier making extra money plus there fees which nobody wants to part with the information.
Now the warranty MSL are still giving 2 years and 3 years if you are a member of the "club" but you have to send it back with no Free label, they will reimburse you but they will not pay express courier. I would have bought my ECOS 11 from Southwest Digital. But they said that if there is a warranty returns. You the customer has to send it back so there is no point in buying from them or any other Uk supplier with articles that have a warranty attached to them. So it is now a minefield. I have now placed my order with MSL for my Ecoss11 so i will let you know. I also have a G Scale 2-10-2 on order that comes out in May Watch this space I have had it on order for a year now. Interesting times. Babs
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alanoes
post 23 Feb 2021, 10:18
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Hi all,
I don't think it was about the cost of the purchase but the length as I did buy some other items from Trainsafe below the 1M length threshold and the shipping cost dropped dramatically, but as soon as I put something in the basket at 1M long or over, the shipping shot up again to 280 euros, so perhaps its down to the courier they used. I have asked why the shipping is so expensive but as yet have not had a reply.
I have made several purchases from MSL since Brexit and the only difference with them is they now charge 9 euros shipping instead of 7 and you get some customs paperwork in the parcel, no extras on duty or VAT.
Babs, the shop I used for the cases was modellbau.fischer in Hauzenberg , a shop with an ebay presence, I have used him many times in the past with always excellent service. The cost of the 2 cases was 262.46 euros and shipping was 15.05 euros and just says Premium class service, again, no additional duty or VAT. But alas, I think that was the only stock he had as I have checked his site.
I will continue searching but at the moment have had no luck outside of the Trainsafe shop for the longer cases.
Regards
Alan
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dwb
post 23 Feb 2021, 17:03
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Regarding Euro / Sterling exchange rates. HMRC publish their exchange rates monthly - This link goes to the page for 2021 and the February rate for Euros is 1.1261.
So in my simple mind an importer calculating VAT liability should
* take the total Euro cost declared in the customs invoice
* Convert that to Sterling at 1.1261 Euros per pound
* Use that to determine VAT liability.

It's good to hear how other people are finding getting stuff from abroad.

David


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alanoes
post 23 Feb 2021, 19:49
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Hi all,
Just a quick update. I had a reply from Trainsafe in which they said that basically, since the UK is no longer part of the EU, shipping has become very complicated, (but from my other European purchase experiences, it would seem its only as complicated as you want to make it huh.gif ) . They go on to say that the shipping costs are based on "flat rates" and if it works out cheaper they will refund the difference. They also said I could ask for shipping costs in advance. So in response I have asked them to give me the cost of sending me 2 x 150cm display cases. I will keep you informed of the progress.
Regards
Alan
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alanoes
post 24 Feb 2021, 20:58
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Hi all,
Final update on this. I got a reply from Trainsafe today saying that shipping cost for on or two 150cm long vision display cases would be 30 euros. Why they have that ridiculous amount (280 euros) built into their system I don't know and for me to have to question it before they say you can ask for a shipping quote is madness, imagine how many potential customers have been put off by the shipping costs displayed.

On another note, last night I purchased a Roco Royal Bavarian coach from a Austrian shop on ebay. Everything went through, I paid and received a confirmation. Then this morning I get a message saying that "since UK is no longer part of the EU, they cant ship to UK because British customs won't accept their parcels and will return them, where are they getting this garbage from, I have been receiving model railway parcels from all over Europe since Brexit, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands and others with no problems at all, apart from in some cases a small increase in shipping cost to cover extra paperwork which is fair enough. Prior to this Belgium has been the only country to say that they no longer ship to UK since Brexit, without giving any reasons for it.
Perhaps some countries just want to boycott the UK after Brexit, but I don't want to get into a political debate on a Model Railway forum.
Regards to all and stay safe,
Alan
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SimonBoulton
post 25 Feb 2021, 15:29
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I've had a couple of items delivered from Europe that were under £135 and there was no addition charge from the courier so in that case, it's not really much more expensive to still buy from Europe.

Dave is right that the HMRC exchange rate is set once a month and is a reasonable rate, certainly better than you'll get from your credit card company.

I know of one guy who sent a Roco crane back to MSL for repair but when it was returned to him, he was incorrectly charged VAT and has to pay this to get it delivered before claiming the amount back from HMRC.

Where I think there has been a major difference is in Ebay purchases between the UK and Europe because these never included any VAT but now you have to pay it on import when there is no VAT taken off by the seller
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