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I have no problems with an import tax as long as the items are also made in the country where one lives - that way the tax tends to protect home grown industries but otherwise it is a blantant rip off by governments of all shades & colours!!

Some people may say, "Yes - tax should be paid on importing decoders considering Hornby, a UK company sells them"
but decoders are not the same - as we know, the amount of varities is huge. Yes. protect the local industry if they make the almost identical units, electrically & mechanically.

Rant over
 

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Poliss, your comment " I'd go for just having income tax myself and abolishing all other taxes"

Yes, I would definitely go for that as I , now being an aged pensioner, pays no income tax at all & thus abolishing other taxes would be a real bonus !!
Of course in some cases, they are not called a tax, but a levy or admin charge.

Ron
 

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Looking at post #1 in this thread the bill for GBP67 appears to be about right.... VAT on top of the amount mentioned plus the handling charge is the amount charged +/- any exchange rate variances which probably influence the figure fractionally....

I'm also an importer and reseller (with a value added tax system to cope with too_ - but I'm not in UK, so can probaby comment fairly

UPS are constrained by policy and charges as laid down in the tarriff - they don't make anything up - its all laid down in writing! You could probably work out their costs in advance if you visited their website.

US companies love them as they call at the shop to collect goods (no post office visits needed!) They track deliveries deliver reliably and usually on time and they get a signature - which means the shop can sell by mail order with confidence and they have NO work to do - can U blame them??

Economies of scale apply to any such carrier - LOcally in US they are cheap enough but for international, they are good for larger shipments, but not for stuff that shoud have been in the post in the first place!

Their primary advantage is good tracking and security and fixed reasonable charges as a proportion of overall cost.

Use ANY formal carrying company like UPS, Fedex or whoever and the result will always be a significant minimum charge that will hurt if the goods are minimal...

I actually use UPS very happily for many of my international suppliers deliveries but their charges are a low percentage of my total import costs as my purchases are bigger than a consumer one-off... and as to tax, well it is something I HAVE to pay whether I pay at port of entry or after the sale, so its not an issue.

I guess question #1 is with UK being hot on charging tax on private imports why not simply support you local retailers for as much as you can if the savings are minimal or zero if U get nabbed...... I do understand buying OS if big savings are possible BUT bear in mind that the local business needs feeding too - or are you willing to lose him for a few pence saved on a couple of decoders?

**Peter - As to the thread being moderated - what on earth is there in it to cause offence - a little venting over tax and UPS charges... but apart from that??

Richard
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
"I guess question #1 is with UK being hot on charging tax on private imports why not simply support you local retailers for as much as you can if the savings are minimal or zero if U get nabbed...... I do understand buying OS if big savings are possible BUT bear in mind that the local business needs feeding too - or are you willing to lose him for a few pence saved on a couple of decoders?"

I always support my local model shop when I can but they can't supply everything I want, so I look else where.
The decoders in question were MRC American sound decoders which to my knowledge are not available in the UK. As for a few pence saved that is not why I looked to the states its just a case that was the only place I could get them.
I think I am quite within my right to buy from where ever I want it's my money.

I would like to know how the customs actually come to that price! There was a handling charge of £1 so I still paid £17.48 on £60.00 pounds worth. To me that seems more than just VAT.

It was not UPS that was used just Royal Mail who in the past I have always found pretty good.

Regards Baz
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 27 Jan 2008, 07:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>they don't make anything up - its all laid down in writing! You could probably work out their costs in advance if you visited their website.

I would really like to believe this, but from personal experience I can't. If anyone can show me or explain why one should pat a total of £42 tax/duty on a $17 decoder I'll be happy to listen. I spent a fair bit of time trying to work it out myself and several phone calls to UPS who showed no interest in helping me. Their attitude was at best disinterested.

After receiving quite a few similar complaints, the shop in question now no longer uses UPS.

Rob
 

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QUOTE I still paid £17.48 on £60.00 pounds worth. To me that seems more than just VAT.
Imported goods are subject to excise duty which can range from 0% (ie no duty) to whatever. The rate varies according to the description of the goods.

Taking a simplistic approach because VAT is charged on the original price + excise (yes this is paying tax on tax and is an everyday occurance, just ask your friendly forecourt fuel retailer) we can estimate the split between VAT and excise as follows:-

17.5% on £60.00 is £10.50 which leaves £6.98 as the excise charge. £6.98 / £60.00 gives an excise rate of ~11%. A rough correction (6.98 / 1.175) for VAT on the excise suggests a rate of 10%.

David
 

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I ship all over the world by Courier, but I am now finding customs in certain countries are asking the question of WHY are my customers importing, when the ordered items are available as retailable goods(not railway modelling material)?
This beggs the question do or will import charges reflect protecting there own business infrastructure?
The last item of two Liliput Locos I purchased from the U.S were charged duty as precision instruments


David
 

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QUOTE (baz @ 27 Jan 2008, 20:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I always support my local model shop when I can but they can't supply everything I want, so I look else where.
The decoders in question were MRC American sound decoders which to my knowledge are not available in the UK.

***Theres a good reason why nobody wants to distribute them Baz:

Sorry to rain on your parade but I just spent today ripping yet another one out of a loco for a client and binning it, as it was simply not able to be controlled properly sound or loco wise - it was replaced by an ESU.

The low price reflects the quality.... The "inside comment" is forget using CV's - adjust them with a 5 pound hammer.

QUOTE (baz @ 27 Jan 2008, 20:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think I am quite within my right to buy from where ever I want it's my money.

***As do I Baz - in fact I said so I think... I simply made the point generally/not specifically to you, that good local retailers are a valuable thing to have. We clearly agree on that!

QUOTE (baz @ 27 Jan 2008, 20:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I would like to know how the customs actually come to that price! There was a handling charge of £1 so I still paid £17.48 on £60.00 pounds worth. To me that seems more than just VAT.

***UPS, the post office and anyone else have to create paperwork to charge you. You simply have to insist on a copy of it.
They'd get reamed well and truly by the regulators if they simply made it up as they went!

QUOTE (baz @ 27 Jan 2008, 20:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It was not UPS that was used just Royal Mail who in the past I have always found pretty good.

***Yes from my own clients comments when I export some of my products to UK The mail is usually good...However they do seem to have have occasional "look closer" periods - probably motivated more by things other than a few pence of VAT and its during these that a bit more attention gets paid...

As I said earlier UPS are not really good for an international "retail purchaser" as costs are high for small value small parcels but in fact they are actually quite good value for larger shipments... and as was noted, they follow a firm set of policies so always charge apropriate local tax and duty without fail....or favour.

***80 CLass: Re the comment that they charged you too much, they always produce an invoice for every transaction - they have to.
Insisting on a copy is the best check. Frankly though a single decoder should never have been anything other than airmail post - It was stupid of your US retailer to ship it any other way

I can only relate my own experience with them: Not as good as Fedex to deal with but better cost wise....Quite economical, reasonably on time and easy to track... Their greatest weakness seems to be p-poor customer service staff in their call centre, fortunately for me offset by having a direct phone line for their accounts section (after a long hunt for it) and a really good local Perth sub-contractors who give great service.

Kind regards

Richard
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Probably best we leave this here! When it comes to buying local, living where I do I have very little choice. I do try and mail order from the mainland where ever possible but as its a choice of mail order from mainland uk or europe or USA....I don't think it makes a huge difference. I'm sure its the same for a lot of us that don't live in areas full of model shops.

Rob
 

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QUOTE (80class @ 27 Jan 2008, 23:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Probably best we leave this here! When it comes to buying local, living where I do I have very little choice. I do try and mail order from the mainland where ever possible but as its a choice of mail order from mainland uk or europe or USA....I don't think it makes a huge difference. I'm sure its the same for a lot of us that don't live in areas full of model shops.

Rob
I think that sums it up fairly reasonably. Part of the problem is that you are not made aware of these surcharges beforehand and if you had have been you may not have made the purchase. If you are a retailer who is going to use UPS then please notify your customers so they can make a more informed calculation on the gross costs.

I also was notified that a post was reported on this thread but there was no clarification on what the issue was, having read through the thread a couple of times I am no further forward in seeing what the issue was as no details were put forward of what was alleged to be offensive. I can only assume that the post was reported by accident. It might well be time to draw a line under this as all opinion has been expressed.
 

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It's probably been said many times before...

Over the last 3 months I have imported a couple of thousand pounds worth of model rail equipment, mainly from a collector in hte US who has just sold off his entire collection, but also from a couple of used items dealers. In a few cases I have not paid a penny of import duty/vat. All shipments were by USPS priority and insured and ended up with ParcelForce. I have found the VAT charges raised via RM (on behalf of PF) to be correct in every case. Just once there was a customs charge on top of that of £17. RM charged £8 to cover their costs. In all cases payment was made over the ParcelForce Website and, with one exception, items were delivered promptly. Yes, I would have bought these items within Europe if I could, but most were rare or very rare and unlikely to appear on sale again. (Whether I should have bought them in the first place is, of course, another question.) By all means, knock those who try to profit from the system, but if we buy abroad we should expect to pay the required taxes.
 
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