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If anybody is looking for Lenz decoders, tonystrains.com in the States has stocks of all types.

I use the Lenz Silver L10331 which I normally purchase from Hattons. As you may all know, they cannot be found in the U.K.

Tonys Trains has the complete range, albiet under different numbers.

If you purchase four of the L10331, you get an £8 discount.

I ordered four on the 11th. They are listed as SILVER-MP. The cost was $111.20. including postage. The charge to my Mastercard was £56.69.

They arrived to-day, and I have tested all four, and they are exactly the same decoders as purchased in the U.K., even the same version number
The customs charge was VAT at £4.05, but there was also a charge of £8 from the post office for (Handling)

The total cost of the decoders was £69.09. Divide by four = £17.27. Cost from Hattons would have been £18. (if they had stock)

What is annoying is the time the Post Office takes to process packages from the States. The invoice took three days, the package took 18. They were posted together

Last year, before the Post Office was granted permission to take a handling charge, a large percentage of parcels would get through without customs charge, and therefore the ones I received took just 5 days. This is the first one I have had since charging began.

My parcel left the States on the 11th. The customs charge label stuck on the box by Mount Pleasant Post Office had the date of the 20th. This does not necessarily mean that was when it arrived at Mount Pleasant. This would have been when it was picked up for charging.
It then took 9 days to travel to my post office 80 miles away, where it was again date stamped the 29th, the day I received the card to say it was awaiting pick-up.
They obviously now have a great incentive with this £8 charge to stop every single parcel no matter how long it will take them to deliver.

It is a very annoying that I have to pay the Post Office £8 so that they can collect £4 for customs. If customs so badly want our money, they should pay the Post Office themselves. It is just more 'backdoor' taxation.
If you have a package/parcel from abroad that does not incur custom charges, you will still have to pay the £8 handling charge.

I shall be writing to Royal Mail International to ask what their justification is for this charge. After all, If I send a package in the U.K. 'Signed For' it only cost me 70p extra.
It is still 'handled'.

Alanb

Sorry about the rant, but it is another case of 'rip off Britain'.
 

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QUOTE (alanb @ 29 Mar 2008, 14:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Last year, before the Post Office was granted permission to take a handling charge, a large percentage of parcels would get through without customs charge, and therefore the ones I received took just 5 days. This is the first one I have had since charging began.
The charge has been payable for a long time. I beleive the amount changed last year.

QUOTE If you have a package/parcel from abroad that does not incur custom charges, you will still have to pay the £8 handling charge.
That's wrong. You only pay the charge if the package is assessed for VAT or duty. There's currently no duty on Model Railway items so you only need to worry about VAT. If there is no VAT payable (e.g. the value is below the threshold) then there is no handling charge.

Andrew Crosland
 

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Many utilities now seem to levy handling charges i get charged £4.50 a quarter plus vat on my phonebills because i pay by bacs transfer and not direct debit which on 4 phone lines equates to £80 a year and i believe the gas and electricity companies are now looking to do the same it is not so much of a way to boost taxation as a way for these companies to generate extra profits which in turn justifies the massive pay hikes that these company directors then award themselves

sorry must stop ranting

The point is though that we will see more and more of this as "profit opportunuties" are seized by these companies

By the way does anyone know why lenz don't seem to want to supply the UK market anymore ?
 

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QUOTE (poliss @ 29 Mar 2008, 19:22) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>No duty on model railway items. Where did you read that SPROGman? It's not mentioned on the HM Revenue & Customs website. http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalW...008654#P36_4692

Model Electric Trains, including track, signals and other accessories are classified as Toys with the Tarrif code of 950300.30 See http://www.uktradeinfo.com/pagecontent/inf...ds/toys0507.pdf

If you could show me the website that says there is no duty on Model Railway items I would be very happy.

Let's make you happy, then - go to http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/dds/c...tarchap?Lang=EN put in the TARIC code you identified above (but put it in as 95030030) and then the country of origin. If you select USA, for example, you will see there is no duty on "Toy Train Parts" and there hasn't been for about three years now, since the "trade war" with the USA ended. However, you still have to pay VAT based on the total cost shown on the invoice against the currency conversion used by HMCE.

Many of our product lines are imported and we have to legally pay the VAT due on any imported shipment, as well as the levy placed on the collection of said tax by the shipping company (in our case this is preferably UPS, or Royal Mail/Parcel Force). UPS has a fixed fee of £11 but RM/PF has a sliding scale of charges. Obviously prices have to reflect these charges which we pay.

Regards

John R
Bromsgrove Models
 

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I'm extremely happy with that information. It seems to hold for Japan and other countries too. I shall add the website to my favourites.
Thank you very much.
 
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