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    • a8ree
    • By a8ree 2nd Aug 19, 8:26 PM
    • 7Posts
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    Charged customs duty on small HK/China purchase
    • #1
    • 2nd Aug 19, 8:26 PM
    0 WOW
    Charged customs duty on small HK/China purchase 2nd Aug 19 at 8:26 PM
    I ordered something from HK/China at 26. In the post today came a request for customs duty and an administration charge of 12.

    With these charges, it is way over the value of the item. Royal mail says that they will return to sender after 21 days.

    Has anyone had this before? Can I just ignore and have it returned to the seller and get it refunded?

    I bought using PayPal using a credit card (if that has any bearing)
Page 1
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 2nd Aug 19, 8:37 PM
    • 13,415 Posts
    • 16,212 Thanks
    • #2
    • 2nd Aug 19, 8:37 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Aug 19, 8:37 PM
    Customs charges are payable on such transactions if they are valued at more than 15 including shipping costs.

    When the Customs charges become payable, shipping companies are permitted to charge a fee for administering it.

    You may struggle to get a refund from the Seller, but you can try.
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    • amberhen49
    • By amberhen49 4th Aug 19, 10:01 AM
    • 29 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    • #3
    • 4th Aug 19, 10:01 AM
    • #3
    • 4th Aug 19, 10:01 AM
    Most sellers will have something along the lines of "Buyer is responsible for any customs/import charges."

    Although they shouldn't, quite a few Asian based sellers in my experience, mark items as gifts or don't declare the true value of the item to get around any charges.

    You can try ignoring it and hoping it gets sent back, but any refund would be at the discretion of the seller.
    • Spoonie Turtle
    • By Spoonie Turtle 15th Sep 19, 11:51 AM
    • 137 Posts
    • 83 Thanks
    Spoonie Turtle
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 19, 11:51 AM
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 19, 11:51 AM
    As already stated, the threshold is currently 15. [There are plans to scrap that with the intent of having international sellers register to charge VAT and then pay HMRC - I can't see that happening for most small companies or individual sellers (such as on Etsy).]

    I've been caught out by the exchange rate twice - I've bought what I thought was under 15 but was literally a few cents over according to the HMRC exchange rate. I learned my lesson and was fine for a couple of years, until I bought something at the end of July under the 15 threshold, but by the time it entered the country on 2nd August it was now 5 cents over. I actually don't object to the principle of having to pay import VAT, but considering Royal Mail charge a flat rate of 8 which is over 50% of the 15 threshold it makes those mistakes too costly and I ended up letting it go back to the sender. One wonders how RM are going to charge such a fee on all the thousands of packets from China and elsewhere in the far East that genuinely are only worth one or two pounds!

    Edit: sorry, I didn't realise this thread was quite as old as it is - I came across it looking for something completely unrelated!
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