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    • Selector
    • By Selector 6th Jan 20, 7:05 AM
    • 43Posts
    • 12Thanks
    Customs Clearance Charges charged after delivery - DHL
    • #1
    • 6th Jan 20, 7:05 AM
    Customs Clearance Charges charged after delivery - DHL 6th Jan 20 at 7:05 AM
    Good morning and happy New Year.

    I hope contributors have experience of this:

    About a month after delivering goods I'd ordered online from China, DHL sent me an invoice for customs clearance charges. The charges are nearly three times the price I paid for the goods. But that is not my point.

    In my experience, delivery companies, couriers and postal services typically hold goods for delivery until customs clearances charges are paid or are paid at the time of delivery 'prior' to delivery.
    I suspect DHL have made a mistake in delivering goods prior to receiving a customs payment.
    DHL have pursued the invoiced amount with reminded letters and are now threatening to pass the matter to a third party for collection.
    In my view, if I'd been advised of the amount of custom clearance charges prior to delivery, I would have refused delivery and the goods would eventually be returned to China.
    Despite DHL's UK website advising, 'The person receiving the shipment is legally obliged to pay Duty and VAT' (, advises, 'Youíll be contacted by Royal Mail, Parcelforce or the courier company explaining how to pay any VAT, duty and fees for dealing with customs. Theyíll normally hold your parcel for about 3 weeks. If you havenít paid the fee by then, itíll be sent back'. (
    DHL appear to have extended me a line of credit, to pay customs clearance charges supposedly on my behalf, without my having a consumer credit agreement with DHL. And one I did not ask for or want.
    I would like to reply to their latest communication letting them know I have no intention of paying their invoice and why.
    Experience-based replies and other knowledgeable contributions most appreciated. Thank you, in advance.
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    • scorsagian
    • By scorsagian 14th Jan 20, 3:53 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    I am surprised this lot have not had a go at you for accepting the package! They be telling us we should know not to to accept it. !
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 14th Jan 20, 5:17 PM
    • 3,448 Posts
    • 3,563 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    Well I'll start off by saying I have no experience in this area whatsoever.

    Why don't you just ignore DHL and their letters (and letters from their debt collectors)? Or why not write to them explaining that you have never authorised them to pay the charges on your behalf and you won't be reimbursing them?

    The two points I would be uncertain about are: (1) the government website you link to uses words like "normally". That's not a word that's usually employed in a definitive statement - sounds more like general purpose guidance to me and may not always be strictly reliable. (2) the DHL link you give goes on to say: "The payment of duties and taxes is typically the responsibility of the receiver, although DHL Express does offer the opportunity for DHL account holders to pay for them on behalf of the receiver". Is it at all possible that this "offer" has been taken up at some time? (Presumably by the shipper as you have not asked them to indicate that you would deal with clearance etc yourself).

    I think I'd want to satisfy myself on these points first.
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 14th Jan 20, 7:15 PM
    • 25,372 Posts
    • 14,829 Thanks
    Why don't you just ignore DHL and their letters (and letters from their debt collectors)?
    Originally posted by Manxman in exile
    Because the OP probably doesn't want to end up in court, I imagine?

    Why the OP sought advice on an internet forum and then roundly chose to ignore and, indeed roundly reject the advice from the most knowledgeable and experienced posters on this subject is beyond me. Accusing those same posters of being employees of interested parties is beyond the pale in my opinion.

    If I were a suspicious person, I might think the OP is posting solely to get a rise out of those posters. It's remarkable how often this topic comes up and how similarly the threads seem to progress...
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 14th Jan 20, 7:56 PM
    • 3,448 Posts
    • 3,563 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    [QUOTE=Moneyineptitude;76722437]Because the OP probably doesn't want to end up in court,... QUOTE]

    No. I think they'd be quite happy to argue the point.
    • Selector
    • By Selector 14th Jan 20, 8:35 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    So which couriers have you used before.
    The only one I know that doesnt invoice after delivery is Parcelforce.
    However its moot.
    You are the same as the hundreds before you whining after the fact you didnt know,didnt have a contract yada yada.
    Imagine if HMRC were to deal with the clearance themselves. Oh the uproar.
    Originally posted by custardy
    I don't use/choose any particular couriers. I/we simply order and stuff arrives and we pay any duty due when informed beforehand.
    Strangely, you have put service above the law and yet, like all other posters agreeing with you, offer absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support your position outside of, 'that's just the way way things are done'.
    Please tell me you have something more concrete to proffer....
    • Selector
    • By Selector 14th Jan 20, 8:39 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Did you pay VAT on your takeaway?
    So just like the OP except they chose to order from outside the EU and are liable for the VAT on import.
    Originally posted by custardy
    What, the heck, are you on about??
    • custardy
    • By custardy 15th Jan 20, 5:46 AM
    • 35,251 Posts
    • 29,937 Thanks
    I do love the warped way you reply to a thread
    Explains a lot on your thought processes.
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