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Doofer

Postal problems

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(This continues from some comments in the Oracle thread)

We're all champing at the bit, running sweaty fingers over our credit-cards in anticipation of Mark's OSD going on sale: then I see that RC-Tech is going to be an agent.

How to choose who to order from? I know I should use my 'local agent' (the Kilrathi), but I wonder if ordering from Mark in Australia might prove quicker... (perhaps whoever I order from, they are dispatched from the same place...). This hobby involves seeing the world as one big marketplace, but the taxes imposed when one imports from different places seem pretty opaque (until they are imposed!). Is there a fixed difference between ordering from outside/inside europe?

Also, is there any way of paying the taxes at the point of sale, so the parcel is marked "Appropriate taxes for country of destination already paid", so it doesn't get caught up by those nice customs men?

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I will stock units at my place, so the price will be adjusted to include all taxes for Switzerland.

If you order something from a country that is inside EU you normally won't have any taxes as it's one big zone. However, as soon as it's from outside EU you'll have the import duties (some fixed handling amount + 19.6% VAT) to pay.

The taxes can't be paid in advance, they're charged directly by each country when the parcels arrive at the customs. Would be too easy to fake otherwise, plus a big mess everytime anything changes to make everybody update their calculations and stuff...

Edited by Kilrah

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Just bought a kit from the US and the very kind Royal Mail charged me VAT at 17.5% and a clearance fee of about £13 for the privilege of clearing it - so what was a $120 kit turned into £107 by the time I had received it. I get the impression that they are keener to charge import duty than previously.

Import duty is charged at the border of the country into which the goods are imported.

I have also bought from the Germany recently which is relatively painless but you will be charged VAT at 19%. For product shipped to you from outside the EU via an agent in the EU you may finish up paying VAT twice - you shouldn't, but some are less careful than others.

Peter

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Generally speaking, the fees are based on the type of goods. Here in the USA, there is a huge published schedule that has the Harmonized Tariff (HTS) codes. Choosing the wrong code can mean delays in delivery or incorrect fees. I've found that generic descriptions (like "electronic goods") for personal shipments seems to be tolerated by customs (they don't expect a clueless citizen to know such stuff). But for commercial shipments the proper code number should be used.

Since there isn't an exact code for things like "Video OSD", it would be ideal if you researched the customs fees for the various codes that could be used for this sort of item in your country. That number would need to be on the shipper's SED document or the postal CN22. The point is that there is a chance the import costs could be more/less depending on the code that was used.

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I'm thinking our stuff would be either:

8542310000 ELECTRONIC INTEGRATED CIRCUITS, PROCESSORS AND CONTROLLERS, WHETHER OR NOT COMBINED W/MEMEORIES, CONVERTORS, LOGIC CIRCUITS, AMPLIFIERS, CLOCK ETC NO

or

8542900000 ELECTRONIC INTEGRATED CIRCUITS AND MICROASSEMBY PARTS X

They seem to have thought of everything... except anything r/c hobby based lol

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FWIW, those codes are typically for raw components. For example, if you shipped a replacement Atmel MCU. For an OSD video system, you should probably look at the codes related to television or video apparatus. It can very difficult to find a obvious choice since the international HS codes have numbers that aren't observed by every country. And keep in mind that the specific code that is used will impact the tariffs paid.

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