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Official Customs, Duties, and International Shipping Questions and Stories Thread

Landau

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I don't know if they do that any more. They usually collect on delivery. A while back (5+ years), you would get a call or mail asking for $. I recall importing some Nike sneakers from the US into Canada via Fedex. I got a call almost a week after they were delivered asking for payment.
Not duties, but sales tax or use tax. Not sure if there is a parallel in Canada beyond the GST though
 

winston86dit

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I had something interesting happen to me this week.

Ordered from the UK, just at the $1kUSD mark after conversion (doh!), shipped via DHL and DHL sent me a message saying the need to collect $300 of import fees within 5 days or they return the shipment. But then, after 1 day they just delivered the package. I'm confused and now i'm unsure if I am still going to be stuck with the bill.

Anyone have any insight into this?
 

illiterate

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I had something interesting happen to me this week.

Ordered from the UK, just at the $1kUSD mark after conversion (doh!), shipped via DHL and DHL sent me a message saying the need to collect $300 of import fees within 5 days or they return the shipment. But then, after 1 day they just delivered the package. I'm confused and now i'm unsure if I am still going to be stuck with the bill.

Anyone have any insight into this?
They will definitely attempt to collect. I'd say wait until they send you a threatening letter lol
 

winston86dit

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Don't pay it but accept that you may not be off the hook. If they badger you, probably pay it.
Yea, the interesting this is, I was all good with them sending it back and me just placing the order again except just placing it as two orders to get around the customs fee. Now, do I send the package back in order not to pay? Seems odd they would deliver it even when they said they wouldn't.
 

whorishconsumer

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I think down jackets in cotton or synthetics are actually pretty low in terms of duty into the US- 4.4% if the right HS code gets used.

Cotton
"6201.92.30 & 6201.92.05 = 4.4% Containing 15 percent or more by weight of down and waterfowl plumage and of which down comprises 35 percent or more by weight; containing 10 percent or more by weight of down"

Synthetic
"6201.93.50 & 6201.93.15 = 4.4% Containing 15 percent or more by weight of down and waterfowl plumage and of which down comprises 35 percent or more by weight; containing 10 percent or more by weight of down "
These statements are illogical.

Has anyone ever been hit with a use/sales tax after importing things?
A rep from Italist was speaking on this in the sales thread – if you do business in the states you are intended to collect state sales tax, regardless of where your business is located. As that individual explains, there has been slow adoption of this regulation by international vendors, so some/many still do not. Supposedly Farfetch will be required to do so starting next year. In general, worldwide online shopping has only come out of the Wild West over the last decade and the sales tax thing was introduced maybe halfway along, if I recall correctly.

and never get a shipment from dhl again?
I'll gladly you pay you tomorrow for a delivery today.
 

zippyh

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Has anyone ever been hit with a use/sales tax after importing things?
I remember a guy here reported getting contacted by California tax guys on an import. This was years ago.
 

whorishconsumer

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Yea, the interesting this is, I was all good with them sending it back and me just placing the order again except just placing it as two orders to get around the customs fee. Now, do I send the package back in order not to pay? Seems odd they would deliver it even when they said they wouldn't.
Duties aren't typically refunded, I believe, although don't know from experience. If so, you would have to take up with DHL in order to recoup/have the bill negated.

You are causing yourself – and the vendor – a headache by trying to return and reorder at this juncture.
 

illiterate

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Yeah, I don't think they ever refund duties. I got dinged ~$250 on a pair of dress shoes that UPS lost in transit. The vendor/seller was nice enough to refund me the price of the item because UPS royally screwed up but they wouldn't refund my duties and said they were investigating. This was around July. Haven't heard from them since.
 

winston86dit

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Duties aren't typically refunded, I believe, although don't know from experience. If so, you would have to take up with DHL in order to recoup/have the bill negated.

You are causing yourself – and the vendor – a headache by trying to return and reorder at this juncture.
No duties have been paid. DHL told me via automation that they would need to collect $300 for my package to even be delivered. Then they delivered with no payment being made.

The return would have been easy (and was already worked out with the store) but now I'm not sure what to do. Before, DHL would have just sent back and all would have been easy.
 

whorishconsumer

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I think down jackets in cotton or synthetics are actually pretty low in terms of duty into the US- 4.4% if the right HS code gets used.

Cotton
"6201.92.30 & 6201.92.05 = 4.4% Containing 15 percent or more by weight of down and waterfowl plumage and of which down comprises 35 percent or more by weight; containing 10 percent or more by weight of down"

Synthetic
"6201.93.50 & 6201.93.15 = 4.4% Containing 15 percent or more by weight of down and waterfowl plumage and of which down comprises 35 percent or more by weight; containing 10 percent or more by weight of down "
This proved invaluable information. The vendor provided an incorrect and incomplete tariff code and so UPS took liberties in interpretation and assigned an “other” code carrying a 27.7% fee. They invoiced me for $350. But because I knew the correct tariff code, I was able to direct correction. The vendor is in the process of resubmitting paperwork with the correct code, which carries a 4.4% assessment instead.

I don’t know how most would be able to address this kind of oversight, as reading and understanding the tariff schedule with no prior experience doing so is a nightmare, if you even know about the “Harmonized System” in the first place.
 

Regg

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nightmare is right. was it a store you were dealing with or direct from the brand?

it's basically a roll of the dice whether you're going to get hit, it seems
 

whorishconsumer

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nightmare is right. was it a store you were dealing with or direct from the brand?

it's basically a roll of the dice whether you're going to get hit, it seems
I purchased from a retailer and the order amount was above $800 so a duty was expected, but preferably one that was actually justified.

I'll post some steps to resolution of similar circumstances once my little drama has concluded.
 

GG Allin

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So, is it still the case in the usa that duties are not required for items valued at under $800?
 

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