U.S. Customs will tax anything larger than $200 for personal use. In order to avoid such nonesense just ask whoever is sending you the merchandise to put on the customs declaration amount less than $200 U.S. and make sure to label "For personal use". You're complaining over a $200 import limit before tax? Try paying 25% VAT on anything imported worth more than $30... (Oh, and the shipping company usually charges $20 or so for "processing"). Labeling stuff with "no commercial value", "product sample", "gift", "for personal use", etc. is fraud, by the way.