Post # 1
A woman has contacted me from the UK and asked if I would ship my dress internationally. I told her I didn’t mind as long as she paid the extra shipping costs etc. I really don’t understand how shipping duty and VAT works and I would really appreciate if someone could enlighten me. Anyway, I calculated a rough estimate of shipping costs with insurance on USPS and it is about $80 (sounds good). I then visited dutycalculator.com and got this result:
Total customs value:£421.37
Total import duty & taxes due:£144.95
Total landed cost:£566.32
HUH?? Does she really have to pay 566 pounds (more than what she is paying for the dress)?! Is there a way around her paying VAT and duty? I honestly don’t have a clue what either even is. It just seems outrageous.
I also calculated shipping costs on DHL’s website and it was under $300. I UNDERSTOOD it to mean that was including duty and all the extras, but that doesn’t seem like it can be right. Can anyone provide some insight?
Post # 3
Is Total import duty & taxes due:
£144.95 what she would pay extra? That seems more reasonable, but I don’t know if that’s what it’s saying.
Post # 4
@dazydeadpetals: Yup I think she’d pay 144.95 extra ontop of what she’s paying you for the dress. that sounds about right aswell.
Post # 5
It’s really ridiculous. My SO, who lives in the UK, ordered an engagement ring from the US, but we are having it shipped to me in the US in order to avoid VAT and other taxes. I think it ended up being nearly 30% of the ring cost itself, and it seemed ridiculous to pay that.
Use this to help:
ETA: “…[customs] duty only applies on goods above £270 or £390 (whichever is appropriate) in value. Over this allowance and up to £630 there is a duty flat rate of 2.5 per cent. For goods over £630, the duty/duties rate charged depends on the type of goods.”
“Import VAT is charged as a percentage of the total value of the goods plus any other duties payable. The rate is the same VAT rate that applies to similar goods that are sold in the UK.”
And it seems the VAT rate would be standard, which is 20%.
Post # 6
Ahh, ok 🙂 thanks girls!
@bowsergirl: Congratulations on your ring 😉
Post # 7
Just a side note… I saw someone recommend shipping it as “used clothing” instead of “wedding dress” and it did drop the cost a little:
Total customs value:
Total import duty & taxes due:
Total landed cost:
Can anyone think of any reasons I SHOULDN’T ship as “used clothing” instead of “wedding dress?” She asked that I try to keep the cost as low as possible, and as a bride on a budget I can totally respect that.
Post # 8
I know some places do outright fraud and list the cost as a completely different amount and list it as a slightly different item. Some ring sites I saw would list all international orders as being worth $100, even if it was a $1,000+ ring. That gets dicey because I would hate for customs to hold the item for weeks and weeks, which they will do.
Now, with the used item question, I don’t see how that could be disputed. It’s still clothing. How is one to tell if it is used? I think you’d be safe to do that.
Post # 9
you’ve worn it right? as long as there aren’t any tags on it, i’m pretty sure it counts as used.