Sending a package from the US to Germany

Tax and customs duty


a friend has purchased some CDs for me and wants to send them from the US to me in Germany. How should he declare the package for customs duty in Germany?
Honest and anything over 45 euros will be taxed around 27%. Undervaluation could resort in fines if they are new and the zollamt opens them. My advice, have him ship them after opening them and listing them as your personal valuables and underdeclare them which you will lose money on, if lost in the post.
There is a spot on the paper your firend will have to fill out which says " gift". Make sure they check gift. That has always worked for us. Gift=no tax
Uncle Nick
I don´t know if this helps, but when sending gifts from Australia you can write "non comercial value" on the customs declaration so that the person receiving the goods doesn´t have to pay tax.
There is a good chance that they will open the package to check it. Happens to me lots of times. If it looks like a company shipped it, i.e. bill of goods, etc. someone's gonna be in trouble.
A German colleague once ordered 300 DM worth of CD's from an online store in Canada. I asked him why he would bother since the total with tax and duty would cost him more than if he just bought them here. He told me they don't really bother on smaller amounts. When they came, he paid nothing.

I have since ordered a number of things from American online companies including a 100 dollar book about 2 months ago. None of the people I have purchased from have ever filled out any custom slip for the package and I've never paid any duty on anything.

Now this is the second time I have seen somebody ask the question on a message board and got a similar answer - I don't know who has the right info but I am a little puzzled how I've never paid anything.
When I first moved to Germany, my sister sent me my $50 printer (which I had a transformer for), and she didn't know how much it cost and put $100 on the customs slip. I was charged $33 to receive the damn package. I could have just bought a new printer. Then when I got it home I mistook the adapter for a transformer and blew the fucker up anyway!

Every package I've ever received in Germany from overseas has had something like a 33% customs fee.
You should pay 7% import duty and 16% VAT on declared value or estimated value, whichever is higher. Some shipping agencies/post office may also charge an additional fee to administer the customs process or pre-pay the charges for you. If there is a declared value then charges will be due above a small minimuim (€18?). If the declared value/description is suspisciously low compared to weight/size of the package then it may be opened and a value related to actual content will be estimated. Knowing you will likely pay the best thing is to slightly undervalue the good and hope. Good declared as gifts (which are not liable to charges below a certain value) may be randomly checked, so you could simply take the risk...
I think the difference that marking items as gifts makes is that the amount above which you are required to pay duties is a bit higher.
I know I responded to this thread?

Get it sent to you as your own personal effects that got left behind to be sent later. It is either that or try B2B. It helps if you can write infectious laboratory material on the package.
I received an old carpet and although all shipping costs were paid i still had to pay 47 euros(30 for toll +17 for inventory charges).
A gift should be sent gift wrapped.
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