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Import tax for possessions sent outside EU for repair when return to Germany?

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Hi all,

 

I have a piece of musical instrument that I bought 10+ years ago (even before I have moved to Germany) and recently I sent it to Japan for repair.

On it’s return, the repair declared it “returned goods, no commercial value”, but it has been intercepted by the notorious German custom anyways. 

 

The German custom wants my proof of ownership of this piece of wooden instrument - which I have long thrown away when I moved from continent to continent. 

Also, do I have to provide proof and charge of repair and pay custom / import tax based on the repair cost?

 

(i also have some other things that I have for such a long time that have lifetime warranty outside EU, I have not necessarily kept receipts for them anymore.)

 

What should I do to this case of repair export of belongings and return import?

 

I hope someone have the information to answer my question.

 

Cheers,

HM

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Hello,

 

I had to do this for a piece of electronic equipment. I brought the shipping manifest from when I sent the equipement and the repair bill for the repair.

I did not have to pay any sales taxes.

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10 hours ago, quietlaugh said:

Hello,

 

I had to do this for a piece of electronic equipment. I brought the shipping manifest from when I sent the equipement and the repair bill for the repair.

I did not have to pay any sales taxes.

 

How did you prove your ownership of the equipment?

Did you have a receipt back in those years?

 

Apart from the sales tax, do you have to pay any tax at all?

For example, if you paid 200 Euros repair fee, do you have to be charged import tax for that 200 Euros?

 

I really need to look into the situations of my case.

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Your repair shop in Japan did the wrong thing. They should have used a "temporary import" procedure when they received it in Japan. Or whatever is called there.

My previous company would repair equipment sent to USA and this was the procedure.

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31 minutes ago, menuhin said:

 

How did you prove your ownership of the equipment?

Did you have a receipt back in those years?

 

Apart from the sales tax, do you have to pay any tax at all?

For example, if you paid 200 Euros repair fee, do you have to be charged import tax for that 200 Euros?

 

I really need to look into the situations of my case.

 

I did not have the bill. A picture of yourself with the item could potentially be used to prove ownership but they did not ask me for anything, Only the initial waybill.

I would really suggest not to overthink it, each time I showed up they were actually quite nice, I explained the situation provided reasonable evidence and that was it.

 

I do not believe you get taxed for services provided abroad, just sales taxes. I could be wrong but what choice do you have anyway? You still need to go pick up the thing and talk to the guy. They are not there to cause trouble.

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I once used old pics of me with sparkly bits of jewellery for a burglary claim with insurance!

Op must have receipt when sent- you did send it registered?! ( and insured?)

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On 10/11/2017, 8:21:48, RedMidge said:

I once used old pics of me with sparkly bits of jewellery for a burglary claim with insurance!

Op must have receipt when sent- you did send it registered?! ( and insured?)

 

I sent it registered but I have not kept the receipt - because as soon as the repair shop in Japan told me the flute has arrived, I thought everything should be fine and the receipt of shipment should have no more use anyways.

 

What concern me now is, if I can prove that I am the original owner of this item, and the shipment of this item was for an overseas repair service with no commercial purpose and solely for person use, will the German custom charge import tax or custom fee or duty on the repair cost I paid? (which is discounted but still not cheap - plus shipping > 600€) And at what percentage will they charge me? like the 25% of the import sale tax on item price + shipping?

 

I want to get some correct legal information before I visit the unfriendly Zoll office again. But the only relevant information I can find is the "for businesses purpose, outward processing"

http://www.zoll.de/EN/Businesses/Movement-of-goods/Import/Procedures/Outward-processing/outward-processing_node.html

 

P.s. The Zoll office is unfriendly because last time they made a mistake of sending the notice slip to a wrong address so that it passed the 14-days when I received the notification and then the item was already on its way back to the original country - this made the whole process of getting the item almost 3 months long and I paid doubled shipment. I contacted DHL and DHL said the mistake was made by German Zoll office, and I contacted the German Zoll office and the German Zoll said the fault was at DHL, and I had an argument with the officers at the Zoll asking for contacts to direct my complain. During this and after this, the whole Zoll office has never used their English with me - and they always confronted me saying (in German) "you live in Germany, you have to speak in German" and whenever I said a sentence with clumsy grammar, they would reply (in German), "I cannot understand, your German is too bad", and when I tried to use my English, they would say (in German), "English, I don't understand". But obviously, these staff who behave like as such, had conversations in English with people of the same queue in front of me and behind me.

There is an obvious malignant incentive for these misbehaving Zoll officers to charge as much as they can on items of mine, and I have to make sure legally if I have to pay any duty for the repair service fee which is not related to sales at all.

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Well, throwing away the receipt early was obviously a mistake.  I have no idea how you are going to prove it was an old, used  item.   You  can see the Zoll's

dilemma ?  They need something to prove it is yours and used.

 No point in whinging about their lack of English and your poor German.  They are under no obligation to speak English with you.

Take a friend/colleague who can speak German along with you.

Sounds as if you were getting steamed up at the Zoll- calm down, that will not help you, and only make them less helpful.

How are they "Misbehaving??"!  

 

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11 hours ago, RedMidge said:

Well, throwing away the receipt early was obviously a mistake.  I have no idea how you are going to prove it was an old, used  item.   You  can see the Zoll's

dilemma ?  They need something to prove it is yours and used.

 No point in whinging about their lack of English and your poor German.  They are under no obligation to speak English with you.

Take a friend/colleague who can speak German along with you.

Sounds as if you were getting steamed up at the Zoll- calm down, that will not help you, and only make them less helpful.

How are they "Misbehaving??"!  

 

 

That is true, getting steamed up will not help.

 

They are not exactly “misbehaving” but just lying:

that they cannot speak English and cannot understand English when they use English to other people - of course, I am in Germany, I understand - I have been just an academic slave that I don’t need to and don’t have chance to practice my German with the super long working hours and in all English with other English speaking non-German academic slaves.

 

To be exact, I did not steam up at all in this incident, I was just a bit worked up with them last time of the misspelled address. The Zoll people anyways recognize me and play the “we are in the position of power” game.

Back in a few years, a friend from the US sent me a whole suitcase of things, and I had to claim that at Zoll, they didn’t ask me to provide any previous receipt and they spoke English with me also.

 

The bottom line is, if they ask me for another 300€ of just the repair charge of personal possessions that some other (e.g. “quietlaugh” above) do not have to pay, I will just let it be sent back to Japan and let a professional proxy to handle it for me.

The total charge will still be much less.

 

 

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11 hours ago, RedMidge said:

Well, throwing away the receipt early was obviously a mistake.  I have no idea how you are going to prove it was an old, used  item.   You  can see the Zoll's

dilemma ?  They need something to prove it is yours and used.

 No point in whinging about their lack of English and your poor German.  They are under no obligation to speak English with you.

Take a friend/colleague who can speak German along with you.

Sounds as if you were getting steamed up at the Zoll- calm down, that will not help you, and only make them less helpful.

How are they "Misbehaving??"!  

 

 

I thought about it: a geotagged photo of the item with me in Berlin some years earlier can proven some evidence.

A receipt of shipment does not provide proof of legal possession either, only an invoice does. Do we who live in Germany have to keep invoices of all things that we potentially may send outside EU for maintenance or repair??

 

I am asking for legal advice specifically, do you have some?

The Zoll must have some instructions and regulations about what to charge custom and import tax, e.g. does overseas repair fee of items for personal use need to be taxed? They are just not telling me, either they are not totally informed or that they are not cooperative.

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