Customs charges on gifts sent from abroad

178 posts in this topic

I think I must have been tagged for some reason. I have never NOT had a major hassle receiving anything from abroad. I've been accused of lying about things being gifts (they were rather horrendous items that I would never have paid for, and I came thisclose to just leaving it all there), of importing things for resale (yah, I am going to make a real killing reselling THREE snowflake ornaments made by kindergarteners), etc.

 

Customs can totally suck it.

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I signed up for an online course and as a free extra, they sent me a pair of earphones. Worth about $10 - but customs put a charge of 16 euros on it. So I just shrugged and left it at the Post Office!

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OK, how long does German Zoll clearance take? Am waiting for a crate of wine from NZ posted 29th January 2008, the other shipping carton with personal effects arrived some time back and NZ Post Track & Trace indicates it is with German customs. Wine is clearly marked as such and am prepared to pay duty, has anyone else ever shipped wine from outside of the EU?

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That's too long, even on high value items. I never had to wait more than 3-4 working days. Does the tracking information tell you who the handling agent is here in Germany? If not you should ask and contact them...

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Handling agent not listed, think will contact NZ Post, cheers.

 

EDIT: have now submitted enquiry with all the tracking info, thankfully stuff is insured if the worst happens.

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I signed up for an online course and as a free extra, they sent me a pair of earphones. Worth about $10 - but customs put a charge of 16 euros on it. So I just shrugged and left it at the Post Office!

From the German customs homepage:

If you receive a gift - value below 45€ from a person you don't pay any duty.

If you receive something commercial the limit is 22€.

(The exeptions are tobacco, alcohol, perfume and coffee. You have to pay duty)

http://www.zoll.de/c0_reise_und_post/b0_po...ngen/index.html

 

In my opinion it depends on the weight/size of the package. I bought radios, antennas via ebay in China - no problem.

When I bought at three heavy books from Amazon US the package was opened, but again no tax.

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The package has been found - it's in the damaged goods area at Wellington NZ Post Head Office. One bottle of wine broke (sadly the 2004 Waitiri Creek Pinot Noir) and has damaged the other bottles' labels so when they arrive it really will be a blind tasting.

NZ Post are repackaging, bubble wrapping and resending - they've been really helpful and friendly doing the trace. Phew!

The stuff is worth the wait though.

Will have to go to Garching anyway to pick up another parcel from the Zoll, bit of a pain that.

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Amazingly the bottles turned up about 20mins ago, all remaining 12 in relatively good nick and with labels still on.

And despite being clearing declared as wine and having the accurate (high - still lower than if it was German market value) value listed on the declaration, no customs duty was charged.

None.

Nil.

Nada.

Nichts.

 

Not complaining though. Woo hoo!

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Looks like one can escape while others are getting cought :)

 

I just received a call from my gf today saying that the I-Pod my friend sent me from US arrived per DHL.

That was a good piece of news, the bad part is that the DHL guy wanted us to pay 55,47 EUR (Duty, Taxes, and whatnot)

The declared value of the item was 130 USD.

 

I told the guy it does not make sense to pay 66% of the total value of the item, and told him to play "Return to sender" on his way to the other delivery :)

 

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

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I ordered software online from USA and I knew I will have to pay customs since it was $90 (I just could not find the same software in english here, and my german is not good to pay for software in German). So I got the green paper to go the Zollamt in Garching, and according to it I just need to bring the invoice (Rechnung) will it be ok to bring it english? since that is all that I have.

Then I do not know why the person that send if from USA put that the value was $25 (I did not ask for that) do you think I will be in trouble because of that?

 

Many thanks!

 

Ceci

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Possibly because he knew that you don't have to pay customs in Germany if the value is below 22€ (approx. 25$)

.. the guys at the customs surely thought someone is playing tricks(If somebody orders software in the US it must be more expensive).

90$ is approx 60€. VAT is 19%. So you have to pay about 12€.

I think this 12€ will not cause any trouble. (except that you have to go there)

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Just received one of these blue and green notices as well with the US Customs Declaration and Dispatch note attached to it. The declared value for this unexpected gift from a friend is $90 US and it looks like she already paid $55.50 for postage and fees. The green card has a box ticked for "Rechnung (zweifach; allgemein verständliche Warenbezeichnung in deutscher Sprache)". I had no idea this gift was even coming so how am I suppose to produce any type of document in German? Is that what they're looking for?

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mkg - if it is a gift & there is no invoice, then you should be ok. I think the Zoll spot check stuff coming in from abroad - even if it is declared as a gift. Yesterday the Zoll here in Düsseldorf said "in the days of Ebay, lots of things which are purchased online are shipped as gifts".

 

I ordered some vintage clothes from a retailer in the USA. They posted with an invoice inside the parcel & I got stung for import duty (12%) and MWSt (19%). I was not reckoning with import duty on second-hand clothing! Bloody annoyed me because the same article was not available here!

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...a box ticked for "Rechnung (zweifach; allgemein verständliche Warenbezeichnung in deutscher Sprache)". I had no idea this gift was even coming so how am I suppose to produce any type of document in German? Is that what they're looking for?

This usually implies they have doubt as to the declared value so want to see evidence...

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If I would work at the customs I would not believe that somebody sends something worth $90 US

and pay $55.50 postage. Btw. you have to pay customs for the gift and the postage.

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Hello YL6,

 

I found this in the German FAQ of www.zoll.de

(http://www.zoll.de/faq/postverkehr/postverkehr/index.html#post2)

There is also an English FAQ, but it doesn't contain the complete German FAQ.

 

Basically it says, no tax for gifts under 45€.

You have to pay tax on the costs of shipping.

 

Warum muss ich für ein Geschenkpaket aus USA Zoll bezahlen?

Auch bei der Einfuhr einer Geschenksendung aus den USA oder anderen Drittländern (d.h. Ländern, die nicht der Europäischen Gemeinschaft angehören) in die Bundesrepublik Deutschland sind grundsätzlich Einfuhrabgaben, d.h. Zoll sowie die Einfuhrumsatzsteuer und ggf. andere Verbrauchsteuern zu entrichten.

 

Von diesem Grundsatz gibt es aber auch Ausnahmen. So sind bei Waren, die von einer Privatperson außerhalb des Zollgebiets der Europäischen Gemeinschaft an eine andere Person im Zollgebiet der Gemeinschaft gesandt werden, keine Einfuhrabgaben zu entrichten, wenn es sich um eine gelegentliche, nichtkommerzielle Sendung (=unentgeltlich) handelt, deren Gesamtwert den Betrag von 45 Euro nicht übersteigt. Bei Tabakwaren, Alkohol und alkoholischen Getränken sowie bei Parfüm und Eau de Toilette dürfen darüber hinaus bestimmte Mengengrenzen nicht überschritten werden.

Die Wertgrenze bezieht sich auf den Betrag in Euro, nicht US-Dollar oder eine andere Währung.

 

Ich habe in einem Land, das nicht zur EG gehört, bei einem Versandhaus Waren bestellt. Warum wurden bei der Berechnung von Zoll und Einfuhrumsatzsteuer die Transportkosten mit verzollt?

Bei der Zollwertermittlung hat die Zollstelle den Wert einer Einfuhrware beim Überschreiten der Außengrenze der Gemeinschaft zu ermitteln. Dieser Wert wird nicht nur durch den für die Ware gezahlten Rechnungspreis, sondern z.B. auch durch Aufwendungen für Transport, Verpackungen und Ladekosten bis zur Grenze beeinflusst. Sind solche Kosten nicht im Rechnungspreis enthalten (z.B. bei "Ab-Werk-Lieferung"), so sind die mit der Beförderung verbundenen Kosten bis zum Ort des Verbringens über die Außengrenze der Gemeinschaft in den Zollwert einzubeziehen und damit auch einem Wertzoll zu unterwerfen.

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The good news is that I must have caught the customs person on a good day as, he asked us what was in the package - we told him based on the description on the form from the US - he had me sign for it and told us to go on our way. No additional fees! Not sure if it had anything to do with the fact that you could hear broken glass in the box when you picked it up as a candle had broken, but overall it was a very painless experience. Thanks to everyone for your help!

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Would appear its the luck of the draw.Just got a Nintendo DS Lite on e bay england with 18 games for € 172.It came from Shanghai but on the delivery form it stated 'Gift fom auntie Annie'.We had nothing to pay on top

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