Customs charges on gifts sent from abroad

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I just found out that if you get married outside of the EU (like in the States, for example), you can bring up to 1000€ worth of stuff back into the EU tax free. You just have to prove that you got married while you were on the trip. We're in the situation - we are having a reception in the States for family and friends who didn't make it to the Germany wedding and we will probably get gifts (although, I hope not too many) and have to bring them back with us.

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Hi,

 

How long do I have to go and pick my stuff up from the zollamt? My brother has sent me something from US amazon as a birthday present (I have no idea why he didn't use UK or German amazon...). I have no idea what it is. I can't get hold of him as he is on holiday and refused to take his phone. I assume he used the amazon gift service - so I don't have a reciept (so don't know how much it will cost), will this cause a problem? I am loathed to go and pick it up - as I don't really want to pay tax on it - also I have a sneaky feeling it will be a DVD box set - that probably won't work on my DVD player... So how long can I leave it before it gets sent back? (Oh and I haven't read the card yet - as I am also away from Munich for a bit so I have only got a brief message from my fiancee as to what it says).

 

Cheers

Rich

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20 calendar days, I think. It will say on the card (which your fiancée can't read as it is in German).

PS Hello you, will I ever see the pair of you again? Been too long pal.

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That's funny. Amazon.com in the US now has a customs prepay option. You can pay the fees in advance and then, if they have overcharged you or the zollamt doesn't charge they will credit the money back to the card used to buy it.

 

@Kitkat, I think there is also some rule if there are wedding gifts mailed to you here from outside the EU, they will be duty free as well. However, this only applies if you receive the gifts after you get married.

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I had to do the customs thing with a birthday present recently. Is there a german site like amazon with an english option so that our relatives can buy stuff from that site and avoid the hassle of having to pick up the package from customs?

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My family plans to send some non perishable food items,..i,.e home made food and a pair of clothes..all valued under 45 Euros from India.

 

Would I be made to pay the custom charges and do I have an option to have the door delivery done or I need to go to the Garching office..Zoll office to pick it up.I need the parcel urgent ....so would like to know whether I would get it on time..taking into consideration the Zoll office sends me a letter then I pick it up..then it would be too late .....

 

Thanks in advance

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There are no hard and fast rules. IF the parcel is opened (or if it is declared as such) then food in general is not allowed to be imported so would be confiscated. If they are happy with the declaration or they open it and the declaration is satisfactory then it will be delivered to your home and you will need to pay any charges to accept delivery. If there are any queries, if they are not happy with the declaration, or there are further questions to answer then it will be held at the customs office, you will be advised and invited to visit to clarify their questions personally.

 

Remember too, the valuation is percieved value (in Germany). What might be valued under 45€ in India may be perceived to have a higher value here, and may have to have customs duties paid.

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

If I want to send some electronics goods to Germany, will there be toll for such goods? Where can I find more information?

 

Thanks in advance!

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Your profile suggests you live in Munich, which last time I looked was still in Germany, and sending electronics goods within the country does not incur "tolls". If you are sending from another EU country to Germany then no "tolls" either, but if the goods are being sent from outside the EU, then depending on their nature and value, customs duties, VAT and processing charges may be due.

 

See New customs charges from December 1, 2008 for more details

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This is our first year in Germany. My parents are asking about sending gifts. They want to know:

-Should they wrap them or will Zoll take it apart?

-Should they include receipts/invoices?

-Any other tips?

 

Thanks!

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There are no hard and fast rules. IF the parcel is opened (or if it is declared as such) then food in general is not allowed to be imported so would be confiscated. If they are happy with the declaration or they open it and the declaration is satisfactory then it will be delivered to your home and you will need to pay any charges to accept delivery. If there are any queries, if they are not happy with the declaration, or there are further questions to answer then it will be held at the customs office, you will be advised and invited to visit to clarify their questions personally.

 

Remember too, the valuation is percieved value (in Germany). What might be valued under 45€ in India may be perceived to have a higher value here, and may have to have customs duties paid.

 

 

That is not true, food is allowed just not meat, produce or perishables.

 

You can send snacks and homemade baked goods all you want. I have gotten hoards of food and even opened it with the zoll and sat and talked to them about what I wished I could send.

 

There is no ban on sending food in the post.

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This is our first year in Germany. My parents are asking about sending gifts. They want to know:

-Should they wrap them or will Zoll take it apart?

-Should they include receipts/invoices?

-Any other tips?

 

Thanks!

 

 

No wrapped gifts they will make you open them. if you want use gift bags they can be opened and then used later for gifting.

 

Yes include reciepts or copies of them for the value decalration.

 

I have had many packages stopped, showed the slips paid the tax and no issues. Only delays which is normal with the zoll especially during the holidays.

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I'm going to the Zollamt in Schoeneberg tomorrow to pick up a package of Christmas presents from the US. It's the first time I am doing this and I have my apprehensions. My German is currently at B1 level and my German is only good for regular conversations (hi, how are you, I am lost, can you show me the way... etc). My boyfriend is sick and won't be able to come with me. I hope it'll be okay. My sister declared the price of the contents and it's posted on the box, so why are they holding it?

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Because you got to be verified and poss. pay an import fee. Bring your Passport, and some cash..

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Will do.

 

What do you mean by 'verified'? My identity, you mean? I really have to open my Christmas presents there, huh? :(

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I arrived there at about 9:15 with my 2+ year old daughter. You've to get a number at the reception. The man there was friendly. We waited about 2 hours, then our number came up. The man at the 5th counter (counters numbered 1-5, cashiers 6-7) was nice, too. He asked me if what was in the box were presents and that he wanted to check what was inside anyhow. He asked me if I knew how much entire contents cost and I told him that my sister said that the paper declaring the value of the presents was supposed to be taped on top of the box. We looked for this paper but it was not there, then he said that everything was fine and that I could go. :)

 

I hope this info will be useful: When I was there, the numbers didn't appear on the console in numerical order. I had number 044 and others with numbers 060, 059, 045, then 022, 021, 030 were summoned before mine. It's handed chronologically by the receptionist, of course. It's just not a totally 'first come first served' thing. My boyfriend told me to go there as early as possible. Not really useful.

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Do you still have to pay 19% on the shipping? That seems insane, and I can't figure out what possible support they could have for that claim. I understand the tax on the item though. Thanks!

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Shipping is taxed because the duties are calculated based on the cost of goods delivered (which includes shipping charges). We may not like it, but it's the global standard.

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Geez...you would think they could raise the limit a little bit considering I have never recieved a package from the US with less than $20 in shipping alone. That makes shipping a min of 1/3 the item value (our current customs package would be 66% shipping costs). All for a small Christmas present!

 

Thanks for the info though!

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