Import duty on DVDs bought online from abroad

19 posts in this topic

I just received some DVDs that I ordered from play.com in the UK, and had to pay an extra 13% tax before the postman would let me take the package.

 

The UK VAT was already included in the price... Does anyone know why should I pay tax twice? We're in the European Union for fuck's sake!

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Unfortunately play.com are based in Jersey, which isn't technically part of the UK. You're okay ordering stuff delivered to the UK, but Germany considers Jersey to be a third-world country as far as taxes are concerned.

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Hi there,

 

I ordered a CD and a DVD from play.com and didn't have to pay any extra taxes. Perhaps I was lucky...?

 

chuf_nut

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Yeah, I've ordered shit-loads of stuff there before, and only had to pay any tax this particular time. Aquatic tells me there's a limit on the value of goods, around 30 euros or so, before they start charging tax. The DVDs I ordered came to around 60 euros - usually I only buy stuff with a value of 10 or 15 euros.

 

Jersey and the other channel islands are not actually part of the UK, so Germany might have some tax claim. However, the VAT on my DVDs was paid to the UK, so it should count as paid in the EU, and the german Zollamt should keep their sticky fingers off it.

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You only have to pay tax if its over a certain amount (around 30 euros I think?), but even then it's mostly a matter of luck. I once ordered 3 DVDs from play.com and only 2 of them turned up. A couple of weeks later I got a letter saying I had to collect the last DVD. I had to bring along ID, etc, and they wanted to know what was in the package. I said "A DVD, like it says on the front of the package". They asked how much it cost and I said "£13.99, like it says on the front of the package". They asked if I had a receipt and I said "It's inside the package" - the bloke opened it up, took a look, grunted something, shoved the DVD into my hands and said "Ok, you can go".

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interesting...I have never been asked for money by the postie but I have had many opened by customs and then they insert an official document which asks for money before sealing it back up and sending it on. I have quite a collection of these.

 

I took it to the post office once just to be sure and they had no idea what it was and sent me away.

 

Just waiting on being arrested as I come through the airport one time for tax evasion... :blink:

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www.cd-wow.com are I think based in Singapore. When you order several CD's they still send each one individually and each includes the green customs label on the back with the price - which is always under £18 and therefore no extra tax. also the prices on the website include postage. maybe not always the cheapest but there are some good deals!
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I have ordered stuff from the States sometimes I have had to pay tax and others not. I think its down to the cash value of the order and if the sender is nice enough to mark it as a gift.

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I always order from play (dvd's and c.d's) to be delivered to UK and germany and have had no problems with delivery / tax etc. They also split the delivery into individual items. As per the prevous post, they put the cost of the product on the packaging so customs know that it is below the minimum for charging import tax.

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Hi! I frequently buy DVDs and CDs from Play.com because I like the fact that you get the UK version of the disc and the shipping to Europe is free. However...I've noticed that recently most of the DVDs I order take much longer to arrive and come stamped with stickers from the Zollamt. They appear to be asking for money, and stuck to the back of the parcel is a nice official looking document with a bunch of numbers and a photocopy of my package.

 

However...there's no obvious thing I need to do in order to pay them, and they delivered the parcel without any caveats (i.e. I didn't have to pay before I received it). So my question is this...do I still need to pay this money somewhere to someone?! Or is it already paid by play.com - or just a strict adherence to a love of rules and endless documentation that doesn't really concern me?!

 

P.S. Play.com are based in the Channel Islands (Jersey I think), does this make any difference to the import duty?

 

Topics merged by admin

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As far as I know you don't pay any import taxes on stuff from the UK as it is part of the EU. I have received stuff from Play.com before and it would have a stamp on it saying it was cleared by the Zollamt but nothing else, but I have never ordered anything more expensive than €22.

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... As far as I know you don't pay any import taxes on stuff from the UK as it is part of the EU ...

The Channel Islands fall into two separate self-governing bailiwicks. Both the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey are British Crown Dependencies, but neither is part of the United Kingdom ... The islands are not part of the European Union, but are part of the Customs Territory of the European Community ...

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Goods ordered from the Channel Islands are subject to tax and duty in the same way as goods from other non-EU countries are. However, this only applies to goods above a certain value (around €25). The pieces of paper attached to the envelopes presumably tell you whether you have to pay anything, so I would ask a German speaker to have a look at them if you don't understand it yourself.

 

See also Taxation Of Goods Delivered From UK to Germany

Value Added Tax-free Exports from the Channel Islands

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Thanks, that's why I've never had to pay anything then. Never ordered over that value (since they ship everything separately).

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Not really true as i ahve had the same thing.Appaereently the Zollamt think you are trying to get around the European V.A.T. rules.I phoned Play up myself and they told me if i had anything to pay they would reimburse me but normalyy you do not have to pay anything as all taxes have been paid already.Strangely i have no problem all year until it comes around to Xmas orders i.e in November or December.Just got the game Buzz with Buzzers here it costs 60 yo yo's and at Play i got it for 45.No Zollamt paperwork with it

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They ARE trying to get around the VAT rules. You think Play, Amazon, 7dayshop etc etc are all based on the Channel Islands because the weather there is good? However, there aren't enough customs staff to check every last package and so many will slip through.

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i have had things shipped here from the states. if you have to pay tax the zoll amt keeps it and you have to go get it. if a friend sends it have them write birthday gift in German on the box. I never had a birthday gift stopped. I believe that there are exceptions for gifts up to so value but i am not sure what it is.

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