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Buying region 1 from the USA

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Showing 76-100 of 128 posts in this discussion
Posted on 10 Jun 2012 23:16:13 BDT
In all that's been said I still believe my best bargain was a NEW edition of 'Die Hard III' from Amazon in the UK. The VAT was removed and the postage I believe was about 6 GBP to Australia. The DVD itself was 95 Pence.

You couldn't beat that. Even with the postage cost I was miles ahead from buying it locally. I believe in being loyal to one's country but why when I could expect to pay up to $ 30 Australian { do the maths } for the same film here.

Posted on 11 Jun 2012 16:40:33 BDT
AMPWS says:
Movie Mars are grrrr, I ordered 1-3 of a series of them. As I knew the customs threshold I ordered each season individually @ £15.99. They sent all three in one package even though I purchased them separately. BANG! instant customs charge PLUS post office £8.

Posted on 18 Jun 2012 19:46:18 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Jun 2012 19:47:51 BDT
Nisei says:
I'm buying many things from the US, South Korea, Japan and wherever I can find things. A lot of these packages get to my doorstep without me having to pay extra.
However, packages from Amazon US often come with a bill and it's most likely because they have AMAZON printed on them in huge bold type.

Posted on 18 Jun 2012 22:46:07 BDT
M. Pugh says:
you only have to pay Import Fees if the Item you purchase costs more than £18.00. I have bought many Items from the USA and Canada and only had to pay a Customs charge once.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2012 23:11:51 BDT
C. S. Hanson says:
Its now £15.00, its hard to find 2 discs for that price, to make it worth while importing! But if you are lucky or patient amazon usa is a good place for the imports.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2012 23:20:55 BDT
C. S. Hanson says:
MOVIEMARS... those B stards, i asked them to combine two seperate dvds i ordered on the same day, discs where ridiculosly cheap at $8.00 each combined they still would have cleared import duties, nope they still shipped them seperatly at $8.00 each postage! a nice little profit for them, not a helpfull bunch at all.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2012 23:25:25 BDT
Mr W says:
but if you buy from moviemars through amazon UK marketplace the p+p is only £1.26 per item ! so how did it cost you that much? i've found them and all your music to both be excellent with no customs fees.

Posted on 20 Jun 2012 12:28:20 BDT
Loaghaire says:
I buy dvd's (mostly older period pieces) from the UK all the time. I have never been overcharged for shipping,never charged the vat and never paid a customs fee. Yeh!!!


Posted on 24 Jun 2012 01:31:51 BDT
Lee C says:
All of the sellers I deal with from the USA, ship items individually. So if you buy 10 CDs, you will get 10 parcels. This ensures that you never get hit with import duty, unless you've bought a very expensive CD/DVD. I've probably imported about 50 albums in the last 8 months, and have never paid a penny in import duty.

You're more likely to go over the limit with DVDs, especially box sets... but even then, there are some US sellers, that export to a UK based distributor, and then they post them on to you, which also avoids the import duty.

I believe that the price has now dropped to £15 or under, to avoid import duty.

Posted on 24 Jun 2012 11:06:46 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 24 Jun 2012 11:15:48 BDT]

Posted on 30 Jun 2012 22:44:23 BDT
the us does not do that to you. we have no tarrifs. we need them on some products for sure. but personally the whole region coding thing is crap imo. I would buy them on or maybe? perhaps on those sites they don't charge you because you are buying it in america and then it's shipped to you. try that maybe.

Posted on 25 Jul 2012 10:40:09 BDT
I have just ordered a Blu-Ray box set, and it is currently awaiting payment after going through customs process. Would contacting them rather than waiting for them to contact me mean the charges would be lower or will the charges be the same and it would make no difference if they were to contact me or I was to contact them.

Thank you to anyone who can answer.

Posted on 26 Jul 2012 20:18:25 BDT
Bought loads of stuff from the States, books, DVD's even cameras, never had to pay import duty, though at times I get the feeling our PO just can't be bothered to collect it, or maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part, and on the more expensive items like a $400 camera still nothing though I think like someone else has mentioned the 'gift' thing. A couple of Christmas's ago I bought a huge and heavy Baseball book that accompanied Ken Burns Baseball Series, the postage by air mail was twice the price of the book!

Posted on 15 Oct 2012 21:25:43 BDT
do they charge you customs for a £3 dvd from usa to uk of so how much ?

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2012 21:27:23 BDT
i got a £3 dvd from usa to uk wil l i have to pay custom charge didn't notice ot was from usa

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2012 21:43:50 BDT
A. Deacon says:
You dont have to pay custom charges on a DVD for that price. I think it is any item over £18.00 although I got sent a card saying I had to pay customs on a DVD that came to £17.50 by the Royal Mail. They were charging me £12.50 which I will not pay. They can send it back.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2012 21:47:06 BDT
I cancelled it straight away and got no email to say was dispatched till looked on my account today was mad now they said been dispatched and cant cancel it

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2012 22:04:49 BDT
You won't be charged import VAT or tax unless the DVD (excluding P&P) costs £15 or more (the limit used to be £18, but has recently changed).

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2012 22:14:38 BDT
That's good but I still don't know how it all happened when I cancelled it th aka for your help I been going mad painitking that I gotta pay like £40

Posted on 16 Oct 2012 15:47:52 BDT
David says:
They seem to be tightening up on import duty in customes. Obviously there arn't enough drugs or guns being smuggled in to keep them busy. As for the post office what exactly do they do - hold on to your item for ages and then charge £8 to collect it. I don't think I will bother ordering from overseas anymore. It's too much hastle and money.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Oct 2012 17:30:52 BDT
P. Stark says:
Recently they failed to inform me a package had cleared customs and was awaiting payment for these various charges.

Neither Royal Mail or Parcel Force will accept any blame for failure to notify.

The package has no one but three tracking numbers assigned to it during its journey. The first allows the website I purchased the goods from to display tracking information, the second is so UPS can track it and the third (final) one is issued after inspection here in the UK - upon clearance this is your tracking number at this end.

Without the letter from Parcelforce but delivered by Royal Mail in your hands you have no direct knowledge the item ever cleared customs. My item was trapped in limbo for a fortnight due to lack of notification. It took 2 hours and 3 phone calls to get these numbers, identify/find the item, pay the charges and arrande for delivery! No one will take the blame for this oversight.

In another 2 weeks it would have been retured to the sender in the USA!

The UK postal system is a joke!

BTW, nowhere is the UK tracking number or charge info sticker present, so I have no clue how the charges were worked out/levied against it.

I am not happy.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Oct 2012 18:09:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Oct 2012 18:23:00 BDT
P. Stark says:
To miss Shoffman: -

Imports valued at over £15.00 postage inclusive are now subject to 20% tax and £8.00 Parcelforce clearance fee here in the UK. It is pretty random which packages are stopped for inspection and you may get away with your item being delivered without the customs problem if you are very lucky.

At marketplace items costing £13.74 + £1.26 postage or any combination up to £15.00 is best if ordering from the same seller since the postage label may not always break down costs into value of goods and postage.

In my case some of the smaller companies/sellers have sent items packaged together contrary to Lee C's post.

At the American or even Australian sites I've used local Taxes, VAT or GST are generally removed from your order total at checkout.

Presumably this is because they are outside of the EU meaning taxes may be levied in the destination country (UK VAT at 20%) rather than at point of sale/country of origin.

At amazon (European Union Member Country sites only - France, Germany, Spain, etc) the tax is included in the local currency - the Euro, thus paying twice should be very unlikely. You can challenge HMRC if they try.

At try buying directly from them and choosing either Expedited or Priority shipping an import fees deposit can be paid at checkout so amazon can act on your behalf. This is an estimate so any additional fees are paid by you or money refunded by amazon to your card (like the pre-order guarantee) if less than expected. I've had no trouble so far.

It's funny, that there are not one but three possible entirely different exchange rate options at play here:

1.) The amount in GBP at checkout.

2.) HM Revenue & Customs own calculations based on a totally separate rate so it doesn't matter if you use a currency converter because it will never be quite right.

3.) Your credit card company will use their own conversion rate (includes conversion fee).

From HMRC website:

Commercial consignments i.e goods you have purchased, of £15 or less are free from customs duty and import VAT.
Note: This does not include alcohol, tobacco products, perfume or toilet waters; these items are excluded from the relief of duty and VAT at import.
In addition, commercial consignments sent to the UK from the Channel Islands do not benefit from any relief of import VAT.
■ If you are sent a gift with a value of £40 or less, which complies with the rules shown in paragraph 2.4, it will be free from customs duty and import VAT. Gifts of alcohol, tobacco, perfumes and toilet waters are subject to the limits shown in paragraph 2.5, while gifts of perfumes and toilet waters are subject to the limits in paragraph 2.6.
■ Customs duty becomes payable if the value of the goods is over £135 but duty is waived if the amount of duty calculated is less than £9.

For your information: -

For Currency Conversion:

For general info:

For DVD & Blu-Ray Disc content/info [including Region Coding where reported by users]:

For Blu-Ray Region Code confirmation:

For Region Code Help/Solutions try:

DVD (not Blu-Ray) region unlocking (UK customers only) -

General: -

Posted on 19 Oct 2012 12:42:11 BDT
if looking to buy USA DVDs etc try never had trouble with custom charges from them even with value over £40 sent to me and they put value of merchandise under £18 so no custom charges yet paid from them

perhaps amazon should look in to doing something like this as they are loosing business by people going else where

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Oct 2012 12:47:51 BDT
Reviewer says:
Amazon may be "losing business" in your opinion, but that is preferable to them to being slapped with a huge fine for deceiving the tax man. To declare the wrong value is illegal, however much it might benefit the buyer.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Oct 2012 12:49:30 BDT
Ronda says:
Yes I have many times. The only catch is that you have to purchase an all region DVD player in order for the uk region to work. They are surprisingly inexpensive on the Internet and open up a world of wonderful telly watching. Is use mine everyday. I hope this helps.
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Initial post:  20 Feb 2011
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