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Buying region 1 from the USA

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Showing 1-25 of 128 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Feb 2011 17:28:36 GMT
david says:
There are alot of vague warnings from amazon about inport duties and taxes on items imported into the uk . Has anyone bought from the USA or Canada and was there a big bill?

Posted on 20 Feb 2011 19:01:19 GMT
I have been caught by this in the past. I think officially the limit is £18. The customs charge is equivalent of VAT - currently 20% - but the real killer is the post office charges. They will keep your parcel at the depot until you pay the VAT and they also charge £8 on top of that as their fee.

Posted on 20 Feb 2011 19:31:40 GMT
Yes definitely keep it under £18 excluding delivery costs or you face a hefty charge. As Stephen mentioned it's the Post Office being greedy that is the real sting in the tail. They only used to charge £4 on top of the customs tax and VAT but £8 is absolutely insane especially if you've only just gone over the £18 threshold.

There are places that do cover the VAT for you and even though they are a little more expensive it works out cheaper than getting hit by a import duty, VAT and the Royal Mail.. Other couriers charge even more than £8!

Take a look on AVforums if you want to find out what retailers do this.

Posted on 20 Feb 2011 19:45:46 GMT
pb752 says:
I've bought quite a lot of dvds from the USA, Canada etc and have had to pay this charge on a few occasions. It seems as though you might have to pay it if the item costs more than £18 as the person earlier mentioned.
If I've bought a dvd costing say £25, what I usually do now is ask the seller to mention on the package that the item enclosed has a value of say £16 or £17 to try and avoid paying the charge.

Posted on 20 Feb 2011 19:57:24 GMT
ffblue says:
I have purchased various DVDs from USA via Amazon. I believe if the DVDs purchased are over £18 you have to pay import duty. My most recent purchase was for £70.08 which was dispatched promptly. In the UK these were held by Royal Mail until I paid £21 import duty. Once paid they delivered. Basically you will get your goods, just be prepared to pay the import charge. Would I purchase Region 1 DVDs via Amazon in the future? Yes.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Feb 2011 12:27:37 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 21 Feb 2011 12:31:33 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Feb 2011 12:29:20 GMT
david says:
thanks for the advice the dvd boxset costs under £10.00 so ill give it a goRemington Steele: Season 3 [DVD] [1983] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Feb 2011 12:30:31 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 21 Feb 2011 12:30:58 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Feb 2011 14:22:33 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Feb 2011 14:23:35 GMT
TJ Smith says:
I bought items over $18 through Amazon US - about $12 extra P&P and £9.50 customs (collected by post office). However, have bought items from moviemars and other US sellers through Amazon UK where post stated £1.26 (as usual), and even though imported, no extra charges! For example, just bought music CD for £3 including p&p, imported from US. My advice, only buy US imports through Amazon UK seller.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Feb 2011 15:13:23 GMT
T J Smith, you should only get clobbered with import duty if you're buying something that costs £18 or over not $18 before postage and packing costs. $18 is significantly under the threshold even at the current currency exchange rate.

Posted on 22 Feb 2011 15:13:56 GMT
S. Kiley says:
HI, I am in Michigan in the USA. I buy region 2 and pal from England. I LOVE British comedy! I have an all-region dvd player and it works fine. I don't have to pay any kind of tariff on this end.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2011 10:04:42 GMT
R. Martin says:
nearly all sellers from the usa will not lower the value of an item on the customs form as this is illegal.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2011 10:42:01 GMT
pb752 says:
A couple of sellers from the USA have done this for me and one from Australia as well.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2011 15:30:29 GMT
J. W. K says:
I have ordered some CD's form and I wondered how much duty I might have to pay, I was pleasently surprised to find there were no charges.
That was a CD, I'm not sure what would happen if it was a DVD?

Posted on 23 Feb 2011 16:00:36 GMT
R. A. Caton says:
As has been said, it's purely based on cash value.
I recall many years back, when I was in Hampton, Middx., I bought a second hand 8mm movie film (8 reels Convict 99 Will Hay) that had originated at Powell Films of Ascot..... £25 it was, and from a dealer in the US. The postman arrived and insisted on the VAT being paid in cash on the spot. Second hand goods aren't hit by VAT.... but since this was from the US they reckonedthe original VAT would have been waived.
Either way - they've got the goods, they can stiff you for what they like.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2011 18:19:48 GMT
D. Lench says:
If i was a seller in the usa i wouldn't give a toss about the law and i would very much put a lesser amount of value on the customs form

well how the hell are customs gonna know what the seller is sending

there are loopholes in everything, i should know

afterall don't we pay enough for our goods items etc already without anymore charges on it

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2011 18:22:46 GMT
D. Lench says:
so it must be just the greedy british who would want to charge more then

but don't you have any sort of import duties charges ever

only fools and horses is a great british comedy, maybe you've seen this

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Feb 2011 22:21:06 GMT
As Elvis sang in one of his early songs, I got stung. I purchased an audio cassette head cleaner valued at US $5.00 and paid about US$ 45.00 in bloody postage and handling costs. I suggest purchasing from Amazon UK - their prices are excellent and they remove the VAT / GST before sale overseas.

I obtained, new, the third Die Hard film for 95 pence - even with the postage I was way in front - and am now a regular customer for Amazon UK. Just type in Amazon UK to your search engine and away you go.

Roger DESHON, Toowoomba, Australia

Posted on 27 Feb 2011 12:19:29 GMT
CunningSmile says:
I'm not sure if it is still true but gifts used to be exempt. I've ought several things over the years that cost £18+ from Amazon US, each time I've asked them to tick the 'Gift' box on the shipping label and went through withouta hitch. Whether this is becuse Customs like birthdays or the fact that gifts don't have a price listed so are given the benefit of the doubt I'm not sure.

Posted on 2 Mar 2011 12:25:00 GMT
J. M. Greer says:
It is a lottery whether you get charged. I think it depends whether they have stafff on customs or not. The joke is that I see people coming off planes openly stocked to the gunnels with hi-fi equipment and other expensive kit and nobody stops them to charge duty. Larger reputable retailers such as Amazon are always honest about the value of what they are sending-smaller companies will sometimes lie on the customs form. The only thing that really annoys me is that Amazon and others will put the shipping charge on the label as well as the coat of the dvd so if shipping brings you over the limit you can end up getting a whopping bill even if the dvd costs under £18.00. I am sure I could appeal on this as the shipping charge is not part of the value of the product. It won't stop me buying from U.S.A as I only get charged intermittently.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2011 17:27:27 GMT
R. Martin says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2011 17:46:16 GMT
i buy dvds from usa and have never ben charged any extra post etc

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2011 19:46:32 GMT
I live in Texas, and my experience is much the same as S. Kiley's; I've ordered hundreds of Region 2 DVDs from Amazon UK, with some individual orders totalling as much as £140, and never paid any sort of extra charges (except for shipping, which is always a reasonable amount). On top of that, Amazon deducts the VAT, since they're being shipped outside the EU.

Sorry to hear that you have to pay extra for our crap.

Posted on 3 Mar 2011 19:51:59 GMT
In addition, Amazon UK's prices beat those of Amazon US, hands down, even on US releases. As an example, I bought five series of the new Doctor Who as a gift for my son last year (series 1 through 4 and the specials) for less than $120US, including shipping. Had I purchased the same items from Amazon US, I would have paid more than twice that.

Posted on 4 Mar 2011 00:12:00 GMT
I think it's just UK Customs that charges on such low value imports. The French gave up years ago - it cost them more to process than they took in. I've received massive parcels from the US valued at over $150 without any charges being levied. (Fifteen years ago they would have charged me for an envelope containing a single CD!) Long may this continue.
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Initial post:  20 Feb 2011
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