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Subject: Paying import tax/customs duties rss

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Чебурашка, ты настоящий друг!
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I've heard that games being imported from North America can be subject to import tax or customs duties (whichever is the right term), but that it is not alway applied. What are your experiences with this? How often does it happen? How much does it cost? What factors determine whether it is charged or not? How does it differ between EU countries (I'm particulary interested in the differences between Britain and Germany)?
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Niko Ruf
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I've already answered your question on the Titan forums, but here is probably the better place:

In Germany, there is no "import tax" for games, but you have to pay the usual 19% Mehrwertsteuer (value added tax). Orders of less than 20 Euros are ignored by customs. From what I have heard, other packets can go through as well, but that's pure chance.

I've only ordered from the US once so far, but I had to go to the customs office to pick up the games and pay taxes. There was no handling fee, though. The only annoying thing was that the customs office is located in a commercial area on the outskirts of town which takes 45 min (one way) to reach by bus.
 
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Michael R
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Import duty seems random in the UK. It often seems to depend on if the customs declaration is properly filled in. If it is fully filled in no matter what it says, you don't get charged. If items are missing, you get charged. The charge includes a ridiculous (£8/12 Euro/$16) Royal Mail International Clearance Fee. I am considering asking for a refund of this £8 as I think it fits the definition of an unfair charge. Can Royal Mail prove that it cost them £8 to administer the charge? There is some sort of cut off as well. I think it is £18/26 Euro/$36 or twice that in the case of gifts. Below this you are not charged.
 
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Чебурашка, ты настоящий друг!
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Niko Ruf wrote:
I've already answered your question on the Titan forums, but here is probably the better place:


Thanks for the info.! I opened up a new thread thinking that it was an issue which deserved a separate discussion, as it could affect a lot of people.

I saw one entry somewhere from a guy in Denmark saying that he had to pay 25% on stuff sent over from the US, which really does seem high.
 
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(The Artist formerly known as) Arnest R
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Niko Ruf wrote:

In Germany, there is no "import tax" for games, but you have to pay the usual 19% Mehrwertsteuer (value added tax). Orders of less than 20 Euros are ignored by customs. From what I have heard, other packets can go through as well, but that's pure chance.

I've only ordered from the US once so far, but I had to go to the customs office to pick up the games and pay taxes. There was no handling fee, though. The only annoying thing was that the customs office is located in a commercial area on the outskirts of town which takes 45 min (one way) to reach by bus.


Precisely identical experience here.

Apparently, the fact that it was indicated that the contents of my package included cards triggered a knee-jerk reaction, as there is (was ?) a particular control for playing/gambling cards here. They checked the contents of my package very thoroughly till satisfied those were not (quote) "normal" playing cards.
 
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W M
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Are there the same rules within the E.U. as when receiving games from American?
 
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Niko Ruf
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arnest_r wrote:
Apparently, the fact that it was indicated that the contents of my package included cards triggered a knee-jerk reaction, as there is (was ?) a particular control for playing/gambling cards here. They checked the contents of my package very thoroughly till satisfied those were not (quote) "normal" playing cards.


That's really odd, since you can buy playing cards in every toy store and most shopping centers. But then, the law is the law, it doesn't have to make sense.
 
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Dan Dane
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » Game Groups » Europe
Re: Paying import tax/customs duties
Salo sila wrote:
Niko Ruf wrote:
I've already answered your question on the Titan forums, but here is probably the better place:


Thanks for the info.! I opened up a new thread thinking that it was an issue which deserved a separate discussion, as it could affect a lot of people.

I saw one entry somewhere from a guy in Denmark saying that he had to pay 25% on stuff sent over from the US, which really does seem high.


I am from Denmark and can reply to this. Starting this year, 2008, it will cost a lot more to import goods to Denmark. The tax on goods like, e.g. books from Amazon.com in the USA or any country outside the EU is 25% of the invoice price (including shipping charges). Additionaly, our postal service called Post Danmark A/S, which is state owned and a monopoly, charges a handling fee of $30. Therefore, if you were to order books from a publisher, make sure that it is packaged into one shipment and not sent separately into several shipments; otherwise the handling fee will add up. The handling fee used to be $15 but this year they announced that it will be doubled to $30.
 
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