Secret Santa Shipping and Duties/ Buying INFO
All engines full to awesome land!
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Secret Santa is upon us. The BGG one is here. RPGG here, VGG and the rest should be up soon, and I will update ocordingly. One of the very few problems we have when sending a gift is to know what can be done or not when sending for a foreign country. Duties, taxes, prohibitions are all complicated. This geeklist aim to to help the Geeks know what they can andor should do when sending an item across the globe.
How does this list work
Add a game for any domain to the list, which represents the country. And preferable has the Country name on the title. Explain the rules, if possible follow the template I used for the Brazil's Entry. If you want to discuss, ask a question or make a correction to a given country info, just reply to that item. Try to make it as through as possible, and if possible add info not only pertinent for Board Games but also for RPGs and Video Games.
We had a similar geeklist on the previous years, the links follow below. They are a very good resource you should also check. If there is contradictory info between this one and those, assume that the laws change and what shows here is more updated.
2009 - Secret Santa International Shipping / Buying Info
2010 - Secret Santa International Shipping List - Duties and Taxes
27 World Series titles and counting!
And 28 is coming soon!
Items under 20$ are exempt from duties/taxes, gift or not.
Items marked as GIFTS are exempt from duties/taxes if under 60$ as long as they are sent by an individual, not a business.
If the gift value exceeds 60$, the recipient will be forced to pay for duty/taxes of the amount exceeding 60$. (A gift of 75$ would be taxed on 15$)
The 60$ gift exemption on duties/taxes won't be valid for tobacco, alcoholic or advertising materials.
Sending via Ground Courier (UPS, FedEx) will result in large brokerage fee for the recipient. Please use standard postal services (USPS, Canada Post)
The best way to send games to Canadians is via Canadian online gaming stores. Many of them provide a fixed shipping cost regardless of the order size/cost.
NOTE that there is a rotating strike at the moment at Canada Post. Using Canadian online retailers is the best way send gifts to Canadian targets. International parcels may be sent to other ground couriers which could be pricy for your target. ***
A few great online game stores in Canada (Updated for 2018):
espacejeux.tv (Montreal, QC) Price includes Taxes. Email JF (firstname.lastname@example.org) for questions, availability, etc.
levalet.com (Montreal, QC)
boardgamebliss.com (Toronto, ON) Great place for imported games!
store.401games.ca (Toronto, ON)
meeplemart.com (Toronto, ON)
greatboardgames.ca (Kitchener, ON)
snakesandlattes.com/shop (Toronto, ON)
geekstopgames.ca (London, ON)
boardgames.ca (St. Albert, AB)
sentrybox.com (Calgary, AB - B&M)
If looking for FRENCH versions of games, I'd strongly recommend using Quebec online retailers.
Feel free to GM me or reply in this thread as I'm subscribed.
Charles-Louis de Maere
Being in the EU, shipping from most countries outside the EU are bound to require some import taxes.
- Duty Taxes (droits d'entrée): none, as long as the shipment's value is below 150 EUR
- VAT (TVA/BTW) : 21% for all goods worth more than 22 EUR.
However, the VAT part is quite tricky : some shipments manage to pass through the Tax Officer's without problems, while others (usually from big, known stores) will get VAT every time.
Shops in Belgium
There are a few online shops in Belgium, however being a complicated country, some stock mostly games in english and dutch, while others stock mostly games in french. I guess for Secret Santa gifts, make sure you know whether your target prefers a game in French/Dutch/English, or if language doesn't matter.
Spelshop (They also have games in french!)
I don't know of any french online shop (in Belgium) at the moment. I usually shop at Case Départ in Louvain-La-Neuve, but they don't have a webshop. This will be updated whenever I get more information.
Shops in the EU shipping for free to BE
The Amazon-family (Amazon.fr, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de). They don't have all the games, Amazon.de has a larger choice, and all offer free shipping to BE as from 15 EUR.
http://www.reservoir-jeux.com : Free shipping as from 100 EUR
http://www.jeuxsurunplateau.com/fr/boutique/boutique-jsp/bou... : Free shipping as from (100?) EUR
http://www.spiele-offensive.de/ (Actually, they have free shipping to Germany, but have a nice variety of choices)
If you have other shops to share, feel free to let me know !
[Edit] Added Adriaensen speciaalzaak and Philibertnet
BFL's going down (under)
Australia (aka 'Straya, the Land Down Under)
Customs and taxes
Australia is lucky, in that there is no tax for imports of goods (except tobacco and alcohol) up to $1000 Australian Dollars in value by or for private individuals (including gifts).
The government is planning to change this as of 2017, but exactly how it will work or be enforced is not yet clear.
You should put a declaration on your package indicating the nature of the goods ('board game - gift' is adequate) and the approximate Australian dollar value.
There is a long list of prohibited or restricted items that can be found at http://www.border.gov.au/Busi/Impo/Proh There isn't really anything there that will impact board gamers, but be aware if you want to send anything extra to your target that Australia has very strict controls on the import of animal or plant matter - so don't send your homemade beef jerky!
Shipping to Australia
Shipping to Australia from other parts of the world tends to be expensive, due to the distances involved. Especially from the USA. It used to be the case that the Australian dollar was so strong that in spite of this it was still cheaper to buy from overseas and import, but those days are behind us, and it's generally cheaper to buy and ship within Australia.
Even so, shipping within Australia can be expensive. Not many stores offer free shipping, and those that do usually have a high minimum spend ($100 or more, typically). Many stores will have different shipping rates depending on the location within the country, so you can often save a few bucks if you buy from a store in the same city as the target.
Australian based stores
Rather than reinvent the wheel, I will point you to this excellent thread.
Amazon may or may not deliver to Australia depending on the item, it's a bit of a crapshoot.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Live long and prosper.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
If you have questions of how to get games to Bosnia and Herzegovina, feel free to geekmail me.
Still no word from my Santa, so this might help.
Black hole, cause, we are Black hole
All engines full to awesome land!
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The below archived information includes sections that are out of date.
Please see https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/216054/santa-tropics for updated information about shipping to Brazil
Taxes and Duties
Brazil has the highest taxes of the developed world, and that also applies for online stores. The tax on imports is 60% of the total value of the present + shipping
. There are a few exceptions though:
- If the total value is at most US$50.00 and the sender and recipient are individuals, and not companies, the package is free of tax;
- Books are free of taxes;
- Software, and that include video games, are always 60% tax;
- Total value of more than US$500 (if you want to go completely crazy
) have some other special rules, and are much more expensive.
- The tax is a little random.
This means that it is not guaranteed that it will be collected. My friends and I had orders of more than US 500 which didn't have any tax on it. End of year is also good because of the volume a lot of orders go by without proper check.
Basically everyone on Brazil expect those taxes to apply, although we've been a little luck, at least on my group, with a lot of games coming with no taxes. In any case we are ready to pay for that, so, unless your recipient says differently on their profile, don't worry about that
. So if you want to go all happy given and charitable sending a lot of presents to your target, just ask him before hand if he can handle a big tax tab. I don't think anyone will mind at all Courier Services
All of the rules above apply for shipping through mail service, and not courier. For courier there is the 60% tax, plus a few other fees which can make it go to more than 100%. Also, it is guaranteed that the recipient will face the tax, even if it is a gift. So avoid sending through a Courier. Again, if it is possible, do not send through courier
.Size and weight limits
For the "normal" import rules, the max weight is 30Kg (66 pounds) and the max size 150cm(~5feet). More than that the taxes get quite scary;Items prohibited by Customs or Post Office
Besides the basic prohibitions (explosives, flammable, compressed gas and etc), live or dead animals are prohibited (although I have no idea why anyone would send it, but...). Same goes for current currency and, theoretically, for porn. The last one might apply only to a few games and RPG books (or Busen Memo
). In practice, I've never seen this rule applied anywhere (after all you can buy adult toys by the mail anywhere here). But if you want to play a joke and send a blowup doll it might not get to the recipient. Other rules and tips
End of year is a crazy time for the postal services all around the world, and Brazil, even though we had one of the best on the world a decade ago, has seen the postal service go down the drain. Therefore try to always send your package with a tracking number. Just avoid a buttload of problems and guarantees that if something goes wrong en route, your recipient will still get something. Buying local or online
There isn't a good online store in Brazil. In fact, there is basically none, and for the few that exists, the prices are so high that is cheaper to buy on US and sent it here. There are two good ways to send to Brazil, either through the US or from Spiele-offensive. The latter has a flat and not expensive shipping&handling fee for Brazil (EU 31 up to 20kg). So for language independent games, and for the few games they do have in English is a great place. Amazon does not send Video Games or Board Games to Brazil. Amazon.de does send games, IIRC.
This year I won't be at BGG unfortunately, so I cannot be a courier for anyone. But, there is a lot of people here that bring games from abroad and sell to the gamers, at prices that although high, might be useful. If you want to check if a given game can be found in Brazil, and how much it would cost, geekmail me with the name of the game and I will check.Good Online stores for targets in Brazil
After searching a bit through and asking those who usually buy games online, there are some stores that are better than others to send games here:Cool Stuff Inc
- Shipping is not prohibitive there if you intend to send a single box. I used their tool
to estimate and shipping was USD 22.39 for 1 box. It jumps to around USD 43 for two, about that same amount for 3 and it hikes pretty fast above that. Mostly sites have the minimum set at around USD 40, so that is a good shipping.Spielle Offensive
- As I posted below, 31euro flat on your order, no matter how many boxes you cram in there.Amazon.de
- For products sold by Amazon.de (and not by a seller of the Marketplace) there are two types of international shipping. Standard Shipping
which costs 14 euro or International Express Delivery
which costs 40 euro. Both prices are per delivery, no matter how many items. Express delivery sucks.
It is courier service so everything I said about it do apply. Standard Shipping is the normal post office delivery which is great. Now, normally, Toys (which board games are considered in this case) would always fall under Express Delivery due to some shipping conditions. But people have ordered from them, and it was sent by Standard Shipping. So if when checking your order the shipping cost is 14 euros, it is a great deal.
Also, everything I said about spiele and games in German apply here alsoVideo Games
Brazil uses PAL-M and NTSC as television system. So if you intend to buy an older video game, don't buy PAL as it won't run.
For those few targets in central Europe - Czech Republic has tha VAT from outside EU (20%), so it´s highly recommended to send the gift from within EU. It can be for example from amazon.co.uk, bookdepository etc., or if you´re looking for local store, you can try
but both are in Czech language only.
Don´t hesitate to write them an email, they can arrange the gift for you and the shipping cost will be the lowest possible.
The charges on import to the UK will change, I am told, in November. Nice timing, eh? As of then, Import charges can be applied to any package valued over £15 including postage. Considering postage from the US alone is usually close to that, basically everything could be liable. Charges will be a 'handling charge' (which up to now has been £8, I don't know if that will change), and then VAT at 20%.
Note that it's not guaranteed the charges will be applied, it's at the discretion of Customs & Excise. Goods posted from within the EU should be exempt.
Stuff not to send... usual sort of stuff, really, same as Sol's entry. Anything over 2kg will be considered Parcel Post and is liable to VASTLY higher pricing.
Here's my list of UK-based online retailers, there will be others:
Taxes and Duties
The following is only a small overview. For detailed and up-to-date information, check the official customs pages.
The following shipments are free of tax: (see also limits for import duties)
- anything shipped from inside the European Union
- anything shipped with a goods value of €22 or less
- though because of administrative costs, taxes will only be collected if the final tax value is €5 or higher, so this checks out at €26 or less
- anything shipped from one private person to another with a goods value of €45 or less is duty-free, thus always mark things as a gift!
Anything which doesn't meet these limits will have taxes, with the taxable value being the value of the goods combined with the shipping costs and possible insurance costs for the parcel. If you're shipping something that is worth $50 with shipping costs of $50, then taxes will be applied on a taxable value of $100.
First, there will be value-added tax (VAT) applied, which is 19% of the taxable value.
If there's even an invoice value above €150, there will be import sales tax added, which will be between 0% and 17% of the taxable value.
The import sales tax can be looked up in the TARIC measure information. The goods code you need to enter there is probably one of those from Chapter 95. As far as I can see, the import tax for those is 0%, but don't take that for granted! I am just a layman in this area.
So all in all, your target can expect final taxes between 19% (most probably) to 39% (unlikely, but possible) of the taxable value.
German boardgame stores
Overseas shipping can get VERY expensive, so you may want to look into ordering from German board game shops instead. Here are some suggestions:
- Tellurian Games (free shipping if order value above €25)
- Magierspiele (accepts PayPal, free shipping if order value above €30)
- Spieltraum-Shop (accepts PayPal, free shipping if order value above €50)
- Milan-Spiele (accepts PayPal, free shipping if order value above €60)
- FantasyWelt (accepts PayPal, free shipping if order value above €29)
- Merlins Spiele und Verspieltes (accepts PayPal, free shipping if order value above €50)
- Spiele-Offensive (accepts PayPal, free shipping if order value above €20. If you choose to order here, then use the option to get video coupons! You can later send them to your target via geekmail with the secret santa user account so he can watch video rules for his games)
- Amazon.de (accepts credit cards, free shipping if order value above €29)
- Thalia / BOL / Buch.de (accept PayPal and credit cards, free shipping if order value above €20) are different faces for the same company/group
- Bücher.de (accepts PayPal and credit cards, free shipping in Germany for any order)
[any shop that accepts PayPal should accept any credit card by now, as a service that PayPal provides - you can make a one-time payment this way]
Very, very useful when searching for the best prices online:
Brettspiel-Angebote.de gives you all the current prices from web shops in Germany for the most popular games, complete with shipping factored in and listing any coupon codes that you might be able to use / need to achieve the stated price. Just enter the name of the game in the search bar on the top of the page.
You can also search for the best prices from German webstores manually by using BrettspielSuche.de. Enter the (German!) name of the game that you're looking for into the input field (1.) and click on any of the web stores listed (2.) to then open the search results window of the store in the frame to the right.
Ordering and payment might be a hurdle, of course. To order, you should enter the shop's URL into Google Translate. You probably can't use this for ordering directly, but it will help you navigate through the site if you have another window open with the translated website. Google's browser "Chrome" apparently has this feature built-in, in case you're already using that browser.
For payment, usually shops use money transfer. This might be a hurdle for people from overseas. Apparently, Transferwise opens a way to make a SEPA payment from abroad, with even better currency conversion rates (for you) than those from PayPal. This might be worth looking into, as the webshops always allow advance payments via SEPA, which is usually called "Vorkasse".
If the shops offer payment via PayPal, then you might be charged an additional 3% which PayPal takes from them. Most shops ship for free once your purchase is high enough, but otherwise the shipping charges will always be very economical. Please support the small board game shops if you can, instead of just using Amazon out of convenience!
Santa Iria de Azoia
Games that come from outside of the European Union have to pay customs. Currently (at least until the end of the year), everything that has a total cost below about 40 euros (including shipping) does not have to pay anything. Above that, fees tend to seem robbery.
It the package has to pay customs, it will pay 23% VAT over the total value of it (that includes also shipping, can you believe it?), plus an extra fee charged by the postal services that varies between 6 to 10 euros, depending on the shipping method that was selected.
Overall, when it hits the fan, it's pretty nasty!
Imported items exceeding $100 USD are subjected to a 5% TAX in a random sampling manner. So the recipient is not necessarily being charged by the custom, depending on his/her luck.
Buying online locally
I highly recommend JOOL BOARD GAME for delivery of gifts to people in Taiwan.
The website is in Chinese but you can easily search the key words and find what you want.
They take Paypal so it should be easy to place your order there.
Switzerland is not part of the EU. Therefore even if you're shipping from inside the EU the following tax/VAT rules apply:
All Items, sent from anywhere in the world to Switzerland, under 62.5 Swiss Francs (CHF), currently around 57 Euros or 65$, are exempt from tax and VAT. Shipping costs count towards the 62.5 CHF threshold.
Only if total cost (items + shipping) is below 62.5 CHF, then there is no taxes.
Sending via Courier (DHL, UPS, FedEx) will result in large brokerage fee for the recipient if the item is worth more than 62.5 CHF (the fee, tax and VAT for an item above the 62.5 CHF threshold soon adds up to more than 30CHF!) . Please use standard postal services!
If possible please label the package you're sending as a gift and/or board game and write the price right next to it. It doesn't have to be the price you've paid, it just hast to be below the 62.5 CHF threshold
Customs will usually not open a package labelled "board game" if it has a reasonable price tag of around 40 euros.
Check out: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/60997/item/1470712#ite... for additional information on shipping to Switzerland.
Online stores in Switzerland (please note: board games are sometimes expensive in Switzerland. Consider ordering from a shop within the EU, e.g. Germany or the UK):
- wog.ch (site available in English)
- bol.ch (only in German)
- Drachenäscht: http://fatamorgana.ch/spiele/shop.asp (only in German)
- http://www.capricorns-spieleshop.ch/ (only in German)
More shops (edit):
You can use almost all online stores within the EU and have them deliver the package to Switzerland.
If you use amazon.de (only products sold directly by amazon, not by any other seller using the site), amazon drops VAT (about 16%) on the listed price when sending to Switzerland.
To all Swiss:
If you know any other good online stores for board games within Switzerland please post below!
The Netherlands are a part of the EU and therefore it makes a difference whether a package is send from a EU-country or from a country which does not belong to the EU.
Package is send from a EU country
No VAT will be added.
Package is send from a non EU country
Packages with a value between 22 euro and 150 euro (excluding shipping costs) will have 19% VAT added. This is 19% of the value of the package including the shipping costs.
Packages with a value of more than 150 euro (excluding shipping costs) will also have 19% VAT added, but will also have custom taxed (tarrif is unknown to me).
For a Dutch target, it's recommended to purchase the games from a retailers from an EU country.
Links to some retailers:
http://adriaensen-speciaalzaak.be/ (in Belgium)
http://www.spellenrijk.nl/ (in The Netherlands)
http://www.spellenhuis.nl/ (in The Netherlands)
Taxes and Duties
There is no import tax and duty in Hong Kong
With the exceptions of:
Feel free to be generous
DHL, UPS, FedEx, USPS...you name it. I have never had any problem with any courier.
Size and weight limits
Items prohibited by Customs or Post Office
Bombs, guns, and other kinds of weaponry...
Common sense should serve you well here..
Other rules and tips
Send your package early!
It is Christmas time and the post office is going to be overwhelmed by incoming parcels.
Buying local or online
The only good Hong Kong store I know of is:
but they only accept bank transfer.
The site is not available in English, but you can google translate it.
If bank transfer is not a feasible option for you, I would recommend you to send it from your country!
Koko N S
Any imported goods to Indonesia that exceed
100 75 USD ( or equivalent) in CIF ( Cost of the Goods + Insurance Fee + Shipping Cost ) will get Value Added Tax (VAT), income tax and import tax
the total Rate for those 3 tax and customs is around 35-45% from the CIF value
Hope this info will help anyone who want to send gifts to Indonesians
notes : shipping cost to Indonesia especially from US or Europe could be very high. sometimes even way more expensive than the games itself.
Helpful info: It's better to declare the value of the goods. print it on a paper and glued it to the box.
Because if the customs cannot determine the real value from the package, it could be overvalued by the customs.
edit in 2017 : change of the treshold, increase from 50 USD to 100 USD
edit in 2018 : change of the treshold decrease from 100 USD to 75 USD
is used to be a hard place to have a target at. Now it's slightly better..
There are no FLGSs and very few OLGSs to buy from. As far as I know there are two comic stores and a MtG store that sell imported games but last time I checked Power Grid was around 50 euros and all such stores had a very limited selection.
https://www.neotroygames.com/ has some popular games such as Carcassonne and The Resistance translated to Turkish and for very neat prices.
https://biguen.com/ has a limited selection with good games but is a bit on the expensive side. http://www.palmagames.com/ offers free shipping in Turkey + a good selection. http://kutuoyunlari.net offers 10+ games for pretty good prices.
If you prefer a larger selection, your best bet is to buy your games from USA or Europe and have it shipped from there. Amazon.com recently started offering
very reasonable shipping prices for games that are shipped from Amazon warehouses. Amazon.de has just announced free shipping for orders over 40 Euros in 2016!. You may also check Turkish users' for trade lists but beware the shipping in Turkey is not cheap either (7-8 euros for a medium TtR sized box). I'm sure most Turkish users will do what they can to help you out though and if both the seller and your target are in Istanbul, they might even deliver your gift.
Unfortunately, CoolStuff, while a personal favorite of mine in the US, and other US OLGSs do not offer cheap shipping options.
If your target accepts used games, here are is a local group for used games for sale in Turkey:
(contact me if you need any translations)
You might even find some new games as well. Remember to always haggle
If you are going to order from overseas, the customs rules are as follows
- Your package must not exceed
75 22 euros(or its $ equivalent at the current rate ~ 25$) excluding shipping. If it does you or your target will have to pay a %20-25 customs fee. The fee does not include the shipping cost.
- It must not have any dangerous or toxic items (no brainer..)
- It should be labeled as gift (not that it matters but sometimes it makes things easier for the recipient)
- Your package may be delayed in customs for a random check even if everything is done correctly. This may take up to 10 days but there is nothing you can do about it.
If you are ordering from Amazon.com & Amazon.de, it will automatically calculate customs fees if necessary. Don't be surprised if your cart gets +40$ customs fee at the checkout.
Try to have your package shipped by USPS or its equivalent. This means that it will take longer but the package will go through the government operated customs. Even if it gets stuck, your target will only pay %20-25 of its actual cost as tax and may only have to pay a 2$ flat fee if he/she's lucky.
Unless you get expedited shipping with its own tracking, you can track your package at http://gonderitakip.ptt.gov.tr/..
Please note that you won't get any status notifications after it arrives in Turkey and before it is processed by the customs. This may mean a delay of up to two weeks with no updates after the "Send item abroad (EDI-received)" event.
If you send your gift by DHL/Fedex/UPS and it gets stuck at customs, your target may have to pay a larger customs and processing fee but how much depends on too many factors to count.
it stays at the airport customs and your target will have to go through a customs agency. This means %20-25 of calculated cost as tax + about 100 euros in expenses. I've had this happen to me (though not in SS) and it's better to just reject the package and eat the loss.
Feel free to contact me for any questions or to have taunts translated
Updates for SS 2014:
Amazon.com has recently started offering (relatively) reasonable shipping prices to Turkey so check that out.
If your target is in Istanbul, I'll be glad to help you out with any special gift delvery.
Update for SS 2015:
I changed the game to a more recent game but be warned that Istanbul's theme sucks and in no way represents Istanbul.
Update for SS 2016:
Correction for DHL/Fedex/UPS. Added Amazon.com & Amazon.de.
Update for SS 2017:
Updated local online game stores and customs limit.
Update for SS 2018:
Updated local OLGS list and customs limit.
These rules are pretty much a combination of those for Brazil and Turkey with 42% taxes.
Taxes and Duties
Total taxes for incoming shipments to Jamaica adds up to just about 42% with a couple exceptions:
- If the total value is at most US$50.00 and the sender and recipient are individuals, and not companies, the package is free of tax
- Books are free of taxes
- Packages labelled as gifts might avoid taxes
- The tax is a little random. This means that it is not guaranteed that it will be collected. I have received packages from overseas through the post and have never collected tax on them (these have always been marked as gifts even though they weren't). If the shipment comes through a freight forwarder, or courier though, I have always been charged tax.
Try to send as a registered package through the post (USPS and equivalent) and avoid using courier services like DHL or FedEx.
There are no game stores in Jamaica (online or otherwise) so there will likely be a decent shipping charge attached. US shoppers will have it a bit easier as they can buy the gift and ship it themselves in the mail as a registered package. Shoppers outside the US will find it a bit more difficult.
The closest place to buy online would be Amazon or a game store in the US (whose default shipping option to Jamaica will more than likely be FedEx or a similar expensive international priority shipping option). If you are located outside of the US and will depend on the store to ship the gift, perhaps calling them and asking them for a different shipping option might work. You might get a bit of compassion in the spirit of the season .
If you absolutely have no option but to use a courier for international shipping, consider using the Santa Account (https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1268470/bgg-2014-secret...) to find out if your target uses a freight forwarder for online shopping. Using freight fowarders in the US is popular for Jamaicans who shop online. They would have to pay the shipping and taxes to get the item from the US, but it will be less expensive all around and most online shoppers are used to the experience. Ask them for the US address of their freight forwarder and if they oblige you're in luck!
Jamaicans also often have family in the US who return for Christmas. If they know someone who may be visiting who has space in their luggage, maybe you could get their address and avoid the tax and charges altogether.
Taxes and Duties
In Israel, usually board games are not taxed. The general rules state that no customs are charged for goods up to 325$ worth and no taxes at all are charged for goods up to 75$. As board games are not that common in Israel, usually when a package is marked as Gift, no taxes will be charged even above those values.
Usually, people will be willing to pay those taxes anyway (especially those above 75$) as they're not that high.
Couriers life DHL, UPS usually always apply full taxes and also some extra taxes. It can get to amounts up to twice (yes, twice) the original price. Try not to send through couriers. Normal mail/International Priority Mail and such are much preferable.
Other rules and tips
Missing packages - The mail service here is usually ok but can sometime lose your package or forget to tell you it arrived. Tracking number usually solves this. Try to send the order with an attached tracking number.
Christmas - As christians are kind of a minority here in Israel, usually Christmas is not considered to be a very busy time for the mail service here. So delays are not expected to happen inside the country.
People almost always play games in English. It is the main board game language here and even if some board games have been translated to Hebrew (Drakon, Settlers of Catan, Citadels, etc.), people usually prefer the English version (I know I do). Note that when ordering from Israeli shops. Games translated Hebrew are easy to differentiate as their title is always written in Hebrew on the box (which looks very different from English )
Tip: Use google translate
There are these 3 online stores:
All of their frontpages are in Hebrew only and are quite expensive.
Other options for buying will be from
http://www.bookdepository.com (which includes free shipping to Israel and sends quickly but don't have many games as it is a book store. They mostly have Fantasy Flight Games games).
One of the best options is this website:
Just paste in a link from amazon and click next. Choose air or boat shipping and it tells you the final price for the item (including ALL taxes and delivery to your home). The get the items from amazon us and are reliable. Air shipment takes about 2 weeks, boat shipping will take about a month but much cheaper. They are reliable, not expensive and no surprises with taxes as they take upon themselves all of the "surprise" taxes that might incur.
The last option which works quite well is ebay. Not many surprises there.
Also, if you find another store which doesn't take too much for shipping - tell us! We're looking for those too
Good luck, and make your Israeli board gamer happy (I know he/she will make his/hers too!)
Poland is UE member. There are no fees for packages sent from other EU countries.
Duties and VAT may be charged for packages sent form outside the EU. It depends on value of package and custom officer's mood.
Here you can find information posted in 2010 in this topic. Since then VAT has changed and it is 23% now.
I recommend to buy in one of Polish online stores. They offer wide scope of titles and low shipping costs in Poland. We also have very useful tool: i-szop.pl, where you can find offer of polish boardgame online stores. Unfortunately it is in polish only.
Proszę użytkowników z Polski o uwagi dot. poprawności powyższego tekstu oraz o informacje, które pozwolą go zmienić i uzupełnić.
Basically as a member state of European Union - there should not be any taxes when the shipping is done within EU. This means, that, for example buying games in amazon.co.uk and shipping them to Latvia will not require any additional payments from the side of receiver (but you must be careful to check that the product is actually dispatched from within EU, not China or USA as such products are also visible in amazon.co.uk)
It is entirely different story for packages from outside EU.
There are two taxes and two scenarios:
Scenario 1 - Company sends to private person (for example internet shop):
1) Customs tax - this applies for packages received by private person if the value of the package (including delivery) exceeds 150 EUR and the amount is 2.5% fixed rate but can be more for specific products which are not boardgames (like cigarets)
2) VAT - this tax must be paid if the value of the package including delivery exceeds 10 EUR (so almost every package). VAT is calculated not only from the value of package and delivery, but also value of calculated customs tax if it is applicable. The VAT in Latvia is 22%
Scenario 2 - One private person sends to another private person:
Both previously mentioned taxes (Customs tax and VAT) are calculated for packages exceeding the value of 45 EUR for both the content and delivery.
In short this means, when you need to ship something to Latvia
1) Try to send from within EU, if you can manage it, then no additional taxes apply
2) If you must send from outside EU:
2.1 If the package value exceed 10 EUR but not 45 EUR send it form a private person account (E-bay sellers sometimes can do this for you)
2.2 Otherwise be aware that all objects including shipping will cost at least 22% of the value to the receiver.
Additional advice, applicable not only for Latvia, but also neighboring Baltic countries Lithuania and Estonia:
In Baltic region there is one quite decent board game shop called "Ludo" who have several advantages - low delivery costs (3EUR or less for whatever the size) and people usually can even come and take the product themselves without additional cost because In Baltic region there is no point more than 3h drive away from these shops.
The only problem is, that their web pages are only in local languages and stock in them is not always updated (they inform buyers the fastest via forum entries about new games) - so the most reasonable path to take is to contact them via e-mail or skype. Latvian shop (also delivers to Lithuania) e-mail: email@example.com and the Estonian shop e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Their employees speak local languages as well as English and Russian, and they are usually quite helpful with extraordinary requests, so I suppose gift wrapping would not be out of the question.
Well, I've done some research about the laws of Lithuania, and this is what I have found out. I hope this is accurate enough, but as I am not a lawyer and I am not an expert of ordering something from outside the EU, I may have made some mistakes.
Thus, the case of Lithuania.
First of all, there are no taxes for packages from the EU. Otherwise, there are three main taxes:
Import duty tax. If the package is sent from the private person, than the tax is not applied if the value of the package doesn't exceed 45 EUR. Otherwise, the tax is 2,5%.
VAT. For boardgames (I believe) it is 21%, for books and journals - 9%. However VAT is not applied, if the value of the package does not exceed 22 EUR. If however the package is a "non-commercial one" (sent to private person, for free and doesn't make custom officers suspicious, that it can be used commercially), then this limit is ~45 EUR.
Commission fee for post officers (if postal services are used) for filling out the custom's papers. It is 8.69 EUR. It can be avoided, but I am not sure, if providing the data to custom yourself is an easy task.
Moreover, everything, that is written may be completely different, if the package includes alcohol, perfume, cigarettes, coffee (for some reason) or other goods that are applicable to excise duty tax.
I've read this all in my mother tongue, and it sounded very complicated. I tried to simplify it and translate into English and it still sounds complicated to me. On the bright side, there is an English version of Lithuanian customs duties description. By the way, I found many references to the EU laws, so some regulations could be common between all the countries.
Concerning the Lithuanian boardgame shops
There are several of them, but I will list only those, which have some e-stores. Most of them are in Lithuanian only (and I'll note the exceptions), but google translate should help. The order is pretty much random.
http://www.hobbyshop.lt. My personal favourite shop and at last they have an option to buy games online. Moreover, they have an English version of their page (Latvian and Estonian too). Shipping to Lithuania is free, if the order is over 20 EUR, otherwise it costs 2,79 EUR. They accept payment through https://www.paysera.lt/ - some alternative of PayPal, which, by chance, has an English webpage too and apparently works in many countries.
https://www.rikis.lt/. They were out of business for some time and earlier had a store at http://www.furorgames.lt/. Now they are back. Shipping to Lithuania is free, if the order is over 50 EUR, otherwise it costs 2 EUR. It is possible to pay through bank transfer, PayPal, or PaySera. They also have an English webpage.
http://www.stalozaidimai.lt/. The website is strangely similar to http://www.hobbyshop.lt, but I am not sure, if they are related. One difference is that they don't have an English page. Shipping is free in Lithuania for purchases of more than 29.95 EUR and costs 2.79 EUR otherwise. They accept payments through PaySera.
http://www.daisas.lt/. The web page is finally working and they have some games with prices. However you cannot buy the games yet - you have to order from them using their email email@example.com. I haven't tried them, but BGG user
(I thank her for mentioning this shop) has some positive feedback about them (see a comment below).
http://stalozaidimas.lt/. Once again thanks to
for noticing. I knew this shop. My colleagues have successfully used it several times. They have an English webpage. They accept bank transfer, PayPal, or PaySera. Shipping is free if the order is over 46.33 EUR and costs 2.31 EUR otherwise.
http://stalozaidimai.eu/. Another recommendation, this time from
(thank you for you input too) and yes it is a different shop than and . Apparently we have many similarly named game stores . They charge 1 EUR for shipping (to Lithuania, I presume) and accept bank transfers (but see the comment bellow). Moreover, they have an English version of the site.
Miss! Does no damage to Liquid Metal Slime!
http://galvosukis.lt/. I wasn't able to find their shipping rates or payment information. However, I would bet that shipping is comparable to other shops mentioned and payment via bank transfer is available.
http://boardheroes.lt. This is my 2016 Secret Santa's find (thank you
for having such great google skills). I have no experience with them. They charge no shipping to Lithuania and accept bank transfers and PaySera. I'll have to order something to know more about them.
Ho ho ho, Jolly Santa here from the Great White North wishing you a Merry Christmas
Ho ho ho! It tickles when you poke me like that. Don't make me put you on the naughty list!
Final notice - it's almost impossible to be a gamer in Lithuania without knowing English or at least some other major language (German, French,...). So, despite this information, I believe the staff of those shops are able to communicate in English, and hopefully you can work out something through e-mail or phone.
Of course, another option is foreign web stores, but in this case shipping isn't always as friendly. Some of the better options would be:
www.bookdepository.co.uk. Officially shipping is free, but the price of the game might depend on shipping destination.
www.365games.co.uk. They charge 0.99 GBP per item for shipping, which is very good, compared to other foreign web stores.
I had no problem receiving books from Bookdepository, 365games or promos from BGG store. However, my wife once ordered several books from Amazon.com and there were some delay in the custom. She had to provide the proof of the purchase and also proof of the payment. And this dragged for some time, because they have never told her exactly what data do they need. They even didn't tell that the package is from Amazon (although it was written on the box). The only thing she knew is that it is from Germany (?) and we ordered from the USA. Luckily, we were not expecting more packages so she guessed correctly what they were talking about. I see here some problems with secret packages, but maybe "gifts" are handled differently... I am not sure.
I also had some boardgame related packages from USA missing, but I have never had such problem with EU senders.
And finally, if you have any comments or suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact me, or drop a comment below. I do not promise to update it regularly, but I can do it once a year for Secret Santa.
UPDATE 1: 2013 October 26th.
UPDATE 2: 2014 November 16th.
UPDATE 3: 2015 November 19th.
UPDATE 4: 2016 November 20th.
UPDATE 5: 2017 November 4th.
Whoever the five of you are who nominated me for Citizen Recognition I am truly touched
New Zealand is located at the end of the earth, and is principally known these days as Middle Earth.
Taxes and Duties
New Zealand is fantastic in that the threshold for tax is high. Items of NZ$400 (including shipping charges) or less are not subject to tax. Items of more than $400 will incur a 15% tax that the recipient will need to pay. At current exchange rates this works out to be roughly US$300 or GBP200
Courier service is usually good. Most international courier companies will have a partner company in NZ who will handle deliveries. Tracking numbers will work well. The exception is anything in New Zealand with a rural delivery (RD) address. These are identified as the address will have "RD" as the suburb line, almost always with a number after it e.g. "RD 2"
In my experience courier services to RD addresses are not proper. As part of my job we frequently courier packages out to RD addresses. The occasional time something is lost it is not able to be located. Losses are however RARE.
Additionally RD deliveries can be left exposed to the rain if large, so if sending yourself I would suggest looking into putting the gift into a plastic bag and that into a box.
Last if shipping within NZ a rural delivery (RD) will incur extra fees.
Shipping to New Zealand can be expensive. Shipping from the United States is VERY expensive. Shipping from the UK is cheaper. Shipping from Australia is almost reasonable. When shipping from Australia you will NOT have to pay australia VAT.
There are some web stores located within NZ. The BGG preferred store is seriouslyboard.co.nz who run a physical store an a gaming circuit thing. I have heard nothing but good things about them.
The largest NZ supplier of stuffs (think local Amazon) is www.mightyape.co.nz - they are FAST at getting stuff out the door.
http://www.gamesandhobbies.co.nz/ - have advertised on BGG but I know nothing else.
The prices in NZ are expensive (like most things here). However there is no hard and fast rule on if something will be cheaper to buy here, or buy overseas and ship here. However in general higher priced smaller items are best imported, whilst bulky lower priced items are cheaper in NZ.
English. I doubt you will find a game store in New Zealand that speaks anything but English, even by email.