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Customs taxes for European collectors
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Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of batmancity
posted
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to have your feedback on a particular issue that will probably be of interest for non-sport card collectots based in Europe. Lately, I've been buying a few boxes here and there (on that auction site and other well-known distributors in the US)

I'm located in Paris, France and the import taxes and customs is really starting to get worse and worse. For instance, a box of GOTG with a retail value of 87 USD when ordered online has grown to 145 USD by the time it arrived in my house) I've been trying to find a way to get a lower bill (legally speaking of course). Do you have any advice or suggestions on this ?

Regards
 
Posts: 587 | Location: Paris, France | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of batmancity
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quote:
Originally posted by hammer:
Welcome to the world of tax on overseas purchases. I have been considering ways of legally avoiding the tax. A way I considered was asking a dealer to open the box and send as 4 different envelopes containing 6 packs each (if a 24 pack box). Each envelope would be worth $20 so might fall below customs charges. postage would be more expensive but might be cheaper overall. Not a perfect sloution and I am aware there could be many flaws in this but it is a possibility.


Yes I thought about that too. Labelling the package as gift would be a possibility with an individual on ebay but not with a business as they need to comply with taxes regulations
 
Posts: 587 | Location: Paris, France | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Diamond Card Talk Member
Picture of hammer
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Welcome to the world of tax on overseas purchases. I have been considering ways of legally avoiding the tax. A way I considered was asking a dealer to open the box and send as 4 different envelopes containing 6 packs each (if a 24 pack box). Each envelope would be worth $22 so might fall below customs charges (would just do so in UK),postage would be more expensive but might be cheaper overall. Not a perfect sloution and I am aware there could be many flaws in this but it is a possibility.
 
Posts: 11782 | Location: England | Registered: September 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of batmancity
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actually there are several things to know when it comes to order from the US to Europe (or at least France in my case)

- If your order online to a business or through that auction site, if your package is sent by DHL, UPS, Fedex among others, there is no way to avoid paying import taxes (around 20% of the declared value + the usual fixed fee from the carrier that can double the amount) as well as they will be declaring everything
- If your package is sent by USPS (Express), you're highly likely to have to pay for those taxes
- If your package is sent by USPS (First Class or Priority International), you have very few chances to get noticed and pay taxes but that depends on the size of your package as well. Labelling the package as gift does help but not all the time as this can be opened by customs. Ordering during the holiday season might be also to try as systems are usually very busy and tend to be less controlled

Best scenario would be to pay for your order, have it send to an US address to a fellow collector that will send the items bit by bit according to the rules explained above. Has anyone tried this before ?
 
Posts: 587 | Location: Paris, France | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow, I really feel for you guys. This hobby is expensive enough without having to add another 20%. I've sold a few individual cards through eBay to the UK. They had me mark it as a gift, now I know why.
 
Posts: 457 | Location: Raleigh | Registered: April 21, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Titanium Card Talk Member
Picture of wolfie
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Here is an idea that requires a lot of trust.

Get yourself a friend in the USA and have the box sent to them. Let them have the fun of opening the packs and then get them to just send you the hits and chase, no base cards, as a gift in a small envelope.

____________________
Come, it is time for you to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.
 
Posts: 28096 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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My brother who likes to gamble goes to Las Vegas three times a year and I get boxes sent to his hotel. Most sellers send packages for free within the US and he brings them back with no customs or VAT payable as the limit is much higher (£390 in the UK) .

Find a friend going to the USA or go yourself Big Grin .
 
Posts: 2433 | Location: Sutton Coldfield England | Registered: August 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of batmancity
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I used to go to the US once a year but I had my little girl who is 2 years old now and overseas travel are now very limited due to budget reasons. My best option I think would be to have an US friend that receives my packages and send them over (box by box in an individual package) Having that person breaking my boxes is not something I dream about as I think most of the fun is in the box break itself !
 
Posts: 587 | Location: Paris, France | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of KAZ
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Hello my friend.
Indeed it's hard for us to buy boxes.
I know a reseller in France but the box is about 90Ettc (115dollars).
MP me if you want
 
Posts: 176 | Location: lyon, FRANCE | Registered: December 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of batmancity
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quote:
Originally posted by KAZ:
Hello my friend.
Indeed it's hard for us to buy boxes.
I know a reseller in France but the box is about 90Ettc (115dollars).
MP me if you want


Thanks for the offer. Actually my goal is to find a way to get boxes at a reasonable price working around actual regulations. I think the best way IMO is to have someone in the US send you boxes. For a case, boxes would be sent one by one in order to get under the radar. Of course, shipping fees will be reimbursed to the sender plus some stuff (inserts, cash, whatever...)

Anyone interested ? If yes, feel free to PM me
 
Posts: 587 | Location: Paris, France | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of batmancity
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by KAZ:
Hello my friend.
Indeed it's hard for us to buy boxes.
I know a reseller in France but the box is about 90Ettc (115dollars).
MP me if you want


KAZ, I cannot find your email address in your profile, don't hesitate to get in touch with me !
 
Posts: 587 | Location: Paris, France | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of batmancity
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quote:
Originally posted by John Tirohn:
Wow, I really feel for you guys. This hobby is expensive enough without having to add another 20%. I've sold a few individual cards through eBay to the UK. They had me mark it as a gift, now I know why.


I know !! You have to admit that we really love this hobby to pay that much Wink
 
Posts: 587 | Location: Paris, France | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of Starchild
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quote:
Originally posted by batmancity:
Labelling the package as gift would be a possibility with an individual on ebay but not with a business as they need to comply with taxes regulations


Not just tax regulations. As much as I feel for all of you overseas (and really, I do), sending merchandise as a gift via USPS is a punishable federal crime here in the U.S. And that goes for everyone, not just businesses, on ebay.

____________________
Pretenama
 
Posts: 603 | Location: CT | Registered: March 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Titanium Card Talk Member
Picture of wolfie
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quote:
Originally posted by Starchild:

sending merchandise as a gift via USPS is a punishable federal crime here in the U.S.



I'll bet nobody has ever been done for it though, I think they have got better things to do.

____________________
Come, it is time for you to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.
 
Posts: 28096 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of Starchild
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by wolfie:
quote:
Originally posted by Starchild:

sending merchandise as a gift via USPS is a punishable federal crime here in the U.S.



I'll bet nobody has ever been done for it though, I think they have got better things to do.


Still, I would not be taking that risk. Breaking the law purposefully just on the chance that your crime may be ignored still doesn't make it right.

____________________
Pretenama
 
Posts: 603 | Location: CT | Registered: March 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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Declaring something as a gift to avoid paying VAT when it comes through Customs is a very limited option anyway. You still have to declare the value of the contents and gifts are only exempt from VAT up to a value of £36. Over that, you pay regardless of whether or not it is described as a gift. As the value also includes the cost of postage, very few things can actually qualify these days unless you also lie about the value. You can read all the official details here:

https://www.gov.uk/importing-a...st/importing-by-post
 
Posts: 1323 | Location: Warrington, UK | Registered: January 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of batmancity
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don't get me wrong, I am a law abiding person and I want to stay within the limits of the law. My only concern is that this hobby is getting more and more expensive for all of us (and especially overseas collectors) and you really need deep pockets to satisfy your passion
 
Posts: 587 | Location: Paris, France | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of tangent
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The high cost has two components - postage and tax. I have been sending boxes to a friend in the US for him to open and then send the cards. Much less fun, but it essentially eliminates the postage cost. Still have to pay the tax. The tax is a legal requirement so there is no way to avoid it legally.

____________________
Trade list (mostly comics and scifi). Also lots of sketch cards.
 
Posts: 1573 | Location: temp UK, usually Australia | Registered: July 31, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of KAZ
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Manufacturers don't help us too...
We can't buy directly from them.
We have no offical retailer in France.
The market is too small in Europe.
A friend of me tried to be an official reseller and had no answers. And it's a pro !
I know the real prices of cases and so boxes. If the manufacturers sell directly to us the final price would be acceptable even with all taxes.
 
Posts: 176 | Location: lyon, FRANCE | Registered: December 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of monsterwax
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I know Monsterwax is only one company but we do sell direct and we try all we can to keep the overseas costs down.... It really irked me last Jan when they jumped the international rates from $15 to $25 to send a box of cards to Europe. Canada went from $7.95 to $20! And the taxes are going through th roof! (To include postage costs as part of the taxable value is unethical, but who said the tax man was ever ethical?) I have sent sets in small packs of ten or so, taped onto a sheet of 8x10 cardboard inside a large 8 x 10 envelope (I can fit six packs this way) to avoid the $25 box postage and get by for $8-- a savings I passed on to the customer. This takes a lot more time and effort on my part but we really appreciate our overseas customers and that's one way to help.

____________________
"Life is a sexually transmitted terminal disease." -Papa Prell
 
Posts: 379 | Location: Tallahassee, FL | Registered: April 12, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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