The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Import Duty to UK
Old 15th January 2020
  #1
Lives for gear
 
dc_r's Avatar
 

Import Duty to UK

If I order a preamp from the USA, how much tax do I need to pay on import to the UK?

Thanks!
Old 15th January 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Depends on how it gets classified, but there may be duty (which might add a few per cent) and there will be standard VAT as well (20%).

There will also be a charge for clearing customs. Most couriers and shipping operators charge around £20-£30 for that kind of thing. (Or they used to a few years ago. Don’t know how much that might have gone up or down.)

Taxes and duty (if applicable) are levied on top of all other charges. So, in the general case, if you pay £200 for the product, £50 for shipping and then, say, £20 for customs handling, you’ll usually be assessed for duty and VAT on £270. Say there’s a duty charge of 5%, that’s going to add £13.50. So the total for VAT purposes becomes £283.50, giving you a VAT charge of £56.70. Grand total £340.70 (if my mental arithmetic is up to snuff). That’s more or less how it usually works anyway.
Old 15th January 2020
  #3
Lives for gear
 

You may find a new free trade deal could be in the works similar to the agreement that the USA has made with Canada and Mexico. When you are free and separated from the current Euro entanglement an extension of new North American agreement might be available for the British Isles.
Hugh
Old 15th January 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
You may find a new free trade deal could be in the works similar to the agreement that the USA has made with Canada and Mexico. When you are free and separated from the current Euro entanglement an extension of new North American agreement might be available for the British Isles.
Hugh
All that that would do is remove the duty element - the smallest part of the overall picture and one that might not apply anyway (you’d have to check the U.K. Customs Tariff and work out how the gear would be classified). Sales taxes such as VAT would still be due, as would any charges from the courier for handling Customs clearance.

You can also probably bet on any free trade agreement with the US heavily favouring the American side rather than the U.K. When it comes to international trade, it’s generally the larger player that sets the terms. But that’s not relevant to the topic in hand and not really a subject for GS.
Old 15th January 2020
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Adrian has explained it well. However, the UK duty charge varies depending on which category the item falls into. I usually allow for around 7.5% rather than 5%. Also, some UK couriers add their own handling charge on top of everything else - in my experience this seems to be about £12, but it might vary with the size and weight of the package. With the current low exchange rate it can work out quite expensive to import something from the USA.
Old 15th January 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Earcatcher's Avatar
In case you have a valid VAT-ID you will be able to reclaim the added 20% VAT, effectively leaving you with very low costs of import.
Old 15th January 2020
  #7
Lives for gear
 
dc_r's Avatar
 

Thanks all. I looked at the price of a Heritage preamp in the US and it looks like the minimal saving is not really worth the trouble.
Old 15th January 2020
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post
Thanks all. I looked at the price of a Heritage preamp in the US and it looks like the minimal saving is not really worth the trouble.
Some things can be worth it, but you always need to bear in mind the import costs. Relatively speaking, shipping charges and duty (if any is owed) don't tend to be too bad, it's the VAT that racks things up and there isn't really anything you can do about that.

Having said that, I did have a case back in a previous company where we were importing something and, because it got classified incorrectly (wrong paperwork), we got hit with immense duty charges which were multiple times the value of the product. Although it took a while, we did get it all sorted once I'd looked up the correct tariff code and got HMRC to accept it, but we had to cover the costs until everything was straightened out. Oh the wonders of international trade...
Old 15th January 2020
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

I’ve found if it’s a big ticket item a cheap Norwegian air airfare is better and cheaper . Just have a great suitcase and rack case packing for the item.

Never been nailed on damages or vat or customs .
Old 16th January 2020
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post
Thanks all. I looked at the price of a Heritage preamp in the US and it looks like the minimal saving is not really worth the trouble.
Not to mention that your contract is then with the US company, not the UK distributor. you're grey importing; which means if you have an issue, you don't have a valid UK warranty (and may not be eligible for the US one).
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump