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Received bill for import duties 3 days after a coin was shipped...


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On 7/14/2023 at 12:58 AM, John Conduitt said:

In the UK, I always get a bill like this for anything that comes with DHL (or FedEx), and they always calculate the bill incorrectly (too much VAT, perhaps a customs charge that isn't due, and a large fee for getting it wrong).

Idem with La Poste (USA --> France).
Obtaining reimbursement for undue expenses is so difficult, they hope we'll give up. Whatever the carrier, it's the same process.


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On 7/14/2023 at 10:14 AM, John Conduitt said:

Interesting - I get completely the opposite. DHL do it every time, even when the paperwork is meticulous. I've spent days on their nightmarish phone system trying to find the one person who understands the problem and can fix it, but who won't give out a direct phone number. But they often pay HMRC too quickly and I have to pay and claim a refund.

Parcelforce (the Royal Mail) hardly ever charge, let alone get the bill wrong.

I've been battling UPS for a three weeks over a 20% import duty + "handling charges"  on a couple of coins. I have sent them copies of the auction catalogue , a description of the coins and quoted the tariff number but they ignore this and simply sent me an overdue invoice reminder. The original auction house was uncommunicative, in fact useless. The auction took place on March 24th. The auction house was Italian and  after six weeks  and several emails from me, told me they required an export permit for a modern British coin and a couple of gun money coins. I will not be using them again. It looks as if my problem was the auction house declaration which basically said nothing, this coupled with insouciance from UPS has made for a pretty dismal experience. I refuse to pay the equivalent of $200 and will persevered, learning from the experience.

My experience with UK Customs is that if you pay the carriers estimated charges,  it takes for ever to obtain a refund if ever at all. It appears that the strategy is one of ignoring requests in the hope that you give up.

Edited by Dafydd
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The dealer did get back to me, apologized profusely, and offered to split the duty with me. I just went ahead and paid it, but wow what an expensive coin that turned out to be (I hope I really like it). It really makes me wonder if I should order from overseas again. What a rotten surprise in every way. I know it's not the dealer's fault, but still what a horrid pain. You think you're paying so much for a coin and then you receive another bill. Wow. I'm still a little stunned.

Edited by ewomack
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I only order from overseas under £135 to avoid customs charges in the UK. It's one of the reasons I think N&N London saying they are from London but shipping from Belgium is so egregious. I was very close to bidding above this limit before I realised.

This hinders my ability to buy coins but admin headaches leave a real lasting effect on my psyche and a particularly annoying one would probably turn me off the hobby. 😆

Edited by Steppenfool
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This scenario is common with Fedex and DHL.  Their bills are not sent as 'customs' but as fees for processing the 'paperwork'.  These packages are not handled or inspected in any way, its all computerized.  One time Fedex was asking for documents, age, metal content, origin, etc.  The usual things needed to import properly.  I told them all those documents were in a plastic pouch attached to the outside of the package and that they already have the information in hand.  They released it but clearly the pouch was not opened, so its just an automated process.  And it is often random as to when it will happen.  Its just another fee you have to consider when bidding in European auctions.

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