im look at importing some kayaks from the usa, and need help location a good international delivery company. Has anyone done thsi also how much or where can i find out how much import tax ill have to pay.
I have just received 2 downriggers fro the USA. They came by Fed Ex with a cost of about £40 postage, the total weight was 16lbs. Not sure if I should say it, but here goes. I didnt have to pay vat or duty this time as the package came straight through customs and straight to my door. In the past I have been clobbered with vat, import duty and a post office handling charge, as you can imagine that makes one hell of a difference on the price.www.hmrc.gov.uk/home.htm has info on importing goods but the site is a bit of a mine field.
Kayaks could be quite bulky and might cost a fair bit to send, and as Steve says, the VAT etc can be quite painful on the way in, the problem with a Kayak is you can't conceal it in an envelope so it may well carry some kind of import charge with it, sadly (you may well be able to do this, I know little about them).
Fed Ex and UPS seem to be pretty good at sending stuff across the pond.
Not that we would ever recommend doing the Revenue out of a few quid...but there may be ways around it such as trying to get it over as a commercial sample? I don't think they would accept two kayaks as a gift though
I do quite a bit of cycling in my spare time away from fishing and two years ago I looked into having a bike imported from over the pond. The same bike was available over here but the price difference was phenominal. The commercial sample thing wasn't an option to me because it was already available over here.
By the time I had forked out for import tax and insurance to cover for damage/loss etc. and the fee of the couriers on both sides of the pond it wasn' t worth the hassle.
Having said that a work mate did a lot of motocross and used to have all his parts sent over from California a lot cheaper than he could have bought them over here.
A courier company may not take something as buky as a kayak, and it may need a shipping agent or freight company to do this for you. Also, adequate protection is needed for what is a reasonably fragile item. This is usually in the form of wooden crates, which can add considerable to the weight of the item.
As far as duty goes, you have to pay a percentage of the good value. Therefore if you arrange with the seller a price of $1,000, and he declares the value as $1,000, then you will pay the VAT duty based on that.
If the item value was declared as $50, then the import duty is much less.
So to keep your self right, you need to agree a purchase price with the seller of say $50, but you may have to pay him $950 for shipping and packing fees, if you catch my drift.
I knew that I was tempting fate, had an invoice today for £33 off FedEx for the vat on my downriggers, Blast. But all told, I still saved over £100 by buying the downriggers from the states. I have been looking into buying a GPS - plotter from the states and some of the company's overthere will under value the goods with the intension of reducing the vat bill this end, but beware if the customs find out, it is you that ends up in court, not the supplier, for vat and duty evasion.
I used to live in USA and friends still sometimes send me fishing 'gifts' never been any prob with customs excise etc. But these gifts have been small items like reels etc. and the green customs form has been completed correctly stating 'gift'. ;-))
There are many USA companies who specialise in sending items to UK, one is ACCESS USA
Their web page gives some useful info including this statement:
By declaring the wholesale value of your purchases, you will save significant amounts in duty and taxes when importing your items through Access USA. By law, we are only required to declare the wholesale value of your purchases. The wholesale value is a "reasonable cost to manufacture the product" and is usually 50-60% below the retail value (the amount you paid for the mechandise)."