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UK Custom

Discussion in 'General' started by Deafjeff, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Deafjeff
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    Deafjeff Serious Forum Regular

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    Hi,

    Can anyone shed any light regarding declaring any purchases from USA?

    As I am hoping to surprise my DH with a shopping spree....

    Should I declare what we buy when we land?

    Any advice or experiences would be great.
  2. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Obviously we cannot condone smuggling, so really it`s up to you to decide upon whether or not to declare any goods in excess of your allowance.

    The chances are that if you are a little over your allowance and you do declare it if you get stopped, then you will probably not get charged any duty.

    If you don`t declare any excess though, be prepared for quite a grilling!
  3. Deafjeff
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    Deafjeff Serious Forum Regular

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    Okay, how do we 'declare' things? Do we pay when we land or they send us a bill? What do we need to produce?

    Is there anything that is not covered or does not need to be declared?
  4. Keith
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    Keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    I think the rule is still you can bring in other goods worth up to £390 without having to pay tax and/or duty.

    If you have any single item worth more than that, tax is payable on the whole amount not just the bit over 390 and you can't combine several peoples allowances to cover it (Which is what sometimes surprises people).

    The goods must be for your own use or as a gift, if someone's asked you to buy something then you have to pay duty/tax (so dont use that as an excuse ;-)

    In terms of declaring if you're over that, the only advice can be go with your own heart/mind/principles. If you don't though and you do get caught by random check or whatever, the only sane thing to do is to come clean immediately and don't try it on.

    Got to remember also, they've seen all the tricks. People keep saying take all the boxes off goods, wear the clothes, throw away the receipts but Customs and Excise are such a powerful entity that to mess with them in any way just seems crazy to me. They can for example say ok well you dont have receipts for those, we're sure you bought them over there so we're charging you at full price. Now you may have got them at a great deal at an outlet store, without the receipts, how are you going to prove it?

    A guy I worked with used to tell a story about him taking out 2 spare suitcases to the states and filling them with clothes etc. I seem to remember him saying they took the labels out and threw away the receipts, wore them all once to make them look worn etc. Anyway they were stopped randomly and asked for receipts. The guy said not got any they're all from the uk gov... apparently so he says, they went through every item pricing it up and presented him with a bill at the end and he says the valuations were all top end, more than he'd paid etc. End of the day, he had to either pay or forfeit the items so he paid. He always said it was the most expensive holiday he'd ever taken.

    Of course soon as he walked out the office after telling the story, other people laughed and said they'd never been stopped and brought through loads every time.

    I always think it pays to just be reasonable about it. I think the £390 is frankly ludicrous in this day and age but it's the law so :/
  5. Slowhand
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    When you return back to the UK if you have nothing to declare, then you simply exit the airport after collecting your bags through the green channel.
    If you do need to declare anything then you go through the red channel.
    You will probably have to show receipts to the customs official.

    This site gives you the low down on your allowances Jeff.
  6. Deafjeff
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    Deafjeff Serious Forum Regular

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    Hi,

    Thanks..... I am planning to have a really good shopping spree so will declare it at the customs and brace for the final bill!!

    Would I be right to assume that it £390 for myself and hubby together?

    Therefore it should be approx $700 dollars tax free?

    So if the total of items brought comes to £820 I would need to pay the tax base on £430?
  7. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    The quoted allowance is per person, so obviously that amount can be doubled for the two of you so long as you are travelling together.
    If you do have to pay any duty then yes you are correct, you only pay the duty on the difference between the actual cost less your allowance.
  8. Deafjeff
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    Wow didnt expected that.

    Thought it would be £390 for both of us not £390 each!

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