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What Will I Pay For Customs Tax? - International Shipment Into US


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Dec 14, 2008, 6:39am   #1
m
Thread Starter
Member
Does anyone know what customs fees will be (approximately) for items shipped internationally Express Mail into the United States? I bought an item for $900 BIN...first international purchase, and I am not finding anything definite online. TIA!
Dec 14, 2008, 8:13am   #2
ssnyder's Avatar
Member
Originally Posted by mlm4485
Does anyone know what customs fees will be (approximately) for items shipped internationally Express Mail into the United States? I bought an item for $900 BIN...first international purchase, and I am not finding anything definite online. TIA!
Where is the item coming from? The fees will probably remain the same, but the chances of having the item stopped for fees can be greater/lesser depending on country of origin.
Dec 14, 2008, 8:44am   #3
m
Thread Starter
Member
Thanks so much for responding. I still haven't found an answer for this. The bag is coming from Hong Kong. Do you think this will make a difference?
Dec 14, 2008, 9:01am   #4
ssnyder's Avatar
Member
I'm guessing this is a bag that is available for sale within the US...? Clarifying just to ensure it isn't made out of something that is not allowed within the US, which would be confiscated or rejected.

I am not sure what the rate is, but it should be less than it is in the EU. As a general guideline, I add 20% to the purchase price and then determine whether or not I would still feel as if I was getting a good deal. I had a $500 bag come from Singapore a few weeks ago and ended up paying the equivalent of about $120 in fees to collect it. That was still a good deal, just not as great of a deal as I had initially thought when I won the auction!

In my experience, items coming from HK have about a 25% chance of being 'stopped' for duties when they have lower value (i.e.; $100). I would imagine the chances increase as the value increases. Is the bag new? Is the seller sending original purchase tags, receipts, etc to you? These things can make a difference because they may list a higher value than what you actually paid for the bag. I always ask the seller to be sure to include an INVOICE SHOWING WHAT YOU ACTUALLY PAID for the bag - maybe even highlight the amount. This will help insure that you are charged on $899 instead of the $1299 original purchase price or similar. I would also ask the seller to insure for the amount paid, as sometime this is less than the actual value of the item (which is often higher). If it is lost, you both just want to be sure you get your money back, not necessarily replacement.

Hope all of this is helpful...

Here's what I found on a site selling French crafts to US consumers:

Customs Charges - USA

First the good news. You are receiving authentic handmade crafts direct from an Artisan in France. According to the US Customs Service, this makes you an importer. But before you update your resume please note that, in most cases, you won’t fill out a form, inspect a package, forward a parcel or enter the cages at your local entry port. Easy, right? So what’s the catch?

You are responsible for paying Customs Duties .... just like an Importer.

This backhanded honor applies to everyone who receives goods from overseas. And, whether we like it or not, the buyer (that’s you) is fully responsible for these fees – if they apply. Neither the Artisan nor CraftsFrance can take care of this detail. However, please don’t worry. In most cases, these fees are small and in some cases, you won’t be charged a cent.

If you want direct, specific information, we recommend you contact the US Customs Service (http://www.customs.gov) for all the details. For your convenience, we provide the following information. Please note that CraftsFrance is not an Importer and is not an expert on US Customs rules and regulations. The following information is adapted from the US Customs Service website information.

Key Points:

The buyer is responsible for paying customs duties, if any.
In general, packages with a value of less than US$200 will not require any duty charges.
If multiple packages from the same location are received in the same day, the value will be summed and duties are owed if the value is over US$200.
Imported package under US$2000 entering the country through International Mail enter as Informal Entry and all paperwork and the USPS and Customs Service can handle processing.
Sending Goods to the United States
Shipping through International Mail Services (like La Poste) and then through U.S. mail, including parcel post, is a cost-efficient way to send packages to the United States. The Postal Service sends all foreign mail shipments to Customs for examination. Customs then returns packages that don't require duty to the Postal Service, which sends them to a local post office for delivery. The local post office delivers them without charging any additional postage, handling costs, or other fees.

If the package does require payment of duty, Customs attaches a form called a mail entry (form CF-3419A), which shows how much duty is owed, and charges a $5 processing fee as well. When the post office delivers the package, it will also charge a handling fee.

Customs Duties
Items mailed to the United States are subject to duty when they arrive. Duty is the amount of money you pay on items coming from another country. It is similar to a tax, except that duty is collected only on imported goods. Dutiable describes items on which duty may have to be paid. Most items have specific duty rates, which are determined by a number of factors, including where you got the item, where it was made, and what it is made of.

In addition to duty and taxes, Customs collects a user fee on dutiable packages. Those three fees are the only fees Customs collects.

International Mail Process
Merchandise mailed through La Poste (the French postal service) is forwarded upon its arrival in the United States to one of Customs' International Mail Branches for clearance. If the item is less than US$2,000 in value and is not subject to a quota or is not a restricted or prohibited item, a Customs official will usually prepare the paperwork for importing it, assess the proper duty, and release it for delivery. This procedure is generally referred to as a mail entry.

Packages whose declared value is under US$200 (US$100 if being sent as a gift to someone other than the purchaser) will generally be cleared without any additional paperwork prepared by Customs. However, Customs always reserves the right to require a formal entry for any importation and generally exercises this option if there is something unusual about the importation, or if important documents such as an invoice or bill of sale do not accompany the item.

Formal Entries: If your goods are valued at more than US$2000, you will be required to file a formal entry, which can require extensive paperwork and the filing of a Customs bond. As mentioned above and for various reasons, Customs may require a formal entry for any importation. Customs, however, rarely exercises this right unless there is a particular concern about the circumstances surrounding an importation.

Purchases sent by a merchant abroad
The merchant will attach an international customs declaration to your package, which he or she should fill out with a complete, accurate description of the parcel's contents and value (CraftsFrance assists all Artisans with this process). The merchant will then mail or ship the package to the address you supply.

The Merchant will not charge you for U.S. Customs duties. Customs duties are not assessed until a package arrives in the United States, and they cannot be paid in advance.

Goods not requiring duty
When Customs determines that a package can pass duty-free, the Mail Branch returns it to the Postal Service to be delivered by the addressee's local post office. In these cases, no additional postage, handling costs or other fees are required of the addressee.

Goods requiring duty
Packages that do not pass free of duty will have a yellow form, the Customs Mail Entry (form CF 3419A), attached to the outer wrapper. A Customs officer will have already filled out this form with the item's tariff classification number, rate of duty, processing fee, and the total amount that must be paid in order to take possession of the shipment. You should keep this yellow form until you are certain that you intend to keep the merchandise. After this happens -inspection of the package and completion of the CF 3419A- Customs sends the parcel back to the Postal Service, which sends it to a local Post Office for delivery. The local Post Office also collects the duty owed and a postal handling fee. This procedure applies to packages worth up to US$2,000; the recipient will have to file a formal entry with Customs for those worth more than US$2,000.

Note: Most personal shipments worth up to US$200, and gift packages worth up to US$100, will pass duty-free as long as the recipient does not receive multiple packages in a single day whose cumulative value is more than these amounts.
Dec 14, 2008, 11:20am   #5
Ellie Mae's Avatar
Peace B with U
It is possible to be charged customs fees on items shipping into US, as I have heard of this happening to other buyers. However, I have YET to figure out how it is determined in the US. I have bought bags from UK, Ireland, Spain, Indonesia... and never been charged customs fees. Yet, I hear of others who have had to pay customs into US.
All of my parcels were shipped either USPS or DHL, and entered via NYC. To my knowledge, only one of these parcels was opened and inspected at customs (had an inspection notice on it and had been re-taped w/ customs tape)
SO.. it's possible that you may have to pay customs. But darned if I know what criteria the US uses to determine who pays and who doesn't.
Dec 15, 2008, 5:57am   #6
classicsgirl's Avatar
Bag Lover Downunder
free for purchases under $1000
Dec 15, 2008, 8:48am   #7
ssnyder's Avatar
Member
Originally Posted by classicsgirl
free for purchases under $1000
Into the US? Under $1000? Really?!

That would be fantastic...
Dec 16, 2008, 3:27pm   #8
bellacherie's Avatar
Enthusiast
Originally Posted by classicsgirl
free for purchases under $1000

That's for importing into Australia, not USA.
Jul 22, 2009, 1:00pm   #9
d
Member
i have had my shipment of bags and sunglasses in customs in new york for 8 days never had this happen before anyone have any info bout this?
Dec 21, 2009, 10:19pm   #10
tresjoliex's Avatar
balenciaga lover
What is usually the fees into the US?

And does it matter which courier is used?
Dec 21, 2009, 10:22pm   #11
Ellie Mae's Avatar
Peace B with U
Originally Posted by tresjoliex
What is usually the fees into the US?

And does it matter which courier is used?
I think UPS & Fed-ex are most likely to encounter customs fees on INTL shipments into US. The only time I have ever been charged customs fees was via FED-EX. Bag from UK was $750, customs & brokerage fee $78 or so. Received bill from fed-ex about 2 months after delivery.
I'd go w/ USPS Express or Priority INTL. If there is a fee, they won't let you have the bag until you pay it, so you will know promptly.
Dec 22, 2009, 9:36am   #12
tresjoliex's Avatar
balenciaga lover
The shipment is coming from DHL from matchesfashion.
Dec 22, 2009, 9:52am   #13
Ellie Mae's Avatar
Peace B with U
Originally Posted by tresjoliex
The shipment is coming from DHL from matchesfashion.
Fed-Ex recently acquired DHL. I don't know if they only acquired the only US domestic part of DHL or the INTL also. I have not used DHL in approx a year, so I really don't know how they are operating currently, sorry. You could certainly call DHL and see what they can tell you about their procedure w/ US customs.
Dec 23, 2009, 12:05pm   #14
dressage queen's Avatar
Member
Originally Posted by Ellie Mae
I think UPS & Fed-ex are most likely to encounter customs fees on INTL shipments into US. The only time I have ever been charged customs fees was via FED-EX. Bag from UK was $750, customs & brokerage fee $78 or so. Received bill from fed-ex about 2 months after delivery.
I'd go w/ USPS Express or Priority INTL. If there is a fee, they won't let you have the bag until you pay it, so you will know promptly.
this has been my experience as well.

specific rates can be determined by looking up your item on the US harmonized tariff schedule ~ i believe regular leather bags are somewhere around 9%. (reptile leather is a lower percentage but generally requires CITES documentation)

as i recall, fedex also charges a processing fee of about $45.
Dec 23, 2009, 12:24pm   #15
dressage queen's Avatar
Member
Section VIII, chapter 42, section 4202.21.90 US harmonized tariff schedule ~ handbags of leather (other than reptile) valued at over $20 = 9%

http://hts.usitc.gov/Table%2042.xml
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