Import charges (tax, duty, admin fees, etc)

The advise on this page is based on what previous customers have told me and not necessarily correct. It is the responsibility of international buyers to check with their country’s government regarding any import charges they may have to pay.

Probably the reason I ship so much to the USA is it seems to have the most reasonable import policy. For the first $800 the importer does not pay anything – regardless of what the goods are.

If you exceed the $800 threshold but are buying salvaged stock from me then I would apply a harmonsisation code which exempts duty being paid on antiques which are over 100 years old. In May 2021 a customer purchased about $7600 worth of salvaged stock but was still charged $43 as some sort of administration fee for signing a document swearing that the stock was antique – even though I had declared it so.

It seems that every Canadian has to pay an import charge regardless of what they buy and what tariff code I apply. One of my regular Candadian customers advises:

“I received a notice that I had to pay something like $17. Canadian.  I believe that would be our GST Good and Service Tax, a federal government tax added to just about everything.  So I would continue to use the same reference that you did on mine.  There is always the chance some customs person could still assign a different tariff and there would possibly be some customs tax assigned then, but I don’t think it would be that much.  Thanks again. ” – Barry, June 2021.

European Union
Due to the absurdity which is Brexit all my EU customers now have to pay import VAT. My understanding is that the exact rates differs by country but on average importers are paying 20%. Unsurprisingly I now have little trade with the EU but for some imports I understand there has been an additional administrative fee to pay. I still don’t understand how Brexit was meant to be beneficial to small business like me. I may have “sovereignty” but would prefer regular sales to the EU.

General advice

If you know of any particular tariff code or wording which is best to use on your customs declaration then please let me know.