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Save money on UK imports - Handling fees increased this AugustSave money on UK imports - Handling fees increased this August

SoarinSoarin1 year agoNews
Hi folks,

Those of you importing in the UK will be well aware of handling fees charged by default posstal couriers here! All goods coming in via EMS or SAL from outside of the EU will be handled by Royal Mail group, either through Royal Mail itself or Parcel Force.

Royal Mail group just raised the handling fee for Parcel Force items to 11.25. It is not a major increase, but the fees over the course of a year add up. AmiAmi and Mandarake provide good documentation when shipping via JP, a lot of the required information to settle customs queries are already provided. In most cases you are paying the courier for their service of advance payments on VAT or Duty charges.

There is an alternative however as highlighted on the following webpage:
www.nibusinessi...

The short of it:
Have the package marked "goods to be Customs cleared by the importer". Customs and revenue will hold your package and send you mail to the delivery address with a customs declaration. You fill it out and send it back, they then raise charges which you then pay and the package is delivered.

It is a small delay but could save you several hundred pounds per year.

Hope this was informative and helpful,
~Soarin
1,085 hits • 19 comments

Comments19

1pt
Soarin (10 months ago) #26656613Hugs for you! I would be pretty devastated to have paid 40 pounds in fees for nothing. The way in which they charge handling fees is criminal to be honest, the cost of customs center operation end to end should be covered by duties raised. It's a tax office, last time I checked the council did not outsource their admin and charge me for it.
Perhaps using a 3rd part shipping service may be your best option, once you have a copy of the CN23 (I think that is the one). With the basic information for place of origin, the ID code for type of goods and method of transport you can essentially reprint the same document over and over. The only changes necessary being the value declared.
Once you have a copy of the template it is a 90 second job.

Actually I do use 3rd party shippers. I have even worse horror story with one of them! They lost a big consolidated parcel and then blatantly denied it.

I used to get it shipped to them to forward after saving my stuff up from a proxy. That proxy was good except they were told by the government not to undervalue packages, hence I had to use the forwarder. I used the proxy for over a decade I think but I think they were losing business and converted to a real time bidding system. However, that mean fees went up and now they charged a % of your order value as a fee when sending your items within Japan. So I stopped that now too. I'll find a new proxy eventually. But right now I guess my finances are thanking me.

It's actually Japanese snacks I miss the most atm! lol

Thanks for that info on the process, however. That will come in handy.
10 months ago
2pt
captain-burrito (10 months ago) #26639491I've been itching to try this to avoid the RM handling charge but after like 10 emails of back and forth with a Japanese seller I gave up. Asked another and it was the same. So I cut back on my ordering. They think I was asking them to do something shady but I showed them the government webpage and even sent a picture of what they are supposed to write on the customs form but somehow they couldn't do it.
To add salt to my wounds one of the sellers sent me 2 packages which weren't mine. I had to pay customs on them both. They asked me if I could send them back and I asked them to pay for postage and refund me the customs but they went silent. So I paid 40 Quid for customs for 2 packages which weren't mine for items which are worthless so I can't even resell them to recoup costs.
Sometimes Japanese are their own worst enemies.


Hugs for you! I would be pretty devastated to have paid 40 pounds in fees for nothing. The way in which they charge handling fees is criminal to be honest, the cost of customs center operation end to end should be covered by duties raised. It's a tax office, last time I checked the council did not outsource their admin and charge me for it.

Perhaps using a 3rd part shipping service may be your best option, once you have a copy of the CN23 (I think that is the one). With the basic information for place of origin, the ID code for type of goods and method of transport you can essentially reprint the same document over and over. The only changes necessary being the value declared.

Once you have a copy of the template it is a 90 second job.
10 months ago
1pt
I've been itching to try this to avoid the RM handling charge but after like 10 emails of back and forth with a Japanese seller I gave up. Asked another and it was the same. So I cut back on my ordering. They think I was asking them to do something shady but I showed them the government webpage and even sent a picture of what they are supposed to write on the customs form but somehow they couldn't do it.

To add salt to my wounds one of the sellers sent me 2 packages which weren't mine. I had to pay customs on them both. They asked me if I could send them back and I asked them to pay for postage and refund me the customs but they went silent. So I paid 40 Quid for customs for 2 packages which weren't mine for items which are worthless so I can't even resell them to recoup costs.

Sometimes Japanese are their own worst enemies.
10 months ago
1pt
Kuromii Haikyuu nerdlord
Royalmail can kiss my arse. Manda undervalues if you tell them what to value it as in the comments section before checkout (Sahra doesn't though), and there's always proxy services which will undervalue.

I wouldn't mind all that much if I was just asked to pay the VAT since most shops in Japan don't charge foreign customers their 8% VAT, but fuck the royalmail's handling charge. Money grabbing theives.
1 year ago
1pt
I got hit recently importing a figure (which was expected), but the letter I received stated that 15 pounds is the supposed limit on Commerical goods (including online transactions) and 39 pounds on Gifts, if the pacakage is from outside the EU. It's also worth noting that you will be charged on Shipping + Handling fees too if Customs singles out your parckage. Just a heads up to y'all.
1 year ago
1pt
I haven't been charged for any SAL small packet deliveries, including the ones that are processed by customs and are labelled 'can't be delivered until payed for'. I guess that depends on your local post office.

Parcelforce on the other hand are the devil - Anything delivered via SAL parcel and EMS will get flagged by them almost without fail and they hold the packages until all charges are paid for and then they have the cheek to try and charge you another £10 for weekend delivery.
1 year ago
1pt
thanks
1 year ago
2pt
RockGodItachi (1 year ago) #24662443Also Luciddream mentions that Mandarake devalues packages, well I can tell you that from my experience they do not, I have asked several times and they have stated to me that they will not do it. Even on their message board it say's we do not devalue packages. So Manda is out of the question if I want to avoid charges, however I might start using Solaris a lot more, as they have a customs slider to help you escape those dreaded charges but they are very expensive.

By law they have to value goods accordingly, it is a felony to knowingly under-value exports. The whole reason for VAT on imports is to try and make goods in the home country more competitive with the foreign market (a market which in our case does not exist in the UK). Tax is already paid on the item when you purchase it online, having to pay taxes both to Japan and the UK feels a tad harsh. I did some reading on the subject and apparently the revenues raised by VAT charges are enough to cover the cost of running the facility at Langley where the goods are checked. The current system has literally 0 benefit for the UK economy, none of the proceeds are used to subsidize small local businesses.

If I felt the money I paid was actually of benefit to the country I would not feel so resentful about the whole process. Solaris as you say may undervalue, they use RRP rather than aftermarket markup prices, but they are SO expensive. I am tied into 5 or 6 AmiAmi pre-orders by February next year and realise this is going to be another 200 pounds+ in customs and handling fees alone D:
1 year ago
1pt
Oh crap! Well I'm screwed I've got AmiAmi orders right up till February, oh boy this is gonna suck! I might have to consider cutting back next year, as the charges sting already and I hate to think how much I've spent out on customs charges as it is. Also Luciddream mentions that Mandarake devalues packages, well I can tell you that from my experience they do not, I have asked several times and they have stated to me that they will not do it. Even on their message board it say's we do not devalue packages. So Manda is out of the question if I want to avoid charges, however I might start using Solaris a lot more, as they have a customs slider to help you escape those dreaded charges but they are very expensive. Well Thanks for the heads up on this, I think we are all in for a miserable time. I have a dream and that dream is we have a free trading agreement with Japan and private citizens don't have to face these pain in the arse charges anymore! If only......
1 year ago
1pt
I've just been hit with two charges this week after going almost a year without paying one >__>

I bought two figures last month through mfc and one was rather large, not a single sniff of a fee (plus one came from the US), but then buying a figure through solaris I landed a £28 fee and I have a £18 fee for a pokemon moncolle from play-asia e__e

what really annoyed me before was buying some chibi love live sunshine figures from TOM and being smacked with a £12.50 handling fee as well as a £15 import fee when the figure only cost me £15 to begin with fml good thing I don't have any figure orders due until January next year x_X
1 year ago
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