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Mailing stuff to the UK

Mailing stuff to the UK

Old Oct 4th 2007, 12:53 pm
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Default Mailing stuff to the UK

My brother in England had asked me to order him some computer software that he can't get over there (valued around $400), and I wanted to send it via USPS today, but I wasn't sure what to put on the customs form. If I put "software" and label it as a gift, are we likely to be charged tax or whatever it is they charge? Trying to avoid delays and extra charges (but obviously want to stay within the law ).
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Old Oct 4th 2007, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: Mailing stuff to the UK

Originally Posted by katesbackagain View Post
My brother in England had asked me to order him some computer software that he can't get over there (valued around $400), and I wanted to send it via USPS today, but I wasn't sure what to put on the customs form. If I put "software" and label it as a gift, are we likely to be charged tax or whatever it is they charge? Trying to avoid delays and extra charges (but obviously want to stay within the law ).
I believe he will have to pay customs fees when it arrives.

I can't think of a way to avoid this - letting something valuable in without paying the tax is what the customs fees are intended to prevent, unfortunately.
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Old Oct 4th 2007, 1:36 pm
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Default Re: Mailing stuff to the UK

Originally Posted by katesbackagain View Post
My brother in England had asked me to order him some computer software that he can't get over there (valued around $400), and I wanted to send it via USPS today, but I wasn't sure what to put on the customs form. If I put "software" and label it as a gift, are we likely to be charged tax or whatever it is they charge? Trying to avoid delays and extra charges (but obviously want to stay within the law ).
It's likely to be delayed using the postal service as they're all on strike in the UK and reckon nothing will get delivered until Wednesday and then there'll be the time it takes to clear the backlog.

I think it would only be charged import duty if it's over a certain value - just not sure what that value is. This seems to be a good guide (haven't had time to read through though): http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsP...ument#P40_3190
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Old Oct 4th 2007, 1:53 pm
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Default Re: Mailing stuff to the UK

Originally Posted by neil View Post
It's likely to be delayed using the postal service as they're all on strike in the UK and reckon nothing will get delivered until Wednesday and then there'll be the time it takes to clear the backlog.

I think it would only be charged import duty if it's over a certain value - just not sure what that value is. This seems to be a good guide (haven't had time to read through though): http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsP...ument#P40_3190
It's a low amount, no customs if "the value of the gift does not exceed £36"
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Old Oct 4th 2007, 9:43 pm
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Default Re: Mailing stuff to the UK

Originally Posted by neil View Post
It's likely to be delayed using the postal service as they're all on strike in the UK and reckon nothing will get delivered until Wednesday and then there'll be the time it takes to clear the backlog.
UPS wont be affected by the postal strike though!
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Old Oct 4th 2007, 9:46 pm
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Default Re: Mailing stuff to the UK

Originally Posted by katesbackagain View Post
My brother in England had asked me to order him some computer software that he can't get over there (valued around $400), and I wanted to send it via USPS today, but I wasn't sure what to put on the customs form. If I put "software" and label it as a gift, are we likely to be charged tax or whatever it is they charge? Trying to avoid delays and extra charges (but obviously want to stay within the law ).
if you mark it gift you take your chance if they open it to check the value - then you get a tax bill. (rather your bro will) If its small package you could put data discs - i have done this in the past with no problem - of course this is not what you might call legal!
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Old Oct 4th 2007, 9:47 pm
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Default Re: Mailing stuff to the UK

Originally Posted by MsElui View Post
UPS wont be affected by the postal strike though!
no but they wont be the ones taking it to the door in blighty now will they
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Old Oct 4th 2007, 9:54 pm
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Default Re: Mailing stuff to the UK

Originally Posted by Big D View Post
no but they wont be the ones taking it to the door in blighty now will they
yes they would - we have ups courier vans here too - nowt to do with the british post office
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Old Oct 4th 2007, 9:57 pm
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Default Re: Mailing stuff to the UK

Originally Posted by MsElui View Post
yes they would - we have ups courier vans here too - nowt to do with the british post office
Sorry - misread your post as the OP was refering to USPS rather than UPS! You are quite right, and i will now shut up!
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Old Oct 5th 2007, 4:10 pm
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Default Re: Mailing stuff to the UK

luck of the draw, probably won't get stung for taxes, but if it does, he'll have to pay it to pick it up....but what software out here can he get that he can't in the UK?

If it's just the cost thing, and he's using it commercially, might want to consider the EULA, because most software in the big money state that the license is only valid for that area of sales, so doing any commercial work with it in another location would be dodgy ground.
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Old Oct 5th 2007, 4:58 pm
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Default Re: Mailing stuff to the UK

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
luck of the draw, probably won't get stung for taxes, but if it does, he'll have to pay it to pick it up....but what software out here can he get that he can't in the UK?

If it's just the cost thing, and he's using it commercially, might want to consider the EULA, because most software in the big money state that the license is only valid for that area of sales, so doing any commercial work with it in another location would be dodgy ground.
It's just some nifty animation software that he can't get over there. It's for his own personal use, not work or anything. I think I'll just be honest and put on the customs form what it is. I don't think it'll kill him to pay a lil extra for it. (I'm a baby and too scared of doing something I shouldn't and getting caught! ) Thank you all for the input.
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Old Oct 5th 2007, 6:48 pm
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Default Re: Mailing stuff to the UK

If you have some web space, you could upload the disk images to a secret space and then let him download it on his end.

No Customs duty on that.
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Old Oct 5th 2007, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: Mailing stuff to the UK

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
If you have some web space, you could upload the disk images to a secret space and then let him download it on his end.

No Customs duty on that.
Ooh clever idea.
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Old Oct 6th 2007, 11:58 pm
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Default Re: Mailing stuff to the UK

Originally Posted by katesbackagain View Post
It's just some nifty animation software that he can't get over there. It's for his own personal use, not work or anything. I think I'll just be honest and put on the customs form what it is. I don't think it'll kill him to pay a lil extra for it. (I'm a baby and too scared of doing something I shouldn't and getting caught! ) Thank you all for the input.
As someone who works in International Logistics, I can help you out a little here:

If you put the real value on the label, your brother will, without fail, be stung for VAT (17.5%) plus duty (variable rate depending on the product, probably around 4%).

If you tick the gift box and put a price that is less than 36 gbp, you take your chances that it get's through. If you use USPS and it looks like a personal, rather than business, package, from and to residential addresses, there is a very good chance it will get through unchecked.
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Old Oct 7th 2007, 1:00 am
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Default Re: Mailing stuff to the UK

Originally Posted by katesbackagain View Post
My brother in England had asked me to order him some computer software that he can't get over there (valued around $400), and I wanted to send it via USPS today, but I wasn't sure what to put on the customs form. If I put "software" and label it as a gift, are we likely to be charged tax or whatever it is they charge? Trying to avoid delays and extra charges (but obviously want to stay within the law ).
Just write on the sticker - assorted CD's. It wont be a lie.
I have sent over gifts for family and friends and never had a problem. I just wrote assorted gifts and it was fine.

It usually takes 8 days too and from when I send or receive anything though. That is just through the normal mail system but again I have never had anything get lost or go missing. In fact I am due a 'care package' from my mum anytime lol. I am sure she thinks I am actually in prison and livng in america is just a ruse. She sends me aspirin, lemsips, tea bags and even toilet roll one time. Oh well, bless her cottons. Good luck.
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