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bollemanneke

Need advice, Customs is acting up

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Hi everyone, I'd like your opinion on this.

 

Two weeks ago, I ordered Back to the Future 3 from Varèse Sarabande. It's ridiculous that these CDs cost 30 dollars, but you know, I want to help the label, I can afford it and blah blah blah, so that's fine. Shipping to Europe cost me another 14 dollars. It's 2017 and the EU and US still have no normal trading agreement, but that's fine.

 

This morning, I went to collect my package from the post office, but then they told me that customs had looked at my package and I would have to pay another 25 euros! If customs want to have fun with my package, how is that my problem? Also, what exactly are they checking for? If I was planning on ordering drugs or guns, would I do it openly online and expect no trouble at all? And why do these idiots not have devices that can pick up explosives via scanners like they do at the airport, why do they have to go and open my stuff?

 

I e-mailed Varèse and asked for a refund (did not take the package with me), but am just reading their suspiciously elaborate customs conditions on their website and am not hopeful. So, what I want to know is, why is this happening now? Why did 5 La-La Land orders arrive without any trouble? Was I just lucky? Why does LLL never mention Customs on their website? Should I simply let this go, never order expansions again, not collect the package and waste 34 euros? I am NOT paying 25 euros for something I didn't ask for. Period.

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6 minutes ago, bollemanneke said:

never order expansions again

 

Well I wouldn't go that far - just order from within the EU next time (Musicbox or Soundtrackcorner), then they cannot legally mess with it more. The price may be a bit higher, but the shipping's cheaper, and guaranteed no additional customs charges.

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5 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

Yep. You were just lucky your previous CDs were not caught by the customs. And I don't see why LLL would need to mention that on their website: you're suppose to know that.

I mean, why does Varèse go on about Customs on their website while LLL doesn't? Seems like to me there's history between Varèse and international customs.

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12 minutes ago, bollemanneke said:

I mean, why does Varèse go on about Customs on their website while LLL doesn't? Seems like to me there's history between Varèse and international customs.

 

It's possible a lot of customers complained, so they thought they'd add a warning on their website. But ultimately, people are supposed to know about customs and there's absolutely nothing the labels can do about those (which is probably why LLL don't think it's worth mentioning on their website).

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Because Varese prints the actual value on their packaging you get charged. LLL and Intrada don't do that. I got charged every single time I ordered from Varese this year.

 

There is nothing shady about it at all. You should get charged whenever the order value goes beyond certain amount.

 

Karol

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33 minutes ago, El Jefe said:

Has anyone here in the US had issues ordering stuff from overseas?

 

Or do we have easier customs rules?

 

 

I have ordered titles directly from Quartet a bunch of times, and never had any issues.

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2 hours ago, Richard said:

I'm sure that $73 for two CDs is not normal, but what else can you do, refuse to collect? That means that you've paid a lot of money for two CDs that you'll never read. 

 

Fixed. 

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22 minutes ago, crocodile said:

Because Varese prints the actual value on their packaging you get charged. LLL and Intrada don't do that. I get charged every single time I ordered from Varese this year.

 

There is nothing shady about it at all. You should get charged whenever the order value goes beyond certain amount.

 

Karol

Quite. Nothing odd about this at all. If the value of the package is marked above certain (I seem to remember here in Finland a ridiculously low sum) value it is redirected to the customs and you have to declare it and pay extra.

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25 minutes ago, crocodile said:

Because Varese prints the actual value on their packaging you get charged. LLL and Intrada don't do that. I get charged every single time I ordered from Varese this year.

 

There is nothing shady about it at all. You should get charged whenever the order value goes beyond certain amount.

 

Karol

 

Aha!  That explains a lot.

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23 minutes ago, bollemanneke said:

Wait. I have to pay extra because Customs knows what it cost me in the first place? How is that logical?

 

Custom fees are based on the estimated or established value of the imported item.

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Customs is very strict here now since the summer.

Everying outside of EU passes through customs and if it's more than 22 euros that you paid (until a certain amount up), you pay 24% of the overall value of the package + 15 euros!

I started buying from European retailers.

When I use USA Amazon I use the amazonglobal option that has the import fees deposit calculated and it's much less that what I would pay here.

 

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3 hours ago, crocodile said:

 

@Stefancos I think rules in Netherlands are slightly different. No custom duties. In Belgium it is above the value of 22€. In the UK, it is around £15. I don't think shipping counts, just the value of goods.

 

Karol

 

It's €22 in Ireland too (must be the standard EU rate). Thankfully LLL declare it as a commercial sample with a value of €1!

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10 hours ago, Stefancos said:

Americans don't order abroad.

that is not true. I order from China from time to time, but China is a country. The EU well that's a different story.

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2 hours ago, JoeinAR said:

I order from China from time to time ...

 

It's what I've been saying all along! In fact, I too buy from China. Some of their stuff is really cheap. And yes, once in a while, customs will give you a fine for ordering outside the EU. If it's really cheap (like 10 Euros), don't pay the fine, just say "keep it", walk out and order it again.

 

 

Hope this helps,

 

 

Alex

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12 hours ago, Bilbo said:

 

It's €22 in Ireland too (must be the standard EU rate). Thankfully LLL declare it as a commercial sample with a value of €1!

Oh, really? when you buy from them then, they try to be customs friendly?

 

Because I noticed something similar with SAE.

I had bought 2 Blurays (overall price with shipping approx. $40) and they wrote a value of $3 per Bluray.

58 minutes ago, bollemanneke said:

Yeah, I'll probably pay... Just really annoyed because it makes no sense whatsoever. Soundtrack Corner it is from now on.

For me, I think MusicBox Records was a bit cheaper when I compared it with Soundtrack Corner.

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Music Box has better shipping rates.

 

But yeah @bollemanneke those charges area a pain but it's all correct. I had to buy an equivalent of one CD when I bought The Haunting last month. Varese simply does it by the book. I think it's less likely to happen with either Intrada or LLL (happened only once inthe past 8 years). Best thing is just to assume it will happen.

 

Karol

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Look, I'm sure it makes sense to whoever made the ruels, but I like to know beforehand what I'll be paying. And no, it makes no sense to me to have to pay an amount on top of something else just because a package ends up in another country. It's not even about safety, it's just yet another way to make money. This forum doesn't charge you for using a browser either, right?

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You do know how much you have to pay in advance, or at least you could know. You know your VAT rates and can calculate the VAT that applies to the items you've ordered abroad.

 

And you don't exactly pay extra. According to this, you usually pay 21% for any CD you buy in Belgium. You haven't yet paid VAT for the discs you ordered in the US.

 

That said, the supremely annoying thing about customs fees is that there's usually a significant processing charge, and even if the actual import fee only amounts to about on Euro, Austrian charges for the customs office to process a package and for the post office to collect the fee (yes, these are two charges) alone amount to something like €15 as far as I recall. Also, the charges are calculated from the total sum of the order, including the shipping fee, which can be a significant part of the total price when ordering abroad.

 

That said, there are ways around this, as mentioned above, depending on where you order and how the package is labelled.

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