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importing instruments to uk

GUEST,Bigfolker 25 Apr 05 - 07:54 PM
Scotus 25 Apr 05 - 10:18 PM
GUEST,Greycap 26 Apr 05 - 05:00 AM
nickp 26 Apr 05 - 01:40 PM
CallyH 26 Apr 05 - 02:08 PM
Big Al Whittle 26 Apr 05 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 26 Apr 05 - 08:46 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 26 Apr 05 - 08:49 PM
GUEST,CN 26 Apr 05 - 08:55 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 26 Apr 05 - 09:06 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 26 Apr 05 - 09:10 PM
GUEST,CN 26 Apr 05 - 09:27 PM
GUEST,Andy 27 Apr 05 - 04:55 AM
Paco Rabanne 27 Apr 05 - 05:11 AM
Leadfingers 27 Apr 05 - 05:25 AM
mooman 27 Apr 05 - 06:37 AM
Allan C. 27 Apr 05 - 07:05 AM
mooman 27 Apr 05 - 07:58 AM
Strollin' Johnny 27 Apr 05 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,guy looking to ply in uk 06 May 05 - 03:23 AM
Leadfingers 06 May 05 - 05:53 AM
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Subject: importing instruments to uk
From: GUEST,Bigfolker
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 07:54 PM

Hi all, i'd like to import a musical instrument to the uk from the usa. Does anyone have any experience of this? Wnat does it entail/cost etc any info would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: Scotus
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 10:18 PM

One thing you should be careful about is Brazilian rosewood. Around 1990 a US law came out banning its use. If you plan to take an instrument through customs which has a Brazilian rosewood back or sides you need a certificate stating it was made before the law came out. Or, at least, that what Dana Bourgoise of Schoenberg Guitars told me when I bought such an instrument from him (which is why it stays in the US).

Others may have more authoritative info on this.

Jack beck


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 05:00 AM

My pal John bought a Martin D-28 from Elderly Instruments in the USA. It was beautifully and safely packed, arrived within a week, and he was delighted with the service from that particular company. They are great.
You do have to pay import tax, however.I don't know exactly what percentage that is.
Hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: nickp
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 01:40 PM

Duty is payable based on the type of instrument and some calculation about its value. There may be some info on their web site. Its a fair(ish) percentage but if you get the item posted you'll also get ripped off by Royal Mail for the handling of a cheque for Customs & Excise. And there's VAT on top of ALL of that.
Oh, and the cost of posting.

If you're travelling it's worth carrying it in and paying duty in customs...

Nick


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: CallyH
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 02:08 PM

If you do this, make sure you check your invoice from Customs & Excise carefully. We recently ordered some solar panels from the USA and were charged customs duty which wasn't payable on these and they got the VAT amount completely wrong (in their favour). The courier told me that this is not at all uncommon!

Rachel


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 08:11 PM

I recently bought a hohner steinberger copy bass guitar from the USA on e-bay. It cost two hundrd quid. ahundred and forty four less than the uk price, and nobody had them over here. There was £47 import duty to pay at the door when it came, but it worked out cheaper. the seller was courteous , pleasant and the instrument is excellent.

all the best

Big Al Whittle


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 08:46 PM

got to pay tax on anything costing over $ equivalent of £18..

ie..approx 3 to 5% import tax on value of instrument

+ VAT on combined total cost of instrument + import tax + shipping charge


then on top of that..

+ bastard Royal mail extortion racket charge for handling



eg.. i recently paid $396 + $70 shipping for a guitar

total $470   [£247]




Guitar       £247.00
Customs Duty £ 8.59
Customs VAT   £ 48.51
Clearance Fee £ 8.00 [theiving bastard royal mail parasites]

Total =      £312.10

..but it can still work out a fair bit cheaper than buying same instrument in UK..

..though if you can find the same instrument for reasonable cost in EEC
then you dont have to pay the VAT


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 08:49 PM

.. and for anyone who checked my maths..

yes.. i should have typed $74 for shipping..


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: GUEST,CN
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 08:55 PM

I've done this several times. The duty (on acoustic guitars) is 3.2% - not too bad. You'll then pay VAT on a) the original price plus b) any carriage charges incurred plus c) the duty. Yes, you pay tax on the tax...

Twice I've arrived at Manchester from Newark with instruments that I always intended to import legally. On both occasions I had to wait for a suitably qualified customs person to arrive and do the paperwork. It has to be said that I could easily have walked through on both occasions.

I've had guitars delivered by Fedex a few times. There's a bit of a lottery with duty...most Fedex packages get caught when they arrive at Stansted but not all. I know someone who had a very expensive custom Martin imported by Fedex that wasn't inspected. That was a real result, but not to be relied on I fear!

If you buy wisely you'll save a packet even with all the extras. Good luck!


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 09:06 PM

yeah.. that reminds me..

i was once lucky enough to have a guitar
slip through customs unexamined and untaxed.. [maybe Fedex ????]


the money i was saved that time
sweetened the tax sting
for the next
2 or 3 instruments i bought from America..



..of course we are talking about importing legally..


and not asking the seller to falsify the purchase and shipping amount
on the documentation to a more favourable lower cost..

or as a 'Gift'

.. or the associated insurance risks if an undervalued instrument
gets damaged or lost..


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 09:10 PM

Hypothetical, ethically debatable question:

If someone from the UK was planning on buying an expensive US-made quitar and they were to travel to the States accompanied by a cheapo guitar with "Collings" painted on the headstock and return to the UK with a genuine Collings, do you think the customs people know enough about guitars to catch 'em?

Or would the serial numbers be recorded and compared?

(Please understand that this question is strictly academic. I would never suggest that anyone try such a thing. I'm sure the government of the United Kingdom needs its citizens' money desperately and spends it ever so wisely in a most beneficial manner.)


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: GUEST,CN
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 09:27 PM

Hmmm...all this hypothetical stuff is making me dizzy. As I mentioned before, I am in no doubt at all that I could have successfully walked through Manchester without bein stopped. Fair enough really...these days the authorities have much bigger fish to fry than people sneaking in with an extra bottle of vodka or an expensive watch/guitar/mandolin etc.

Here's one way of 99.9% success: don't fly from the US to the UK direct, but go via one of the European hubs like Amsterdam. When you arrive in, say Detroit, you check your bags straight through to the UK airport. You arrive in the EU but don't clear your bags through customs. You finally pick up the luggage in your regional UK airport and walk straight through as you'll have arrived on an EU flight that is not subject to customs control. Yes, I am aware that the baggage tags from outside the EU differ slightly from those that originate outside, but the fact remains that if you arrive on an Amsterdam flight into Teeside the chances of a customs person even being present is slender, so the likelihood that someone will clock the tag on you case is, to all intents and purposes, zero.

I've never brought a guitar in using this route, but I have frequently travelled to my local airport via Amsterdam and it would certainly be the easiest way to walk in with something.

The biggest danger is that your shiny new guitar will disappear into the bowels of Amsterdam airport and never be seen again. But that's another story...


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: GUEST,Andy
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 04:55 AM

I started a similar thread unaware that this one was running theres a usful link to UPS in one of the responses See Shipping Charges


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 05:11 AM

A friend of mine regularly goes to New Orleans to visit his sister. He always takes an empty guitar flight case with him, buys a strat in America, and then sells it on his return to England. Ethics? Bollocks!! We are over taxed!!


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 05:25 AM

On return from working in Hong Kong I walked straight through the Green channel (Nothing to Declare) at Heathrow with lots of hair and beard and a trolley loaded with instrument cases . The Young customs guy who stopped me knew exactly where to look for the Serial Number on my D35 and struck me as knowing a lot about musical instruments !
This is further to Bee-duby-ell's post about the bringing in of stuff.
Try it if you like , but dont come crying if you get clobbered .


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: mooman
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 06:37 AM

I've ordered lots of luthiery bits and pieces from the US and Canada to Belgium. I've had to pay duty once (via the postman at my front door) but more often they've not been bothered with.

I haven't bought an instrument from the USA but have travelled a few times with expensive instruments there. I've never been stopped at customs but have always taken the precaution to have the original purchase receipt with me to show the instrument was bought by me in Europe and is owned by me.

UK people: there are some good deals to be had purchasing from mainland Europe at the moment due to the high pound and you won't have import duty problems!

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: Allan C.
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 07:05 AM

I know of one person who diminished the taxes greatly by dismantling his banjo prior to its entry into the UK and claiming it as "spare parts".


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: mooman
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 07:58 AM

I think I know of that person too Allan! (;>)

moo


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 12:00 PM

That's a good idea - dismantle all banjos, permanently. :-)


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: GUEST,guy looking to ply in uk
Date: 06 May 05 - 03:23 AM

So, if I come to play few gigs in the UK and bring guitars w/ me what happens? will they tax me on entry? I am a US citizen and travel with 8 guitars and one or two amp heads. I buy or rent cabs while abroad.


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Subject: RE: importing instruments to uk
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 May 05 - 05:53 AM

Guest -03.23AM - If Customs think you are bringing them in to sell 'em , they will be a bit awkward I expect but as long as you can convince 'em your taking 'em out again you should be OK - They are quite likely to sting you import duty and refund it when you leave !


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