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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Gift Lenses from USA......Hi folks, A friend of mine is moving to the US for a few years soon. If they were to ...
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Old 20-02-2010, 23:56   #1 (permalink)
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Gift Lenses from USA...

Hi folks,

A friend of mine is moving to the US for a few years soon.

If they were to send me a birthday gift lens, and shipped it marked as 'gift', is it liable for import taxes, VAT and the usual escalation of price that we have to endure in the UK?

What if I'd left a lens over there when visiting them (that I bought second hand and therefore have no paperwork for) and they shipped it back to me?

Any body any idea?

Cheers

Jon.
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Old 21-02-2010, 08:51   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Gift Lenses from USA...

The whole 'gift' thing is a bit of fiction and I rather suspect that 'marking down' the value of something in this day and age of x-ray equipment could be a mistake! I've never heard it, but in theory they can confiscate false declarations.

As far as your I-left-it-behind scenario, I reckon that if they inspected it, they'd see it was not brand new and be OK with it.

Having said all that, I know those that've got away without paying anything at all and I know those who paid VAT and tax (and a fair price)

Of course the most popular is to carry the lens on your person (without box!) when travelling through customs
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Old 21-02-2010, 10:40   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Gift Lenses from USA...

Cheers - I don't mind paying a reasonable price differential to reflect different markets. But the lens in question is over £ 400 more in the UK than it is in the US. That's just taking the mick...

I guess they could even buy it for me on their card in the US so it's actually their lens and I'm just borrowing it from them. That way if I got collared on the way back to the UK and they checked it would be marked as a US lens purchased by somebody in the US and simply on loan to me...

Cheers

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Old 21-02-2010, 11:06   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Gift Lenses from USA...

HM Revenue & Customs are tightening up a bit on this sort of thing, especially as there are so many eBay items being shipped as "gifts" or with false value declarations. If you are caught out, you could have to pay VAT + Import Duty + handling fee, which could add up to 25% to the cost.

There are some HK dealers who guarantee to refund any taxes - have you checked their prices? Also remember that US quoted prices don't include local taxes which vary from one State to another.
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Old 21-02-2010, 12:01   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Gift Lenses from USA...

Thanks Silkstone,

Yes I've used One Stop Digital before and they were competitively priced. But they too are around £ 300 more than the US on this particular lens.

The price differential seems very lens dependant - some have minimal difference between the UK and US but others are very different.

Cheers

Jon.
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Old 21-02-2010, 12:11   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Gift Lenses from USA...

What lens are you looking for fella ?
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Old 21-02-2010, 12:32   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Gift Lenses from USA...

Hi Chris,

It's the 35mm F1.4L.

Just checked again this morning and those UK/US price diffferentials are down to £ 215...it's a moving target.

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