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Wongo
01-20-2013, 10:19 AM
Was wondering if anyone has had a custom ukulele made and shipped to the uk. I am currently trying to weigh up my options but don't want to burnt by uk customs. If you have please tell me about your experiance. Cost of uke then final costs after duty and tax etc. anything else you think I might need to know.
Thanks in advance for any help
It would be gratefully appreciated

whepper
01-20-2013, 10:34 AM
I don't know what the UK import fees are. For the Netherlands we have to calculate 21% tax and 4% duties + processing fees. This is calculated over the price of the uke combined with the shipping costs.

Plainsong
01-20-2013, 10:56 AM
I don't know what the UK import fees are. For the Netherlands we have to calculate 21% tax and 4% duties + processing fees. This is calculated over the price of the uke combined with the shipping costs.

Yup, same in Finland, but I think the tax is something like 24%. Always better to plan for it to be more rather than less. Unless you're getting a custom or have one specific uke you fell in love with, it's better to go with European sellers, like Southern Ukulele Store (UK), musique83 (France), or Mercatinodellukulele.it (Italy). All those mentioned have and get K brands in stock. Ukulele.de even is now a Kamaka dealer.

hoosierhiver
01-20-2013, 11:04 AM
I've had more trouble with the UK post than any other country, often they won't tell you they've got your uke (or whatever it is), you've just got to call and find out, then go pay duty. If you wait too long, they might return it to the shipper.

mm stan
01-20-2013, 11:12 AM
No forget the Lacy act and endangered species and shells and woods.. http://netsuke.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=5053959
http://www.mg.gov.pl/NR/rdonlyres/E3D20778-85A6-43A8-9EDA-CA327D37ED1D/49858/629b08.pdf

Tootler
01-20-2013, 11:36 AM
I've ordered stuff from the US in the past and it seems hit and miss whether you get caught by customs for small items but for valuable items, you almost certainly will. You can expect to pay VAT plus import duties (I'm not sure what the latter are, you will need to check with HM Revenue & Customs). If the sender uses the postal service, the Royal Mail will hang on to your item until you have paid duty plus a "handling fee". The latter seems to be somewhat excessive, at least on smaller items as it can be as much as the duty and it's that that I particularly resent. I have heard that courier firms tend to be more reasonable in that regard, so ask the sender to use a courier and not the postal service.

So the short answer is, yes, you will get charged by customs but you will need to check exactly how much.

If it's sent from within the EU, on the other hand, as long as VAT has been paid locally by the sender, there should be no further duty to pay.

Pete Beardsley
01-20-2013, 11:46 AM
As Tootler says, if purchased inside the EU and local tax has been paid importing will not attract further taxes, but outside the EU then have a look at the following page on the HMRC website.

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/post/buying.htm

Not sure what the implications (if any) of the Lacey Act/Cites List etc would be though. As Plainsong says above, unless it is something that cannot be sourced or made within the UK I personally would try to avoid importing, but that is just me.

Lalz
01-20-2013, 11:47 AM
Whatever you do, don't order anything this month. Royal Mail has a huge back log after the holidays, and most post from abroad is stuck in depots righ now because of the snow. Best to wait a few weeks.

Wongo
01-20-2013, 12:09 PM
Thank you for all of the quick replies. I will hold off and shop locally I think.

pulelehua
01-20-2013, 12:13 PM
I've had more trouble with the UK post than any other country, often they won't tell you they've got your uke (or whatever it is), you've just got to call and find out, then go pay duty. If you wait too long, they might return it to the shipper.

I actually experienced this with a digital SLR bought from the states. They mis-wrote the postcode, and it ended up at the other end of the country. I managed to get it intercepted as it was back on its way to New Jersey.

Then had to pay something like 28% customs.

Ouch. Twice.

pakhan
01-20-2013, 12:39 PM
PM set.

But the import tax in total is around 21%, there are a few things you can do to help UK post....

lennymac
01-20-2013, 12:46 PM
Hey - I had kamaka do a special order for me which was shipped to the UK in October. Shipping was I think 80 USD, then the tax/handling on arrival in the UK was approximately 23% of the cost of the uke plus shipping. It made the whole think quite a bit more expensive than if you are in the US. Personally I am delighted with my uke and think it's worth every penny (cent!); it is a fairly big risk to take on a uke you haven't played. If it arrives and you are not 100% happy with it the resale market is mainly in the US, it may take a fair bit of time to resell and you will almost certainly lose a fair chunk of cash on the deal - take 25% off for it being 'used' and the 23% UK tax if shipping back to the US. Like I say, I'm delighted with mine, but 1,500 is a big risk to take. How about trying a UK Luthier? I've only heard good things about pete howlett - check his website...

Plainsong
01-20-2013, 05:23 PM
Those European shops I mentioned all are authorized dealers of what they carry, and have stellar reputations. They're just not as well known on this site because its more US-centric. It used to be you couldn't find a K-brand here for love nor money, but now things are a bit better. Musique83 even has a Koaloha Pineapple Sunday.

Ben_H
01-20-2013, 08:11 PM
Those European shops I mentioned all are authorized dealers of what they carry, and have stellar reputations. They're just not as well known on this site because its more US-centric. It used to be you couldn't find a K-brand here for love nor money, but now things are a bit better. Musique83 even has a Koaloha Pineapple Sunday.

It's not super accurate but having priced up a few things myself with VAT @20% and 3% import tax then shipping at BOTH ends, (yes Royal Mail seem to sting you this side of the pond) you could work on the basis that whatever you're being asked for in $ is what you will end up paying in .

Someone posted an import tax calculator a while back and it differs depending what the item is. No uke listing but a banjo was 3% on top of the sale price, not including the shipping charge

AndrewKuker
01-20-2013, 08:25 PM
Works for many countries-

http://www.dutycalculator.com/new-import-duty-and-tax-calculation/

Plainsong
01-20-2013, 08:56 PM
It's not super accurate but having priced up a few things myself with VAT @20% and 3% import tax then shipping at BOTH ends, (yes Royal Mail seem to sting you this side of the pond) you could work on the basis that whatever you're being asked for in $ is what you will end up paying in .

Someone posted an import tax calculator a while back and it differs depending what the item is. No uke listing but a banjo was 3% on top of the sale price, not including the shipping charge

Here, depending on the strength of the Euro, it works out to be a little more in Euros, like a 1200USD uke would be more like about 1260€, but in the same ballpark (you start to cry when you do the currency conversion). I just plan it into the cost. If it means that much to get it, then it is what it is. Currency fluctuations depending, you can still come out ahead, but not generally, not right now.

The Big Kahuna
01-20-2013, 09:35 PM
Order it. Pay for it. When it's ready, combine a US holiday with collection. Carry it home on the plane. Fortune saved.

Tootler
01-20-2013, 10:36 PM
Order it. Pay for it. When it's ready, combine a US holiday with collection. Carry it home on the plane. Fortune saved.

Not really. You won't have to pay shipping but you will have to pay import duty and VAT. Don't even begin to think of trying to sneak it through the green lane.

LOVEAGOODUKE
01-20-2013, 10:42 PM
I ordered a Covered Bridge from Terry and Perryin Oregon and it was plain sailing all the way.You pay by pay pal and they send it to you.You just have to add a quarter again to the price.It arrived safely.There was no problem.Covered Bridge are such good value it was worth the wait and even with the import duty was still not expensive.You also get a quality custom made instrument .

The Big Kahuna
01-20-2013, 10:51 PM
Not really. You won't have to pay shipping but you will have to pay import duty and VAT. Don't even begin to think of trying to sneak it through the green lane.

Ok, I won't do that...for a fourth time.

Barbablanca
01-20-2013, 11:56 PM
Importing into Catalonia from the US is a nightmare. You have to go down to Barcelona (I live 60kms inland) and wait in enormous queues. Then you pay import duty, VAT and handling charges. A $200 instrument could easily end up being over €300 (not counting fuel, motorway tolls, your time, etc) when you have finished. However, certain retailers insist that they are within a customs scheme, so you pay your duty as you buy and you don't have to pay handling fees and the instrument gets delivered to your door. Of course, I've only seen this offer on big names like Amazon. So, you might have to pay a local luthier to do a set up.... if you're not skilled that way yourself (I'm not).

That is in fact quite tempting - I see Amazon dot com are selling an Oscar Schmidt 8 string for $107 - their estimate (shipped and tax paid) is $164. That's still only €123. There is no way I could get an 8 string locally for that. So, I am thinking "birthday present" for myself this year? If it needs a set up I have a mate who runs a music store who will do that for a reasonable price. :rolleyes:

UkuEroll
01-21-2013, 12:18 AM
My mate went on his holiday and I bought it and he carried it through as hand luggage.

Lalz
01-21-2013, 07:39 AM
List of online retailers outside the US that do set-up http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?69613-Online-Shops-that-Do-Set-ups-International-Edition

bazmaz
01-21-2013, 08:48 AM
I've been stung as often as I haven't. Hit and miss..

What I do like doing from UK though is ordering from EU. No tax and exchange rate can give some real bargains.

Tootler
01-21-2013, 01:38 PM
Ok, I won't do that...for a fourth time.

Fine until you get stopped.

Oh! and when you get stopped it means a fine. I remember my father telling me of someone just in front of him who got stopped. Boy did he have to pay!

Gillian
01-21-2013, 02:17 PM
If you have a friend or relative who lives in the States and will be visiting you in the UK in the near future, how about using them as a "mule"? They buy the uke here, take it over to jolly ol' as personal hand luggage and then present it to you as a "gift"?

Dan Uke
01-21-2013, 03:39 PM
Fine until you get stopped.

Oh! and when you get stopped it means a fine. I remember my father telling me of someone just in front of him who got stopped. Boy did he have to pay!

Well if you buy in the States, play it and declare it used and list it for $200. When the customs officer sees that you listed it for $200, he's gonna think you're crazy paying $200 for a toy mini-guitar! LOL

The Big Kahuna
01-21-2013, 07:05 PM
Anything under 360 is classed as a souvenir, and is exempt from VAT and import duty.

Buy a Dolphin. Go back the next day and buy a Kanile'a. Put the Dolphin in your suitcase. Put the receipt for the Dolphin in with the Kanile'a. Any customs officer who knows the difference between a Dolphin & a Kanile'a will be a Uke player, and therefore a nice bloke who will wave you through with a wink.

Louis0815
01-22-2013, 12:53 AM
Don't forget to keep the original Kanile'a invoice way out of your luggage - either destroy it before packing or send it home in a letter (preferred option in case of warranty issues). And even then you might have a hard time when the picky customs guy reads "Makala" on the invoice vs. "Kanile'a" on the instrument.... That usually means you pay double duties and VAT (as a fine) plus the uke is confiscated (most probably same when the find the original invoice in your bag).

BTW: import duties are only 3.2% of the invoiced amount, VAT is what hurts (19% in Germany, 20% in UK)

Tootler
01-22-2013, 12:58 AM
Don't forget to keep the original Kanile'a invoice way out of your luggage - either destroy it before packing or send it home in a letter (preferred option in case of warranty issues). And even then you might have a hard time when the picky customs guy reads "Makala" on the invoice vs. "Kanile'a" on the instrument.... That usually means you pay double duties and VAT (as a fine) plus the uke is confiscated (most probably same when the find the original invoice in your bag).

BTW: import duties are only 3.2% of the invoiced amount, VAT is what hurts (19% in Germany, 20% in UK)

In other words, on your on head be it.


Big Kahuna wrote;

Any customs officer who knows the difference between a Dolphin & a Kanile'a will be a Uke player, and therefore a nice bloke who will wave you through with a wink.

Wrong! He will jump you just the same and it will be bye, bye Kanile'a.

Louis0815
01-22-2013, 01:01 AM
In other words, on your on head be it.Or: whatever you do - you have been warned :)

consitter
01-22-2013, 01:07 AM
Don't forget to keep the original Kanile'a invoice way out of your luggage - either destroy it before packing or send it home in a letter (preferred option in case of warranty issues). And even then you might have a hard time when the picky customs guy reads "Makala" on the invoice vs. "Kanile'a" on the instrument.... That usually means you pay double duties and VAT (as a fine) plus the uke is confiscated (most probably same when the find the original invoice in your bag).

BTW: import duties are only 3.2% of the invoiced amount, VAT is what hurts (19% in Germany, 20% in UK)

Or, hey, if you're gonna try something like that, anybody with computer savvy can print up a bogus invoice with all info correct except the price. How is customs going to know the difference? That way you're completely covered.

The Big Kahuna
01-22-2013, 04:47 AM
Let's be under no illusion here, customs are "The Enemy" ™

Here's the way it works in England.

Most of us work 5 days a week. 20% income tax = 1/5 of a week = 1 day. Therefore, we work 5 days but only get paid for 4.

Then, just when we're feeling depressed about this, to the point where we decide to drive somewhere to buy some alcohol and cigarettes, they load up the duty on petrol so that it costs nearly $ 10 a gallon. After filling up and driving to the store, we find that they've also loaded up the duty on cigarettes so they cost $ 10 a packet, and a bottle of scotch is $ 35

And if that wasn't enough, when we do find something that doesn't have excise duty on it, we still have to pay another 20% in sales tax anyway.

So the next time you Yankees decide to complain about high prices/taxes, just think yourselves lucky that you're not having to pull your pants down and bend over every time you buy something.

:)

Gillian
01-22-2013, 08:14 AM
I am planning a trip home (Hull) and will be bringing my uke. What problems with UK customs might I encounter?

hawaii 50
01-22-2013, 08:24 AM
Was wondering if anyone has had a custom ukulele made and shipped to the uk. I am currently trying to weigh up my options but don't want to burnt by uk customs. If you have please tell me about your experiance. Cost of uke then final costs after duty and tax etc. anything else you think I might need to know.
Thanks in advance for any help
It would be gratefully appreciated

I did not read the whole tread..but Lennymac from this site(UU) had a Kamaka sent to him in England awhile back..try sending him a P/M

hoosierhiver
01-22-2013, 08:27 AM
I am planning a trip home (Hull) and will be bringing my uke. What problems with UK customs might I encounter?

Hopefully none, but it's kind of up to who the customs agent is. If you still have a receipt, you might want to bring it along. If not, insist that you bought it in the UK, already paid tax on it and cross your fingers.

Louis0815
01-22-2013, 08:46 AM
I am planning a trip home (Hull) and will be bringing my uke. What problems with UK customs might I encounter?Is it just a visit to the UK or are you moving back from the US? Shouldn't be a problem to bring your uke when visiting, it is just personal stuff (like an laptop, iPad, smartphone, camera, etc.). Even if customs start asking you can always present your US residential status and that should be reason enough to exempt you from duties and tax.

Pete Howlett
02-02-2013, 10:59 AM
There will be none Gillian - you use the instrument and it clearly has not been bought for anything but personal use.

Some reality points here:
1: Illegally importing goods is smuggling. It is dishonest and defrauds the taxpayer, not the government.
2: Quality hand built ukulele equal to those found in the US are readily available.
3: A rough guide to importing (and I've been doing it for years) is dollar for pound - $100 US will land 100.
4: Taxes are unwelcome but necessary.

Even ifd some recommendations are made in jest here, having an expensive item confiscated and destroyed is unpleasant and unnecessary. Honesty is the best course.

Tootler
02-02-2013, 11:49 AM
There will be none Gillian - you use the instrument and it clearly has not been bought for anything but personal use.

Some reality points here:
1: Illegally importing goods is smuggling. It is dishonest and defrauds the taxpayer, not the government.
2: Quality hand built ukulele equal to those found in the US are readily available.
3: A rough guide to importing (and I've been doing it for years) is dollar for pound - $100 US will land 100.
4: Taxes are unwelcome but necessary.

Even ifd some recommendations are made in jest here, having an expensive item confiscated and destroyed is unpleasant and unnecessary. Honesty is the best course.

Well said.

I really don't approve of what BK is proposing or advocating but if he wants to try it on, it's his lookout.

BK look at your post again, then read 4. above and take heed.

I don't like taxes either but we have to pay them and they fund many of the things we want or need (think NHS for starters). We actually got about $1000 of quilts and fabrics through customs by declaring it and asking how much. They were quite happy it was all for personal use and they were much more interested in cameras, computers and other electronic goods and sniffing out those trying to sneak them in.

Ken Middleton
02-02-2013, 12:22 PM
Here's what you could do. It depends on the quality of the uke.

If you choose a good luthier, a tenor uke may cost around 2000. To ship it by a reliable courier (FedEx, for instance) may cost around 80 with insurance. import duty is about 60. VAT is approx 416. That means that a 2000 uke will cost about 2556.

Why not get a round trip flight to the UK and pick it up? Take a case.

AndrewKuker
02-02-2013, 09:12 PM
No doubt governments need to take their cut of our money both when we earn it and then again when we spend it. How else could they fund all of their noble ventures.
Global economic declines have resulted in many nations cutting back on all sorts of public needs ,and yet military spending increases. Over here large weapons producers have a lot of influence over Washington, …but back to the topic.
It comes down to how you view the world and what is fair. Should an import sales tax be higher than a local sales tax? Why? To protect local business?
Data shows a definite statistical link between freer trade and economic growth. Policies that promote world trade sharpen competition, motivate innovation, and improve the worlds economy as a whole.
Excessive sales tax on imports only gives short term political gain. All countries have assets, and freer trade supports the best products, designs, pricing, and ultimately your quality of life.

Tigeralum2001
02-02-2013, 09:17 PM
So the next time you Yankees decide to complain about high prices/taxes, just think yourselves lucky that you're not having to pull your pants down and bend over every time you buy something.

:)
That is why we took up arms against such tyranny 237 years ago (give or take)... :) Sadly, these lessons have largely been forgotten...

Ken Middleton
02-02-2013, 11:11 PM
Sniff. That is such a sad post.
Could I suggest you start to mobilise the ukulele players of Britain to get behind some local companies who could set up some manufacturing in UK instead of relying on imports all the time?

Just keep in mind, Bill, that nearly all ukuleles are made in China. Almost none are made by companies in the US, so this is not going to happen.

There are plenty of excellent luthiers in both the US and the UK, but they are responsible for just a tiny, tiny number of ukes.

The Big Kahuna
02-02-2013, 11:24 PM
many of our ancestors left the place because they stole a loaf of bread.

There, fixed for you m8 ;)

Pundabaya
02-03-2013, 12:53 AM
The issue I have with taxes... why should I pay when huge multinationals who owe billions in taxes don't have to?

AndrewKuker
02-03-2013, 01:18 AM
There, fixed for you m8 ;)

you can't change someone's quote! all mayhem will ensue!


I'm a naughty monkey

The Big Kahuna
02-03-2013, 01:35 AM
I've sent you 10 Ko'olau Tenors. Keep the 9 best ones and donate the remaining one to Bazmaz.

Yeah, I see what you mean.

The Big Kahuna
02-03-2013, 02:27 AM
you will either have to be sneaky

There seems to be the perception that I snuck into the country with my Uke disguised as a raffia donkey (unless you're English or Spanish and at least 40 years old, you'll have no idea what I'm talking about there). All I did was carry it onto a plane and off the other side. It's a "souvenir". If they want to charge me 20% for buying myself a present for my 50th birthday, they can get bent.

AndrewKuker
02-03-2013, 03:00 AM
Yeah, I see what you mean.

Oh man, partying through my 20's would catch up with me. I totally don't remember saying that. But obviously I did. I'll have to look for those tracking numbers, may take a few years in transit and cost a small fortune in doodies:uhoh:

UkuEroll
02-03-2013, 03:23 AM
There seems to be the perception that I snuck into the country with my Uke disguised as a raffia donkey (unless you're English or Spanish and at least 40 years old, you'll have no idea what I'm talking about there). All I did was carry it onto a plane and off the other side. It's a "souvenir". If they want to charge me 20% for buying myself a present for my 50th birthday, they can get bent.
Well said. We get taxed to the hilt and they still want more.

The Big Kahuna
02-03-2013, 03:41 AM
Oh man, partying through my 20's would catch up with me. I totally don't remember saying that. But obviously I did. I'll have to look for those tracking numbers, may take a few years in transit and cost a small fortune in doodies:uhoh:

And stop posting stuff like that Kanile'a GL6 on Facebook! I'm going to be dreaming about that for days!

scothut
02-03-2013, 06:56 AM
Was wondering if anyone has had a custom ukulele made and shipped to the uk. I am currently trying to weigh up my options but don't want to burnt by uk customs. If you have please tell me about your experiance. Cost of uke then final costs after duty and tax etc. anything else you think I might need to know.
Thanks in advance for any help
It would be gratefully appreciated

We ship quite often to the UK and all over the world with no issues at all. We can also work with the customer to minimize the taxes they'll pay and absorb some of those costs.

mm stan
02-03-2013, 07:05 AM
Just think 25% AFTER ALL the custom, duties and fees... whew...

Plainsong
02-03-2013, 08:28 AM
There seems to be the perception that I snuck into the country with my Uke disguised as a raffia donkey (unless you're English or Spanish and at least 40 years old, you'll have no idea what I'm talking about there). All I did was carry it onto a plane and off the other side. It's a "souvenir". If they want to charge me 20% for buying myself a present for my 50th birthday, they can get bent.

Also, he jaywalks.

The Big Kahuna
02-03-2013, 10:27 AM
Also, he jaywalks.

And on occasion, I display a callous disregard for speed limits. I'm a bad, bad man.