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mds725
02-11-2014, 10:50 AM
Does anybody know anything about whether the United States charges an import duty on an ukulele sold to a private party in the US by a private party in southeast Asia? Is the duty, if any, affected by the declared value of the ukulele?

The ukulele I'm buying is expensive and I'd like to have it insured for its full value in case it gets lost or damaged in shipping, but I worry that the full value will catch the attention of US Customs people who might not have been required to impose an import duty if the ukulele had a lower declared value. I performed a search of teh forums but I was unable to find anything helpful. Thanks for any help!

hawaii 50
02-11-2014, 11:00 AM
I know Stan had a uke sent from Australia....
or call FEDEX and see what they say....

hoosierhiver
02-11-2014, 11:12 AM
From my experience, US customs is kind of like a drunken uncle that you only see a few times a year. You never know what will happen when you see him the next time.
I've had customs charge me for parcels from overseas, and other times the same stuff/same value goes through with no duty or inspection and ever once in awhile they tear your whole package apart.
Lastly, sometimes customs will tell the post office to charge you duty when you pick it up, but depending upon who is behind the counter, they sometimes don't do it or don't know how to do it and just give it to you anyways.

Lori
02-11-2014, 11:37 AM
I bought a uke from Italy, from a luthier, and had to pay $26 duty on a $400? uke. I can't remember all the details, but I had a check ready, and had to fill in the amount while the delivery man waited. It was a little more than had been quoted in my research. Make sure the sender selects the right code numbers for category, since fees are different for different categories. Not sure if the country of origin makes a difference. I had to talk to someone on the phone to understand all the charts I found on the website.

Lori

kohanmike
02-11-2014, 12:19 PM
I've ordered a variety of items from Chinese suppliers; preamps, saddles & nuts, pickups, ukuleles and have never been charged any duty. I'm just tracking a ukulele from Vietnam for which I paid $70 shipping (normal rate from what I understand) and it just cleared customs this morning in New York according to US Post office tracking (I'm in Los Angeles). I have never been notified about any extra fees. The mail carrier always delivers to my door, I haven't had to go to the post office.

Doc_J
02-11-2014, 12:59 PM
From my experience, US customs is kind of like a drunken uncle that you only see a few times a year. You never know what will happen when you see him the next time.
....

That was funny, and sad. I've never had any duty on a uke shipped by an individual to my house. Guess I've been lucky.

mm stan
02-11-2014, 03:59 PM
I guess it depends sometime on your written discription on the forms or who it is working...as said above, some do get sticked with it...
I sent to London and it got sticked...

hawaii 50
02-11-2014, 05:00 PM
I guess it depends sometime on your written discription on the forms or who it is working...as said above, some do get sticked with it...
I sent to London and it got sticked...


Hey Stan

the UK in their own wolrd when you send something there....they have a VAT(value added tax) where it can be 50% of the value of the uke...wow!!!

mm stan
02-11-2014, 06:29 PM
Hey Stan

the UK in their own wolrd when you send something there....they have a VAT(value added tax) where it can be 50% of the value of the uke...wow!!!

Even when receiving from UK, DHL sent me a separate charge..... pissed me off really... :(

kohanmike
02-11-2014, 06:41 PM
Each country has it's own rules when it comes to tax and duty. In another thread, a point was made that the United States now has a free trade agreement with many countries.

mds725
02-11-2014, 07:56 PM
I bought a uke from Italy, from a luthier, and had to pay $26 duty on a $400? uke. I can't remember all the details, but I had a check ready, and had to fill in the amount while the delivery man waited. It was a little more than had been quoted in my research. Make sure the sender selects the right code numbers for category, since fees are different for different categories. Not sure if the country of origin makes a difference. I had to talk to someone on the phone to understand all the charts I found on the website.

Lori

Thanks, Lori! Do you have any idea what the right code number would be for an ukulele?

Hms
02-11-2014, 10:35 PM
I think it's 9202908000, from the UK tarrif guide. Code will be the same for the US as the codes are harmonised.
This shows import duty as 3.2% in the UK, but may be different in the US.
UK Tarrif guide here:
https://www.gov.uk/trade-tariff/headings/9202?country=&day=12&month=2&year=2014
Duty is normally calculated on the total cost of goods, shipping, VAT (sales tax) and anything else they can stitch you up on!
Note, solidbodies are on a different code 9207901000
The above is to the best of my understanding, but may be incorrect. US customs will provide definative information.
Hth
H

hawaii 50
02-12-2014, 01:49 AM
Hey Mark...the package coming from Hong Kong right...
how come we are talking about UK and Italy...:)

if it helps in know Hong Kong/China is a free trade Country...have not idea what that means to us in the USA...

Doc_J
02-12-2014, 02:10 AM
Ukes shipped to me using the post office of the originating country have always come duty-free.
Likewise ukes from Canada to USA via UPS always get a "broker" fee collected at my door upon delivery.

Funny story: When my LFdM arrived from Canada via UPS, it had a broker fee. The Toronto store that sold it to me said there would be a Broker fee (about $36) from UPS. When it was delivered the driver came to my door without the package and told me that was a broker fee and asked if I still wanted the package, or have it sent back. Of course I said yes, and asked how he wanted payment, cc, cash or check. He had to call in to the office and find out. He said I was the first person that ever accepted such a delivery & paid the fee to him. BTW they only accepted a check.

Skinny Money McGee
02-12-2014, 02:19 AM
I seem to remember customs forms when flying back from overseas allows 400.00 duty free.

Here's a duty calculator. http://www.dutycalculator.com/new-import-duty-and-tax-calculation/

I have no idea why our government has to make things so complicated, thus nobody knows the answer to a very simple question.

mds725
02-12-2014, 04:55 AM
Thanks, everyone for your responses.

vanflynn
02-12-2014, 05:20 AM
Have your shipper do what Ken Timms did with aquadan's soprano! http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?91191-New-Timms-Day&highlight=TIMMS

63771

Lori
02-12-2014, 06:49 AM
I think there are different fees for different countries. I don't remember any codes, since it was 4 years ago, but I think there was one that included small guitars in the description.

–Lori

PhilUSAFRet
02-12-2014, 08:46 AM
I bought a uke from Taismlu, no duty charges