Customs Tax importing a Uke to the States???

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Hippie Dribble

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hi everyone

Here's the story: I've just sold a ukulele to a man in New York valued at $1100. I am in Australia. When I asked him about US customs taxes on imported goods he went into a panic, saying he knew nothing about them. He is now balking at the sale and, I fear, may ask me to refund his money...

So my question is on both our behalves: what , roughly, would he be likely to have to pay on this imported uke valued at $1100.

Any help is very much appreciated. :confused:

Yours, concerned
eugene :uhoh:
 
H

Hippie Dribble

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I have just spoken with him again and he is contemplating cancelling the transaction if it is likely to be much over $50...

Heeeeeeeeelllllllllppppppppp...AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH
 

Gmoney

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I have just spoken with him again and he is contemplating cancelling the transaction if it is likely to be much over $50...

Heeeeeeeeelllllllllppppppppp...AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH

CRAZY! Gonna for-go a buy of that price because of an extra $50?
 
H

Hippie Dribble

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man, this has been a terribly stressful day for what should have been a smooth transaction. Thankyou guys and especially Dirk, cheers for that info. I appreciate all your contributions greatly, and I'm sure the buyer does to, whom I provided a direct link to this thread. Now, after endless to-ing and fro-ing, my blood pressure may start to return to normal! Sheesh... :eek:
 

Lori

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It all depends of what country it is coming from, I guess. I received a ukulele from Italy and the delivery man required a check for around $27 for a $380 uke. That was a little higher than the estimate I got from the customs office over the phone. It was tricky getting all the info I needed, and at that time the online docs were a bit unclear, without much of a legend for explaining the charts. I think I had to call my local customs office to get more clarification. Make sure you use the proper customs code on the form when you send it, so it doesn't get classified into a different category.
–Lori
 

shrink9

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I'm wondering that if the uke originated in the US, whether there would be a customs charge anyway. I have imported instruments from Europe (violin from Britain, Whistle from Netherlands, etc) and the only one I had to pay customs on was the violin. I can't remember how much it was--I just remember that I was disappointed!!!!

Good luck Jon.
 

itsme

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Can't help, but I do know there is compliance with the CITES/Lacey Act and any imported articles may be held up or even denied because of certain protected woods or other components like ivory or abalone.
 

southcoastukes

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Can't help, but I do know there is compliance with the CITES/Lacey Act and any imported articles may be held up or even denied because of certain protected woods or other components like ivory or abalone.

Don't know what woods or materials are in Eugene's uke, but I can tell you from experience that the chances of that happening for a single item are almost nil. Some fellow in Customs would need to know how to identify wood - the guys who can do it wouldn't be called in for one ukulele.

Do NOT, however, pack in a solid wood box unless it is stamped and certified that it has been treated for insect infestation (plywood is OK). Even on a single ukulele that won't fly (we used to pack in boxes of solid balsa - the restriction then changed from container quantities to single item shipments). Any customs guy can tell the difference between a solid box and plywood.
 
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H

Hippie Dribble

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uke is honduran mahogany and brazilian rosewood. but there is no compulsion to even declare that on the postal form in any case.
 

johntz

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Jon when I received a Uke from you here in the states I had to pay custom taxes. About $54 dollars.
 
H

Hippie Dribble

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Jon when I received a Uke from you here in the states I had to pay custom taxes. About $54 dollars.

Thanks John for the info. Gee, and that wasn't to the value of this one either. Why then the discrepancy with the info provided by Dirk I wonder? I know the buyer was reassured after he read that information.

I do wonder if it's sometimes hit or miss with customs. In Australia we're not liable to pay any tax unless the value of the uke exceeds $1000, but from there it mushrooms. I once bought a $1500 uke that they forced me to pay over $300 tax on. Tarnished the experience a bit. And yet, several times I have bought ukes, one cost even more than that, and they went clean through customs in a day, and didn't make me pay a cent!!!
 

Doc_J

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...... I once bought a $1500 uke that they forced me to pay over $300 tax on. Tarnished the experience a bit. And yet, several times I have bought ukes, one cost even more than that, and they went clean through customs in a day, and didn't make me pay a cent!!!

What's that saying..."Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you"
 

SuzukHammer

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What's that saying..."Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you"

customs was hit or miss as well in Thailand. I had a easy time taking a dozen or so packed in my airline bags - no duties whatsoever. I brought along Makala and Mahalo receipts just in case.

It would likely help if you wrote "used ukulele" on the import sheet. used being key. Don't put labels like "custom" or insurance value if you can.
 

shrink9

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I did not have to pay any customs on the fluke I bought from you, Jon.

Allen
 

southcoastukes

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No Worries Mate! (probably)

Maybe no worries was a bit strong. No one SHOULD have to pay duty on a uke from Australia. Customs folks, however, are known to sometimes be a bit ignorant of their own published tariffs.

I'm not really clear either about how you would appeal. If your buyer had this happen, and could figure out how to go about it, he would prevail in the end.
 

hoosierhiver

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US Customs is very haphazard, sometimes you pay nothing, sometimes they charge you. Overall US duty is low compared to alot of countries, I think it's due to the lack of socialized health care etc. that alot of other countries have to pay for.