HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
Old May 30, 2007, 05:50 AM
Registered User
United Kingdom
Joined Feb 2007
146 Posts
Discussion
Buying from E-bay

Apologies if this has already been raised.

I am living in the UK. When i search on Ebay for items like batteries, ESC`s and kits there are several from Hong Kong. I have heard that these maybe subject to an import tax. Does anybody know if this is correct. the advert does not say anything.

Thanks in advance.

If this thread or similar already exists, please point me in the right direction.

Thanks

SHK V1
SHK V1 is offline Find More Posts by SHK V1
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old May 30, 2007, 06:09 AM
Deletedfor proving Nauga wrong
Joined Mar 2005
15,855 Posts
Yes, there is a possibility of needing to pay import taxes.

No idea what the taxes might be for the UK...

When the E-Bay sellers ship from Hong Kong they often mark the package as "Toys... Gift" and that can avoid the import taxes... but its technicly illegal to do that. When they tell you in thier ad that they will mark the package like that, then that makes you complicit in conspiracy to defraud the government of import duties... (not a good thing to be charged with conspiracy to defraud the governement...)

Because of the issues with import duties and finding out that it could be considered a SERIOUS offense to allow the seller to try to get around the duties... I'm not going to EVER order from overseas again.

your mileage may vary. I don't consider it worth the risk.
fhhuber506771 is offline Find More Posts by fhhuber506771
Reply With Quote
Old May 30, 2007, 06:26 AM
Registered User
Letchworth, Great Britain (UK)
Joined Jul 2004
12,010 Posts
The vendors will never tell you about the taxes because it's the destination country that levies them.

In the UK I believe an individual can import something like 30 worth of goods without attracting the attention of the taxman. Above that you are theoretically liable for import duty (% varies depending what the goods are), VAT (17.5% of total including shipping and duty), and whatever charge the Post Office or courier service levy for collecting the charges

Check out http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsP...yType=document for the official version. Seems like the 30 limit, or whatever it is, may be a concession rather than a right because I don't see it on that page. But thus far I've paid no fees on a few sub-30 purchases from the USA
abenn is online now Find More Posts by abenn
Reply With Quote
Old May 30, 2007, 10:14 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
South Wales U.K.
Joined Mar 2003
13,773 Posts
SHK V1

Don't forget that there are plenty of very good model shops in the UK and most have web sites. You may have to pay a little more, (not always), but at least you have someone to contact in case of queries or problems.


Edit - Here's a fairly good UK site if your searching for various R/C items - Where can I buy it, use the section under Radio Control Planes.
eflightray is online now Find More Posts by eflightray
Last edited by eflightray; May 30, 2007 at 10:21 AM. Reason: Addition
Reply With Quote
Old May 30, 2007, 01:31 PM
Registered User
Joined Jan 2007
213 Posts
To tell you the truth most RC stuff is just as cheap from UK vendors on ebay or robotbirds and a few other good shops, a few weeks ago I picked up a 2410-12 outrunner for 7 and a four 9G servos for 15, don't think you will get them much cheaper from hong kong.
GT5500 is offline Find More Posts by GT5500
Reply With Quote
Old May 30, 2007, 02:29 PM
RCAPA #005
MGBGTRacer's Avatar
USA, VT, Springfield
Joined Jan 2004
3,858 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by fhhuber506771
...snip...
Because of the issues with import duties and finding out that it could be considered a SERIOUS offense to allow the seller to try to get around the duties... I'm not going to EVER order from overseas again.

your mileage may vary. I don't consider it worth the risk.
Do you report all the mail order purchases you make from out of state and pay tax on them yearly? If not, you've defrauded the Gov't.
MGBGTRacer is offline Find More Posts by MGBGTRacer
Reply With Quote
Old May 30, 2007, 05:14 PM
Long-Time Member
James Frolik's Avatar
Cologne, Germany
Joined Dec 1996
2,400 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by fhhuber506771
When the E-Bay sellers ship from Hong Kong they often mark the package as "Toys... Gift" and that can avoid the import taxes... but its technicly illegal to do that.
In the U.S. I beg to differ with you on the legality here.

Articles under the nomenclature "Toys," as our hobby's models and related equipment are classified, are not assessed a duty nor taxed if they're imported for non-commercial purposes and personal use only. I've been doing this for over 10 years and have checked, double-checked, and even triple-checked the tax codes. Back in '97 or '98 I even posted in the Discussion Groups the specific import tax code (pertaining to "Toys") taken from the U.S. Government's Website. (And I've been desperately looking again for the government tax code URL or the Discussion Group post since reading this thread!)
James Frolik is offline Find More Posts by James Frolik
Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 2007, 03:36 PM
Long-Time Member
James Frolik's Avatar
Cologne, Germany
Joined Dec 1996
2,400 Posts
The page at Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (2007) (Rev.1) is not the initial source I got my information, but it will suffice.

Chapter 95, "Toys, Games and Sports Equipment; Parts and Accessories Thereof" pertains to our hobby. Please don't confuse this with Chapter 85--Heading 8501 or 8526, for example--because, amongst many other products inlcuded therein, most are for home use, like remote control T.V. zappers.

For us under the article description in Heading 9503.00.00 is

"...reduced-scale ("scale") models and similar recreation models, working or not;...parts and accessories thereof..."

and here under "Rates of Duty" for "General" imports is "Free." (There is a 70% duty in colume 2, but that--and especially that amount--does not apply to our hobby models and accessories.) What we play are the "working" models stated above, along with the "parts and accessories."

I once showed a similar document quote (the one I haven't found yet) to a customs officer at the customs office at the Portland International Airport's air freight division where had to pick up a very large R/C airplane package from Germany. As I presented my passport for identification I also mentioned this tariff schedule, and the officer simply said, "I know." Then I just left the building with my package. The same happened with a smaller airplane package at the local U.S Post Office near where I spend my summer vacations.
James Frolik is offline Find More Posts by James Frolik
Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 2007, 03:40 PM
Deletedfor proving Nauga wrong
Joined Mar 2005
15,855 Posts
The statement on the E-Bay seller's ad that he as marking things "Gift" to avoid import duties is why I assumed there was something illegal going on.

MIght be that there's no tarrif bringing this stuff into the US (Yay!! I can get more stuff cheap)

That does not necessarilly apply to other countries... which will have different tarrif regulations (and IIRC, the OP is not in the US...)
fhhuber506771 is offline Find More Posts by fhhuber506771
Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 2007, 03:45 PM
Deletedfor proving Nauga wrong
Joined Mar 2005
15,855 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by MGBGTRacer
Do you report all the mail order purchases you make from out of state and pay tax on them yearly? If not, you've defrauded the Gov't.

Actually... thats been tested in court already. Interstate commerce law says that as long as where you bought the item does not "have a presence" in your state... no sales tax applies.

You will see sites that have a listing of one to several states they charge sales tax for. Most of the web based hobby sites on e-bay that are in the US only have a presence in one state... (usually CA)

Sorry. You are just wrong.
fhhuber506771 is offline Find More Posts by fhhuber506771
Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 2007, 03:59 PM
Planes are cool ;)
Hughbert's Avatar
Bath, UK
Joined Dec 2006
756 Posts
I have bought several items from ebay overseas (both USA, Hong Kong/Japan, e.t.c.) and never had to pay import tax - I live near Birmingham, West Midlands, and also go to uni in Bath, and have shipped items to both adresses. These items include books, PC games and more recently RC items (servos, ESC and motors) and others.

I believe the 'postage' charge includes such things as import tax, which is why from Hong Kong it can be quite high! However I am not sure. Also I think import tax only qualifies for packages over a certain size or value, so for a small item like servos it does not really matter. Maybe for a full kit or ARTF it might?

Hope this is helpful, if not I would suggest contacting the 'powers that be' - i.e. ebay.co.uk servers or UK customs, government or Royal Mail!

Hughbert
Hughbert is offline Find More Posts by Hughbert
Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 2007, 04:04 PM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
East Anglia, UK
Joined Sep 2002
29,705 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHK V1
Apologies if this has already been raised.

I am living in the UK. When i search on Ebay for items like batteries, ESC`s and kits there are several from Hong Kong. I have heard that these maybe subject to an import tax. Does anybody know if this is correct. the advert does not say anything.

Thanks in advance.

If this thread or similar already exists, please point me in the right direction.

Thanks

SHK V1

If you are lucky, and it comes by post, you pay nothing.

If its marked with a value over about 20, and the bastards pick it up,you will be subject to something like 17.5% VAT, possibly 5% duty and a handling charge which can be anything up to 20.

Mostly you get away with it. China is less of a problem than the states. I got hit buying an aAstroflight Whattmeter and 109 charger..Astro had been all officious and marked the value on it.

It turned out about 5% cheaper than West London Models prices..which I would have used except this was before they had stock of 109's
vintage1 is offline Find More Posts by vintage1
Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 2007, 05:05 PM
Planes are cool ;)
Hughbert's Avatar
Bath, UK
Joined Dec 2006
756 Posts
Quote:
the bastards pick it up
True sentiments!

Hughbert
Hughbert is offline Find More Posts by Hughbert
Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 2007, 06:40 PM
RCAPA #005
MGBGTRacer's Avatar
USA, VT, Springfield
Joined Jan 2004
3,858 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by fhhuber506771
Actually... thats been tested in court already. Interstate commerce law says that as long as where you bought the item does not "have a presence" in your state... no sales tax applies.

You will see sites that have a listing of one to several states they charge sales tax for. Most of the web based hobby sites on e-bay that are in the US only have a presence in one state... (usually CA)

Sorry. You are just wrong.
Depends where you live I suppose- both VA and VT require sales tax on mail order, they just rely on people to volunteer the information. I'm a mail order vendor and we were just approached by the Feds about collecting taxes for other states, starting as a voluntary program first. Voluntary? Like I'd volunteer to charge people more AND for the pain in the butt of all the paperwork.
I'm definately not as wrong as you think...
MGBGTRacer is offline Find More Posts by MGBGTRacer
Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 2007, 06:53 PM
Deletedfor proving Nauga wrong
Joined Mar 2005
15,855 Posts
interstate commerce control is the realm of the Federal government.

Every case that has been fought RE a state trying to force someone to pay sales tax on something they ordered through the mail (when the company had no presence in the state of package delivery) has resulted in the state losing.

This area of law was included IN THE CONSTITUTION due to problems that occurred between the drafting and acceptance of the document setting up our government BEFORE the constitution, and when the constitution was signed.

Assorted states were charging draconian import fees when goods were shipped across state lines. It nearly resulted in the total failure of the US to survive the first 20 years. Interstate commerce extortion by individual states was more dangerous to the new country than any other issue until the Civil War.

VA and VT trying to get away with it (again, 200 years later) doesn't make them right...
fhhuber506771 is offline Find More Posts by fhhuber506771
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion steal this from e-bay?? Eljimb0 Trader Talk 25 Jun 12, 2007 09:19 AM
item on e-bay gliderdude Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 0 Oct 25, 2001 10:23 PM
E-Bay Sales Dsegal Vendor Talk 10 Aug 01, 2001 06:01 PM
so you guy's like buying from german mail order?? wiley Vendor Talk 1 Jun 06, 2001 04:52 PM
Mig 29 from E-Jets shelby Electric Ducted Fan Jet Talk 3 May 04, 2001 02:24 PM