HM Revenue & Customs

  hssutton 21:53 PM 21 Sep 11
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Answered

A week ago I received a small parcel from Dubai. The parcel contain two small gifts. A plastic model Airbus which my friend pilots and an Fly Emerates jumper valued at 150 Dirams £26.34.

I have now received an invoice from Fedex charging £4-92 Vat plus a £10 handling charge. A total of £14-92.

The question is do I have to pay this exhorbitant amount

  Forum Editor 22:44 PM 21 Sep 11

The question is do I have to pay this exhorbitant amount

The answer is 'yes'.

  spuds 11:54 AM 22 Sep 11

Was there a customs declaration certificate on the parcel?.

Was the parcel opened and 'inspected'?.

  Quickbeam 06:18 AM 23 Sep 11

Leave it to gather dust in the Fedex warehouse, you can buy a lot of jelly babies foe £14.92.

  BT 08:59 AM 23 Sep 11

Was there a customs declaration certificate on the parcel?.

Its very important to accurately describe the contents on the Customs form but having said that you also need to be a bit creative at times.

My wife received a present from an American friend. It was an ornamental glass item and was described as 'Artwork' by the sender with a value of $100. It cost me £32 to retrieve it from the Post Office. If it had been described as an 'Ornament' and a Gift there would have been no charge.

  HondaMan 14:35 PM 23 Sep 11

*The question is do I have to pay this exhorbitant amount

The answer is 'yes'.


The question is "WHY".

If he did not order it, and he doesn't say he did, "A week ago I received a small parcel from Dubai. The parcel contain two small gifts"

So, why should he pay for it?

  Forum Editor 17:18 PM 23 Sep 11

"So, why should he pay for it?"

VAT is not payable on gifts from abroad, provided they are valued at less than £36, and provided the sender has completed a customs declaration form which must accompany the package.

In saying that the answer to the question is 'yes' I made the assumption that there was no customs declaration form, otherwise there wouldn't have been a VAT liability, and there would have been no charge. In these circumstances the VAT must be paid. If you're not satisfied with the demand for payment you can ask HMRC to reconsider their decision. If you want to do this you must contact the HMRC office that handled the tax demand.

  hssutton 17:23 PM 23 Sep 11

Hondaman exactly my sentiments.

This small parcel was sent as, I mentioned in my first post by a close family friend. The parcel was addressed to my severely disabled daughter who also suffers from learning difficulties. Not anticipating the invoice from Fedex I allowed my daughter to destroy the documentation that came with the parcel. I realise this cannot be used as an excuse.

However the on the attached invoice under Comments it says "Unsolicited gift no commertial value"

Obviously I don't want Fedex or the Customs chasing my friend. As the parcel was listed as a gift of no commercial value I don't think this invoice should be paid.

  spuds 20:53 PM 23 Sep 11

You might find some interesting information using this link and links within the articles http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/post/index.htm

Perhaps also worth mentioning, that some of the rules might change in November 2011!.

"Obviously I don't want Fedex or the Customs chasing my friend". Why should they need to do that?.

  Forum Editor 22:18 PM 23 Sep 11

"Obviously I don't want Fedex or the Customs chasing my friend."

That isn't going to happen.

  hssutton 14:22 PM 05 Nov 11
Answer

Update Shortly after starting this thread I recceived a second demand for the £14-92. So I made out a cheque for the above amount and posted it with a letter saying that according to my reading of the link provided by Spuds these charges should not have been made.

Today I received a cheque from Fedex with just the following comments "re invoice xxx £14-93"

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