Bike frame import from the USA ?

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  • Bike frame import from the USA ?
  • rigid_carbon
    Member

    Has anyone imported a frame from the USA ? The rules are a bit
    vague in what / if you will be charged ? Does the mark as gift rule work ?

    Any advice appreciated. Thanks.

    Sancho
    Member

    Depends on where you are getting it from some retailers in US wond ship certain brands,
    but you are committing fraud if its sent as a gift.
    There should be import duty, and VAT to add to a frame bought from outside of EU. (think)

    Premier Icon cRaNkEnStEin
    Subscriber

    I bought a Turner 5-spot frame from USA in 2005 and got stung for a big bill before the postie would even hand it over. When I queried the calculations the response from customs was; “well we find out what you would have paid for it in the UK and add a bit more so it’s not worth buying from the US”. I’m sure I read somewhere that only bikes are liable for duty and that bike parts are not. This didn’t seem to wash either. Result – I paid a bit more for the frame than I would have done by buying it in UK. At least most of the cost went to the UK goverment in tax, which I’m sure was then spent wisely for the benefit of us all!

    Premier Icon amplebrew
    Subscriber

    I’ve just paid import duty on my Steve Potts in within the last month.

    I paid the following on what was marked up as bike parts (Frame, fork, bars, stem, seatpost.)

    The price for the ‘parts’ was $4465 US dollars which is around £2878 (This included the postage)

    My import duty and VAT was £751.82.

    Hope this helps.

    jota180
    Member

    “well we find out what you would have paid for it in the UK and add a bit more so it’s not worth buying from the US”

    That’s not the case unless you try and pull the wool and get caught, in which case they’ll price it as a UK buy

    IIRC you’ll pay 4.5% duty + VAT on the price and shipping costs + a handling fee

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

    si-wilson
    Member

    That’s not the case unless you try and pull the wool and get caught, in which case they’ll price it as a UK buy

    IIRC you’ll pay 4.5% duty + VAT on the price and shipping costs + a handling fee

    about right, but can vary depending where the country of origin is.

    was
    Member

    There is a way of pre paying the duty and VAT so you don’t get charged the ridiculous handling fee.

    You can contact customs and say I’m expecting a parcel containing X of Y value from Z, and pay them. So long as the shipping label matched up then it will come seamlessly to your door.

    This is the way businesses import stuff and individuals can do the same.

    Some american car parts places will pre pay the duty for you (e.g. rockauto.com).

    bike parts get something like 4% duty (full bikes more IIRC), then there’s 20% VAT on top of that, and usually a handling charge from the courier.

    Some brands wont ship US to Europe (see CRC/wiggle thread), most wont have warranty support (not used the importer so you’d have to go back to the US retailer with any issues, can you afford to ship a frame back to the US, or risk effectively having no warranty in which case why not buy second hand?).

    Most reputable shops wont mark as gift on the grounds they are not willing to assist or conspire to evade taxes.

    If you have a look at HMRC web site it is all there (or use search function, US imports been discussed many times and someone may have posted a direct link).

    Not saying don’t do it, Ive bought loads of stuff from the US including forks for less than used prices here, but its not always cost effective.

    edit, typed that at same time as everyone else 🙄 🙂

    rigid_carbon
    Member

    Thanks for that. I am looking at a Niner frame from a mail order company in CA. They will not post to the UK direct, so I was thinking of getting a friend in the US to post on, marked as a gift.
    Perhaps its not worth the hastle……….

    chunkypaul
    Member

    have a short holiday in the US and pick it up in person – you can get return flights from £400

    jota180
    Member

    Get it sent to your mate and then get him to sell it to you on ebay for a good bit less

    breatheeasy
    Member

    And don’t forget the ‘handling fee’ that Parcelforce add on for just delivering it too!

    druidh
    Member

    IIRC, it’s 14% duty for a bike, 4.5% for bike parts – so just make sure that if you’re buying a complete bike it’s sent partially dis-assembled.

    d45yth
    Member

    I was going to do this but decided against it as I wanted a UK warranty. The way frames seem to break these days is it worth it to save a couple of hundred quid? It will cost that in postage if you have to send it back to the US. If you’re looking to save money on a frame you might has well buy second hand, imho.

    dexterbexley
    Member

    FWIW I’ve been looking into getting a Specialized 29er from the states and Spec UK said they will honour international warranties here. That duty calculator just scared the hell out of me though, I’ll wait till I go there on holiday.

    druidh
    Member

    I’ve just bought a 9:zero:7 frame (and a few other bits) from the US. No UK distributor, so I had no choice in the matter really. The figures above are pretty much spot on. Duty(4.5%), VAT(20% of parts plus shipping cost) and the handling fee(£8 from Parcelforce).

    vikingboy
    Member

    I recall gifts are capped at £36 as well or subject to usual charges as above. The price to ship a frame was high, actually cheaper to fly and collect!

    MrTall
    Member

    When i bought my Salsa frame and Forks in the US my total duty and postage was around £150 on about $1700.

    The chap i used put his replacement cost as the value to help keep the duty as low as possible.

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