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Customs (EU related question)


PhunnyB1
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I'm assuming you're talking about the Kickstarter here, if not, disregard, but if so, this is from the Kickstarter faq:

 

How will my international shipment be declared?

 

We can’t mark a parcel coming from a business to a consumer as a gift or promotional materials with no value, so we must declare a value.

 

We will determine the customs declaration value of your shipment based on the Pledge Level(s) you chose in your backer survey. We will use the single highest pledge level you have chosen as your customs value.

As examples: if you want two Vampire Levels your receipt will show $100 as that is your single highest Pledge Level. If you are a Ghast Level and added paint and Orcs your receipt will show $15.00.

 

Note regarding Skeleton and Zombie Levels: These Levels will be valued at your single highest buy-in Option’s value. For example: If you get the paints your receipt will show $18. If you get the Orcs your receipt will show $25. If you get both, your receipt will show $25.

If you pledge for a “Crown Jewel" Level that is available to an international backer, then your receipt will show $100 for the Vampire Level that is included with your Crown Jewel.

For items that are shipping early, such as Sophie and the Sophie Boxed Set, we will do the same thing as described above based on whatever portion of your shipment we are sending. We only anticipate the need for two shipments in total.

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I've read that, but I still fail to understand how this means that if I buy some extra stuff on top of my pledge for the Vampire level, it won't get declared at all...

 

 

unless I've read your post wrongly (and I am now thinking I did), and you meant that ONLY the extra stuff is not declared and taxed, as the Vampire pledge is the highest pledge, so the package will be marked worth $100,- and not more, so the extra stuff on top of the vampire pack is not taxed. That's probably what you meant. I was hoping I missed something and somehow could get the entire deal without import taxes :)

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If you pledge Vampire, whatever you add to that order won't be declared. They will only declare to customs your $100 Vampire pledge, no matter what else you add to it.

 

One caveat, the Sophie and paints (if you order them) will ship in September, which they will declare separately, but the same process applies. They will only declare the highest item in that shipment.

 

Your last paragraph has it right. $100 is the max that will be declared if you pledge Vampire + whatever else, however, unfortunately you won't get away customs-free, but their system is still a HUGE bargain for you guys that are getting it in the end by your customs...

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Well, I was planning on pledging only the Vampire deal, plus perhaps the Figure Case to store them all in.

 

There's one thing though:

(Zombie and Wraith Levels will ship in September 2012. The Ghast and Mummy Levels are expected to ship in March 2013)

So basically, the single Sophie model, worth $25 seperately, will ship sooner?? Wouldn't it be better to ship the Sophie biker model along with the entire Vampire package? It's only 1 model, and it would save a LOT on customs.

Or will they only ship the Wraith level sooner in the US?

 

Because hey, Reaper, do me a favour and wait until the whole package is complete and ready for shipping, and send it to me in 1 go, so I'll only have to pay taxes over the $100,- amount. I really don't need Sophie to get here before the rest, as that would only cost me taxes xD

I hope they realize this. Would be logical. I'd request Reaper to send it all in one package in the survey, just to be sure though. Maybe they mean that it will ship sooner if you only pledged Wraith level, and if you pledged Vampire, they'll send everything in march anyway, but it doesn't read that way...

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Ooh, that would make a good question on the survey! Even for US/Canadians, it may save Reaper shipping $$$$

 

I wouldn't need the Sophie and paints early either, and I'm in California. If it would save Reaper a couple bucks shipping, I could wait.

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I'm assuming you're talking about the Kickstarter here, if not, disregard, but if so, this is from the Kickstarter faq:

 

How will my international shipment be declared?

 

We can’t mark a parcel coming from a business to a consumer as a gift or promotional materials with no value, so we must declare a value.

 

We will determine the customs declaration value of your shipment based on the Pledge Level(s) you chose in your backer survey. We will use the single highest pledge level you have chosen as your customs value.

As examples: if you want two Vampire Levels your receipt will show $100 as that is your single highest Pledge Level. If you are a Ghast Level and added paint and Orcs your receipt will show $15.00.

 

Note regarding Skeleton and Zombie Levels: These Levels will be valued at your single highest buy-in Option’s value. For example: If you get the paints your receipt will show $18. If you get the Orcs your receipt will show $25. If you get both, your receipt will show $25.

If you pledge for a “Crown Jewel" Level that is available to an international backer, then your receipt will show $100 for the Vampire Level that is included with your Crown Jewel.

For items that are shipping early, such as Sophie and the Sophie Boxed Set, we will do the same thing as described above based on whatever portion of your shipment we are sending. We only anticipate the need for two shipments in total.

 

There is only one problem, the duty office want normally the receipt and a proof of payment. If I pledge for vampire level including options up to 300$, they will see on the proof of payment that I will have to pay more VAT.

 

I'm sure we can accomodate you by not doing 2 shipments. You may need to contact [email protected] to make arrangements

 

Is it possible to write a message about it in the survey which we will get after the project ended?

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We will use the single highest pledge level you have chosen as your customs value.

As examples: if you want two Vampire Levels your receipt will show $100 as that is your single highest Pledge Level.

There is only one problem, the duty office want normally the receipt and a proof of payment. If I pledge for vampire level including options up to 300$, they will see on the proof of payment that I will have to pay more VAT.

 

Is it possible to write a message about it in the survey which we will get after the project ended?

Well, Reaper states that if you pledge for Vampire level, then that is worth $100,-. If your additional options are each under $100,- seperately, then the amount on the receipt will still be $100,-. But it must fit in one shipment!

So the best thing to do would be to ask Reaper what you want to pledge plus which options you'd like, and ask if that's possible in one shipment, so the receipt will show only $100,-

 

Correct me if I'm wrong ;-)

 

And yes, that would be a good idea to put in the survey. Both the Sophie shipping along with the rest, and having extra options in one shipment.

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We will use the single highest pledge level you have chosen as your customs value.

As examples: if you want two Vampire Levels your receipt will show $100 as that is your single highest Pledge Level.

There is only one problem, the duty office want normally the receipt and a proof of payment. If I pledge for vampire level including options up to 300$, they will see on the proof of payment that I will have to pay more VAT.

 

Is it possible to write a message about it in the survey which we will get after the project ended?

Well, Reaper states that if you pledge for Vampire level, then that is worth $100,-. If your additional options are each under $100,- seperately, then the amount on the receipt will still be $100,-. But it must fit in one shipment!

So the best thing to do would be to ask Reaper what you want to pledge plus which options you'd like, and ask if that's possible in one shipment, so the receipt will show only $100,-

 

Correct me if I'm wrong ;-)

 

And yes, that would be a good idea to put in the survey. Both the Sophie shipping along with the rest, and having extra options in one shipment.

 

Reaper will do two things:

1. declare value of the package, and

2. insert an invoice (or similar document) into your package.

Now :

1. they will declare a value of your highest pledge (e.g. 100$ for vampire level) even if you get some add-ons to it and actually pay 150, 200 or 1000$. Just because they are nice.

2. invoice will show true numbers. E.g. vampire level 100$ + dragons 15$ = 115$

Customs office may determine your customs fees and VAT on the basis of a declared value (100$) or an invoice (115$ or 1000$ or whatever it is).

The easiest way to avoid all this is to find someone in the US who would get the package for you and then ship it to you marked as a "GIFT", without any invoices, probably with minis taken out of blisters (I don't think you need blisters anyway) and with low value declared (in Poland packages with a declared value up to 50$ or so are free from any customs and taxes).

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Hello there,

 

perhaps I can help with some questions. Besides being an RPG and miniatures fan, I am also a software developer, working on customs declaration software for German companies for 10 years. I cannot give you legal advice, so you cannot sue me if anything in here is wrong, but I can try to give you an overview what this whole "customs" stuff is about. This info is for German customs declarations, but customs law and customs rates are based on European law, so the following will probably apply in other EU countries too.

 

1. What is free?

 

In Germany, commercial packages of a value up to 22 Euros are free of customs duties ("Zollabgaben") and import turnover tax ("Einfuhrumsatzsteuer"). You do not pay anything for those packages. Packages up to 150 Euros are free of customs duties, but you have to pay import turnover tax. In Germany, the rate is the same as the rate for value added tax ("Mehrwertsteuer") - 19%. For everything with a higher value, you have to pay both. Also, if the import turnover tax itself is lower than 5 Euros, you do not have to pay it.

 

2. When do you have to declare something?

 

When a package enters the EU via mail, it is processed by the carrier (the company that is transporting your package), and the customs authorities. There are two scenarios:

 

1. The customs officer believes in the value declared on the package by Reaper. If the value is low enough that you don't have to pay anything, the package is transported to your home and that's it. If you see that Reaper did not declare the actual value of the goods you received, and the actual would be high enough so you would have to pay duties or taxes, it is your duty to go to the customs office and declare the full value of the goods. If you don't do that, you are committing tax fraud. If a plausible invoice is attached to the outside of the package (not only the green value declaration sticker), duties and taxes can be calculated on the fly and can be collected by the carrier when the package is delivered to you.

 

2. The customs officer wants to see what is inside the package. Either he thinks that the value declared on the package may not be plausible, or because it may contain goods that fall under an import prohibition. His job is not only to collect taxes, but keep stuff out of your country that may be dangerous (weapons, chemicals, diseases). Usually he does it for the first reason, when you receive a large or heavy package and a low value is declared, or no invoice is attached in a transparent envelope on the outside of the package. In this situation, you will get a message from your carrier via mail that you have to go to the customs office. They want you to bring an invoice or a proof of payment like a Paypal payment confirmation.

 

What happens at the customs office?

 

When you have to go to the customs office, take anything with you that may show what amount you have paid for what types of goods. One important advice: Be nice to the customs officers. They are normal people and it is their job to collect taxes. You may not like it, but you can make your and their life easier by being nice, asking friendly questions if you do not understand something, and not cursing at them (or threatening with a lawyer) if you have to pay an unexpected amount of money. After this post, I hope it will not be too unexpected :;):.

 

The customs officers will bring your package and ask you to open it. They are not allowed to open it themselves, but if you don't want to open it, they will keep it. So just do as you are asked. They will provide you a cutter if you need one (and also some adhesive tape to tape you package afterwards). Unpack the stuff contained in the package. Customs officers have seen all kinds of stuff on their job, so some fantasy miniatures will not shock them. They just want to see, what kind of goods you are importing. They will check if everything is on the invoice (or whatever documents you can provide). Then they will want to calculate the customs duties and taxes. You could have to fill out a declaration form, but if your documents prove to have all info the officers need, they will be nice and do the work for you. It could take a while, but at the end you given a tax bill and are asked to pay whatever was calculated. Pay the bill, and you can take the package with you. The few German customs offices I know let you pay either cash or with an electronic cash card.

 

If you are at the customs office, don't try to lie or deceive the customs officers. If Reaper declares a value of $100 on the outside of the package, and the invoice inside shows $300, you will have to pay taxes for $300. If you know that up front, and don't be clear about it when asked, you may have to pay a fine. They cannot hold you responsible for a mistake on Reaper's side when the declaration on the outside and the invoice differ, but you will be held responsible if you are trying to fool them. It is no use to pretend that you have no other documents. I am not sure about the fines, but I think in a minor case it is the same amount as that for taxes and duties. So you will pay double, if you try to illegally "save" on the taxes!

 

It is legal for the customs authorities to estimate the value of your goods based on the prices on Reaper's website if you cannot produce an invoice, or based on the Kickstarter website if you can make it plausible to them that you got your minis from there. So, if you do not have any documents, and there is no invoice inside the package, you can always ask the customs officers to store your goods a while longer (that may cost an extra fee) and ask Reaper for an invoice per e-mail.

 

So what will you have to pay?

 

Customs duties will be calculated based upon the customs value ("Zollwert") of the goods when they cross the outer EU-border. That includes all fright and insurance costs up to the border. Because you don't know how your carrier brought the goods into your country, you will have to include the full freight costs into this value.

 

So:

$100 for the Vampire level

+ $75 for some demons and dragons

+ $25 for international shipping

 

= $200

 

This is your customs value.

 

Now you need to know the duty rate. Duty rates depend on the type of goods, the date of declaration, and the country the wares come from (in this case the US). All goods are divided up into categories and sub-categories. All those categories have numbers called customs tariff number ("Zolltarifnummer)". To know how high the rate is, you have to find a number that fits the description of your goods. You can toy around with the official electronic customs tariff at http://auskunft.ezt-online.de/, but I have looked up two numbers that most likely apply here (when declaring your stuff, the customs officers will do that for you):

  • 95030049900 - toys that depict animals or non-human beings, that are not stuffed (like a teddy bear), and that are not hand-made from wood. Those are free of customs duty (but import turnover tax still applies)
  • 95030021900 - toys that only depict humans and are not hand-made and do not show in a traditional cultural garb of the country of their origin. Those have a duty rate of 4.7% if they have a customs value of over 150 Euros.

So if you can plausibly divide your miniatures into those two groups (and if there is no other group the customs officer thinks a better fit), you can (legally!) save on customs duty. I think you can split the freight costs between the two groups too, using their value as a guideline. You could have problems declaring an elf or a halfling as a non-human, as customs officers are usually not fantasy enthusiasts, but you may be lucky. Don't argue anrgily. If they say your elf is a human, you will not be able to do much about it. If you are nice and the officers are nice, they will throw the few humans together with the non-human lot to make the declaration easier. Just don't depend on it.

 

So let's say you have $100 worth of non-humans and $75 of humans. We split the freight costs 14 : 11, so you end up with the following customs values:

  • $114 non-humans - no customs duty
  • $86 humans - duty rate of 4.7%

This will be converted into Euros using the current customs conversion value on the day you declare your package. You can look the conversion rate up at http://www.zoll.de/D...ndung_node.html.

 

Today that would be 1 Euro = 1.2234 $ US

  • $114 non-humans = 93.18 Euros
  • $86 humans = 70.30 Euros - duty rate of 4.7% = 3,30 Euros customs duty.

So you have to pay 3,30 Euros of customs duty. If it had a duty rate of 4.7%, it would be 7,68 Euros. Not all that much.

 

But now comes the 19% import turnover tax. This is calculated on the basis of the customs value PLUS the customs duty you pay. And it applies to all your stuff.

 

So your base value for import turnover tax is: 93.18 + 70.30 + 3.30 = 166.78 Euros.

 

166.78 * 0.19 = 31.69 Euros import turnover tax.

 

So you will have to pay 3.30 + 31.69 = 34.99 Euros in all.

 

If you order anything other than miniatures (like the carrying cases or a t-shirt), other duty rates will apply. There are some goods like books that have a lesser import turnover tax (7%), but they don't apply here.

 

And if Reaper ship's it all to the UK and distributes it from there?

 

Then Reaper (or their distributor) will have to pay customs duties and import turnover tax in the UK. And I don't think they are willing to make a gift of such sums of money in addition to all they give us already in the Kickstarter package.

 

Conclusion

 

The perfectly legal way for Reaper and you would be to attach the invoice on the outside of the package and put the same invoice amount on the little green customs value declaration sticker. If the values differ, and you would receive your package without paying customs duty, you may be committing tax fraud. If this is noticed by the customs authorities in the course of five years after importing your goods (for example by mentioning on a forum that you have received a valuable package but have not paid any duties), this may result in you having to pay additional fines.

 

Again, you are responsible for the things you do. I just try to share what I know of this stuff and hope that I did not tell you anything wrong. If you are unsure about anything, just pick up the phone and call the nearest customs office. They may help you with the questions you have.

 

Phew, long first post :blink:

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Hello there,

 

...incredibly long but very informative post...

 

If this is noticed by the customs authorities in the course of five years after importing your goods (for example by mentioning on a forum that you have received a valuable package but have not paid any duties), this may result in you having to pay additional fines.

 

Phew, long first post :blink:

Thanks for this clear explanation. It almost makes me want to go to customs and explain to them the joys of miniatures and painting them, and explain to them the difference between an Elf and a Human :P yes, almost.

And thanks for the mentioning on the forum tip ;)

 

PS: did you SEE the giant cave under the Tomb just now on the kickstarter page? Holy [email protected] batman! There's still tons of stuff to unlock!!!

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From the KS comments page:

 

Sophie and Paints will ship next month [september 2012].

Everything else will ship approximately March of next year, 2013.

You can request that everything ships in March of next year when you respond to your backer survey.

Fantastic! That will save some cash on customs that I can spend on options! :D

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