Ouch, learned an expensive lesson today re. importing to the UK. I ordered 3 usb OTG cables from Treeo using a link in DanBa's incredibly useful resource list:
Because of the high shipping costs on a single lead (approx. £16-17) compared to the low item cost (approx. £4 at time of purchase), I decided I may as well order 3 (either for spares or to sell on at cost price) as it made a negligible difference to the shipping costs. Total order cost £33, made up of £13 for cables and £20 for shipping.
Despite many years of importing goods from outwith the EU I'd always (incorrectly it seems) assumed that the value declared for customs purposes should be the price of the goods excluding shipping and that goods with such a low value would be exempt from VAT/ import duty. However, I got an invoice from the courier today asking for £26.50 in charges, made up of £11.50 VAT & a whopping £15 handling fee (cheers for that Amarex....).
It seems that Treeo declared the full order value (65 Singapore dollars) for customs purposes and when I queried this with the courier they confirmed that shipping costs should indeed be included in the declared value. Seems it's a very common misconception although although I don't think any of the other places (and there have been many) I've imported from have ever added the shipping costs for customs purposes. End result £60 for 3 wee cables......eek.
I should stress that I have no issues with Treeo and just wanted to make any of the EU/UK guys aware in case they had the same impression as I had.
Royal mail isn't it? When I used to live in the UK, I had the same problem. What pissed me off is the "handling fee" they charge. I sent a query on direct.gov and they advised me to tell the sender to mark the parcel with "Goods to be declared by the importer" or something like that. Most Asian sellers(ebay,aliexpress,etc) do get through this by marking it as a gift and misdeclaring the value. So no vat or handling fee is paid. 11.59gbp for VAT and 15gbp for handling is quite a lot! I thought VAT was like 12.5% + import duty, which was negligible at times. I used to pay Roya pigs/Parcelfarts 8gbp per parcel, regardless of the amount of the contents even if it's less than the handling fee itself. Bunch of pigs indeed.