Smyth Research Realiser A16
Apr 21, 2020 at 6:28 PM Post #8,641 of 12,478

Dixter

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UPS played pretty dumb too when I asked them Sunday about what fees may be needed for customs.

I haven’t paid my fee yet because they don’t have a card in file for me. They also say it can be paid up to 30 minutes before delivery so I figure I’ll see what the next few days bring before I’m resigned to the fact that I have to pay the import fee.I certainly wouldn’t blame anyone whose been following this rethink shipping their unit for the upgrade.

This shipping fiasco has made me decide to return the 16” MacBook Pro I bought. I didn’t really need it and I certainly can’t justify it with these mounting A16 costs and the LG CX OLED I had delivered (in anticipation on an A16 being sent back to me at some point with eARC). Oh well, live and learn I guess.
If any of you guys ever find yourself in the same room with me and my wife and she just happens to ask any of you how much this upgrade cost just tell her it was free but a small donation was required to be in the club and the club rules won't let us talk about finances... if this happens I will buy the first round... I like the skin on the back of my neck and want to keep it in tact...
 
Apr 21, 2020 at 6:32 PM Post #8,642 of 12,478

esimms86

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@Got the Shakes @esimms86
I feel very sorry for you guys.. that's insane to be charged so much for an item that you are NOT selling but just sending to get serviced... Already the shipping fee is enormous...
I suppose for European customers it will cost less, first because it's less far but also since the EU rules for goods circulation are still applying for the UK in 2020 despite Brexit.
I don't know why Smyth Research did not use their business account in the first to organize the shipping and charge you for the bill, it would have been much cheaper.
Maybe they were afraid it would take a lot of time and paperwork to do it for all the unit that will be upgraded, and since they are already late on schedule, they chose to leave this to customers asking for the upgrade...
Thanks @Fox1977. Though the FedEx cost is reportedly cheaper, the import duties should be the same. Of course, if you take the chance and specify the value of your unit at below 50 GBP you will not be hit with the same duty fees. While I’m currently in for more than I paid on Kickstarter, at least I got it at the Kickstarter price. I expect a large percentage of folks on this side of the pond will cancel and ask for their $520 back. The only silver lining is that it makes it less likely that Smyth will be waiting for as many units(however many that might be) before starting the upgrade process. Anyway, I will survive the financial hit okay as I’m retired with low monthly overhead and a fairly frugal lifestyle. No one need shed any tears for me.
 
Apr 21, 2020 at 8:21 PM Post #8,643 of 12,478

dsperber

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Though the FedEx cost is reportedly cheaper, the import duties should be the same.
All I can do is restate my own experience, shipping my Stax SR-009 back to Japan in 2018 using Fedex International Economy, priced through Fedex Great Rates Hotline.

It was valued at $3800, i.e. >$2500 so it needed the same export license paperwork we're talking about here with the A16. It was being sent to the Stax factory in Japan for repair. It was a piece of electronic equipment, and I got the "commodity ID" info (for the EEI license application, handled via automation through the Fedex EEI application wizard) from the Fedex EEI Tech Support Help desk. I paid NO import duty upon arrival into Japan and passage through customs and delivery/signature to the specified recipient at the factory happened in about four days total.

Again, my total cost was $100 for shipping and $10 for the export license. Apparently I didn't insure it (strange, but seemingly the case) because I see no other charges on my credit card relating to that event. Again, Japan charged me NO IMPORT DUTY upon arrival into Japan. It was addressed to a specific person at the Stax factory I was told to send it to, and who signed for it upon delivery, and that was the end of it. ZERO ADDITIONAL ENTRY FEES.

What can I say? If you have a Fedex account (and anybody can open one), it certainly seems worth a shot to pursue this shipping method. I wouldn't be willing to pay $1200 to UPS for shipping and UK for import duty on an item being sent to the factory for repair costing about $500. My own Stax repair ended up costing me $2600 as it was, and I had rationalized getting it repaired rather than just outright buying a brand new one because of cost. Had it cost me $1200 to ship I would have just tossed it and bought a new SR-009.
 
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Apr 21, 2020 at 8:44 PM Post #8,644 of 12,478

Got the Shakes

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@Got the Shakes @esimms86
I feel very sorry for you guys.. that's insane to be charged so much for an item that you are NOT selling but just sending to get serviced... Already the shipping fee is enormous...
I suppose for European customers it will cost less, first because it's less far but also since the EU rules for goods circulation are still applying for the UK in 2020 despite Brexit.
I don't know why Smyth Research did not use their business account in the first to organize the shipping and charge you for the bill, it would have been much cheaper.
Maybe they were afraid it would take a lot of time and paperwork to do it for all the unit that will be upgraded, and since they are already late on schedule, they chose to leave this to customers asking for the upgrade...

I think the most frustrating part is I feel like it should be that much, if any in import fees, but I know nothing about international shipping so I'm not equipped to fix the situation.

I'm in a similar position here.....looking around the house for anything I can put on eBay to help defray the costs :)

This is going to be for the better quite honestly. I impulse bought the MacBook when I started working from home and was looking for a new toy to play with. I had it about a month and honestly hardly ever used it. I always found myself reaching for my Windows laptop when I needed to do something and I'm using the Windows machine to work from home. The ideal situation would have been returning the MacBook while not having to pay $1200 to get my A16 into the UK, but I think that ship has sailed lol.
 
Apr 21, 2020 at 10:56 PM Post #8,645 of 12,478

georgep

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All I can do is restate my own experience, shipping my Stax SR-009 back to Japan in 2018 using Fedex International Economy, priced through Fedex Great Rates Hotline.

It was valued at $3800, i.e. >$2500 so it needed the same export license paperwork we're talking about here with the A16. It was being sent to the Stax factory in Japan for repair. It was a piece of electronic equipment, and I got the "commodity ID" info (for the EEI license application, handled via automation through the Fedex EEI application wizard) from the Fedex EEI Tech Support Help desk. I paid NO import duty upon arrival into Japan and passage through customs and delivery/signature to the specified recipient at the factory happened in about four days total.

Again, my total cost was $100 for shipping and $10 for the export license. Apparently I didn't insure it (strange, but seemingly the case) because I see no other charges on my credit card relating to that event. Again, Japan charged me NO IMPORT DUTY upon arrival into Japan. It was addressed to a specific person at the Stax factory I was told to send it to, and who signed for it upon delivery, and that was the end of it. ZERO ADDITIONAL ENTRY FEES.

What can I say? If you have a Fedex account (and anybody can open one), it certainly seems worth a shot to pursue this shipping method. I wouldn't be willing to pay $1200 to UPS for shipping and UK for import duty on an item being sent to the factory for repair costing about $500. My own Stax repair ended up costing me $2600 as it was, and I had rationalized getting it repaired rather than just outright buying a brand new one because of cost. Had it cost me $1200 to ship I would have just tossed it and bought a new SR-009.

In my experience there is no comparing ups with fedex and I avoid ups like the plague for anything at high value.
 
Apr 21, 2020 at 11:00 PM Post #8,646 of 12,478

Dixter

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well... I don't know who pissed off who... but my A16 made to Newtownabbey, UK... said import C.O.D charges are due for this shipment and I just now checked and they sent it back to Louisville, KY, United States
I haven't got a clue whats going on now.... but think maybe the COD got refused by Smyth ???
I
 
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Apr 21, 2020 at 11:24 PM Post #8,647 of 12,478

Got the Shakes

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well... I don't know who pissed off who... but my A16 made to Newtownabbey, UK... said import C.O.D charges are due for this shipment and I just now checked and they sent it back to Louisville, KY, United States
I haven't got a clue whats going on now.... but think maybe the COD got refused by Smyth ???
I

So mine tracked the same way, but I think I know why. I don’t think it actually ever made it overseas. What I believe happens is UPS files all of the customs paperwork electronically to try and speed up the clearance process. My guess is they filed with the customs office that the shipment is being routed through and that office was able to quickly make a determination as to customs fees owed reported that back to UPS. UPS then posts to tracking because they want us to go online and pay them. Also there was no arrival scan in the UK. Mine has move from Louisville to Philadelphia tonight so that tells me it’s still heading towards the UK.
 
Apr 21, 2020 at 11:58 PM Post #8,648 of 12,478

Dixter

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So mine tracked the same way, but I think I know why. I don’t think it actually ever made it overseas. What I believe happens is UPS files all of the customs paperwork electronically to try and speed up the clearance process. My guess is they filed with the customs office that the shipment is being routed through and that office was able to quickly make a determination as to customs fees owed reported that back to UPS. UPS then posts to tracking because they want us to go online and pay them. Also there was no arrival scan in the UK. Mine has move from Louisville to Philadelphia tonight so that tells me it’s still heading towards the UK.
maybe.. but its not like UPS notified me that there are charges that I need to pay... If I hadn't looked at it I wouldn't know... but maybe... they will send me an email tonight for payment.. not sure... will see...I hope it doesn't come all the way back to my house or there is going to be a refusal to pay credit card on my end...
 
Apr 22, 2020 at 4:19 AM Post #8,649 of 12,478

Eich1eeF

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I'm not sure how the customs charges are compounded (certainly 20% VAT, possibly duties, likely additional UPS fees), but the VAT part should be refunded when your A16 is shipped out of the UK. At least that should be the case if the Smyths get their export paperwork in order, which isn't all that difficult, but I only have experience with the process at the airport customs office when exporting things in my luggage. I've got no idea if there are additional duties at all or if those may get refunded.

Even in the unlikely case that the Smyths don't get this right, you might be able to file the required forms yourself. Processing the VAT refund can take weeks.
 
Apr 22, 2020 at 7:11 AM Post #8,650 of 12,478

Got the Shakes

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maybe.. but its not like UPS notified me that there are charges that I need to pay... If I hadn't looked at it I wouldn't know... but maybe... they will send me an email tonight for payment.. not sure... will see...I hope it doesn't come all the way back to my house or there is going to be a refusal to pay credit card on my end...

I wasn’t alerted either. I just noticed it when I was tracking. My understanding is that UPS covers the import fees to the government for us and either collects from the receiver at the time of delivery or we pay on our end ahead of time. The item won’t get released or delivered until one of those two things happen.

Also the times on my tracking make it impossible to have gone to the UK and back. 2:41pm it’s in Louisville then at 6:37pm it was in Philly. There wasn’t enough time for it to make it to the UK and back in between.

I'm not sure how the customs charges are compounded (certainly 20% VAT, possibly duties, likely additional UPS fees), but the VAT part should be refunded when your A16 is shipped out of the UK. At least that should be the case if the Smyths get their export paperwork in order, which isn't all that difficult, but I only have experience with the process at the airport customs office when exporting things in my luggage. I've got no idea if there are additional duties at all or if those may get refunded.

Even in the unlikely case that the Smyths don't get this right, you might be able to file the required forms yourself. Processing the VAT refund can take weeks.

£697.20 government charges
£17.43 brokerage charges
£0.00 freight charges
£0.00 VAT

That is the breakdown in charges that UPS says for me to the £714.70 in charges.
 
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Apr 22, 2020 at 7:49 AM Post #8,651 of 12,478

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I originally intended to get the full upgrade for future update compatibility. I won't be paying $1K or more for shipping and fees. I would like to know what happens if my A16 fails and needs repair: will I incur these same costs?
 
Apr 22, 2020 at 8:45 AM Post #8,653 of 12,478

Got the Shakes

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I originally intended to get the full upgrade for future update compatibility. I won't be paying $1K or more for shipping and fees. I would like to know what happens if my A16 fails and needs repair: will I incur these same costs?

There’s I believe two people here that have had to send their A16 back for repair and I don’t remember anyone mentions getting hit with huge import fees when sending it back like I did for the upgrade. More and more I’m starting think that the issue with the fees is a problem with how the unit was classified in shipping or missing details needed from the Smyths to waive some or all of the import fees.
 
Apr 22, 2020 at 10:26 AM Post #8,654 of 12,478

Got the Shakes

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Ok. I just want to keep people up to date with what is going on in my quest to have the import fees waived or reduced. James sent me the original commercial invoice and shipping label from my purchase in August. I called UPS International Resolutions Service Group. When speaking to them they said they needed to talk to the UPS Store that the shipment originated from. The store and International Resolutions spoke and the store is going to submit the original invoice, shipping label, and a letter on their letterhead attesting to this being sent back for service to International Relations who will then make the case with UK Customs. Sounds like that will at least strengthen the case for a reduction or removal of fees. I'm hoping that this does work or at least I can get an answer either way quickly.
 
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Apr 22, 2020 at 10:51 AM Post #8,655 of 12,478

esimms86

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Edit: This is a line item in my tracking update from earlier, and it's the only thing that gives me a bit of hope: "Additional information is needed from the importer to provide duty relief for shipment repaired at origin." I'm hoping that means there's a way for Smyth Research to provide whatever info UK customs wants which would lead to a reduction or elimination of the import fees. Did that ever pop up for you @esimms86 ?
No, that did not pop up for me. I will next email James and ask him to see what he can do have my charges reduced or eliminated. My tracking info, BTW, shows and arrival scan in Stansted, UK.
 
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