Customs Charge Warning UK!

Boo hoo. I got a parcel worth $30 and had £11.21 fees added from customs!

£8.00 of it was “handling fees”.

I think that the reason this has happened is because of the exchange rate – so whereas $30 used to be £15, its now more like £20. So remember this ladies when buying from the US/Hong Kong/Japan – ANYWHERE!

1. The threshold for customs fee for goods from outside the EU (Europe) is £18. If you go even a PENNY over, they can (and will) charge you customs fee which is VAT, 17.5% I believe and the dreaded handling fees which is normally quite a large sum – a minimum of £8.

2. Because of the dodgy exchange rate, you need to buy something or have something declared at around $26, if not less. I am not advocating that you lie to customs…………..but its up to you and your seller what is declared.

3. Be aware that that any insurance you ask your buyer to get will only cover the amount written on the front.

4. Normally on a customs form you can have something marked as GIFT, DOCUMENTS, SAMPLE, OTHER (depending on the country it comes from). Marking something as GIFT does NOT necessarily mean that customs will let you off. However, being marked as gift and arriving the in the UK, it can reach £36 value without being charged, but seriously this is hit and miss, and good luck getting your money back from evil customs.

Samples should not be subject to any fees BUT they may open it to check you don’t have a Chanel 2.55 in there! Other can be anything – if you tick this box then you will only be free from customs charges up to £18.

5. Technically you can’t send things like purfume through the post (I tried once and Royal Mail wouldn’t carry it).

That’s all I can think of! Personally (maybe because the post office hate me) I never ever ever ever get away with charges, not even if my item is £18.20 (seriously). Some people are luckier than me but it is worth being aware of what is happening – customs will also delay your parcel by a week, although it can be longer.

Curses to you customs, curses!

Related Posts with Thumbnails


  1. says

    oh I have a feeling they are super looking into all the packages that came from HK because of the country is tax free.

    And most of all, they probably knew your address and name by now and they knew you hauled for products and they would tax you on it!

    Sorry about that..same stuffs always happen to me too!

  2. kanon says

    wow! that’s a really bad news. I have 3 parcels coming fr Japan, China and Hong Kong all for different things. I’m getting worried.

    My EMS parcel from Japan has been to coventry for customs.. I wonder what will happen to it.

    internet shopping is not great now since the exchange rate is reallly bad. I have my eye on a BB Cream and hesitate if I shd buy it for a x’mas present

  3. Row says

    Hey Nikki

    Tell me about it. I get post at home and work and I am most likely a recognisable name to the poitn where my boyfriend has been to collect post for me and at the mention of my name the postman goes, ‘oh, number xxx’!!!

    Even at work I get laughed at for all my hauls! I reckong they do keep a special eye out on certain people….is not a good time to buy!

  4. Row says

    Hi Kanon,

    I have a package from japan (recorded) which is lost :(

    With EMS once your package on ‘ON ROUTE TO HUB’ you are safe. Only worry if it says, IN CUSTOMS, when they check – sometiems its released without charges most of the time there is a charge.

    Online shopping has cut down for me now. The rate is completely ridiculous, about 1.43 today. I may go up a little but I think we’ve got a while to recover. I am not buying anything thats not a huge bargain or essential because it might work out the same (and quicker) to just get it from the UK. Shame!

  5. says

    i’m not from the UK but Australia and they uesd to have stringent limits to oversea packages but nothing as ludacris as this. 18 pounds and they charge you tax!!!


    we used to get charged where parcels were over 200 or 250 i forgot and i used to bitch about that but 18 pounds…now it’s 1000 limit! if they want us to shop locally they should
    1) bring more brands in
    2) stop making them so much more expensive than it is to buy overseas.