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Annoying Customs Charge

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Bought something for £14.83 on aliexpress, just in the £15 customs amount but had a card stating there is a customs charge of £3 plus £8 handling which makes the product unrealistically priced. However £3 VAT only equates to £15 price which is the cut off amount I thought so why the customs charge? Looked at it today and the charge is now £3.18 so has the £ fallen and they update the amount depending on the currency rate or did they realise their error and increase the amount so it was no longer £15 and therefore over the limit? The item was cheaply priced due to 11/11 but if they check the price today would have been more than £16.

I have bought many items and got away without pay customs charges I'll admit but I didn't expect to be paying them on items under the £15 limit. I'm planning to refuse the item and hoping to get a refund from aliexpress or my credit card company which I realise may fail but I'm hopeful of getting a refund. I realise there is a royal mail customs charge complaint procedure but that looks extremely long winded and time consuming for such a small purchase. It just seems like a random tax lottery.

What have others done in such a situation. It's not something worth paying the extra £11 for. If I pay the £11 I have effectively paid £10 more than its cost. If I refuse it and don't get refunded I have lost £14.83 but if I am refunded I have lost nothing. I think there is a strong chance it will be refunded but not sure. I can argue that the item was falsely declared over its actual value as a customs charge was applied.

BonzoBanana
2 months ago
What do you think of this?
ukheather
ukheather2 months ago

It’s all down to what the seller put on the label as the item value

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StuartBradshaw
StuartBradshaw2 months ago

Plus, the items can be opened and checked compared to what it can be sold for in this country too.

Last time this happened to me I rejected the item and claimed back via paypal as the seller wouldn't refund it

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Rockman
Rockman2 months ago

That's odd. It's usually free.

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BonzoBanana
BonzoBanana
Original Poster
2 months ago

Yes I think my luck ran out this time and my parcel was randomly chosen for the fee.

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Rockman
Rockman2 months ago

That is a thing indeed.

If a retailer ever charges you for purchases you didn't give consent to, cancel and replace the card as soon as possible, as you'd know I'd say.

The retailer Fishpond gave me nothing but trouble and they originally charged me £91 which they've refunded me most although they still haven't refunded the £27 they took from me. Their Trustpilot page is full of negative reviews as they deserve it. BonzoBanana

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AgnesFaludi
AgnesFaludi2 months ago

I think u can ask the postman what is in the box and u can refuse to pay....I do not think it is fair to pay so much customs.

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MeestairChrees
MeestairChrees1 month ago

If you can prove you paid less than £15 you should be able to claim back those customs fees. Check the HMRC website - I did it when they charged me far too much once and they gave me my money back.

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BonzoBanana
BonzoBanana
Original Poster
1 month ago

I did that in the past and it was a very slow long winded procedure but that was worth it for a more valuable item. It just doesn't look worth it for this item of low value. I clicked on a link and it seems to go to a pdf to print out etc just like the old days. I was expecting a simple option to dispute the duty online an upload evidence as images but it seems to be purposely set out to be difficult and long winded.

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