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So I ordered an item from AliExpress (china) totalling £15.74, postman put a card through to say that there was customs charge to pay and my parcel is at local Royal Mail depot.

I wasn't sure at first what my item was so I asked when I went to collect and they said customs charges are usually charged when items come from USA or Australia. Anyway - paid the charge and left with my parcel.

When I've looked at the address where the parcel has come from it says Southall, UK. Ive googled postcode and its industrial units in Southall.

Surely I shouldn't have to pay customs charge if its come from UK. The man at the Royal Mail depot said they could be a 3rd party seller, but i still dont understand why I had to pay the customs charge.

Can anyone give me a little bit of info if they know about charges etc.

Thanks

PinkElephant26
1 month ago
What do you think of this?
neo1
neo11 month ago

I think some AliExpress sellers send orders in bulk to a uk address who then post them out to the induvial buyers addresses. I dont know how customs relate to that other than as far as i was aware you do have pay pay it if the value is over £15

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PinkElephant26
PinkElephant26
Original Poster
1 month ago

neo1 thanks for your reply...see i would have thought that the person receiving the bulk order (3rd party seller) would have paid their charges when good arrived in UK. Just cant understand why if its been sent from UK.

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Golfforall
Golfforall1 month ago

Yes its called "drop shipping " - never very quick .

A lot of stuff gets through without being spotted by customs , but then again much does get noted and charged .

Most stuff from China is just "tat" and certainly scissors , shavers and those totally useless thermometers are only good for the bin.

They seem cheap because they are cheap ! Too expensive to return , chance of getting stuffed for duties (+ Admin fees ) which means your cheap "tat" has become expensive "tat" .

Put it down to experience and avoid buying from China in future (unless its something simple like golf tees , cycle spoke reflectors , valve caps etc ) .

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PinkElephant26
PinkElephant26
Original Poster
1 month ago

Golfforall it was actually some hessian bottle bags i ordered that i personalise, i did buy a smaller order of them off the same seller in October and they were really good quality (surprisingly) hence why i ordered more and i needed more.

This parcel does have a hmrc customs sticker on but i didnt think you had to pay customs charges UK to UK? Am i missing something??

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PhilipMarc
PhilipMarc1 month ago

The norm is £15 is the limit, above that there are charges.

I personally never had any custom charges from China or anything, but that also depends how the item is described as and whether you're lucky or not it passes thru.

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PinkElephant26
PinkElephant26
Original Poster
1 month ago

PhilipMarc thank you, so basically - order under £15.

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davidstockport
davidstockport1 month ago

It appears that the package was not sent UK to UK, but was sent CHINA to UK. (otherwise the customs would have no involvement) The UK address on the package is not of the sender, but the address of a drop shipper (the seller) who never sees the goods.

Incidentally I have bought many things from China (via Ebay) most of which were under £15 but I have never been charged duty on those over £15, from what I gather from elsewhere things have changed in the last few years, since I last bought anything over £15.

I do notice (on Ebay) that many things being sold from China now have the stock held in the UK.

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BonzoBanana
BonzoBanana1 month ago

I think in the new year Chinese sellers will have to prepay the customs to send goods to the UK, not sure how this will work but the £15 limit will be abolished and every product will have VAT prepayed etc. Anything that comes without being prepayed for VAT will have VAT and a processing charge added which we will have to pay which will be much higher. It's meant to create a level playing field for sellers in the UK and Europe with regard Chinese imports. I wonder if there will be a situation where the buyer thinks its prepayed and when it arrives they actually have to pay the customs charge and VAT etc.

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