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Tuki Dec 22nd, 2004 03:08 PM

Customs Duty
I recently purchased a piece of glass in Murano. I was told by the salesman at Nuova Venier that all costs were included. The glass arrived several weeks ago and now I just received an invoice from the shipping company for customs duty. DO I have to pay this?

PalQ Dec 22nd, 2004 03:13 PM

You used to be allowed to mail home each day one to yourself a purchase abroad up to $50 duty free. this may have changed but i think you must pay duty - you can dispute the article's worth but customs i think often uses a low base guess of the items worth if there's no receipt. Just call Customs and ask.

Underhill Dec 22nd, 2004 03:24 PM

The charge might be for the shipping company's work in processing the glass through Customs, not customs duty itself.

elaine Dec 22nd, 2004 03:35 PM

It was my impression that Customs allowances only apply to good that you are bringing home with you, other than the one small package shipped home per day.
If your item is over the minimum value, but especially because you didn't ship it yourself, I believe it is subject to duty.
The salesman's charges were perhaps all inclusive, but he can't be responsible for what your Customs charges would finally be.

Intrepid1 Dec 22nd, 2004 03:39 PM

The short answer is yes you do.

Traveler863 Dec 22nd, 2004 06:08 PM

I'd say let customs get a hold of you if there's something due, otherwise ignore it!

Budman Dec 22nd, 2004 06:19 PM

I agree with Traveler863. If you had to pay any customs, you would have had to pay before you got the goods. You have the "goods"? I wouldn't worry about it. ((b))

siena_us Dec 22nd, 2004 11:12 PM

Customs duty is charged when it arrives in the US so how could it be charged when purchasing?

Yes you have to pay and yes they will come after you for it. Next time remember to tell them to keep the value very low (less than $50) and they will probably let it slide.

Ann41 Dec 23rd, 2004 01:05 AM

Ignore it if you regularly ignore all of your other bills.

hobbes Dec 23rd, 2004 01:09 AM

A friend had a similar experience recently in Thailand with goods bought in Australia and later shipped to her. The Australian merchant had specifically told her she did not need to pay ANY extra over the invoice value. When she contacted the merchant re the customs duty he told her to direct the customs request towards him - which she did. Predictably, Thai customs did not follow up with an Australian merchant and all ended well. Check with Nuova Venier whether they will oblige similarly.

ira Dec 23rd, 2004 05:55 AM

Hi tuki,

> I just received an invoice from the shipping company for customs duty. DO I have to pay this?<

If you don't you will be hounded for the rest of your life.

The reasons why you're being charged duty are complex, but it is quite likely that the shop consigned it to a shipping company that turned it over to a bonded warehouse before delivery to you. (This has happened to me.)


Dick Dec 23rd, 2004 06:36 AM

Does the store have your CC number...or did you pay in cash?

If they have your CC number, the shipper will probably just charge your CC.

Traveler863 Dec 24th, 2004 05:26 PM

Ira, I agree but disagree. I wouldn't pay one dime until customs notified me, if they do then by all means pay. Yes you are right about that, it would be a life long thing! Happy travels :)

PalQ Dec 24th, 2004 05:53 PM

It's surprising how many presumably law-abiding folks condone illegal acts, like not paying the probably properly-levied customs duty. I don't see how this is much different from shoplifting, etc. You bought it, duty is required, you should pay it. Period.

Traveler863 Dec 24th, 2004 06:05 PM

There's a huge difference to equate this with shoplifting. Shoplifting is willfully stealing from a store! Awaiting whether you do or do not necessarily have to pay duty on an item is more equated with perhaps stretching on your fed income tax! Get real! Anyone who tracks down this payment is an idiot...if they find you then course pay it!

PalQ Dec 24th, 2004 06:27 PM

It doesn't alter the fact that it's willfully not paying what is legally due. A good citizen would pay what is legally due. Period. You can couch it however you want but avoiding paying in my mind is like stealing! You can call it what you want.

ira Dec 25th, 2004 03:31 AM

>I wouldn't pay one dime until customs notified me,....<

Customs doesn't notify the recipient.

If the OP thinks that the charge is erroneous, the OP can ask for the particulars regarding payment and then see if US Customs was actually paid, or if there is an outstanding claim.

As far as the salesman stating that all costs were included, that could also be an honest mistake. Much depends on how the item was shipped and who did the paper work.


Patrick Dec 25th, 2004 08:00 AM

I'm not much of a shopper so maybe I'm confused, but I've only heard of stores in Europe taking care of the VAT or other tax credits for you. I've never heard of one paying the duty on goods you purchase. This sounds like the argument I've heard many times on flights home, "But I bought it at a duty free shop. Doesn't that mean I don't have to pay duty on it?" Duh. No, it doesn't!!

ira Dec 25th, 2004 09:47 AM

>I've never heard of one paying the duty on goods you purchase.<

Almost all of our items shipped home from Europe have arrived at our house without any requirement to pay Custom's duty.

Occasionally, someone slipped up on the paperwork and the item ended up in a bonded warehouse and we had to pay duty.

AAFrequentFlyer Dec 25th, 2004 10:33 AM

It's simple folks -

<b>Items mailed to the United States are subject to duty when they arrive. They cannot be included in your exemption, and duty on them cannot be prepaid.</b>

You could read all about it here -


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