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Thread: Bl**dy UK Customs!!

  1. #1
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    Default Bl**dy UK Customs!!

    Hi all

    I've just received a laser from someone on this forum who is based in the USA. I know the laser was extremely well packed because of photographic evidence sent to me.

    The laser was sent by express air mail with a guaranteed delivery date. When it didn't arrive on the specified date I tracked the parcel and the tracking showed it was in UK Customs. I contacted Customs who informed me that they didn't have the package and that it had been passed to Parcelforce. Parcelforce said they didn't have the package and that what Customs had told me was their standard story.

    Apparently there is a seven day time limit on parcels awaiting clearance through Customs and Parcelforce said they couldn't do anything until seven days had elapsed, they assured me that the parcel WAS in customs otherwise the tracking would show it as elsewhere. Anyway, last night about two hours before the expiry of the seven day deadline my parcel was released from Customs (so much for them not having it ).

    They had applied import tax and duty on the parcel and this had to be paid prior to delivery. So, this morning I went to the Parcelforce depot to pay the charges and collect the parcel. When I got back to my office I saw a large sticker on the parcel that informed me that it had ben opened and re-sealed by UK Customs. I carefully opened the package and it looked as though a bomb had exploded in the package. Basically, Customs have opened it and looked at the contents and then just thrown everything back in the box with absolutely no care or thought whatsoever

    I haven't had a chance to check whether or not the laser is working as yet. Hopefully it will be O.K.

    When I looked on the documentation the sender had correctly described the contents as a 'Laser'. I now wonder whether or not this is a wise choice of words. In light of all the high power blue pointers coming into the country, and the adverse publicity, I suspect Customs are 'on the lookout'. It might be worth trying to find a better choice of words when sending stuff abroad... How about 'coherent lighting module' or 'LED light source'.

    Oh, and one other thing... Throughout all this I have to say that Parcelforce have been most helpful. They always answered the phone within a couple of rings and were most polite and helpful. They even took my number to avoid me waiting on the phone and they called me back within 10 minutes (on three separate occasions). They're not quite forgiven for past misdemeanours, but I am softening towards them...

    Cheers

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

  2. #2
    gashead's Avatar
    gashead is offline Admin Verified: Best Accent Ever(Tm)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jem View Post

    They had applied import tax and duty on the parcel and this had to be paid prior to delivery. So, this morning I went to the Parcelforce depot to pay the charges and collect the parcel. When I got back to my office I saw a large sticker on the parcel that informed me that it had ben opened and re-sealed by UK Customs. I carefully opened the package and it looked as though a bomb had exploded in the package. Basically, Customs have opened it and looked at the contents and then just thrown everything back in the box with absolutely no care or thought whatsoever
    Jem,

    I was under the impression that one does not pay import tax /duty on used items.. was it used or brand new ?

    I've had similar issues with UK Customs, on one such occasion they seized a parcel containing GM20 Actuators and a driverboard, parcel was from the Netherlands (obligatory search, since they obviously think I order cannabis through the mail.) - they broke all but one of the dicro's on the arms. (testing for a residue of some kind ?!!)
    When questioned they indicated "must have been broken in transit" even though each was individually packaged and bubble wrapped and then packed inside a box, and then inside another box!
    I did push for compensation but basically got told to kiss it.

    Stink! boooo HM customs (and excise!)

    N.
    Last edited by gashead; 09-15-2010 at 03:31. Reason: rant

  3. #3
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    I'm sorry to say but I think your impression is wrong.

    Even second hand goods have a value and you're taxed on that.

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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    gashead's Avatar
    gashead is offline Admin Verified: Best Accent Ever(Tm)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jem View Post
    I'm sorry to say but I think your impression is wrong.

    Even second hand goods have a value and you're taxed on that.

    Jem
    ah.. bugger.

    I was all hopeful for you there..

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    What boils my piss about all this PF and UKCE import TAX payment business is the fact PF pay your customs charge for you, whether you want them to or not - then charge you a ridiculous amount for doing that for you

    You should get the option to pay UKCE direct without PF getting involved thus saving on the overpriced PF rip off!

    Re - the friendly PF office Jem, your a lucky man - The Lincoln depot are a complete bunch of unhelpful tossers!
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    Quote Originally Posted by smogthemog View Post
    You should get the option to pay UKCE direct without PF getting involved thus saving on the overpriced PF rip off!
    Yep, agree totally Jim. The PF charge in this instance was 13.50. Not a huge amount i'll admit. BUT, i'm with you, and I think the charges should be able to be paid directly to HM Revenue and Customs, thus cutting out PF altogether.

    Just had a thought though... Does USPS pay PF to handle their parcel once it hits UK shores?, or is the PF 'handling fee' supposed to cover them for delivering the parcel in the UK?

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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    Default WOW

    I am sorry to here that crap, and I thought it was bad here in the U.S.
    I do get alot of items from China and they mark the boxes "FREE SAMPLES" to avoid thair customs and federal tax to import here. I don't know if that is usfull info for you guys, but thair it is
    BEAMANN (GODSLIGHT SHOWS)

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    Quote Originally Posted by beamann View Post
    I do get alot of items from China and they mark the boxes "FREE SAMPLES" to avoid thair customs and federal tax to import here. I don't know if that is usfull info for you guys, but thair it is
    That's dangerous ground... mislabelling of goods.

    If the UK Customs opened it and found the item insode didn't represent what was declared you risk the goods being impounded and receiving a substantial fine.

    Best I can suggest is what I suggested above. That's clearly not lying about what's in the parcel, it's all about being creative with the truth

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jem View Post
    Hi all


    When I looked on the documentation the sender had correctly described the contents as a 'Laser'. I now wonder whether or not this is a wise choice of words. In light of all the high power blue pointers coming into the country, and the adverse publicity, I suspect Customs are 'on the lookout'. It might be worth trying to find a better choice of words when sending stuff abroad... How about 'coherent lighting module' or 'LED light source'.


    Jem
    Hi Jem
    really sorry to hear of your run in with customs I do wonder why when they have scanning / xray facilities do they feel the need to open it?

    As an alternative name Rob came up with 'Entertainment Lighting' (if I remember correctly) on our travels back from Budapest (RGB systems) which I thought was a pretty fair and accurate description ... it 'kinda' worked for us!

    ps , hope the laser still works....fingers crossed

    Kev
    Move toward the light!

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    Default Chineese Criminals!

    I do not know how the Chineese get away with what they do, But I import the $0.99 532nm 5mw laser pointers and the $400.00 SHIMP RGB projectors all the time to sell in my Business all the time, 500 pointers at a time and a bout 5 projectors a year, and all of them come labeld "FREE SAMPLE" They really kill me on the shipping, $4.38 one each pointer all shipped in one package, at least the projectors I order are around $80.00 to ship each and only take a week to get here, the pointers average is about 1-2 months and come in a bubble envalope! Here in the U.S. we as recivers of a package are not responcable for how the sender labels the package and we are not responcable for it's contents, customs confescation dose happen and the reciver is just out the money spent on the order, and of corse in china the customer is always wrong any way!
    BEAMANN (GODSLIGHT SHOWS)

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