View Full Version : Shipping costs and eBay

04-05-2009, 01:14 PM
Hi all. I don't really know where to post this, so here I go.

I use to buy thing on eBay and sometimes I just don't understand P&P costs and delivery ways. I'll explain myself. I live in the Canary Islands (Spain-EU). We have no VAT here. Instead, we have IGIC tax, so in theory, goods have to go through Customs. That would be OK (I don't mind paying taxes) if it wasn't for an unpleasant fact. For each item going through Canarian customs, a document, called DUA, have to be filled out. And, once again, that would be OK, but it isn't because you have to pay 20 or 30 euros for that paper.

That statement needs an explanation. You can fill the paper out for yourself. Or you could if things were done in the right way. The reality is that if you get the item via a delivery company (DHL, FedEx...) you can't fill the paper out. The delivery company fills it out using a third company and you are charged the cost. Weird, uh? Well I'm tired of it. And if the parcel comes form a non-UE country, then you can't fill the paper out for yourself.

I know this matter is a difficult to understand if you're not involved into it, but it's needed to ask the following question.

Why do you think some people is reluctant to ship items using mail service (Royal Mail, USPS and the like). It's cheaper for the seller and for the buyer, or so I think. I specially like USPS Priority Mail Flat-Rate service (http://www.usps.com/prices/priority-mail-international-prices.htm). I've suggested many sellers to use that kind of services to send me items and some of them even seem offended for the suggestion). Dont they see they are losing customers?

What do you think about all this? It's me and my paranoia or what?

04-05-2009, 01:35 PM
You get that here in the UK too. Royal mail or Parcelfarce charge you upwards of 8.00 for each item as an "administration" fee. Apparently the way round this is to get the person shipping the item to fill out a certain form when the package is posted. I can't remember what this form was but they do make it un-neccessarily difficult so that it's more bother than it's worth to complete so they get the fees. I'll have a look into it and see what the procedure is, maybe it'll apply to your situation, maybe it won't but it's worth knowing your rights.

04-05-2009, 01:53 PM
OK here's some information. Even the website makes it extremely difficult to find, they really don't want you to be able to do this for yourself.

Parcelforce Worldwide clearance
If we receive a parcel from overseas for import customers, we will pay any Customs duties and taxes on their behalf to HMRC. However, we will require payment for this, together with our Customs clearance fee, before the parcel can be delivered to them. Parcelforce Worldwide charges a Customs clearance fee which helps cover the cost of additional handling, administration, collection of monies and provision of facilities for Customs clearance of packages.

We have two levels of clearance fee for import parcels. There is a charge of 13.50 for express parcels imported through the EMS (i.e. International Datapost equivalent) and GLS (i.e. Euro 48 equivalent) networks and also for high value standard parcels (valued at over 1000). For all other import parcels, an 8 charge will apply.

These clearance charges are only applied if a duty or tax is payable on the parcel.

We will also make a charge if we have to hold your parcel whilst Customs process it, so we would recommend that you respond promptly to any Customs queries to avoid these charges. We will not levy a fee for the first 10 days, after 10 days however, storage fees will be charged. For more than 10 and up to 20 working days, - 5.50 per parcel. For each subsequent working day over 20 working days - 1.35 per parcel. All parcels valued at over 2,000 are placed in secure storage until completion of Customs formalities.

For more information about these fees, please contact a customer service advisor on 08708 50 11 50.

The way round the charge is to pay your customs duties in advance of it being cleared. To do this you would have to get the seller to work out what the value would be, they would have to contact customs to inform them. Customs would then have to send you a payment form to fill out. Once you'd payed this your package would then be sent and passed through customs with no extra charges. All this could easily take weeks if not months and would rely on your seller going along with it all.

It's a completely ****ed up system and it's really only a way for delivery companies to supplement their revenues. The customs threshold for commercial goods entering the UK is 18, once youve paid the VAT (which I don't begrudge doing) you then have to pay 8.50 to Parcelfarce to get your package, almost half as much again!

I've had nothing but trouble with Parcel farce and I begrudge them every penny for the several shipments that they completely ballsed up. Once they charged me the customs fees etc. and delivered my package to the wrong address! They wouldn't refund me any money and refused to tell me where my package had gone. After a month of excuses they finally said that they'd send someone round to this guys house to see if he still had the parcel (fat chance) but apparently he wasn't in when they called. How the hell these people can justify running such a crappy bussiness is beyond me. The problem is that there are zero alternatives.

04-05-2009, 02:08 PM
In my case teh ting is even worse. Even when someone send a parcel using a delivery company from somewhere in Spain to the Canaries (they are part of Spain too) we have to pay for the three times damned DUA. If just people used mail to post things...

07-05-2009, 10:50 AM
I find with Parcel force, if your not in - its in the lap of the gods! Although, touch wood, I've had no problems since I kicked off in January (over an expensive piece of jewellery)

italaerei your original post is interesting - as a medium ebay seller I wasn't aware that there was extra tax to be paid in the Canaries (I always use Royal mail, but only use CN22 (customs declaration) for non-EU countries.)
I suspect, that a seller may think your pulling a fast one by asking for a different postal method, also, some sellers (I know of) 'use' there work place delivery company on the sly (ie free postage) - don't really know what the answer is, sorry

07-05-2009, 11:04 AM
im with vern here - i just fill out the non eu customs form - never had any customs issues or extra payment needed - maybe its because i always say its a gift?!

07-05-2009, 11:24 AM
The Canaries are part of Spain (and part of the EU, obviously) but we've got an special fiscal system. We've got no VAT but IGIC or Impuesto General Indirecto Canario (Spanish for Canarian General Indirect Tax). If you ship anything to the Canaries by mail the people receiving it usually has no problems with it. It doesn't matter if it comes from inside or outside the EU as far as it comes marked as a gift (unless it's a very big or expensive item). Even if it's marked as merchandise it isn't a problem unless it's very expensive.

Trouble starts when the items are shipped using a delivery company. If something is sent using s delivery company it doesn't matter if it's a gift or even crap. Believe me. I once send my old computer to myself from Madrid (Spain) where I was living for a while to La Palma (Spain too) where I use to live. It was delivered via DHL and though it was me moving from a city to another, I had to pay for it. Both, taxes and the damned DUA for items more than 2 years old.

That's why I always try to convince sellers to send the items by mail instead of delivery companies.