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Tax duties for importing toys into the USA


Swooshiex
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Yes really lucky. I forget sometimes the taxes and fees and realizing later that I had to add another ~25% on top of the item + shipping. <_<

It is expensive to have exquisite tastes. *add English Sir Meme here* ^_^

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For my country there calculation is CIF(cost+insurance+freight-USD50) x 10~15% import duties + CIF x 10% vat + (CIF+vat) x 7.5% income tax + IDR7000 for repackaging after custom inspections

roughly anything above USD50 got to pay about 30% of duties&taxes for the extra cost.

Shop like NY undervalue the item they ship so it really helps to keep the overall cost down.

Really envy others that not have to think about the extra cost for importing toys.

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In Canada, using Canadapost, it's just the sales taxes (that you would have paid at the store) and a small handling fee... Which isn't applied every time you import something. Sometimes you get hit, sometimes you don't. I personally thank them for not looking too closely at the value of my VF-4!

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Speaking from the Canadian perspective (worked at a manufacturer/distributor while there), how something is sent also affects the possibility of import duties, tariffs and customs opening up the packages.

In short, if you get a lot of things sent together in one package, you're more likely to have customs take notice and apply charges. If it's single items with wording like "sample" or "gift"* on the contents description, it's even less likely to get any fees on top of it.

* Disclaimer: if you do this once in a blue moon, you can probably get away with it. However, if you're a heavy purchaser getting lots of packages, it looks suspicious and draw a lot more attention than you want.

Edited by sketchley
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On my sneaker forum we buy shoes from the UK to the US all the time, I think others have been getting customs invoices if the declared value exceeds $250. That's why I try to keep my purchases below $200.

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I heard that the US is considering adding it, due to the large increase of Internet businesses and customers

The wheels are in motion for some kind of interstate (enforced) use tax but so far I haven't heard anything about import taxes on purchases coming from out of the country though.

Some states do have a "use" tax but they are largely unenforced and are collected "voluntarily." People in those states are supposed to keep their receipts and declare them with the rest of their state or local taxes but most people don't bother.

Edited by xrentonx
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i think $120+ (USD) is about the threashold for Canada Post to charge me so far. only got dinged for stuff from AmiAmi and HLJ (sometimes i get a pass... don't know why); the charge was about 20%. a long-long time ago, anything over $20 from BBTS & stuff shipped via FedEx will get me dinged. so i NEVER buy stuff from BBTS or use any shipping other than SAL/EMS. i'll buy from AmiAmi & HLJ for low cost items or if their prices even out or when other places are out of stock. expensive items like the SDF-1 & VF-4 were from places like NY & HKC (they mark the items as any price you like for shipping).

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It's pretty much 100%. I've bought toys for years abroad and have never paid import duties to US customs. I've had invoices as high as 1400 dollars from Japan and didn't get pay a single cent to US customs.

Edited by Duymon
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  • 2 weeks later...

I actually looked into this recently, partly out of curiosity and partly because of a big order on HLJ that I didn't want any susprises over :)

In the US, there's a thing called the "Harmonized Tariff Schedule," the current (2013) version of which is available online at the USITC (US International Trade Commission) website. Macross toys would fall under Chapter 95, section 9503 (dolls, toys, scale models). The description of this section is extremely vague, but I looked up some recent customs evaluations cases in the public record for imported collectibles and confirmed it.

For items under this classification, items imported to the US from nations with "normal trade relations" have no import duty applied to them. Items from restricted countries (currently Cuba and North Korea) are subjected to a 70% duty rate.

Additionally, if the value of the shipment is under $200, they usually don't even bother to look at it unless something is suspicious (according to the Customs & Border Protection website).

Disclaimer: This is an extremely small snippet of a much larger policy, you might look into it yourself to determine the specifics for something you're importing.

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Slightly related fun fact. I'm not sure about other states but at least in California, you're legally required to report any foreign or out of state purchases on your state tax filings and pay any uncollected sales tax on them. Of course they have no way of enforcing this so nobody ever does. :rolleyes:

Edited by anime52k8
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Yeah, they call it the "use" tax here in California. Most people, unless they are an accountant by trade, ignore it.

Edited by xrentonx
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Is this definite? Even if the invoice price shown for the toy is $500 for example?

As far as I know that should not mean anything. I had a humongous box with $1700.00+ of valks show up and never paid a dime in import taxes.

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