Import Duty from EU to USA?

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Stephen
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Import Duty from EU to USA?

Post by Stephen » Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:17 pm

Does anyone know what the import duty is on a pair of boots (for example) from Europe? I think I saw something on the cbp.gov website that gave me the idea there might be no import duty if the dollar value is under a certain amount?
Ideally from fairly recent first-hand experience (or you’re a CBP person in charge of calculating import duty!).
Thanks

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fisheater
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Re: Import Duty from EU to USA?

Post by fisheater » Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:22 pm

I bought a pair of Falketind 62 skis from Sport Albert. The plane ticket via DHL was around $100 US, so maybe they paid the duty? There were no other charges.
You may pay more, but DHL from Europe gives me peace of mind

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joeatomictoad
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Re: Import Duty from EU to USA?

Post by joeatomictoad » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:14 am

@Stephen:
I had similar experience with new boots earlier this year. France to Texas, U.S.A. via DHL. If duty was paid, then one may say I was ignorant to that line item.

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Re: Import Duty from EU to USA?

Post by Stephen » Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:18 am

My understanding on duty is that the retailer / seller / shipper NEVER pays the duty.
(I don’t like “Always” or “Never.” Maybe there are rare exceptions, who knows...)
All the retailer charges one for is the item(s) and any actual delivery cost, whether that is snail mail, DHL, FedEx, whatever. (Duty is not part of the delivery cost.)
The seller has no way of knowing what CBP (Customs and Border Protection) will calculate for duty once the item reaches the USA.
So, if there is any duty paid, the recipient / purchaser has to pay it somehow, once it has been calculated.

I’m starting to think there is no import duty under a certain amount.
Over a certain value, and I think one has to us an import service that will inform the recipient of import charges and collect those before the item(s) is/are released.
Maybe here is little knowledge about this because there is no duty charged at the $ level most of us buy stuff?

But still, it would be nice to know before buying anything from the EU — would hate to get hit with a surprise import duty cost. Someone must know the answer to this...

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fgd135
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Re: Import Duty from EU to USA?

Post by fgd135 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:23 am

I've purchased lots of sports equipment from Europe and other places over the last few decades for personal use, and live in the USA. Never paid any US import duty or tariff on anything, ever. GB, France, Italy, Greece, Finland, etc., you name it, even from the Great White North, no problem. Last winter I bought a pair of Asnes skis from a Canadian shop; they charged me Canada GST, but I filled out a simple form and got a full refund of the GST from their tax people.
Importing for resale may be another issue but I'm not familiar with that process.

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Andy M
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Re: Import Duty from EU to USA?

Post by Andy M » Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:56 am

I've ordered misc. sports equipment from both UK and France numerous times over the last 20 or so years, and I've paid a duty a couple of time many years ago. My understanding is that the personal exemption in the US went up to $800 in 2016; previously, the exemption was $200. (This info comes from the Chain Reaction Cycles website (UK); as you have probably found, the CBP website is terrible.)

But whatever the exemption, there appears to be uneven assessment of duties in the US. For example, I had several orders over $200 before 2016, and only a couple of them had duties assessed. In both cases, I received a letter from DHL with the duty amount to be paid, after I had received the order.

And to show you should never say NEVER ;-) ... Chain Reaction Cycles has a promo right now where they will pay the custom duties on all bikes, frames and wheels ordered by customers in the US.

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/sta ... foPage.jsp

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Re: Import Duty from EU to USA?

Post by Stephen » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:48 pm

Thanks fgd135 and Andy M!
Ha ha, Andy M, I’m busted — that’s a good example of why I don’t like “Never!”
:D
The $800 thing is what I found also, but I wanted to confirm from real-world experience.
Still a little confusing, because in another thread, jonny said he paid $60 import duty on a pair of boots — that doesn’t seem right?

EDIT: johnny clarified that was import into Canada, not US.

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phoenix
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Re: Import Duty from EU to USA?

Post by phoenix » Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:05 am

I just bought a tent from Finland; price was $579, I paid around $620 including shipping. If there was an import fee, it was minimal. Took 3 or 4 days to get her, by contrast it took more than 3 weeks to get an envelope mailed from california to VT.

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Re: Import Duty from EU to USA?

Post by Stephen » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:31 am

I went ahead and ordered a pair of Alfa Guards from Finland as an experiment (could not find them for sale in the US). Figured if import duty was added, it would suck, but not be the end of the world. So there was a price for the boots on the website, and a very reasonable fee quoted for shipping. The boots arrived by FedEx in about 5 business days, with no additional charges added by US CBP (Customs and Border Protection). Pretty good experience all around. I ended up paying about the same for the Guards from Europe as the Skarvet would have cost at REI (factoring in the 10% REI dividend and 5% back on the REI credit card — without those, the Guards from Europe were about $45 less — even though the list price for the Guards on the Alfa website is €50 more).

I bought the Guards for about $70 less than what is listed on the Alfa website.
Think I might order another pair for the wife (they also carry the boots in woman’s sizes, which REI does not do for the Alfa Skarvet).

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