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Importing from the USA

Philsaxophone

Member
Messages
41
Hi Guys

I am toying with the idea of importing a 5 digit MKVI from the USA--cant find one for sale here

Does anyone know if I will have to pay 3% customs duty PLUS full VAT even though its obviously secondhand

20% to the government is a bit too hard to swallow

Tx

Phil
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,385
I've just done something similar and my invoice shows something like this, based on the purchase price of the sax PLUS the shipping, handling, insurance:

Customs duty: 3.2%
Excise duty: 0
Import VAT: 20.75%
Other: 0
Clearance fee (zero rated for VAT purposes): £13.50

I knew it was going to be around those amounts, but it still doesn't make it any more palatable.

Rhys
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
You might get away without import duty. However, you'll have to pay VAT on the total of the purchase price and shipping, as well as a fee to the carrier for the privilege of them collecting the tax. For this reason I've stopped buying saxes from the US - in fact, from any country outside the EU. It's just not cost effective, even with the generally lower prices in the US.

Jon
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Another thing to consider with something like this is 'Is the sax a good one?'. There are good and bad mark VIs, and it'd be a shame to speand a fortune on a poor one, despite the 5 digit s/n. Buying locally gives you a chance to check & play.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,010
Does anyone know if I will have to pay 3% customs duty PLUS full VAT even though its obviously secondhand
New or secondhand is irrelevant to whether you pay duty or VAT on imports. Be aware that if the horn is not as good as you expect, returning it will be costly and getting back the duty and VAT may be a bureaucratic palava.

As you say "5 digit" it seems there is something very specific about this horn that you want, if it's as an investment then buying this way is not good. If it's to play then narrowing your choice down to a serial number range without trying the saxophone out first makes little sense to me.
 

davidk

Paints With Notes
Messages
356
Hi Phil

Five digits aren't necessarily better than later Mark VIs. I tried all ranges when I bought my tenor, and the one that spoke to me was from the '70s. Also, the "earlier is better" thing seems to apply more to altos than tenors. There is a good generalisation of the characteristics of the different eras in two posts by "Joe" at http://www.saxontheweb.net/SOTW_Arc...eb-boardid-selmer-thread-93-spec-4610748.html.

On a related note, Dawkes in Maidenhead are selling my Mark VI for me (I've recently "downgraded" to a modern sax which is a better fit for my long fingers). The advantage of buying from a UK shop is that you can try before you buy. For a saxophone like the Mark VI which varies so much from one to the next, this is a huge plus.

I think Howarth's and Sax.co.uk (Denmark St, London) also have some Mark VIs which you should be able to try. If you're willing to travel, Woodwind Exchange in Bradford always have a large selection.

Good luck in your search.
 

Philsaxophone

Member
Messages
41
Hi Guys

Thanks as usual for all the sound advice--no pun intended.

At that rate of VAT its a no go anyway--I just couldnt stand paying the government that amount

I'll do as you all suggested and try within the UK or perhaps the EC as I assume there is no customs or VAT??????

Thanks to all for replying
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
perhaps the EC as I assume there is no customs or VAT??????
Yup. And much of Europe is sufficiently accessible that you can visit for a blow if you feel inclined - Paris is just a train ride away these days.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,010
I'll do as you all suggested and try within the UK or perhaps the EC as I assume there is no customs or VAT??????
There is no customs duty, but if you buy from a dealer or individual (who is VAT registered) they will need to charge you VAT. It varies from country to country but UK is 20%.
 

rudjarl

Senile Member. Scandinavian Ambassadour of CaSLM
Messages
657
... perhaps the EC as I assume there is no customs or VAT??????
Be ware of the difference between EU and EEC though. There are customs and VAT in abundance once you deal with the EFTA members.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
There is no customs duty, but if you buy from a dealer or individual (who is VAT registered) they will need to charge you VAT. It varies from country to country but UK is 20%.
Good point Pete. I meant that there's no UK VAT added on import, but of course you do have to pay whatever the locally charged rate is.
 

c9off

Senior Member
Messages
604
Good point Pete. I meant that there's no UK VAT added on import, but of course you do have to pay whatever the locally charged rate is.
VAT payable on the commission amount only I thought for second hand instruments within the EEC?
 
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