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'[EE] Customs declaration for prototypes'
2005\04\16@020350 by Jason Harper

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I live in the USA, and am currently working on designing an electronic
device for a client in Sweden.  I will soon have a prototype ready to
ship to him, and I'm wondering what is the proper way to fill out the
customs declaration form.  I assume "prototype electronic device" is
sufficient for the description, but what do I use for the declared
value?  The amount I'm charging him for development?  The cost of the
parts for the prototype?  $1?
       Jason Harper

2005\04\16@025244 by Jose Da Silva

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On April 15, 2005 05:07 pm, Jason Harper wrote:
> I live in the USA, and am currently working on designing an
> electronic device for a client in Sweden.  I will soon have a
> prototype ready to ship to him, and I'm wondering what is the proper
> way to fill out the customs declaration form.  I assume "prototype
> electronic device" is sufficient for the description, but what do I
> use for the declared value?  The amount I'm charging him for
> development?  The cost of the parts for the prototype?  $1?

Suppose your prototype got lost in transit.
You didn't lose engineering time, and you didn't lose the lessons
learned approaching a final "prototype", so the knowledge isn't lost.

You did lose the cost of making the PCB, cost of the parts, cost of
soldering the parts on the prototype, and now you got to go find more
parts to build a 2nd PCB etc.

Just look at all the parts on your prototype and how long it's going to
take you to build a 2nd prototype.

2005\04\16@040947 by Mike Harrison

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On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 00:07:42 +0000, you wrote:

>I live in the USA, and am currently working on designing an electronic
>device for a client in Sweden.  I will soon have a prototype ready to
>ship to him, and I'm wondering what is the proper way to fill out the
>customs declaration form.  I assume "prototype electronic device" is
>sufficient for the description, but what do I use for the declared
>value?  The amount I'm charging him for development?  The cost of the
>parts for the prototype?  $1?
>        Jason Harper

For a custom-made item which is not intended for resale or being taken into service, 'Evaluation
sample - No commercial value' is probably entirely applicable.

Remember that there is a difference between insurance value and customs value.

I would reccomment either NCV, or a nominal amount (below US$25) below the duty threshold to avoid
unnecessary costs for the customer. There is zero possibility of comeback on you if the value is
re-assessed by local customs, which is highly unlikely anyway .
Just don't include the invoice for the development costs in the package.

Remember that the threshold below which duty is not charged is much lower for Europe (about E30)
than the US ($20 I think).




2005\04\16@042628 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 12:07 AM 4/16/2005 +0000, you wrote:
>I live in the USA, and am currently working on designing an electronic
>device for a client in Sweden.  I will soon have a prototype ready to
>ship to him, and I'm wondering what is the proper way to fill out the
>customs declaration form.  I assume "prototype electronic device" is
>sufficient for the description,

That assumption is probably true for one piece of a prototype, but
it would be better if you categorized it by explaining what it is
a part for/of and specify that it is "not for sale" or "unsuitable for
sale" to avoid other possible problems. Also mark it "made in USA".
The value and those two bits of information are what is needed to
fill the spaces in the entry form.
If you can specify the harmonized code (see the US government list
USITC Publication 3745) for the end product, all the better.
Especially if the value you use is high.

Shipments *to* the US can run into issues with FCC approvals unless
you provide a signed waiver to the courier (apparently they have
gotten bitten), and perhaps Europe is the same with CE or whatever.
Making it clear that it's a one-off for evaluation reduces the risk of
that, and running afoul of zillions of other regulations such as
"country of origin" markings, other safety standards, and so on.
I understand enforcement (and interpretation) is country-specific.

>but what do I use for the declared
>value?  The amount I'm charging him for development?  The cost of the
>parts for the prototype?  $1?
>         Jason Harper

Minimizing the price on the customs declaration (within reason)
minimizes the hassles. OTOH, if it disappears, it limits what the
insurance would pay. I usually go with some nominal amount that
would look reasonable to a customs guy/gal (not $1 but maybe $10, $20 or
$100). In a sense, the market value is really *less* than the parts that
went into it, since usually the prototype cannot/will not be sold and the
parts are "used". Using zero or $1 for the value can raise red flags, since
it obviously (to them) has *some* value.

You should not include development costs.

BTW, suggest you ask your client what to use, and do that unless it
strikes you as not truthful enough. For something like this, there is a
LOT of reasonable range.

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
spam_OUTspeffTakeThisOuTspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com



2005\04\16@052927 by Mike Harrison

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On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 04:30:24 -0400, you wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Customs and insurance value can be different, this being a good example of a situation where this is
reasonable - i.e. item is of little intrinsic sales value but replacement cost would be significant.
However an item with much higher insured than declared value is much more likely to raise suspicion
at customs and be subject to further enquiry and delay, so in the end it is probably not worth the
trouble...!

2005\04\16@062037 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 10:30 AM 4/16/2005 +0100, you wrote:

>Customs and insurance value can be different, this being a good example of
>a situation where this is
>reasonable - i.e. item is of little intrinsic sales value but replacement
>cost would be significant.

Yes, in general. I think there are specific cases where the insurance won't
pay more than the declared value for customs. Mail might be such a case.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
.....speffKILLspamspam@spam@interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com



2005\04\16@064816 by Russell McMahon

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"NCV" or "No Commercial Value" is a well understood annotation
internationally . This plus as others have suggested, if required, a
small but sensible sum to cover components and basic labour should
keep most customs men happy.

       RM

2005\04\16@070230 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> Remember that the threshold below which duty is not charged
> is much lower for Europe (about E30)
> than the US ($20 I think).

so E30 < $20? I must have missed the latest exchange rate fluctuations!

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\04\16@073447 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 01:02 PM 4/16/2005 +0200, you wrote:
> > Remember that the threshold below which duty is not charged
> > is much lower for Europe (about E30)
> > than the US ($20 I think).
>
>so E30 < $20? I must have missed the latest exchange rate fluctuations!
>
>Wouter van Ooijen

I think he just dropped a zero- US$200.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
speffspamKILLspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com



2005\04\16@073814 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 10:48 PM 4/16/2005 +1200, you wrote:
>"NCV" or "No Commercial Value" is a well understood annotation
>internationally . This plus as others have suggested, if required, a small
>but sensible sum to cover components and basic labour should keep most
>customs men happy.
>
>        RM

"No Commercial Value" may be understood, but it it's accepted less and less
at face value, IME. It's better to put a value on there to prevent the
customs officials from coming up with one of their own to fill the blank in
their "form". YMMV, just my opinion.

I've certainly been charged duty/taxes on items that have been (mis) marked
"no value" or "gift".

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
.....speffKILLspamspam.....interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com



2005\04\16@084854 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Russell McMahon wrote:

> "NCV" or "No Commercial Value" is a well understood annotation
> internationally . This plus as others have suggested, if required, a
> small but sensible sum to cover components and basic labour should keep
> most customs men happy.

You can't count on that. Northern/Western Europe may work fine with that,
but not all countries. If in doubt, it usually is best to ask the receiver
in the country what is the best way to ship and declare -- they often have
had their experiences with different shipping methods and different ways to
declare things. The reality (transit time, customs complications) is often
quite different from what the shipping company or post office employees
tell you when you ship something. This also alleviates you from any
accusations of not having done the "correct" thing if something goes wrong
or it gets too expensive.

"NCV" shipments to Brazil are an almost guaranteed way to having to pay
customs duty based on a value assessment by a customs officer. Not a good
advice in this case.

Gerhard

2005\04\16@094813 by Mike Harrison

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On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 07:42:11 -0400, you wrote:

>At 10:48 PM 4/16/2005 +1200, you wrote:
>>"NCV" or "No Commercial Value" is a well understood annotation
>>internationally . This plus as others have suggested, if required, a small
>>but sensible sum to cover components and basic labour should keep most
>>customs men happy.
>>
>>        RM
>
>"No Commercial Value" may be understood, but it it's accepted less and less
>at face value, IME. It's better to put a value on there to prevent the
>customs officials from coming up with one of their own to fill the blank in
>their "form". YMMV, just my opinion.
>
>I've certainly been charged duty/taxes on items that have been (mis) marked
>"no value" or "gift".

In the EU, "Gift" just means there is a higher threshold before duty is payable - twice the one for
goods.



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