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'[PIC:] Dwarf Boards (or rather, "US and CAN custom'
2004\06\17@162353 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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Jason S wrote :

> Has anyone in the US or Canada ordered some Dwarf Boards from
> Wouter?  I'm planning on ordering some, but I'm concerned
> about getting hit with a big bill from Customs when they get here.
>
> I can receive them in either country, so I was hoping people
> who have ordered some in the past could tell me if they had
> to pay any import-related fees.

Pardon me, but this can't be an Dwarf Board specific
issue, can it ?

Would not the same question be rellevant no matter
what you "import" ?

Why not just check with your customs office ? Normaly there
is a lower limit below which there is no customs fees at all.
(about $20 in Sweden)

And "personal gifts" are (in most countries) free from any
fees at all... :-)

Jan-Erik.

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2004\06\18@071911 by Howard Winter

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Jan-Erik,

On Thu, 17 Jun 2004 22:24:25 +0200, Jan-Erik Soderholm wrote:

> And "personal gifts" are (in most countries) free from any fees at all... :-)

Not in the UK!  The VAT-free limit is GB£18 for "commercial" products and it's doubled to GB£36 for "gifts".
And if the parcel is pre-printed "A gift from IBM" I think you'll find the Customs people won't be fooled!
:-)

They have the right to open parcels to check what's inside, and if there's an invoice that doesn't match what
it says on the outside, guess which figure they use to calculate the charge?  :-)

What's more, if you they found someone was regularly receiving under-declared items, they would: 1) Open
everything for that address in future  2) Consider charging the recipient with conspiracy to defraud...

Obviously if you don't get caught then you've "won", but that's true of bank robberies too, and likewise
doesn't make it legal...

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\06\18@092520 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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Howard Winter wrote :

> They have the right to open parcels to check what's inside,
> and if there's an invoice that doesn't match what
> it says on the outside, guess which figure they use to
> calculate the charge?  :-)

If you buy from the US (or the other way around), you could
always make two paypal transactions and use the lower
one as the shipping document. And of course mark the package
with the same (lower) value... After all, there is no law against
buying stuff at a too low price, is there ?

Jan-Erik.

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2004\06\18@114637 by Dave Tweed

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Jan-Erik Soderholm <jan-erik.soderholmspamKILLspamTELIA.COM> wrote:
> After all, there is no law against buying stuff at a too low price, is
> there ?

There sure is. It's called "money laundering". If the authorities notice
the transaction, they'll come down on you like a ton of bricks!

-- Dave Tweed

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2004\06\18@134514 by Dwayne Reid

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At 07:24 AM 6/18/2004, Jan-Erik Soderholm wrote:

>If you buy from the US (or the other way around), you could
>always make two paypal transactions and use the lower
>one as the shipping document. And of course mark the package
>with the same (lower) value...

I believe that is illegal.  It is also just plain immoral.

But darn it all, why do something like this?  The fees that Canada Customs
charges ($5.00 handling fee on top of the 7% GST) is so much more
reasonable than what either UPS or FedEx charges.  UPS hits me up for
somewhere between $20.00 & $35.00 brokerage charges plus the GST on the
package value PLUS the GST on their brokerage charges.  All that for
something that might have cost $20 to begin with.

While I don't like the idea of GST personally, as a manufacturer I find it
far better than the old Federal Sales Tax we used to have to pay: all
locally manufactured goods were levied 12% FST but imported goods were
not.  The net result was that local manufacturers were that much less able
to compete with imported goods.

That all changed with the introduction of the Canadian GST.

dwayne

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2004\06\18@140216 by Philip Pemberton

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In message <@spam@200406172024.i5HKOPl18969KILLspamspamd1o401.telia.com>>          Jan-Erik Soderholm <KILLspamjan-erik.soderholmKILLspamspamTELIA.COM> wrote:


> And "personal gifts" are (in most countries) free from any
> fees at all... :-)
If my understanding of EU import/export laws are correct, then when something
is sent from one EU country to another (e.g. NL to UK), VAT is paid in the
country of origin. I'm not sure what Customs and Excise would charge (in
terms of Import Duty) on top of that, though.
Incidentally, Customs decided to open my WISP628 upon entry into the UK.
Would have been nice if they'd re-sealed it properly after they'd opened it
though. One piece of Sellotape - the 5mm thick stuff, not the 10mm or 50mm
stuff designed for parcels.
Then again, I don't trust Royal Mail anyway, not since they managed to cause
considerable damage to a laptop computer anyway. Six layers of bubble wrap
plus another layer of crumpled newspaper and they STILL managed to break it.
Not as bad as the tale of ParcelForce running a forklift truck into an
expensive piece of testgear, then refusing to pay up, but it comes close.

Later.
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2004\06\18@140839 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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Dwayne Reid wrote :

> >If you buy from the US (or the other way around), you could
> >always make two paypal transactions...
>
> I believe that is illegal.  It is also just plain immoral.

Sure, and I would *never* do this myself, of course !
It was just a thought...

In Sweden, any non-EU import is charged with 25% VAT
calculated on the total (price + shipping) cost. It must have
a total value above aprox 20-25 USD.

VAT = the US FST, I'd guess...

Jan-Erik.

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2004\06\18@141433 by Jason S

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Actually money laundering would mean buying stuff at too high a price.
After all, how do you hide an income source by having transactions that are
too small?

Mis-stating the price either way would be fraud.

Jason

> Jan-Erik Soderholm <RemoveMEjan-erik.soderholmspamTakeThisOuTTELIA.COM> wrote:
> > After all, there is no law against buying stuff at a too low price, is
> > there ?
>
> There sure is. It's called "money laundering". If the authorities notice
> the transaction, they'll come down on you like a ton of bricks!

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2004\06\18@141435 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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Philip Pemberton wrote :

> If my understanding of EU import/export laws are correct,
> then when something is sent from one EU country to another
> (e.g. NL to UK), VAT is paid in the country of origin.

If it's "business to private", yes.

"Business to Business" are free from VAT inside EU.

If I'm not wrong... :-)

Jan-Erik.

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2004\06\18@141855 by Ake Hedman

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>If I'm not wrong... :-)
No, here you actually are correct. ;-)

-----Ursprungligt meddelande-----
Från: pic microcontroller discussion list
[RemoveMEPICLISTEraseMEspamEraseMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU]För Jan-Erik Soderholm
Skickat: den 18 juni 2004 20:15
Till: RemoveMEPICLISTspam_OUTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
Ämne: Re: [PIC:] Dwarf Boards (or rather, "US and CAN customs fees")


Philip Pemberton wrote :

> If my understanding of EU import/export laws are correct,
> then when something is sent from one EU country to another
> (e.g. NL to UK), VAT is paid in the country of origin.

If it's "business to private", yes.

"Business to Business" are free from VAT inside EU.

If I'm not wrong... :-)

Jan-Erik.

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2004\06\18@142303 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 11:18 AM 6/18/2004 -0700, you wrote:
>Actually money laundering would mean buying stuff at too high a price.
>After all, how do you hide an income source by having transactions that are
>too small?
>
>Mis-stating the price either way would be fraud.
>Jason

Fraud is willful misrepresentation that deprives someone else of something.

Who is being deprived of something if you overpay taxes?

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
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2004\06\18@143344 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 08:09 PM 6/18/2004 +0200, you wrote:
>Dwayne Reid wrote :
>
> > >If you buy from the US (or the other way around), you could
> > >always make two paypal transactions...
> >
> > I believe that is illegal.  It is also just plain immoral.
>
>Sure, and I would *never* do this myself, of course !
>It was just a thought...
>
>In Sweden, any non-EU import is charged with 25% VAT
>calculated on the total (price + shipping) cost. It must have
>a total value above aprox 20-25 USD.
>
>VAT = the US FST, I'd guess...
>
>Jan-Erik.

FST? The US is one of the few developed countries without a
Federal sales tax. There are state taxes (which range from 0% to about
8 or 9%), which also in rate by county, and applicability is not uniform
from state-to-state on certain items. Mostly applied just to goods, not
services. State sales taxes are NOT VAT type taxes, and hence add hidden
costs to manufactured goods.

Canada has PST (Provincial sales taxes) (which vary similarly to US state
taxes, except that they are uniform within each of the 10 provinces),
and there is also a Federal VAT called GST which is applicable to
goods and services. In some Provinces the two taxes are harmonized into a
15% HST. Generally businesses are exempt PST on goods used directly
(but not indirectly) in production, similar to the US, and essentially
are refunded GST on all input to taxable or export goods (or it's applied
as a credit against invoiced tax to be remitted).

I imagine a European would find it a bit surprising to buy something
with a price tag of $150 (in Canada) and have to come up with $172.50,
rather than paying a nice even EUR200 just as the tag says. ;-)

Best regards,

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2004\06\18@150105 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> 15% HST. Generally businesses are exempt PST on goods used directly
> (but not indirectly) in production, similar to the US,

Funny how countries differ in their tax system. In the EC businesses are
in effect VAT-excempt on all goods they buy (provided that they pay VAT
on what they sell).

> I imagine a European would find it a bit surprising to buy something
> with a price tag of $150 (in Canada) and have to come up with $172.50,
> rather than paying a nice even EUR200 just as the tag says. ;-)

? I had the impression that E 1 > US$ 1 > CA$ 1?

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\06\18@150107 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> If my understanding of EU import/export laws are correct,
> then when something
> is sent from one EU country to another (e.g. NL to UK), VAT
> is paid in the
> country of origin.

Correct, except when the receiving party has an EC VAT number, in which
case the goods can be sold ex-VAT and the receiving party is responsible
for paying his local VAT. This can make a difference, because 1. as a
company it is cumbersome to deduct (get back) VAT payed in another EC
country, and 2. the VAT percentage varies between the various EC
countries.

> Incidentally, Customs decided to open my WISP628 upon entry
> into the UK.

I still don't understand why they did that. Maybe they suspect something
illegal. You can't trust anything coming from the Netherlands, acn you?
:)

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\06\18@150109 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> But darn it all, why do something like this?  The fees that
> Canada Customs
> charges ($5.00 handling fee on top of the 7% GST) is so much more
> reasonable than what either UPS or FedEx charges.  UPS hits me up for
> somewhere between $20.00 & $35.00 brokerage charges plus the
> GST on the
> package value PLUS the GST on their brokerage charges.  All that for
> something that might have cost $20 to begin with.

But especially the $5 handling can be high compared to let's say a $20
package.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\06\18@150955 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 09:00 PM 6/18/2004 +0200, you wrote:
> > 15% HST. Generally businesses are exempt PST on goods used directly
> > (but not indirectly) in production, similar to the US,
>
>Funny how countries differ in their tax system. In the EC businesses are
>in effect VAT-excempt on all goods they buy (provided that they pay VAT
>on what they sell).
>
> > I imagine a European would find it a bit surprising to buy something
> > with a price tag of $150 (in Canada) and have to come up with $172.50,
> > rather than paying a nice even EUR200 just as the tag says. ;-)
>
>? I had the impression that E 1 > US$ 1 > CA$ 1?
>
>Wouter van Ooijen

Exactly so.

Best regards,

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2004\06\18@151404 by Jason S

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The people you illegally obtained the money you're laundering from.  Even
drug money deprives people of their health :)

You also probably didn't pay income taxes on the illegally obtained money.

Jason

{Original Message removed}

2004\06\18@153318 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 12:17 PM 6/18/2004 -0700, you wrote:
>The people you illegally obtained the money you're laundering from.  Even
>drug money deprives people of their health :)
>
>You also probably didn't pay income taxes on the illegally obtained money.
>
>Jason

The fraud would come in later then, when (if) you claimed a lower income
than your actual income. One of the Italian design firms got into trouble
because they overvalued their imports to the US by about 10%, claiming expenses
to their offshore design center (or "centre", to be more accurate).
Unfortunately, they failed to do ANY design activity there, so they were
caught hiding income in a tax-free jurisdiction, but this is far more the
exception than the rule. Had they done even nominal work there, they
would probably have gotten away with it.

Valuing non-arms-length transactions is actually quite complex.

I have cases where I've paid out $20,000 US for an item, and the legitimate
value to be declared to customs is closer to $100.

Best regards,

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2004\06\18@153938 by Dwayne Reid

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At 01:00 PM 6/18/2004, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>But especially the $5 handling can be high compared to let's say a $20
>package.

Yeah - it is.  And I'd *really* like not to have to pay it.  But paying $5
is just so much more reasonable than paying $30 on top of that $20 package.

Quite frankly, I gotten to the point where I mentally add in the import
costs when deciding whether to purchase something from outside the
country.  I buy a *lot* of stuff from eBay - I got unpleasantly surprised
quite a few times before I learned my lesson.  Now I know what the costs
are and figure my bid prices accordingly.  If its still a good deal, then I
bid on the item.  If not, another will come along sooner or later.

That's the other great truth I've learned from eBay - sooner or later, I
will get the item I'm looking for at the price I'm willing to pay.  It just
may take a few weeks or months.

dwayne

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2004\06\18@154811 by Dave Tweed

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Jason S <TakeThisOuTpicspamspamCANADASPEAKS.COM> wrote:
> Actually money laundering would mean buying stuff at too high a price.
> After all, how do you hide an income source by having transactions that
> are too small?

In general, money laundering is any form of transaction that transfers
cash outside of government-monitored channels, especially across national
boundaries.

Suppose you wanted to convert a large number of Flainian Pobble Beads to
US dollars. You buy some goods in the US at market value using US dollars,
"sell" them to yourself or your agent in Flania at well below market value,
then sell them in Flania for Pobble Beads at market value. You have now
caused a great deal of cash to "flow" across the border (from Flania to
the US, the opposite direction from the goods) without government
documentation. Governments hate this.

-- Dave Tweed

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2004\06\18@155225 by Shawn Wilton

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Great discussion, but lets change the tags please.

-Shawn


Dave Tweed wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\18@163946 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
> I imagine a European would find it a bit surprising to buy something
> with a price tag of $150 (in Canada) and have to come up with $172.50,
> rather than paying a nice even EUR200 just as the tag says. ;-)

Yes, that happened to me :)  But it takes very little time to get
accustomed.

The real difference between US state sales tax type taxes and European VAT
type taxes is that the VAT system is so much cleaner and easier, incurring
less bureaucracy and a clearer view of how much taxes are being paid.

Gerhard

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2004\06\19@050014 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
>Jan-Erik Soderholm <spamBeGonejan-erik.soderholmEraseMEspamTELIA.COM> wrote:
>> After all, there is no law against buying stuff at a too low price, is
>> there ?
>
>There sure is. It's called "money laundering". If the authorities notice
>the transaction, they'll come down on you like a ton of bricks!

I thought it's called price dumping ?

P

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2004\06\19@050015 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
>Suppose you wanted to convert a large number of Flainian Pobble Beads to
>US dollars. You buy some goods in the US at market value using US
>dollars, "sell" them to yourself or your agent in Flania at well below
>market value, then sell them in Flania for Pobble Beads at market value.
>You have now caused a great deal of cash to "flow" across the border
>(from Flania to the US, the opposite direction from the goods) without
>government documentation. Governments hate this.

If I am not wrong, your scheme describes the conversion of USD into
Flanian Pobble Beads, not the other way around. For the scheme to work in
the direction you describe, the initial investment would be in Flanian
Pobble Beads and the Flanian goods would have to be sold in the USA. For
example in dollar shops or the like. That would convert Flanian Pobble
Beads into USD, a presumably desirable move. Or am I missing something ?

Peter

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2004\06\19@050016 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
>If you buy from the US (or the other way around), you could
>always make two paypal transactions and use the lower
>one as the shipping document. And of course mark the package
>with the same (lower) value... After all, there is no law against
>buying stuff at a too low price, is there ?

But then there are customs services which pay no heed to the invoice, and
use their own tables for computing the values instead. Gifts or no gifts.
Gotcha.

Peter

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