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tonyf

Holiday Impulse Buys (or how to bring a bass back from the USA)

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Morning/afternoon/evening all!

So, on holiday to Florida in a couple of weeks and as part of my "sacrifice" to walk miles round themeparks in the debilitating near tropical heat, I've been "allowed" time off during which time I'll pencil in a visit to Bass Central in Orlando.

The question is this. What happens if the inevitable happens and I "accidently" purchase something containing strings and pickups? Or should I say, WHEN the inevitable happens.

Any advice on bringing back holiday purchases (from the practicalities of travelling to getting it through customs)?

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[quote name='Dave_the_bass' timestamp='1470648715' post='3107258']
Don't act guilty at customs.
[/quote]

And don't take the receipt home with you. Post it, if you must.

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[quote name='Dave_the_bass' timestamp='1470648715' post='3107258']
Don't act guilty at customs. ☺
[/quote]

Good luck with that one! Not one of my strong points.

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Customs.. be prepared to pay VAT and duty - if you get let through you've won!
If you post it you'll probably get charged on arrival by the carriers, quite possibly plus a handling charge.
Mind you, who do you trust more, airline baggage handlers or carrier companies? Pack it for Armageddon either way, as you're most unlikely to get a bass in the cabin nowadays.

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I would never suggest defrauding the Govt :unsure: . However, a bloke I know did this in the past,and he factored in the sales tax which is not normally shown on the price tag and the VAT and import duty so that if customs stopped him and he had to pay VAT and duty he wouldn't end up paying more than he would in the UK for the same bass. Given the fall in sterling recently theres a signifiant risk that you would end up worse off if you get stopped.

Theres a tiered import duty as well, anything under £390 is free to import for personal use but its unlikley you'll save much on low end gear. If its value is between £390 and £630 you would pay 2.5% on the whole value, plus vat at 20%.

Also be aware that some companies (notably the big F) will not carry warranty on unofficial imports, and you wont be able to register the purchase.

It also works out very cheap to buy a bass in the UK, and claim the VAT back when you export it, but you need to be out of the EU for 12 months and have some way to prove you are living abroad. This I have done legitimately whenI worked overseas. It wouldn't take a genius to work out a way to take advantage of this (as with most tax rules), but deliberately defrauding HMRC is illegal. You have been warned..

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[quote name='Nicko' timestamp='1470659246' post='3107378']
Theres a tiered import duty as well, anything under £390 is free to import for personal use but its unlikley you'll save much on low end gear. If its value is between £390 and £630 you would pay 2.5% on the whole value, plus vat at 20%.
[/quote]

Where can you find this information? All I can see is import duty at 3.7% and VAT at 20%.

It might be important as I'm going to New York, New York in October.

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Go through the "goods to declare" channel and pay the VAT and duties if applicable. There's a good chance that you'll just get waved through anyway and told not to waste the customs time (although don'y count on it). Also remember that if you're buying in the US for export you shouldn't have to pay US sales tax on your purchase.

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1470662001' post='3107420']
Go through the "goods to declare" channel and pay the VAT and duties if applicable. There's a good chance that you'll just get waved through anyway and told not to waste the customs time (although don'y count on it). Also remember that if you're buying in the US for export you shouldn't have to pay US sales tax on your purchase.
[/quote]

Good advice.

If you do get asked to pay then expect it to be approx 22% of the declared value.

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1470662001' post='3107420']
Go through the "goods to declare" channel and pay the VAT and duties if applicable. There's a good chance that you'll just get waved through anyway and told not to waste the customs time (although don'y count on it). Also remember that if you're buying in the US for export you shouldn't have to pay US sales tax on your purchase.
[/quote]
Take your return ticket with you to the store

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[quote name='tauzero' timestamp='1470661430' post='3107411']
Where can you find this information? All I can see is import duty at 3.7% and VAT at 20%.

It might be important as I'm going to New York, New York in October.
[/quote]

T'internet is a wonderful thing.

[url="https://www.gov.uk/duty-free-goods/arrivals-from-outside-the-eu"]https://www.gov.uk/duty-free-goods/arrivals-from-outside-the-eu[/url]

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Im with pete.... Body on one case , neck in another.... Safely packaged in clothes.....
If they do ask, tell them you took it there with you to play a gig with friends during your stay
Go on, live a little ;)

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[quote name='Wonky2' timestamp='1470681179' post='3107634']
Im with pete.... Body on one case , neck in another.... Safely packaged in clothes.....
If they do ask, tell them you took it there with you to play a gig with friends during your stay
Go on, live a little ;)
[/quote]

If it is a Flea relic Jazz they wont know it is new anyway either!

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[quote name='Wonky2' timestamp='1470681179' post='3107634']
If they do ask, tell them you took it there with you to play a gig with friends during your stay
Go on, live a little ;)
[/quote]
I really wouldn't say that; if the US guys think you've been working illegally they'll probably kick you out even though you're leaving, and you'll not be welcome to return!

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1470649298' post='3107265']
And don't take the receipt home with you. Post it, if you must.
[/quote]

Well, if you're going down that route, buy it with cash, not a credit card that can be easily checked. :ph34r:

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Wrap the whole thing in tin foil and shove it down your trousers. Then, when the metal detectors go off at the airport, just tell them it's a prosthetic cucumber. :crazy:

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[quote name='stingrayPete1977' timestamp='1470659519' post='3107384']
Neck in one case, body in another :D
[/quote]
This is proven and tested method. You can also say you brought it out that way. Post receipt home before travel.

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I purchased a Guitar last year in Las Vegas, i just took it on to my return flight in a gig bag and the stewardess put it in her personal locker for me !!! we were upstairs on a virgin Jumbo, and no one even looked twice, at the customs when we got home a customs officer called me over and wanted to know what all the signatures all over the gig bag were , they were from the guys at the rock vault show lol, he loved the autographs, never even bothered about the guitar at all. just bring it home.

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The VAT/duty allowance is about £400 anyway, and up to about £650 duty is only a few % plus standard UK VAT. I think you can take off any US tax. Depends on how much the gear is worth you buy, but for me I was always inside the limit anyways - it helps to know what the limits are.

I brought home a 70's Fender Champ valve amp hand luggage once, in the days before the world went mad. Lovely recording amp.

LD

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I'm in the same boat but I won't be buying a guitar/bass as I've got enough (and if I did it would be a guitar as they are FAR smaller).

I will also be loving the theme parks, which is probably pretty sad, but honestly, our attempt at theme parks in this country are pretty shoddy compared to Harry Potter at Universal.

But, I MAY get a few effects pedals. Some of them are much cheaper over there.

Does anyone know if Boss pedals work ok from the US when brought here? I want one of the new CE-2W's which are currently rising in price a fair bit here.

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