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Shipment and Import Struggles


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Hey everyone, just posting here to see if anyone has any suggestions for my current situation. Any and all suggestions welcome, I'm sure some people in here will have been in this same situation in the past.

 

I am trying to ship my bass and pedalboard back over from Italy to the UK. I moved to Italy last year to study, but when I came back to the UK for Christmas, I was unable to return to Italy because of covid travel restrictions as well as brexit problems. Luckily, I had the kindest landlady over in Italy who packaged up my belongings and sent them back to me in the UK, all but my bass and pedalboard because I was worried they would be damaged in the post. My plan was to go back over and bring them back to the UK on my flight when I was allowed to return to Italy. Sadly, this is no longer an option due to landing a job which is starting very soon. 

 

SO now I have to organise the shipment of these items back to the UK, although every courier service I use is charging me mad import fees for my items (~500 EUR) because of the price of my items. I don't want to say they worth £100 and not have them insured, but I also don't want to pay 500 euros to insure them! 

 

TL;DR I guess is: I am looking for a way round import fees I have already paid to get my items into the UK.

 

If anyone can share any advice it is more than welcome! Haven't been with my pedals in 8 months and I'm dying. Alternatively, if I can't get round these fees, if anyone around Italy is looking for a multiscale 5 string bass, let me know and I can list an ad on here to save us all a hell of a lot of money. 

 

Thanks in advance guys, peace.

 

 

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There’s a form you can fill in to prove that you already owned these when they went out to Italy; ie to show that this isn’t their first import and therefore all customs fees are bollocks. I can’t remember the name of it but my company had exactly this situation with a vehicle which got stuck in France; we almost had a £20K vat bill but for this form. I don’t think it’s a quick easy thing to complete (why make life easy when the government can rely on people to give up and just suck up paying the fees?) but it could be worth looking into. You’ll need all the original receipts etc…

 

I’ll check the name of the form and get the details over tomorrow :)

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5 minutes ago, Merton said:

There’s a form you can fill in to prove that you already owned these when they went out to Italy; ie to show that this isn’t their first import and therefore all customs fees are bollocks. I can’t remember the name of it but my company had exactly this situation with a vehicle which got stuck in France; we almost had a £20K vat bill but for this form. I don’t think it’s a quick easy thing to complete (why make life easy when the government can rely on people to give up and just suck up paying the fees?) but it could be worth looking into. You’ll need all the original receipts etc…

 

I’ll check the name of the form and get the details over tomorrow :)

 

Damn I thought that might be the case. I don't mind doing paperwork if it's going to save me money! Glad you didn't have to pay £20k in useless fees, hopefully I can follow suit. 

 

Thanks a lot for your help, its much appreciated! No rush at all ☺️

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Hi Christian,

 

If it's for the bass I sold you, I can send you an invoice from private seller to private buyer with a copy of the proof of payment. This way you'll have the proof it was yours before all this bullsh*t happened.

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I wish I could go to Italy and collect it, it would be around 6x cheaper!! However that is before getting covid tests... and quarantining is the biggest problem as I am moving home to start my new job soon. Annoying that I won't get to soak up some sun before starting, but hopefully I can at least be reunited with my bass and pedals! Thanks for your suggestions anyway guys, always appreciated.

 

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1 hour ago, Hellzero said:

Hi Christian,

 

If it's for the bass I sold you, I can send you an invoice from private seller to private buyer with a copy of the proof of payment. This way you'll have the proof it was yours before all this bullsh*t happened.

Hey there, it is indeed for the bass you sold me. I'm still trying to deal with all this faff! If you could fish that out for me that would be a great help, thanks a lot.

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Have a read of this. Hopefully, what you need is in there, in addition to the help already offered. Not hugely sure that a private transaction document will carry much weight as any document provided could have been created by you. A commercial invoice can be checked and has a number of legally required elements to it, which are traceable.

 

That's not to say that you shouldn't take up the offer but never volunteer anything that is not being requested (a general rule of thumb). Not trying to be difficult but just raise an awareness.

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transfer-of-residence-to-great-britain

Edited by Steve Browning
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Use a proper company that ships personal effects. Not a courier company. 
International removal companies will know how to do this. Your goods should be declared as personal effects, not new, with a reasonable declared value. As personal effects they will not attract any duties. Most UK based International removal companies will have contacts in European countries that can handle the Italian end for you. 
This used to be my profession. 

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5 hours ago, Steve Browning said:

Have a read of this. Hopefully, what you need is in there, in addition to the help already offered. Not hugely sure that a private transaction document will carry much weight as any document provided could have been created by you. A commercial invoice can be checked and has a number of legally required elements to it, which are traceable.

 

That's not to say that you shouldn't take up the offer but never volunteer anything that is not being requested (a general rule of thumb). Not trying to be difficult but just raise an awareness.

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transfer-of-residence-to-great-britain

Hi Steve, thanks for your advice. I think that is probably rather wise, there is already enough paperwork involved! 

 

I followed your link and have filled out a transfer of residence form. Hopefully they will get back to me soon although the wait time is ~3 weeks, but hey, better late than never! Thanks again!

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1 hour ago, Cliff Edge said:

Use a proper company that ships personal effects. Not a courier company. 
International removal companies will know how to do this. Your goods should be declared as personal effects, not new, with a reasonable declared value. As personal effects they will not attract any duties. Most UK based International removal companies will have contacts in European countries that can handle the Italian end for you. 
This used to be my profession. 

Hi Cliff. I never knew this was a thing, so thanks a lot for opening my eyes to the possibility! I have submitted an enquiry for a quote from Pickfords, which I should get back by the end of the day. 

 

Do you have any recommendations of company? I'm going in rather blind here so any further advice would be welcome.

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Haha thanks Steve. Now that I am aware of these removal companies I think its definitely the way to go too. I've still applied for the transfer of residence, but it does seem to be the slower option too. Ah well, as long as one of them works I will be happy! Thanks again for the advice though, I do really appreciate it.

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When I moved from the UK -> USA -> UK a few years back I used a freight forwarding company called Panalpina to move all my stuff (they do this sort of stuff all the time). They dealt with all the paperwork & I didn't have to pay any tax. They also got the goods door to door in one piece! I'd definitely advocate getting professionals to do it rather than chancing your arm with self-arranged couriers and DIY forms

 

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9 minutes ago, sammybee said:

When I moved from the UK -> USA -> UK a few years back I used a freight forwarding company called Panalpina to move all my stuff (they do this sort of stuff all the time). They dealt with all the paperwork & I didn't have to pay any tax. They also got the goods door to door in one piece! I'd definitely advocate getting professionals to do it rather than chancing your arm with self-arranged couriers and DIY forms

Fantastic man, thanks a lot for the suggestion. I'll look into them right now!

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Hi Christian,

 

I've just sent you the pro forma invoice, the PayPal proof of payment and a copy of the original advert. All these documents are in pdf format and signed. I've always used these documents alongside a CN23 (or CN22 according to the weight) for all the items I've sold outside the EEC and they have always been received as official and legal ones. And I've sent hundreds of items outside EEC over the years without a single issue using the same pattern.

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3 hours ago, CFitzpatrick98 said:

Hi Cliff. I never knew this was a thing, so thanks a lot for opening my eyes to the possibility! I have submitted an enquiry for a quote from Pickfords, which I should get back by the end of the day. 

 

Do you have any recommendations of company? I'm going in rather blind here so any further advice would be welcome.

Pickfords will be expensive and the quality of service is up and down. The Panalpina suggestion is a good one, as they have been in business a long time and they are a proper freight forwarding company who also do overseas removals. 
They will ship it in a container along with other customers goods, unload at the port of entry or their depot and deliver to you. 
You can also ask them to pack it, which might be a good idea. 

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