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UK Import duty on basses from US

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bigwan, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    Can anybody tell me what the rate of duty and VAT is for basses imported from the USA?

    The UK government websites have me running round chasing my own tale trying to find anything on musical instruments...

    Any help would be very welcome!



  2. Right........first thing you add is 3.5% Import Duty. This is 3.5% of the value of the item you are importing, plus the shipping cost (including any insurance).

    Once you get that sub total, you add VAT at 17.5% (the sums are done this way to maximise the VAT the government makes!!).

    Ballpark figure, it works out about 21.5% you pay!

    Hope this helps!
  3. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    Cheers, figured it would be something close to that - still cheaper than buying in the UK!!! Bloody joke!
  4. N*Joy


    Nov 30, 2002
    Birmingham, UK
    Be sure that the seller doesn't put an inflated insurance value on it as quite often the value is taken from this figure - particularly with UPS/fedex. Best option in my experience has been the USPS as the post office are far easier to deal with on this end. Finally, if it's a private sale then it doesn't hurt to get the seller to declare it a gift and perhaps 'under-estimate' it's value to help you out.