View Full Version : Sodding Customs!

24-09-2013, 03:30 PM
Just got an order from Chai in China, which took about 3 weeks to arrive. 1 1/2 of which (Thursday to Monday 11 days later) were spent in customs at Stansted. Apparently they are currently stopping a lot of stuff which causes a lot of backlog. My shipment was one of the ones that got stopped.

So ... what i learned from the experience:

1. Get Chai to put the correct description and cost on your parcel in case it gets stopped.
2. Check your parcel tracking early and often. As soon as it says "available for clearance" call them up. They'll want a copy of your PayPal receipt emailed to them. I ended up having to email mine twice.
3. Keep pestering them. I phoned every couple of days. The FedEx tracking page is pretty uninformative and (my experience only) by phone the FedEx staff are willing to help but not that much cop.

I ended up having 3 phone calls, including one to complain about the whole process, and also an email exchange with a FedEx guy from Twitter. I have to say I'm not the world's most patient guy, and I was heartily sick of the whole process by the time the parcel arrived this morning.

FYI my shipment (cost of about 190USD or 126GBP) came through without extra charges or duty of any kind, which is pretty good (think the rules say that I owed the VAT + handling charge), so FedEx must have been doing something right, even if it was taking a while to happen.

Hope this is of some use to others ...

Chris Owens.

24-09-2013, 03:37 PM
I think it's all a bit hit and miss. I've had 2 shipments in so far from South Korea from 2 different eBay sellers. One was straight here within 48 working hours and the other took a week. The week included Parcelfarce posting out a letter to me asking to pay the import duty and a clearing fee. I'm still waiting on my shipment from Chai so will see how that goes.....

24-09-2013, 03:40 PM
Yes you've been unlucky with customs and I've only had this happen ounce in 6yrs but 3 weeks from China still isn't bad and if that order was for machined ballscrews then I assure you you wouldn't have got them done and delivered much quicker in this country, I know others who have and it's taken much longer than 3 weeks and cost 3 times the price.!!

Anyway you have them now so Crack on.!!

24-09-2013, 04:02 PM
If you've got 126 of parts without getting charged by customs then you've been very fortunate, as the threshold for them to charge VAT is just 18. I'd have expected you to be charged 20% of the 126 (if that was declared on the cusoms form), plus 10.50 wasted on FedEx, so 35.70.

I had one recently where the VAT I owed was about 3, which was fine by me, except I also had to pay Fedex 10.50 which doesn't seem fair.

24-09-2013, 06:13 PM
Fedex will most likely send you a bill within a couple weeks for the fees.
Which reminds me I've still got one to pay!

John S
24-09-2013, 06:57 PM
I have stopped dealing with the US all together as EVERYTHING gets hit for VAT and clearance.
At least China is pretty good but having said that they have lost 8 drivers somewhere in the post. not worried bought loads off this guy before and I'm certain he'll come good.

24-09-2013, 07:00 PM
Yeah, I thought I'd got away with charges on my order from Chai, but Fedex had paid them and billed me a few weeks later.

24-09-2013, 08:47 PM
Perhaps I could set up a CNC outlet in somewhere like Portsmouth.....

24-09-2013, 10:50 PM
10.50 Fedex fee isn't too bad. Parcelforce is 13.50. I'm sure I had one that was around 18 a few years back.

I'm sure you can declare goods yourself, but then you need to deal with all the paperwork, which when you look at it from a commercial point, it's cheaper to pay the handling fee, unless you're dealing with lots of imports.

25-09-2013, 10:40 AM
Yeah FedEx will send you a bill in about a month, happens every time :frown:
I now get everything from China sent with DHL, not only do they not charge you a handling fee(or whatever that 10 FedEx charges is), but they also pay the VAT and don't charge you! :star:

25-09-2013, 11:09 AM
Fedex are the worst in my experience. Very efficient.

25-09-2013, 01:22 PM
Trust me DHL`s handling charge is also 10 GBP.

Ooops , UPS, used to have annoying habit of wanting payment on doorstep.

25-09-2013, 01:42 PM
Trust me DHL`s handling charge is also 10 GBP.

really? I always get what seems to be a bill but when I phone up to pay it they say its already paid. Hmm maybe Chai chooses an all inclusive delivery option with them or something?

25-09-2013, 05:02 PM
My bits from Chai are currently in France according to the FEDEX tracking, scheduled delivery 1/10/13...