#1
Ok, in 2 days in moving to america to go to Uni, and I've been wondering about guitars and the importing tax that kind of goes with it.

i was thinking, if i bought a guitar out in the USA at the start, then by the end of the year it would be considered a possession of mine, and on bringing it back i wouldn't be subject to all the enormous costs of Vat and import Tax - but i was reading the law for buying from other countries and it said used goods would still evoke a fee.

does anyone know whether there are loopholes/ regulations i can take advantage of/ or experience of bringing guitars back from the USA?
#2
If you bring it back with out ever taking it there, you are subject to VAT I would imagine.

However after a year it will not look brand spanking new, and when you take it through customs they arent likely to notice, all you have to say is that you took it with you.

Throw away the recipts, any tags that come on the guitar etc, anything that makes it look new, get a case for the guitar and put stickers etc on it and dont be too careful with the case, after a year it will look battered enough and you should get away with it.


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#3
if they cant prove you bought it in the states they cant charge you vat or anything
~Defiant~
#4
Here's how this conversation will go:

Customs agent: "Do you have anything to claim?"
CobenBlack: "No."

That's all. They're not going to track you down and make you pay taxes on possessions you've had for a year.
#5
ah cool - i was also advised that if i took a guitar out there and brought a new one back with me then it would help my case a little as they may make a note that ive brought a guitar into the country, but not what its like.

i was thinking of shipping it back rather than bringing it on the plane though - i wouldn't trust baggage handlers with a chunk of concrete let alone something they can break easily.
#6
i have been through exactly the same thing several years ago (almost 20 to be precise).

as far as i recollect, as long as you had owned an item for 6 months then you didn't need to pay any duty or VAT. other wise it was VAT plus duty (about 6% as i recall).

just phone customs and excise before you go and ask. they won't bite your head off.
I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes.
- Jimi Hendrix
#7
Quote by CobenBlack
i was thinking of shipping it back rather than bringing it on the plane though - i wouldn't trust baggage handlers with a chunk of concrete let alone something they can break easily.
Shipping will be loads plus you will have to pay VAT on the value of it when it goes through customs.


Quote by dogismycopilot
Absent Mind, words cant express how much i love you. Id bone you, oh yea.

Quote by lumberjack
Absent Mind is, as usual, completely correct.

Quote by littlemurph7976
Id like to make my love for Neil public knowledge as he is a beautiful man
#8
see i'd thought i might ship it back because when i travel back i will have my suitcase to check in because i'll have been out there for a year, and they'd charge me extra for more luggage. plus if i shipped it i figured i could like put 2 iron bars in that run the length of the body and neck, wrapped in foam, to keep everything straight and undamaged - then of course the customary 15 million layers of bubble wrap.

i figured i'd probably end up paying about £60 in shipping - but i dont really know - thats just because most guitars on ebay that are sent from america have about a £65 shipping cost.
#9
May I ask where you go to Uni?
Quote by Perp8tualMotion
Thank you, Red Comet, for restoring a bit of my faith in human kind.
#11
F u fly virgin it can be taken as hand luggage and they actually store it pretty great for u. Your making things too complicated. Just buy one out there. Use it and then either freight ship it as a personal item back or call your airport let them know u have special requirements for your hand luggage. U should be fine
Guitars
Custom Les Paul
Custom ZW Bullseye
Brunswick BD200CE
Epiphone ZW Custom Camo
Custom Fender Highway Tele Daphne Blue
Parker Nitefly M
Squier Classic Vibes Strat W/BKPs
Ibanez SZR720QM W/EMGs
#12
My point is if you ship it you will have to declare what it is and its value, and will there for be charged VAT when it enters the country.


Quote by dogismycopilot
Absent Mind, words cant express how much i love you. Id bone you, oh yea.

Quote by lumberjack
Absent Mind is, as usual, completely correct.

Quote by littlemurph7976
Id like to make my love for Neil public knowledge as he is a beautiful man
#14
I think you have to pay VAT and if you do then the money will depend on weight and value. I recently got a mesa triple rectifier deliverd (heavy beast and it cost me about £1000 + £125 for shipping) and I had to pay £45. So for a guitar, even a high-value guitar it might only cost £15-30 max.

But I was charged as it was a parcelforce delivery, so I'm not sure if I would have been if it had been put it in a cargo hold on a passanger flight. I wouldn't imagine so because of you took it to and from America a few times you wouldn't imagine that you would get charged VAT EVERY TIME.

In any case, as long as you put aside £40 that should be MORE than enough to cover the costs, if there will be any.
#16
Quote by CobenBlack
i could put up £40 without too much of an issue - the savings are meant to be pretty steep if you buy the right guitar


Yeah the savings are massive, that's why I bought the amp (the cheapest I could find in the UK was a £1550 + p&p second hand one on ebay. So I got the one from America and sold it on to a mate for £1400. He got a brand new amp (ex-display model, never used though it was in a protective glass display case lol) that would have cost around £2000 unless he wanted a second hand amp, and I made a couple of hundred £ and brought joy to a friend lol.

But seriously it is well worth while to get a guitar in America (even better to get one in Australia because the exchange rate is crazy for Aussie dollars) even if you don't sell it on.

And good luck on your course as well lol
#18
Quote by Ripper1

But seriously it is well worth while to get a guitar in America (even better to get one in Australia because the exchange rate is crazy for Aussie dollars) even if you don't sell it on.

And good luck on your course as well lol

I don't think you understand our mark up's very well.
Standard Strat here Cash price - $1000 (List price $1299)
Standard Strat (based on pricing from GAK) - £349
$1000 AUD = £507. + Shipping to you.
Basses:
Fender Precision Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
Warwick Star Bass
Squier Precision Bass TB
Last edited by consecutive e at Aug 11, 2009,
#19
My Buddy had the same problem coming back from Japan. Just don't claim it you should be good.
#21
i flew back from the USA with Delta, they let me carry it on as hand luggage and stowed it in the galley for me during the flight as it would not fit in the overhead lockers.

i say again, you should not have to pay VAT or duty if you can prove you have owned it for at least 6 months.
I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes.
- Jimi Hendrix
#22
You should be ok if it costs less than £340 (approx $560).

From the HM Revenue Site:
http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/arriving/arrivingnoneu.htm#1

"You can bring in other goods worth up to £340 without having to pay tax and/or duty."

"For other goods brought into the UK by travellers, Customs Duty only applies on goods above £340 in value. Over this allowance and up to £553 there is a flat Customs Duty flat rate of 2.5 per cent.

For goods over £553, the Customs Duty rate charged depends on the type of goods. You can check the rates by calling the VAT, Customs and Excise Helpline."