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Is there a US import tax on foreign pedals??

amp_surgeon

Member
Messages
367
Was thinking about getting a tanabe dumkudo. Is there an import duty coming into the US?
The US import duty rate for guitar effects is generally 2.7%, but there are exceptions. For example, if the pedal is being imported from Canada or Mexico then it's usually exempt under NAFTA. If the pedal was previously exported from the US then it's usually exempt from re-import duties. A lot depends on the carrier the exporter selects to ship with, and how they declare the item on the customs forms.
 

lefort_1

Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
15,823
virtually every Chinese seller/distributor I've bought from (5 or 6) has, without prompting or suggestion by me, marked the item as a 'gift' or more frequently as a 'sample', so they can get around US import regs.

At first I didn't notice, then I thought it was cool cuz it saved me a couple bucks, but nowadays I'm pissed at the practice because it's just not right and I'm making it tougher for US makers to compete.
 

amp_surgeon

Member
Messages
367
virtually every Chinese seller/distributor I've bought from (5 or 6) has, without prompting or suggestion by me, marked the item as a 'gift' or more frequently as a 'sample', so they can get around US import regs.

At first I didn't notice, then I thought it was cool cuz it saved me a couple bucks, but nowadays I'm pissed at the practice because it's just not right and I'm making it tougher for US makers to compete.
I think most Americans probably fall into the "cool cuz it saved me a couple bucks" category. For this reason I don't feel compelled to do anything about it, like reporting a foreign company that lies on it's customs forms. The guy who ordered the product was probably happy that they lied about it because it saved him some money, and he originally bought the item from the foreign company because it was cheaper than the American made alternative. I can't compete head on with those Asian companies because my overhead is far higher than theirs, and I'm not going to endear myself to American buyers by doing things to make it harder or more expensive to buy from the cheaper foreign supplier, though it wouldn't break my heart if the US government decided to do this.

There are good reasons for Americans to buy from American companies, but many of those reasons don't matter to some people. Sometimes it all boils down to price. I can't argue with that. I know what it's like to be on a tight budget.
 
Messages
1,010
The "cool cuz it saved me a couple bucks" seems to be a dominant motivating factor in the pedal market, more than other areas of music merchandising. Buyers in the pro audio market are accustomed to paying a whole lot more for a piece of gear, and do so with little question or complaint. Same is true with keyboards & synth gear. And I've never heard of any brass or woodwind players complaining "that thing only has $50 worth of parts in it." Guitarists are pretty much the only ones who do that.

This is because the average guitarist is lazy, shiftless, underemployed, and perpetually broke; and yet wants everything on a platter... I can say this, because I am one. :p
 

juansolo

Member
Messages
277
The biggest problem selling stuff to the states from the UK is the exchange rate. The biggest problem coming the other way is our import duty + handling fees, which we're bent over for. Anything over £15 is subject to 20% and an £8 charge. Which means I can't even source many parts from the States any more. Dealing with the US either way these days is expensive for us anyhow.
 

Chonny

Senior Member
Messages
3,215
When I bought my Drybell Vibe Machine I got a bill from Fed Ex about two weeks later for about $40.
 

analogmike

Vendor
Messages
7,120
When I bought my Drybell Vibe Machine I got a bill from Fed Ex about two weeks later for about $40.
Don't let Europeans ship you anything by courier, only by mail, or you will get socked with large random bills by Fedex, UPS, etc.
 

steve440

Member
Messages
181
I think it's an admin charge they put on, the tax is hardly anything.

I've found it best to use what is the equivalent here of USPS Express. 4-5 days from europe to the states and no-one gets stung on charges

http://www.dutycalculator.com/new-import-duty-and-tax-calculation/

Importing from: France
Importing to: United States View country guide
2
The type of product, its value and where it was manufactured
Edit
Product description: Musical Instrument Effect Pedal
Product category: Guitar Effects Pedal (Upgrade account to get HS code)
Product value: €155.00
Country of manufacture: France
3
The cost of shipping and insurance of importing
Edit
Shipping costs: €25.00
Insurance costs: €5.00
Calculation results

Edit
Total customs value (FOB): US$211.09
This is the amount that customs values your import at
- Duty: US$5.70
- Merchandise Processing Fee: US$0.00
- Internal Revenue Tax: US$0.00
Total import duty & taxes due: US$5.70
This is the amount that needs to be paid to customs

Total landed cost: US$257.65


Don't let Europeans ship you anything by courier, only by mail, or you will get socked with large random bills by Fedex, UPS, etc
 
Messages
802
Don't let Europeans ship you anything by courier, only by mail, or you will get socked with large random bills by Fedex, UPS, etc.
I wish I would have seen this about 2 hours ago... I just paied to have this pedal expedited by FedEx. The website says that through regular post, they won't insure the pedal but by FedEx they will...

I probably should have spent more time researching this company before buying.
 
Messages
1,010
Don't let Europeans ship you anything by courier, only by mail, or you will get socked with large random bills by Fedex, UPS, etc.
I can vouch for that. Not just Europe, but anywhere outside the U.S. FedEx and UPS are reasonable options within the Continental U.S. But the large random bill Mike mentioned is a Customs duty. But if something is shipped by mail, it is received in the U.S. by the United States Postal Service (a government agency), so it essentially bypasses the Customs transfer that the couriers have to go through. FedEx is particularly brutal for some reason... The one exception I've found is DHL. I've received overseas shipments through DHL without incurring any additional charges for some reason.
 

analogmike

Vendor
Messages
7,120
Even with no customs fees, UPS, FEDEX, or DHL often mails me a $40 bill for their paperwork handling, to carry the pedal through customs. Thanks!
 

Seance

Member
Messages
4,127
Even with no customs fees, UPS, FEDEX, or DHL often mails me a $40 bill for their paperwork handling, to carry the pedal through customs. Thanks!
I live in Canada and I've had to pay exorbitant fees to FedEx and UPS
for items shipped from the US. If that is the only way that somebody
sends things, I take my business elsewhere. I refuse to pay FedEx
for anything. I have had great luck receiving items from shippers
(relatives and others) who send stuff to me using the US Postal Service.
As far as I'm concerned USPS is the only way to go.

It is definitely not a customs fee. And there is no real rational relationship
between the price of the item and how much these courier companies charge.
It is a fee that FedEx and UPS decide they can get away charging to the
recipient of the item for the privilege of having some FedEx or UPS employee
interface with customs. If the item is sent through the US Postal Service,
then the sender "interfaces" with the Post Office, and by filling out a form,
they interface with customs, and the sender (usually) doesn't charge some
random fee to the recipient just because they had to fill out that form.

I have less of a problem paying duties or customs on an item than I do
paying FedEx for filling out a form.
 
Messages
802
This is my one and only time I'll ever purchase something overseas. Strictly buying from American stores or builders only.
 

amp_surgeon

Member
Messages
367
I don't recommend anyone use a private courier like FedEx, UPS, or DHL to ship internationally, regardless of where you're shipping from or to. These couriers are not affiliated with any government and get nothing from any government in return for collecting customs duties, but they are obligated to collect them anyway. That's why they usually charge a fee (sometimes a really steep fee) for collecting those duties. I learned my lesson many years ago after being thoroughly chewed out by a Canadian for shipping an item I'd sold on eBay via UPS.

The postal service has different ways of handling it in different countries. I usually get a notice that they're holding a package for me at the local post office. I have to go to the local post office to pay the duties and pick up the package, but there's no additional fees imposed.

Contrary to what some merchants may tell you, insurance IS available for international shipments through the US Postal Service to most countries. It's just that insurance for the full value isn't always available when purchasing the postage online. In those cases you have to take the package to the post office. Maybe they want to make sure you're not insuring an empty box. Dunno.
 






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