View Full Version : What are all the US Custom import fees for purchasing EBAY items from outside the USA
10-30-2011, 11:58 PM
SUBJECT: What are all the US Custom import fees for purchasing EBAY low priced items from outside the USA, and in particular Hong Kong ?
I was going to purchase a few of these $4.73 seven watt LED light bulbs from EBAY, which originate ( as stated in the EBAY ad ) from Hong Kong, for my personal use only. They are probably manufactured in mainland China, and not in Hong Kong.
But, this EBAY ad scared me with the ad's message for me to please check with my country's customs office to determine what any additional US Custom costs ( import duties, taxes and charges ) will be prior to bidding/buying, as this ad states that the purchaser of this item is respondsible for paying all the US Custom fees.
I would appreciate any remarks, ideas, or suggestions. I tried looking at the US Customs web page, and nothing was given that I could find, that gave clear information about this particular exact situation.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/110V-360-108-LEDs-LED-Corn-Light-Bulb-E27-Natural-White-/120708808119?_trksid=p4340.m1374&_trkparms=algo%3DPI.WATCH%26its%3DC%2BS%26itu%3DUC C%26otn%3D15%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D38329003331079235 20
10-31-2011, 12:15 AM
I have purchaced an mp3 player and a few other items from China on ebay. one pakage was opened, and a inspection tag attached to the package. I was never charged any fee. I also have purchaced, alot of small electronic components from a place in taiwan. this stuff was valued at much more than the chinese items and never had a problem with it either.
10-31-2011, 01:48 AM
I buy a lot of small items from the orient, never had a customs problem. I don't know the rules.
TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
I buy cables and stuff like that from China all the time, no worries.
10-31-2011, 03:33 AM
I have also made many small EBAY purchases from the orient over many years, without any apparent problems.
But, now, I am wondering if the US Customs might just drive up some day with a demand for a big payment bill, and make an immediate demand for payment ( or worse ) from me for all of their so-called many missing payments for import duties, taxes, and charges ( including many years of possibly different hidden fines for my never properly submitting the proper US Customs forms as may be required by some hidden US Customs laws ). Ignorance of the laws is no excuse.
10-31-2011, 03:49 AM
Many times the items are declared as "samples" -- which I believe avoids any customs fees and duties.
11-01-2011, 11:01 PM
Lucky folks in the US. In The UK the Customs and Excise tear everything to pieces and charge you to wrap it back up again. They even put VAT, value added tax, on the insurance paid at the country of purchase, they don't miss a trick these days.
We have TV shows about the activities of Customs and Excise and the Border control people, people who come to Britain trying to smuggle in drugs, cigarettes, money, and people, must think the authorities in Britain are stupid. The British train other foreign authorities how its done. They took a yacht to pieces for a week, sawed great holes in the fibreglass hull and eventually found about three tons of that drug which is brown. They knew it was carrying extra weight because of the way it sat in the water. Did the same with a 44 tonne articulated truck which had a false floor welded into the chassis of the trailer, it looked like the real thing except these blokes are experts and know the specifications of every trailer, and this one came off a ferry at night ! They found a huge amount of drugs in plastic wrapping
11-02-2011, 12:01 AM
I get stuff from Asia all the time and there's no import duty on personal electronics.
I don't buy anything via eBay, but even if I buy cell phone accessories from a well known establishment based in L.A., I place my order with them and the stuff comes from Asia. As long as it comes and it works, I really don't care. Never paid any import fees.
11-02-2011, 07:28 PM
Considering that when you travel you can bring back items totaling $800 duty free, I'm not surprised there are no customs fees on foreign internet purchases.
I think the disclaimer on that E-Bay auction is nothing more than a CYA on the part of the seller...
11-02-2011, 08:18 PM
I try to never buy chinese goods...so I have no idea.
11-10-2011, 02:45 AM
I sent an email to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection WWW.CBP.GOV (http://www.CBP.GOV) about this thread's question subject, and they finally responded to this emailed question with the returned emailed statement as follows:
The duty is usually waived for shipments less than $200, but if it is sent by a commercial courier the company may charge a customs paperwork fee. Please see the link below for more information. I hope this answer helps.
11-10-2011, 02:49 AM
Tnx for the clarification, makes sense. Long ago I bot cameras/lenses from A.White in HK. Only once did I get hit with a fee, and I recall it was very small.
I think the Ebay alarm is mostly a CYA.
TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
11-10-2011, 03:32 AM
I agree with ERV, just this year I bought several items on eBay that had the same warning but, was not charged any extra fee.
Just a few months ago I bought a pocket size AM/FM/SW radio that had the warning in the add. The radio was like $1.99 and the shipping was $4.99. It came through the USPS and got here in less than a week.