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New UK Shapeways import fees?


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Not sure if this is the right place for this, so please move/delete if need be.

 

I ordered some parts in early Dec from Shapeways for delivery to the UK. They shipped on 8 Jan, arrived in the country via UPS on 10 Jan and just cleared customs today (12 Jan). The email I have now received tells me that I now owe £50 in import fees. This is an unhappy surprise, as I received another Shapeways shipment about two months ago within about 48 hours of shipping and no fee. 

 

Has anyone else experienced this, and does anyone know a substitute method to avoid the extra costs (other than buying my own printer)?

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I haven't used Shapeways in a long time (rising prices and stagnating quality in a market where prices were falling and quality was on the rise) but I seem to remember they would print at one of a number of sites around the world depending on various factors. Maybe your previous order came from a different country, and so was handled differently by customs? That's all I can think - otherwise I'd say it sounds like you just got unlucky, as is frequently the case with customs charges.

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Yes, it was printed in NL, and I'm sure this is a result of Brexit. I'm open to knowing about any other sources for 3d printing - I must say the Shapeways costs are a bit higher than it feels like they should be. 

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This is to be expected, and not just with Shapeways.  I ordered some UV Resin from Anycubic (from China via Germany), in their 3 for 2 sale last November.  Unfortunately it was a very popular offer and they ran out quickly, When it does arrive, I am now expecting to be caught with customs charges which will wipe out any benefits of the offer. :(

Getting back to the Shapeways element, as mentioned; their costs keep going up but we're still getting the FDM prints, so I started printing my own - in beautifully smooth UV liquid resin.

 

Mike

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13 hours ago, bootneck said:

I ordered some UV Resin from Anycubic (from China via Germany), in their 3 for 2 sale last November.  Unfortunately it was a very popular offer and they ran out quickly, When it does arrive, I am now expecting to be caught with customs charges which will wipe out any benefits of the offer. :(

 

Oh no! I've just realised I've done the exact same thing, I ordered before Christmas but I'm still waiting for it be despatched so I assume I'm going to get hit with import tax. 

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13 hours ago, Hellfish6 said:

Yes, it was printed in NL, and I'm sure this is a result of Brexit.

 

 

Yes! Shapeways Euro orders are printed in the Netherlands therefore its a consquence of Brexit.

 

Tommo.

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On 1/16/2021 at 9:09 PM, PinkThorn242 said:

In my experience customs fees are a crapshoot anyway. It all depends on whether your packages get stopped by customs in the first place, which doesn't always happen.

 

I doubt it was being stopped by customs, more likely down to the courier company and the way the consignment was declared. Reading others forum it was the case that certain watch companys imports rarely attracted import duty or VAT.

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On 16/01/2021 at 21:09, PinkThorn242 said:

In my experience customs fees are a crapshoot anyway. It all depends on whether your packages get stopped by customs in the first place, which doesn't always happen.

 

 

That used to be the case, not any more - in my expierance pretty much anything over the duty threshold gets tagged now.

 

Tommo.

Edited by The Tomohawk Kid
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I think that most commericial companies, will declare the true value of the parcel. Add shipment to that and you have the value of you shipment. That will be fully visible on the package (companies do not want to get caught declaring fake values).

Therefore probably next to all packages will go through the customs process. Packages from the UK to the EU also became a lot more expensive.

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This has always been the case when ordering from outside the EU.  The thing that I think has caught everyone out is the fact that on 29th December or whenever it was they announced we have a deal which means no tariffs, yet now everything imported from the EU above the threshold (£39?) is being hit with 20% VAT (on top of the local VAT you're already paying in the country of origin which we ought to be able to claim back but currently can't), an import charge (which in some cases can be 50% and then a carrier's admin fee.  A friend of mine ordered an item from Germany which cost just under £50 and he was expecting the £10 or so VAT to be levied.  The total charge with VAT, import charge and handling was an extra £47.50!  Until this is sorted, it really is not worth ordering anything from the EU anymore.  

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What an unfortunate turn of events.

 

I wonder if it has something to do with UPS?

 

Here ( in Canada ) many who buy out of country ( i.e. USA ) simply refuse to use UPS due to their extremely high charges for having them clear customs for your parcel.  Other couriers such as FedEx are much more reasonable but I can't comment on Purolator or DHL.  It seems that I am always reading posts on various posts about this or that courier charging very high rates for customs brokerage and it seems what courier is being complained about varies from region to region. 

 

I once had a $50 USD purchase shipped by UPS who upon delivery wanted more than that for taxes and brokerage fees.  Last time I used UPS.

 

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada

 

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Certainly in UK FedEx are as bad.  My wife bought a Christmas present which had to be shipped from Kuwait so we were expecting to be hit with customs charges but not a £22 (IIRC) handling fee.  Problem is, the customer generally has no control over which courier their supplier uses and in some cases doesn;t even know that the goods are being shipped from abroad.  For example, I bought another Christmas present from a UK website for a UK based company.  It was only after I got the notification to say that it had ben shipped (bu DHL) did I realise that it was starting its journey in Kuala Lumpar.  Fortunately there were no customs charges to be paid (perhaps because they'd already been levied by the UK supplier?) but it was DHL's performance that amazed me.  26 hours to go from KL to Singapore to Frankfurt to Leipzig to Stanstead to Heathrow to Southampton.  And then 9 days to cover the last 30 miles t 

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15 hours ago, Pouln said:

I think that most commericial companies, will declare the true value of the parcel. Add shipment to that and you have the value of you shipment. That will be fully visible on the package (companies do not want to get caught declaring fake values).

Therefore probably next to all packages will go through the customs process. Packages from the UK to the EU also became a lot more expensive.

 

 

No bona fida 'commercial company' will knowingly falsely declare the value of a shipment, it is ilegal to do so and the consquences could be devasting if found guility of false declaration.

 

Now the UK is outside the EU, EU vendors should be removing local taxes and VAT for anything headed to the UK - which at least should make the purchase price cheaper.

 

HMRC/UKBA have got thier act together with most items over the 'customs' threshold now attracting charges, the days of it slipping through I'm afraid have gone.

 

Tommo.

Edited by The Tomohawk Kid
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On 12/01/2021 at 20:45, Hellfish6 said:

Not sure if this is the right place for this, so please move/delete if need be.

 

I ordered some parts in early Dec from Shapeways for delivery to the UK. They shipped on 8 Jan, arrived in the country via UPS on 10 Jan and just cleared customs today (12 Jan). The email I have now received tells me that I now owe £50 in import fees. This is an unhappy surprise, as I received another Shapeways shipment about two months ago within about 48 hours of shipping and no fee. 

 

Has anyone else experienced this, and does anyone know a substitute method to avoid the extra costs (other than buying my own printer)?

 

 

I've been looking at buying some things from Shapeways, can I ask what it is you bought, or more to the point how much they cost in order to incur £50 in import fees?


Starting to think Shapeways should be avoided, but the only other option I can see is self printing, which for me isn't really an option!

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I suspect it may be the shipper rather than the actual import duties.  £50 VAT implies a fairly large amount - around £250.  Even at Shapeways prices that's a lot.  But hey, maybe a resin carrier plus full deck of aircraft would run to that?

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Ive just ordered a small item from shapeways for 16.45 euros with 8 euros shipping, ill keep you informed as to what happens.

 

Shapeways is the only source for some of the stuff im after, unless i print it myself, which i currently cannot do, so this is a tester to see if its worth my ordering from them.

 

Most of the models i buy are from the ukraine, bulgaria and japan. Its always been a game of chance re customs.

One of the sellers i buy from has now included 20% vat in his sales price.

 

All the best Chris

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11 hours ago, whitestar12chris said:

Ive just ordered a small item from shapeways for 16.45 euros with 8 euros shipping, ill keep you informed as to what happens.

Shapeways should have included 20% VAT in the price on behalf of HMRC, and should have registered with HMRC for VAT collection.  That's how it works below £135 package value.

 

If they have not, then you stand to be charged about €4.10 equivalent in VAT.  Plus about £9 in Royal Mail fees, assuming it comes by post.  That will be about £27 in all.  It all depends how they mark the package.

 

There is a 12-page thread over on the Chat forum on the whole subject of VAT in the post-EU world and the changes that affect the whole world, not just the EU.  I've just posted a summary of how it is all now supposed to work.

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235081795-vat-nightmare-incoming/page/12/&tab=comments#comment-3974702

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On 25/01/2021 at 18:19, RobL said:

 

 

I've been looking at buying some things from Shapeways, can I ask what it is you bought, or more to the point how much they cost in order to incur £50 in import fees?


Starting to think Shapeways should be avoided, but the only other option I can see is self printing, which for me isn't really an option!

It was some 1/700 scale ships and miscellaneous parts. 196.42 Euros total. All ordered in early Dec and shipped early Jan. Also spent an extra week with the shipper once it had arrived in the UK. 

Edited by Hellfish6
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I've read a few stories along these lines recently.  One thing that isn't clear and not reported well, is whether sales tax is being charged at the point of purchase.

 

In the past a Dutch company would have added Dutch VAT and then no more was due because of the EU agreement.  Now that agreement no longer exists the Dutch company should not be charging VAT - and then UK VAT is added on import.  But I suspect what is happening in this transition phase is that people are being charged VAT twice.  In that case, if worth the effort you have every right to go back to the Dutch company or country and reclaim the Dutch VAT.

 

In these early days mistakes are understandable as sellers get to grips with the change.  Also purchases made in 2020 but delivered in 2021 are particularly awkward.  But it should all settle down and should become like buying from the US.

 

VAT and import tax should not really change the price much - unfortunately it is the courier admin fees that are unpalatable.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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On 28/01/2021 at 09:10, whitestar12chris said:

Ive just ordered a small item from shapeways for 16.45 euros with 8 euros shipping, ill keep you informed as to what happens.

 

Shapeways is the only source for some of the stuff im after, unless i print it myself, which i currently cannot do, so this is a tester to see if its worth my ordering from them.

 

Most of the models i buy are from the ukraine, bulgaria and japan. Its always been a game of chance re customs.

One of the sellers i buy from has now included 20% vat in his sales price.

 

All the best Chris

 

 

Yes, please do let us know, I'm in the same situation where what I want isn't available elsewhere, and it's about the same price as what you have bought.

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FWIW I ordered 3 items from Shapeways on 17 Jan with total cost of just under 49 Euros and it was shipped 27 January with original forecast for delivery 2 February.  The cost paid was the total of the individual items on the website and there is no mention of VAT at any stage.  The box arrived this morning safely via UPS with no demands for further payment.  I have checked the package label carefully and there is no declaration visible re any taxes paid or not paid.   Was I lucky or what threshold did I keep below?   

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My order from shapeways was delivered today by UPS, 1/350 HMS Spartan Dry deck shelter and pieces to modify airfix Trafalgar Class to a Swiftsure class.

 

No additional charges paid, box marked as prepaid, clearly marked as 3d printed plastic..

 

So i can only assume its a lottery, small items getting through without a problem. I have another order to place for a slightly dearer item, ill keep you updated.

 

All the best Chris

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  • 1 month later...

Just wondering if anyone had any experience of late?

 

Got some tiny cars I want to order.

 

EDIT - just seen they are charging £17.50 shipping for an order of 6 of these cars. Might give that a miss 🙄

 

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Edited by Tim R-T-C
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