Customs / Taxes. Taking goods from US to UK, repairing and sending back to US ?


Free Member
Feb 12, 2017
Im in the UK.

Ive seen a used item for sale online in the USA for c. £300. The item is faulty and not working, but im familar with the item and know how to fix it. The item is only made for the USA market and not of any value in the UK.

Once the item is repaired its worth c. £2000 in the USA. There are others selling for this in the USA currently.

I would like to buy the faulty item and have it shipped to the UK, then repair the item in the UK. I would then like to list the item for sale in the USA and once purchased, ship to the USA.

The problem is the customs duty, i dont suppose the custom duty to import £300 of faulty goods into the UK will be much, but the import duty for the £2000 of working goods back to the USA would make my repaird goods uncompetative, is there a way round this, by for instance saying that the goods were only "loaned" out of the USA and then sent back (as in they are going back to the USA once repaired)


Free Member
Jan 7, 2015
I don't know if it has changed since Brexit but Google "Inward Processing Relief". There's a fairly lengthy doc that covers this sort of thing for the UK side. You should be able to import and re-export with no duty/VAT (or refunded). I can't help on the US side.
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Mike Godwin

Free Member
Mar 27, 2018
If you contact a reputable Freight Forwarder, they will be able to give to all the cost, plus duty levels applicable, based on your values. If the goods are imported into the UK for repair this can be done under IPR whereby you will pay duty and not to forget VAT on importation and the duty will be refunded to you when you export it back to the USA. Hope this helps.
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Free Member
Mar 27, 2009
is there a way round this, by for instance saying that the goods were only "loaned" out of the USA and then sent back (as in they are going back to the USA once repaired)

Your only "way round" is to make a false declaration. I regularly return defective goods to the USA with the following declaration :

"I declare that to the best of my knowledge and belief that the articles herein specified were exported from the United States, from the port of **** on or about ****, and that they are returned without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacturing or other means"
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Chris Ashdown

Free Member
Dec 7, 2003
I would suggest you go to the USA on holiday, buy the machine, repair it and sell it.

That way you get a holiday and make the full profit as well with no import export holdups

Alternatively just go over there, repair it for him at say $500-750 and let him sell it

Or just sell him the instructions and spare parts needed and don't have a holiday
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