Import Duties by UPS

Discussion in 'International Business' started by coors, Jun 30, 2021.

  1. coors

    coors UKBF Newcomer

    19 1
    Hello,

    I have a question with regards to the import duties we are being charged by UPS.

    We buy backpacks from the US which are delivered to us in the UK at a residential address (business from home).

    Typical delivery contains mainly backpacks but also has badges and the odd plastic bottle.

    Example Order:
    32 backpacks each one between $47 and $180 depending on style and size.
    1 bottle
    3 badges
    1 Jacket

    Total we pay for this delivery: $1,378.61

    Customs Charge: £186.82

    We seem to keep getting charged very different amounts of import duty each time we receive a delivery. It almost seems like they rip it open and take a look or scan the outside document and just take an average price of all products and stick a finger in the air.

    UPS Import Charge: £186.82
    Another charge was: £158.87
    Another was: £165.41
    Another was £127.85
    Another was £204.32
    Another was £209.29
    Another: £100.39
    Another £144.17
    Another £231.60

    • I believe they should be looking at each product and working out the charges to be applied on all of them to get the exact cost plus brokerage fees correct?
    • Should I be concerned and if I should, how and where should I go to challenge these?
    • Even the invoices are rubbish and are not a clear and full breakdown, not even close, should they be?
    • Does anybody have some knowledge in this area?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Posted: Jun 30, 2021 By: coors Member since: Jun 18, 2021
    #1
  2. japancool

    japancool Contributor

    5,042 1,149
    If you want it to be accurate, the commercial invoice should include:
    Breakdowns and quantities of each item.
    The country of origin of each item.
    An HS code for each item.

    Otherwise, HMRC (not UPS) will pick whatever category of goods they think it fits, and this can vary depending on who is assessing the shipment, and the day of the week.

    Also keep in mind exchange rates will vary. The exchange rate used by HMRC to do conversions is updated once a month.
     
    Posted: Jun 30, 2021 By: japancool Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #2
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  3. DontAsk

    DontAsk Contributor

    2,141 360
    You should get a breakdown of the charges in terms of duty (if any), VAT and the exchange rate applied.

    Make sure they used USD and not some other random "dollar".

    Check if they used the total including shipping, or not (they should).

    I always had problems with ParcelForce (e.g. using USD instead of CDN, wrong duty rates, ...) but I was ahead of the game and never said anything.
     
    Posted: Jun 30, 2021 By: DontAsk Member since: Jan 7, 2015
    #3
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. coors

    coors UKBF Newcomer

    19 1
    Thank you for the responses they have been really helpful. The commercial invoices from the supplier has not been listing the HS code of each line item. We have now asked that they do this as there are a couple of different products with different HS codes. Really appreciate the guidance.

    Thanks.
     
    Posted: Jul 6, 2021 By: coors Member since: Jun 18, 2021
    #4
  5. Mike Godwin

    Mike Godwin Contributor

    185 50
    Just to confirm also that duty rates are charged as a percentage of the value of each product line in accordance with the HS code. Accordingly you will always get varying duty amounts. As already stated, the detail contained in the commercial invoice is key to ensuring you get charged the correct level of duty.

    On larger orders I would also recommend you look at shipping on a commercial aircraft consolidation which can often work out cheaper for you. It won't change the duties payable but may reduce your landed shipping costs.
     
    Posted: Jul 7, 2021 By: Mike Godwin Member since: Mar 27, 2018
    #5
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  6. Marcin1983

    Marcin1983 UKBF Newcomer

    11 1
    I am struggling to get some answers from UPS. What they did in my case, they have charged me import VAT calculating from amount with VAT included.
    Keep in mind I have provided the invoice with brake down and all details like HR code etc.
    So check if they don't take the wrong figure from the invoice (Gross not net)
    I think we need to provide as simplest as a possible invoice with one number - the net value of the good.
    If you give too many numbers, it looks too complicated and confusing. It is not complex mathematics, however, they make mistakes in UPS.
     
    Posted: Jul 10, 2021 By: Marcin1983 Member since: Jul 10, 2021
    #6
  7. japancool

    japancool Contributor

    5,042 1,149
    Why does the invoice have VAT on it? If the goods are coming from Europe, they should not be charging you VAT, unless they're UK VAT registered - and if that's the case, UPS shouldn't be charging you anything.
     
    Posted: Jul 10, 2021 By: japancool Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #7
  8. Marcin1983

    Marcin1983 UKBF Newcomer

    11 1
    Proforma invoice for DPD was looking like this:

    -price included 20% VAT
    -transport
    -total amount

    DPD was doing it right, they took price - transport and exclude VAT as a fee.

    UPS taking total amount and taking 20% from that, adding a few pounds more it should.

    I have received a call from UPS asking me to explain the invoice and tell them if this price is gross or net.
    Still they done it wrong :/
     
    Posted: Jul 10, 2021 By: Marcin1983 Member since: Jul 10, 2021
    #8
  9. japancool

    japancool Contributor

    5,042 1,149
    Again, why did the pro-forma invoice include VAT if you did not pay the supplier VAT?
     
    Posted: Jul 10, 2021 By: japancool Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #9
  10. Marcin1983

    Marcin1983 UKBF Newcomer

    11 1
    Because it was example to from DPD and this is why they wish to see invoice. So this question is for DPD.

    With paying no VAT to supplier is the same not exactly simple answer.

    Supplier in EU will provide 0% VAT invoice only if you will provide proof of export from courier company.

    Since Brexit, DPD have IT issues and can not provide this document. So supplier will charge you VAT, because they can not prove to their taxman that goods left EU.
    Hopefully UPS will be better in this case, I have just started using them.
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2021 By: Marcin1983 Member since: Jul 10, 2021
    #10
  11. japancool

    japancool Contributor

    5,042 1,149
    You are arranging your own courier? Why is the supplier not doing it?
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2021 By: japancool Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #11
  12. Marcin1983

    Marcin1983 UKBF Newcomer

    11 1
    Supplier just preparing goods and we are arranging courier for collection. Probably because we are sending directly to customers from supplier and we have all details.
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2021 By: Marcin1983 Member since: Jul 10, 2021
    #12
  13. coors

    coors UKBF Newcomer

    19 1
    Just following on from this, we asked our supplier to add the HS codes (I am yet to see the documents from the supplier to ensure ALL HS codes were added). UPS have now charged us a total of £500. A steep jump from about £200.
    I have emailed UKpostclear @ ups. com again (never replied last time) asking for a FULL breakdown of costs to show how they arrived at this price for them to release/clear the goods to us. I am also awaiting the documents from the supplier (which I will see on the parcel when it arrives anyway) and hope I can claim this back.

    Value of the goods £1000
    Custom clearance charge £498
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2021 By: coors Member since: Jun 18, 2021
    #13
  14. japancool

    japancool Contributor

    5,042 1,149
    What was the HS code and country of origin?
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2021 By: japancool Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #14
  15. coors

    coors UKBF Newcomer

    19 1
    Good question and will let you know as soon as they respond to my email and send me the documents they attached. I hope all HS codes and country origin are on there. They are coming from Indonesia via the US (supplier is in United States).
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2021 By: coors Member since: Jun 18, 2021
    #15
  16. japancool

    japancool Contributor

    5,042 1,149
    OK, what are the backpacks made from?
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2021 By: japancool Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #16
  17. coors

    coors UKBF Newcomer

    19 1
    HS Codes for the backpacks are: 4202.99
    Although, it doesn't matter what I have the HS codes as and depends on what the supplier is putting on the documents with the parcel. I am pretty angry at the charges as £500 from £1000 worth of goods is robbing us. All profit margin eaten up and no idea whether I am going to be able to claim anything back, especially now we have paid it. We have to pay it as customers are waiting.
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2021 By: coors Member since: Jun 18, 2021
    #17
  18. coors

    coors UKBF Newcomer

    19 1
    Little update on this:

    I have now emailed UKpostclear @ ups. com three times and had no response whatsoever. I contact UPS on Twitter and they claim that UKPostClear is (technically not UPS), and they will have a big back log work through.

    I don't think this justifies no response.
    The phone number provided by UPS does not work.
    The email address receives no response.
    Twitter customer support for UPS repeats they will get in touch but its been a couple of months now and three emails.

    Any suggestions how to push forward with this? They seem like an empty entity (part of UPS) which UPS refuse to fully acknowledge or help with.
     
    Posted: Jul 29, 2021 By: coors Member since: Jun 18, 2021
    #18