International Shipping via UPS from USA, ugh

Just don’t do it. I shipped to Ireland (Republic of) and my customer had a nasty surprise of a 44 euro charge on top of the shipping costs (38ish USD). They charged 26 euro tax and an 18 euro “other” fee to release the package. I tried to use the UPS site to figure out they arrived at 26 euro tax (on a $46 product) and was unsuccessful after about an hour of poking around. Calling the help line got me no where. The other charge was probably a brokerage fee. I think the broker is thief but can’t prove it.

Needless to say, I have removed UPS as an international shipping option.

I will take a look at re-shippers.

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Although I don’t a clear idea about the rules in Ireland, in general importing goods outside EU to a country in the union involves tax (VAT) and duty payments. Furthermore some shipping companies have extra broker fees for their service to legally represent the receiver in front of the customs.

The exact calculations vary depending on the country in the EU and the type of goods. For example in Bulgaria where I live: let’s say I buy a PC part of 50 USD with 50 USD with UPS shipping from outside EU to Bulgaria. VAT is 20% of the total cost - 20 USD. There is no duty for importing personal computers and parts (under some limit or something along these lines). As far as I know the local courier working under the UPS brand charges a flat rate of about 20USD for customs. There are also minor bank fees for transfers. Alternatively I can use another broker for the customs but it cost at least the same. Eventually, it might be possible to deal with the customs directly with a broker but this will require specific knowledge and significant amount of time :slight_smile: At the end of the day it will be 40+ USD for something that costs 100USD (including shipping).

I personally prefer to receive goods through DHL because with them the process is significantly less painful in Bulgaria and the service for dealing with the customs is free (not sure if this is valid for other countries :slight_smile: ).

As of the moment there is a VAT and duty free exception for goods with total cost including shipping below about 15EUR (again varies depending on the country).

This is the short version with very rough calculations but I hope it provides a good idea about how much “fun” we have with the regulations in the EU :slight_smile:

Here is the C.O.D. slip . Note that no VAT or Customs duty was charged. Seems shady to me. VAT should have 9 euros.

This has nothing to do with UPS. For everything that is being imported into the EU you’d have to pay tax + handling fee. These handling fees are extremely high, I agree.

But it has nothing to do with UPS. This will happen with DHL as well.

DHL may do it too but a) there was no VAT applied. b) taxes of 26.17 euro on a 38 euro item? c) 18.45 euro handling? I simply don’t believe these are reasonable charges and there is no way that the EU levees that much tax. Sending via USPS does not trigger any taxes.

It’s normal.
What customs sometimes does is that when shipping is not clearly specified to them, they add a default shipping cost(which is high!) to the order total and then apply the tax.

I have seen orders doubling in cost due to customs.

“taxes” can mean anything. Ask UPS to specify it with an invoice.

18.45 euro handling is normal too. It varies here between 7.50 and 20 euro per parcel. Ripoff? Certainly. Countries want to protect their internal markets, this is how they do it.

USPS works through national postal agencies and indeed, usually packages get through with less to more reasonable handling fees. Posting anything through national postal systems certainly gives the least issues & costs here with customs, but take much longer to arrive too.

Per 1st of July it will all change and you as seller have to pay these taxes upfront to the country where the buyer is located in the EU for items below a certain value. Handling costs will probably be cheaper.