How much does it cost to import a drum from USA to UK


Senior Member
I'm intending to buy an 8inch tom from a drum store in the USA on

The drum is priced at around $300.

Does anybody know how much additional cost in duties etc there would be to have it imported to the UK?



Senior Member
You can risk it and just hope you will get away with it.... some companies write "gift" on the box so that it appears like it's not something you have paid for

However the alternative is to ring up customs and tell them what it is you're importing, they then give you a code and a % and you will be charged say 15% of the total cost as import tax once it arrives.
If this happens I think they bring it to your door and you then have to pay the extra before it will be given to you.
Most people i know attempt the first option for obvious reasons ;)

Too Many Songs

Senior Member
I've imported both kits and drums. There are two charges. VAT which as you know is now 20% and then import duty on top of that which, without checking, is around 3-4%. So you are looking at adding 20-25% of the retail cost in taxes and duty plus of course shipping costs. typically the couriers (DHL etc...) will pay the duty and then charge you. If it is just posted then Royal Mail will collect the duty and will impose a further £8.00 admin charge on top again.

At the current dollar/sterling exchange rate it is probably not worth it.

Too Many Songs

Senior Member
At the current dollar/sterling exchange rate it is probably not worth it.
I should expand upon this (sorry for not doing so in the first message). It is worth it if what you a buying is rare or rare in the UK. That is not likely to be the case if you are buying current production drums. But it might well be the case if you are buying vintage american gear. Last thing I imported was a 1962 vintage Slingerland snare. Was it a bargain? No - not by a long way once I had paid shipping, taxes and duty. But chances of finding the same snare in the UK in the foreseeable future - pretty remote. So I paid over the odds for something and I thought it was worthwhile to do so. When it actually arrived I was disappointed with the drum's condition. Ah well!


Junior Member
I think you should the immigration or someone in authority for the cost in importing drums just to be sure.


Platinum Member
All depends on how much you've paid for it, weight, how much people extra people are charging for postage. Number of boxes.

You used to be able to get round customs or VAT by stating it was a gift. Not sure if you can do that still.

I grabbed a COB 400 for £92 from ebay after postage and customs it was £150 but worth it for me.