USA drummers: paying import duty on drums?

bud7h4

Silver Member
Would anyone care to explain the procedure for making the actual payment for import taxes? I'm ordering drums from the UK to USA and from what I've gathered the tax on drum parts is 5.3%. What I'm not clear on is how exacttly I pay it.
 
Last edited:

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
I live in Canada but when I've paid them it was paid directly to the the UPS (in my case) driver on delivery. Cash or credit card.
 

flurbs

Member
Would anyone care to explain the procedure for making the actual payment for import taxes? I'm ordering from the UK and from what I've gathered the tax on drum parts is 5.3%. What I'm not clear on is how exacttly I pay it.
You pay the seller the goods price plus the shipping cost. When the goods arrive in the UK, there will be customs charges from HMRC (4% import duty on most musical instrument items, 20% VAT like everything already in the county), and a handling charge (processing fees, broker fees, possibly odd little charges for storage and other stuff). Generally you should figure about 30% on top of the goods&shipping price so there are no surprises. So let's say you're buying $200 worth of goods plus $50 shipping, then the import value = $250 = approx £155 at the moment. £155 import value + 30% should come to around £200.

If the goods are sent with the US Postal Service then they'll be received in the UK by Royal Mail. RM will then charge you the import costs plus a flat fee for their work (used to be £8, I've just heard that it's gone up a bit). They probably won't deliver it to you, you're supposed to receive a letter informing you of the charges, and you go to pick it up from a sorting office where you also pay the charges. If they're sent with a courier then the courier will deliver to your door inc all charges - you'll pay the charges to them with a credit or debit card in advance.

MAKE SURE THE SELLER USES A TRACKED SERVICE!!! It's not uncommon for import to sit in the RM depot for 3 weeks and the import letter never arrives with you. If you don't hear anything and don't chase it up then they'll send the package back to the sender after 3 weeks. Get tracking info, check it every day.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Forgive me Flurbs, I meant the product is being shipped from the UK. Sorry for the confusion. Post has been edited and hopefully worded better.


I live in Canada but when I've paid them it was paid directly to the the UPS (in my case) driver on delivery. Cash or credit card.
Thanks Eric, I've just learned payment is made directly to carrier here as well.
 
Last edited:

steadypocket

Gold Member
I bought a drum from the UK a few months ago and the builder used Fed Ex to ship the drum. A week or two after I received the drum, I received a customs bill from Fed Ex in the mail. The drum cost around $1400 or so and the customs tax was around $70. I'm told it doesn't always work like this and sometimes the shipper expects COD.
 

drumkat

Senior Member
Spare a thought for us Aussies!

We are tucked WAY down there in the Southern Hemisphere

It costs us a fortune in P&H alone, no matter where it comes from

As I am from Western Australia, it is even worse

Even getting things sent across from the east coast is solo expensive

WA is very isolated

I saw my first television in my life about 10 mins ago

And what is a telephone?
 
Top