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40 Button New Model Lachenal

Wally Carroll

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On 11/12/2022 at 10:43 AM, Richard Mellish said:

Anyone in the UK considering buying this box will also need to be prepared for a steep import charge. It was an extra 20% on the D-A Anglo that I bought from Donovan in South Africa.

Whilst this is - on the one hand true, it's not a "steep Import charge", per se, it's Duty at the same rate as VAT....same as you would have to pay on the instrument if bought from a business in the Uk or if you bought anything else into the country that was due 'tax'?  The "charge/Duty/Tax", call it what you will is calculated by virtue of a % rate ie. the 20%VAT/ID rate against the "declared" purchase price.....ie. that price declared for the purpose by the seller on the Customs Form CN23.  It also - unfortunately - includes a 20% charge on the carriage costs.  That all adds up, especially with the potential Insurance cover also being adjusted to whatever the 'declared' price is too.  I have a feeling that in the USA - for commercial sellers at least, there is a 'Federal' law issue around under declaring value so as to "manage" the tax charge for buyers at the receiving end?  Probably all started with 'tea'!

Whether that applies to 'private' sales, I don't know, but whether it does or not, for those who are not risk averse, import into the Uk at a 'declared' value will only ever create a charge of 20% of goods + carriage.  Who is to say what an "old Squeezebox" is really worth.....you cant wear it or eat it.....It's RRP back in the day when it was made was only a few £'s.  As long as seller and buyer are happy with whatever £/$/€ has been exchanged and the risks are accepted by the buyer if insurance value is under-stated, it doesn't have to be a huge sum or a 'shock' on arrival.  They are not likely to "lose" a parcel the size of a concertina and if it is packed to be 'bomb-proof' personally, I would 'compensate' ( at least ) the 20% into the value declaration.  Truth is I'd probably compensate 75% in !! but that's just me.  Many (most?) insurers only cover for 'loss' anyway on musical instruments rather than damage. 

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52 minutes ago, John Wild said:

Import into the UK unfortunately has an element of double taxation.

The goods are subject to import duty. The rate will depend on the classification of the specific item.

Then, VAT is added at 20% on the total cost including import duty.

I am sorry John, but I think you will find that is not correct.  You pay EITHER Import Duty on non EU Goods or VAT on goods from the EU.  You do not pay "both".   It just so happens that the VAT rate - for goods from the EU and Import Duty for goods from the ROTW arriving into the Uk coincide at +/- 20%.  Goods purchased from the EU should be '0' rated by the EU seller to allow for the 20%VAT, charged on import into the Uk.  The same applies to goods exported to the EU from the Uk, ie. they should be '0' rated on export and VAT charged at the National rate, which varies between ( around ) 19% & 27% for various EU countries.  There is no VAT on goods privately imported from the USA. 


There are two issues with purchase of goods 'online' from the EU where 'some' sellers are registered to pay VAT to the Uk and there is an issue with items purchased from Ebay in Europe where they charge VAT 'on-line' at the point of purchase and are supposed to pay it to the Uk exchequer.  In both instances, that should '0' rate the item when it comes through Customs, but Customs are in some cases charging the VAT again, but that is liable to challenge with evidence that the VAT has been paid and it being claimed back.   That is a double charging of VAT, but not Import Duty AND VAT.

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You need to understand (and use) the "Harmonized System code" for the recipient country.


For the UK it is: https://www.gov.uk/trade-tariff


Careful choice of a harmonized system code and its description can make a big difference.  For example, a "wind instrument, small accordion" in Canada results in no duty.  Concertinas are not usually specified so you can look for something else that fits and that carries minimal, or no, duty.


Generally, duties and sales taxes (VAT in the UK) are separate issues.

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Leaving the EU made the principal difference, albeit not as great a one as many make out, with regards to buying ( in the Uk ) from the EU, at which point we have to pay VAT on purchases.  Carriage costs have gone up about €10 on a typical instrument sized parcel from Europe.  But - as above, the "sale" price, if from an EU business should be '0' rated for VAT in the EU country of supply, or the VAT paid ( to the Uk ) at source and the fact declared, which should compensate for it in the most part.  The same does not apply to 'private' sales, but there is always room to point that out to the seller in the hope of some 'consideration' on the price.....or.....amend the listed value accordingly on the CN23 form, which means the value of the VAT to be charged is discounted, albeit it will potentially affect any insurance cover. 


As far as the ROTW is concerned, certainly over the last decade that I have been buying and selling to North America, the Far East and some non EU, European countries the rules have been pretty 'static'.  Some of the problem is that that the system itself, as with the current VAT on 'on-line' EU to Uk sales, means you have to get in front of the potential pitfalls - if you can, because the system hasn't ironed out all of the cross channel process yet.




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13 hours ago, Sprunghub said:

I am sorry John, but I think you will find that is not correct.  You pay EITHER Import Duty on non EU Goods or VAT on goods from the EU.  You do not pay "both". It just so happens that the VAT rate - for goods from the EU and Import Duty for goods from the ROTW arriving into the Uk coincide at +/- 20%.


That does not fit my understanding. In the UK we have to pay VAT on imports from everywhere now, except for low-value gifts. It appears that the import duty for 9205901000 (Accordions and similar instruments) is currently 0% from the EU and 2% from the USA.




Edit: note that some goods (e.g. food, not concertinas) confusingly have a 0% VAT rate but might have a higher duty rate.

Edited by alex_holden
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Alex H & John W, I go 'some way' to concur and revise my input accordingly!......when the rules changed there was an emphasis on the Import Duty / VAT terminology "differential" in the information promoted by HM Gov around the 'VAT/Duty' process.  It appears that since the end of the Transition Period, terminology may have altered, BUT.....apart from the 2.5% tariff, the principal still applies that you do NOT get charged 20% Import Duty AND 20% VAT.  You are charged an import Tariff of 2.5% and then the same value as VAT, so 22.5% rather than 20% which is relatively negligible in the scheme of thngs, my apologies on that front for a mis-steer.  The fact remains......the 2.5% and the 20% are charged based on the 'declared value' and the "declared value" is a moveable feast to suit buyer/seller and their preparedness to take a risk on the insurance.  As Alex W suggests, there are rules for reduced ID & VAT for Antiques, over 100 years old on importation, but obtaining the evidence may cost more than the value of the potential discount and place an onerous responsibility in the 'seller' to provide.


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In response to the last couple of posts . . . An earlier message identified this instrument as being about 93 years old. 

The latest price is $3750

Payment will be made by buyer in three parts.
1) the appropriate commission will be paid to concertina.net

2) the balance will be made to the owner’s care giver who lives in Florida.
3) if being shipped, payment to reimburse me for shipping expenses


I will ship when all three payments have been received. 

Because I’m involved as the party who will be shipping, full insurance is a requirement.  This means that if it is being shipped out of the US, the actual sale price will be reported as the declared value. 

Again, I want to reiterate that I am not making any commission on this sale and so do not want to handle any money coming in as it will mess up my books.  I will however work with you to deal with any shipping issues and file any required insurance claims if need be. 

It really is a nice instrument that is very comparable to a wood ended Wheatstone Linota.  The raised ends are in great shape. 





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