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Kiran

US customs import limit for individuals

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Kiran

Unfortunately, I discovered the joys of RG Rokko's offer to hold my purchases and ship them all at once when the Kato Thalys PBA set is available. I kept on adding trains am now at 159,950 yen. I am beginning to wonder if I should have them split the purchases into 2 or more packages. What is the US customs limit on purchases from other countries when you are not actually traveling to that country? I found this on CBP but I think this is for people who are returning to the US https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/kbyg/customs-duty-info#:~:text=Mailing and Shipping Goods - Customs Duty Guidance&text=Up to %241%2C600 in goods,a flat rate (3%)..

 

Thanks in advance for any info.

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roadstar_na6

I doubt there is any limit for importing stuff as an individual person from overseas. I mean, they make money in taxes and customs off your purchase, so why limit it? 😄

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Kiran

Right. What would be the customs duty I would have to pay for something like $1600? I guess my question should have been what is the value at which they charge customs duty?

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roadstar_na6

You‘ll probably have to pay whatever VAT is there in the US + a percentage of the value in taxes. I don‘t know the numbers in the US, but here in Germany it‘s:

 

(Item‘s Value + x% customs) + 7% or 16% taxes

 

I guess it‘s not a big difference on how it‘s handled in the US, apart from different percentages?

Edited by roadstar_na6

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cteno4

Kiran,

 

Luckily no duty limits on shipments not associated with travel. So far state sales tax here has not gone internationally successfully yet for us. When I looked a long time back importing toys had no us duty from japan to the us (but linear accelerators did). The customs doc you linked to is for travel and sending stuff home from your trip. 
 

that being said at a certain point it’s safer to do a couple smaller boxes and sometimes cheaper shipping (although probably not so with DHL like it was with Sal and ems) with a couple smaller boxes. DHL does not come with any real insurance, that must be purchased separately and starts at $20 it appears (murky looking at their site). Not sure what the insurance Max’s out at if you add them or boost from any included amounts,

 

jeff

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chadbag

I've never had any problems with any size of shipment from other countries.  Had a $3k UPS from Germany from the modelbahn lippe people and other similarly large ($1k-$2.5k from Germany and Japan) at times.  DHL or UPS to the door.

 

You need to look up your own state's use tax and how to file and pay it if you care.

 

@roadstar_na6  The US does not have a VAT.  Each state (most of them) has something similar (to the end user) called sales tax, but technically it is different from a VAT and is also not added to the price in-built but is added at the time of payment / checkout.  (So if you go to a US website and see a product for $50, that does not include sales tax).  Since the sales tax is a state matter, and not a federal tax matter, the shipping companies and customs departments don't care and don't come looking for tax from you when they deliver.  Not all states have a sales tax and the ones that do also have something called a use tax, which is basically a sales tax for things you buy elsewhere and did not pay a tax on at time of sale. You are supposed to figure that out yourself and file and pay it (usually as part of your yearly state income tax return).  I don't think many people are aware or worry about it and I am pretty sure that the state tax departments, when they get a use tax payment (non-business), have heart attacks.  (Note that if you buy something from another state and pay the sales tax in that state, you are not supposed to also file the use tax in your own state since it was taxed at the time of sale even if not by the state where you eventually ended up with the product).

 

With regards to tariffs and the like on the US Federal side, each category of products has a tariff level.  The level for general toys, of which model trains are a part, is "Free" (0%).  See Chapter 95 on this site: https://hts.usitc.gov/current

 

This is why customs does not come after you.  I imported a bunch of those IR controlled RC tanks about 12-15 years ago to sell at gun shows.  Had no issues with customs because of this.

 

Edited by chadbag

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cteno4

Yep the tariffs only come in when you start importing those damn linear accelerators! I think you can now get some exclusions if for medical research...

 

jeff

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Kiran

Thanks all for the info.

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