International shipping: clearing customs

I’ve been in touch with Japanese customs to try to figure out how I will pay customs tax (unit price plus shipping *.08, by the way).

The answers have been a bit unclear. The last one was the most specific: “If an international courier service company have made a customs clearance procedure on behalf of you, please pay the tax to the company.”

Can anyone tell me if I need to hire a company to get the GF through customs, or can I do the customs clearance procedure myself? And, if I do it myself, will the GF get to my doorstep automatically, or will i have to arrange extra shipping from the port?

I know this will vary by country, but if anyone has any general information then that would help me know the right questions to ask next time I contact customs. TIA!

Obviously I can’t speak for Japanese customs however I can tell you the process in the UK. It may be similar or put your mind to rest. Basically, when the delivery company in the UK receives the unit they use the customs declaration to work out what you should be paying. They will contact you directly to arrange payment. The last time this happened to me, I made a payment over the phone (after checking the validity of the shipment first :smiley:) and then the shipment was delivered. It was pretty simple.

I guess the problem will come in checking whether you are paying the right amount of money. This is something I cannot help with unfortunately.

Thanks @glen!

Has anyone paid customs in India? I wish to get an idea before choosing my shipping address

I meant if self shipped.

Mine is going to arrive on Monday, March 19th. It’s funny how everything arrives so fast. It has already happened that I already had the starter material arrive, when I received an email from Glowforge that they just shipped :stuck_out_tongue:

Same thing with the GF. I e-mailed them with a question and they also added that it will ship soon and I’ll get tracking info. It’s almost here already though! :smiley:

Anyways, back on topic.

I ordered as company. Here in Slovenia I just marked that the VAT will be self calculated by our accountant. We don’t have to pay anything as we are VAT registered in Slovenia.

All I have to pay is import tax, which is normally charged by your local UPS or the company that will do the final delivery. They might ask you to inform them of what’s inside the package and add an invoice. I also sent them the Slovene code for taxing Laser cutters which I found on our government page. They will, based on that, calculate the import tax.

So if you’re a VAT registered company, you don’t have to pay VAT, or you get it back later. You have to pay import tax and any additional fees that might occur.

Everyone else has to pay VAT and import tax and the extra fees.

It might be different where you live, but I don’t think it’s that much different.

I recommend calling your local UPS and asking them. If you don’t have UPS in your country, call your local post service for more info. I just called our only airport and asked them to transfer me to customs :slight_smile: And they then transferred me around a bit, and I got the right person in the end, which was actually some UPS guy.

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