Temporarily shipping a watch internationally for repairs. How are import taxes handled?
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Thread: Temporarily shipping a watch internationally for repairs. How are import taxes handled?

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  1. #1
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    Temporarily shipping a watch internationally for repairs. How are import taxes handled?

    Hi all,

    I will be shipping a fairly expensive (~9k) watch internationally - US to France - in order to have some repairs done to the watch. Insurance-wise I am covered, but unfortunately, I can't find any information on how this will work in relation to customs and import duties.

    The manufacturer asked if I had a local jeweler that would be able to process a temporary import for me. I do not, as there are no jewelers which sell this watch brand in the US.

    It seems that if I declare the value of the watch on the customs / duties forms, I may be charged import duties both in France and again in US when it comes back. Essentially paying import taxes twice again on a watch I have already paid import taxes on.

    To anyone who has shipped a watch directly to the manufacturer, internationally, for service or repairs before - how did you handle this situation?

    Thanks in advance!
    Current Collection: Tudor Pelagos Blue, JLC Master Geographic, Seagull 1963

  2. #2
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    Re: Temporarily shipping a watch internationally for repairs. How are import taxes handled?

    I wondered about this myself. I think the charges would be applied, but there has to be a way to file for exemption. The govts assume by default that all shipping is trade, but there are lots of reasons to ship other than buying and selling goods.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Member odd_and_vintage_fan's Avatar
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    Re: Temporarily shipping a watch internationally for repairs. How are import taxes handled?

    I've shipped one of a much lower value for repair. I marked: "Watch- repair and return" on the customs form. No issues.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Temporarily shipping a watch internationally for repairs. How are import taxes handled?

    Well definitely let us know. I've got a vintage Longines heading to Saint Imier for authenticity and was wondering what it would eventually cost customs wise. And in the future I'm going to need to send in at least two Longines (too complicated to not send), an Omega (I'm not going to let anyone else work on Snoopy), a B&M (too complicated) for service so it would be nice to know.
    Current Collection - | Ball | Bvlgari | Casio | Citizen | Credor | Girard-Perregaux | Graham | Gübelin | Hamilton | Jaeger-LeCoultre | Longines | Minase | Mühle Glashütte | NOMOS Glashütte | Omega | Rolex | Seiko | Swatch | Undone | Vacheron Constantin | Victorinox Swiss Army |
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  6. #5
    Member NightOwl's Avatar
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    Re: Temporarily shipping a watch internationally for repairs. How are import taxes handled?

    The first time I sent a watch internationally for service the manufacturer specially told me to mark it “watch repair & return” on the customs form. No issues. Subsequently I’ve sent many watches in the $4K-$7K range to various places around the world for service (Japan, Germany, and Switzerland) and used the “watch repair & return” and never been hit with customs charges.
    Zama and bb-man like this.
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  7. #6
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    Re: Temporarily shipping a watch internationally for repairs. How are import taxes handled?

    Quote Originally Posted by NightOwl View Post
    The first time I sent a watch internationally for service the manufacturer specially told me to mark it “watch repair & return” on the customs form. No issues. Subsequently I’ve sent many watches in the $4K-$7K range to various places around the world for service (Japan, Germany, and Switzerland) and used the “watch repair & return” and never been hit with customs charges.
    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply. May I ask if you also wrote the the value of the watch on the customs form in addition to "watch repair and return"?

    Thanks!
    Current Collection: Tudor Pelagos Blue, JLC Master Geographic, Seagull 1963

  8. #7
    Member Gunnar_917's Avatar
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    Re: Temporarily shipping a watch internationally for repairs. How are import taxes handled?

    Do you have proof of ownership of the watch? If you do you can alway suse that to prove that this is not a purchase when the question is asked

  9. #8
    Member NightOwl's Avatar
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    Re: Temporarily shipping a watch internationally for repairs. How are import taxes handled?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zama View Post
    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply. May I ask if you also wrote the the value of the watch on the customs form in addition to "watch repair and return"?

    Thanks!
    I did fully declare the value.

    If someone in customs messes up you can dispute the charges and emphasize it’s a repair and not a new purchase.

    Personally, I’d rather comply with customs laws but It’s not uncommon for folks to declare a nominal value.
    Zama likes this.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Temporarily shipping a watch internationally for repairs. How are import taxes handled?

    Quote Originally Posted by NightOwl View Post
    I did fully declare the value.

    If someone in customs messes up you can dispute the charges and emphasize it’s a repair and not a new purchase.

    Personally, I’d rather comply with customs laws but It’s not uncommon for folks to declare a nominal value.
    It looks like I can fill out a CBP 4455 form to be safe. Just have to drive into the local CBP field office and harrass them into signing it with me.
    Current Collection: Tudor Pelagos Blue, JLC Master Geographic, Seagull 1963

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