U.S. Customs duty- where do you pay?

Thread: U.S. Customs duty- where do you pay?

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  1. #1
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    U.S. Customs duty- where do you pay?

    Dumb newbie question- if you order a watch from abroad (UK) and value is over $800, I understand there is U.S. duty owed, but WHERE do you go to pay it? If coming by international mail through USPS, do you pay at the post office? Thanks!

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    Re: U.S. Customs duty- where do you pay?

    USPS is great in the US because they ignore the customs fees 90% of the time and you owe nothing. I've had a couple $5000 items come in outside of the US and declared as such for insurance with $0 customs fees due. In the event that your luck is terrible and they impose customs fees upon you which happened once to me out of about 40 deliveries, it's payable upon delivery. Must be paid in either cash or check made out to the Postmaster. If you can't pay at the time of delivery, they'll bring it back to the Post Office and you'll have to bring payment there before they release the package to you.

    With FedEx, they contact you first and require your SSN and to fill out some dumb worksheet. Then they deliver. After a few weeks, they send you an invoice to pay via US Mail. They also add some ridiculous brokerage fee to the cost which USPS does not.

    DHL does the same thing as FedEx, though they require you to pay online before delivery. Also includes a dumb brokerage fee., but you'll still get trolled by US Borders & Customs and the package will be held until you send proof the item is authentic even if the proof is in the box. NEVER HAVE ANYTHING IMPORTANT IMPORTED VIA DHL!!

    I don't have experience with Int'l UPS packages, but I assume they do the same thing as FedEx.

    TL;DR: Your USPS package will likely have no customs fees due. Enjoy your Incoming!!
    Last edited by 6R15; June 9th, 2018 at 16:28.
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    From the OP: Thank you for the thorough explanation! Hoping to order a Christopher Ward soon!

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    Re: U.S. Customs duty- where do you pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by KathyF60 View Post
    From the OP: Thank you for the thorough explanation! Hoping to order a Christopher Ward soon!
    He is totally correct, I order expensive items from everywhere and I have NEVER had to pay duty or fees at the Post Office. That being said, I have never had a packet that UPS or DHL delivered from abroad that they did not collect fees for. All the major carriers act as their own customs brokerage house and charge you fees for their clearing services. If a seller won't send by mail, it is a deal breaker for me.

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    Re: U.S. Customs duty- where do you pay?

    You MIGHT not pay through USPS. That can depend on how the overseas shipper handles things. However, knowingly doing so, and advocating doing so, for the purpose of avoiding customs is tax evasion. And illegal. Now, ok, the base statement (USPS rarely is aware enough to catch that import duties should be collected) is not advocacy.

    With FedEx, FedEx now collects it at point of entry. When I got my Stowa in, it came FedEx. I got a bill and just mailed them a check. No form required. OK, this wasn't the first such instance, and the details supplied by the seller may well matter...if they're giving FedEx incomplete info at the time of drop-off, then forms might be needed.
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    Re: U.S. Customs duty- where do you pay?

    I have a situation where I am contemplating the purchase of a used item from Germany to California. How do I get the German seller to ship so that it will be handled by USPS here and not DHL or Fedex?

  8. #7
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    Re: U.S. Customs duty- where do you pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy_Jake View Post
    I have a situation where I am contemplating the purchase of a used item from Germany to California. How do I get the German seller to ship so that it will be handled by USPS here and not DHL or Fedex?
    USPS typically handles packages that are shipped by other national postal services, so try specifying Deutsche Post in your case (though they're privatized & took over DHL, so you're probably out of luck).
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