FedEx Shipping Problem From US to Germany...

Thread: FedEx Shipping Problem From US to Germany...

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  1. #1
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    FedEx Shipping Problem From US to Germany...

    I was just checking my FedEx corporate account online and noticed that I was charged $210 USD in German VAT charges for the Prodiver I just sent back to Stowa for service. That is in addition to the $75 USD charge I paid to ship the watch "international economy". I just got off the phone with FedEx and they said that they cannot do anything for me regarding a refund of the VAT charges. They told me it was because I checked the "Bill Sender" box on the international airbill. So it looks like I have two separate problems. The first is that I filled out the forms exactly like the FedEx rep told me to. The second is that German customs charged me import duties on an item originally manufactured in Germany that was accompanied by a customs declaration that clearly said the item was a used watch being sent for repair. Has anyone here had a similar experience and if so, how did you get your money back. TIA, Scott

  2. #2
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    Re: FedEx Shipping Problem From US to Germany...

    Hey Scott (thanks Mao-Chi for bringing this to my attention),

    I'm sorry to hear about the shipping problem. I don't know if there's any way to recoup your loss, unfortunately, but I hope there is.

    For others sending watches to Stowa: contact Stowa before you send the item so that you know whether they will pay for shipping or not (I have no idea whether they do for every watch, some, or how they decide). When I sent my FO LE (now Mao-Chi's FO LE) for the scheduled service, Stowa gave me their FedEx account number to use on the forms (marking the box for "Bill Recipient"). When the watch was returned to me by Stowa, I did, of course, have a small customs charge for the return (maybe $25 or so).

    *If you are shipping a watch on your own dime there are two things you should know. 1) Don't check the "Bill Sender" box for customs charges, and 2) Don't use FedEx unless you have separate insurance--they don't cover above $500 for watches (no matter what extra insurance you think you are paying for--the fine print rules it out). Use USPS International, which does allow insurance.

    Cheers,
    Daniel

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply Daniel...

    I think I figured out how this happened. I did a little math and discovered that the VAT amount that German customs charged me was based on the amount of insurance that I purchased, which was $1000 USD. (FWIW FedEx upped the limit on jewelry, including watches, to $1000 a few weeks ago. The FedEx rep showed me the info.) It looks like even though the phrase "men's stainless steel wristwatch for repair" appeared 3 times on the FedEx Airbill and customs forms the German customs agent thought that a German citizen had purchased the watch from me. I filed a dispute with FedEx since they brokered the package as part of their fees. According to the rep I spoke to late this afternoon FedEx will clarify the customs declaration with the German authorities and hopefully issue a refund. I also emailed Regine to see if they could do anything on their end. I hope this gets taken care of since I only paid $1240 for the watch originally and now I have an extra $400 not including the service into fixing some drop damage.

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  5. #4
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    Re: FedEx Shipping Problem From US to Germany...

    Quote Originally Posted by expwmbat View Post
    Hey Scott (thanks Mao-Chi for bringing this to my attention),

    I'm sorry to hear about the shipping problem. I don't know if there's any way to recoup your loss, unfortunately, but I hope there is.

    For others sending watches to Stowa: contact Stowa before you send the item so that you know whether they will pay for shipping or not (I have no idea whether they do for every watch, some, or how they decide). When I sent my FO LE (now Mao-Chi's FO LE) for the scheduled service, Stowa gave me their FedEx account number to use on the forms (marking the box for "Bill Recipient"). When the watch was returned to me by Stowa, I did, of course, have a small customs charge for the return (maybe $25 or so).

    *If you are shipping a watch on your own dime there are two things you should know. 1) Don't check the "Bill Sender" box for customs charges, and 2) Don't use FedEx unless you have separate insurance--they don't cover above $500 for watches (no matter what extra insurance you think you are paying for--the fine print rules it out). Use USPS International, which does allow insurance.

    Cheers,
    Daniel
    Hi Daniel,

    As usual, you are always willing to share your knowledgeable information with others. Thanks.

    BTW, you have good taste in watches. Besides the FO LE, your MIH, Chopard and JLC Dualmatic are very beautiful.

    Best,

    Mao-Chi

  6. #5
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    Re: FedEx Shipping Problem From US to Germany...

    Dear Scott,

    please forward us all related papers and we will check.

    It is definitively wrong that you have to pay for a watch which comes for repair to us.

    And if so you get back the money.

    Please send everything to [email protected] and we will try to figure out what happened.

    There will be a solution - as always !



    best regards

    Jörg Schauer
    Last edited by stuffler,mike; July 8th, 2009 at 11:33.

  7. #6
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    This is one reason I love Stowa/Schauer...

    The attention to customer service even when it isn't an issue directly related to Stowa is fantastic. As Jorg suggests I'm going to scan and email the airbill to Stowa so they can check into it for me.
    FWIW I called FedEx again and spoke to an agent in the customs department. My guess about the VAT being based on the insurance amount was correct. In FedEx's published rules you cannot buy insurance on an item for more than the customs declared value. It appears that German customs saw the declared value on the form and missed the part about the package being an item for repair and re-export. I feel pretty good about this being taken care of but even if it isn't I hope this thread doesn't keep anyone from buying a Stowa. It certainly isn't going to stop me from buying another.
    Regards, Scott

  8. #7
    UFN
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    Re: This is one reason I love Stowa/Schauer...

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottH View Post
    It appears that German customs saw the declared value on the form and missed the part about the package being an item for repair and re-export.
    IME, in many European countries unless you are a company that regularly imports/exports stuff for repair, you may well be billed on import and then told that you can claim back the VAT when you have proof that the item was in fact re-exported. With VAT-rates from 15-25% across EU if it was possible for individuals to do this you would probably see a massive influx of items being returned for repair :D


    /U.
    Have:
    - Rolex YachtMaster (Ref. 16622)
    - IWC Ingenieur White (Ref. 3228)
    - IWC Ingenieur"Plastiki" (Ref. 3236)
    - Stowa Chrono (white)
    - Stowa Marine Original (white/blue)
    - Stowa Antea KS41 (white)
    - Tissot PRS200 Quartz Chrono

    Had:
    - JLC Master Hometime (i miss this one...)
    - IWC Spitfire Chrono (Ref. 3717)
    - Stowa F LE 2801 (2009) #5/100
    - Schauer Einzeiger Schwarz #26/100

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