Why do you have to pay customs to get devices shipped to the UK?

Say I was to buy an iPad in the US and bring it home, I wouldn't pay customs -- is that right? What does the customs charge actually cover?

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matt101101 / MOD  Jul. 16, 2012 at 15:14

VAT, if you got caught with that iPad, you'd still have to pay VAT on it.

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 16, 2012 at 16:36

If you buy one in the US, set it up there, and have it on you as if you always used it.
But even that can be dicey if your customs facilitator had a bad breakfast.
I recently ordered something that is only available in the US (not tech related). I ended up paying 2 1/2 times what you'd pay in a wallmart. Irish VAT, import 'duty' - basically their pay to process... well, the VAT payment, I suppose.
Countries work like mafia families. We protect you, you pay. Otherwise, the cops come and boil your bunny. (okay, different movie, but it introduces sociopathy :p )

matt101101 / MOD  Jul. 16, 2012 at 16:45

Import from Germany. Stuff tends to be cheaper than it is in the UK, and there's no duty to pay as Germany's part of the EU. Also helps that the Euro has fallen in value vs the Pound in recent months.

matt101101 / MOD  Jul. 16, 2012 at 16:46

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 16, 2012 at 16:51

...also: I have family in Germany hahaha they'll never see a penny :p

matt101101 / MOD  Jul. 16, 2012 at 16:59

I bet the German people are really pleased they're in a single currency with Greece, Spain, Italy et al. I don't know how the Euro is going to be sorted out, but something needs to happen. These German bargains are too good to be true, compared to what we can get here in the UK :p.


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