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Hi all. I have a question I am hoping someone can help me with. I am considering purchasing a watch from a german jeweler. Will I have to pay any customs charges having it shipped to the USA? I have never bought a watch from overseas so I'm a little hesitant about the transaction and want to know what to expect. Thanks for any guidance you might be able to give me.
 

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Well, it depends. Some add the customs charges to the price so you don't pay anything additional when it arrives though most do not. Personally, I've found that our customs officials less than diligent when it comes to collecting customs fees and I often pay nothing even when fees are due. Lastly, our customs fees are significantly lower than what citizens of coutries in the EU or even Canada pay, so it shouldn't be a huge concern.
 

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Well, you could start by checking out the US Customs website for a general overview of the process as well as the Harmonized Tariff for clocks and watches.

What you might be paying in terms of customs duties depends on the watch itself, material, value, movement, bracelet/strap, percentage of value split between the components and other details. It also depends on when (during the year/before christmas) and how it is entering the country (UPS/Fedex etc.). In my experience, any shipment with Fedex has been most likely to get a detailed inspection resulting in customs duties. There are way too many variables and I bet you anyone here could tell you a different story with their pesonal experiences. In general, you might expect about 5%-6% of the value in customs duties plus depending on the shipping carrier, a $25 to $35 "brokerage fee" that UPS or Fedex take for their services to clear customs for you.

BUT, in any case, make sure to NOT to import any alligator or other exotic leather straps with your watch; you will need proper documentation (CITES etc.) as well as an import license if you don't want to risk seizure of the strap including any watch it might be attached to.

Cheers

Matt





 

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I could've sworn that Tiggercat posted up a great piece about this very topic before the crash. I know he's on another forum as well and have found a link to that post there (sorry if this isn't allowed, moderators feel free to delete if not):
http://www.orientalwatchsite.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=821
 

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I'll follow my mom's advice and not say anything at all
;-)
 

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Basically if its under $200 in value and comes in via the regular postal system (USPS from the foreign equivalent) then its duty free according to the regs. UPS and FedEx and other non-official postal carriers are open to duty for any value and the shipper themselves can pass the cost of complying with those regulations to the receipient (and FedEx DOES in a BIG way often). Best advice I've seen anywhere - be patient and ask that the item be sent via the regular post. It takes longer but you get it for far less often than the "quick" route with FedEx. Good luck.
 

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Docrwm said:
Basically if its under $200 in value and comes in via the regular postal system (USPS from the foreign equivalent) then its duty free according to the regs. UPS and FedEx and other non-official postal carriers are open to duty for any value and the shipper themselves can pass the cost of complying with those regulations to the receipient (and FedEx DOES in a BIG way often). Best advice I've seen anywhere - be patient and ask that the item be sent via the regular post. It takes longer but you get it for far less often than the "quick" route with FedEx. Good luck.
I wish it was free under $200,- here too. It won't be the first time I have to pay $30,- customs costs for a $20,- watch:-( Any item worth more than €20,- including shipping can be caught by the customs. At the moment my watches pass them without being noticed, but someimes I can't get a package in from outside the E.U. without Customs bill.

Cheers,

Sjors
 

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I've never bought a watch from overseas that was so expensive that I needed to worry about it .. but I have got a lot of christmas orniments, birthday gifts, product samples um... can't remember all the creative crap I have got that looked just like a watch!
 
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