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nickharv

Customs Duty

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Hi,

Just a question to see if others have the same problems as me, 

I am a regular visitor to the U2 Store and am frequently adding to my U2 collection - however recently (as in last 6 months) almost everything I buy doesn't get delivered until I pay the Post Office a customs fee first (I live in the UK by the way).

Surely Live Nation or the distributor should prepay customs on items as its their choice to ship from the US? Am amazed there is no European distribution centre for U2 as last time I looked they seemed quite popular in Europe !!!

Anyone else have the same Experience?

Nick

 

 

 

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I had it happen once (maybe twice?) a few years back, but not recently. No idea why there's sometimes a customs fee and sometimes not. It does suck having to pay even more when the items are quite expensive to begin with.

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I tossed this out to folks on my Twitter acct and received many replies. When the subscriber GIFT is sent, it's labeled as merchandise on the customs form. A gift is a gift, right? For many years subscribers in Europe have had to pay customs fees on the "free" gift - sometimes higher than the cost of the subscription as Live Nation puts the value higher than the cost of the subscription given the type of gift it is. (Book / Vinyl / Posters). None of this is disclosed at the time of the subscription. A gift is a gift and therefore there should be no customs fees incurred as it is a gift.

I've heard from fans in the UK who have purchased tour merchandise from the U2com shop and have to pay customs fees as high as £18.85  on top of £18.95 p+p. Once again, customs fees were not disclosed at the time of the purchase in the U2com shop.

Others have responded to say that this has been going on for years and wonder why there isn't a European distribution centre for the goods. 

While I'm in the U.S. and this isn't an issue for me, I am upset that other fans are having to pay customs duties for things that they really shouldn't have to...and for goods that they might need to, that it isn't disclosed at the time of purchase by Live Nation's merchandise department. I'm glad that @nickharv has started this thread. As the next subscriber GIFT will be coming in the next month or so, I'm hoping we can get Live Nation's distribution department to change the label on the shipments to indicate the item as a GIFT and not as merchandise. It is labeled as a GIFT in the fine print of the news article: "
A limited edition double CD & digital release capturing the i+e Tour and the e+i Tour is the 2019 special gift for U2.com Subscribers." (https://www.u2.com/news/title/innocence--experience-live-2015--2018/news/) - as it is a gift, customs duty should not be applied!

I hope the ZooMods can send this up the chain with the hopes that something can be done about it. Thanks again for starting the thread!

 

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In Belgium, the membership gift IS indeed labeled as a gift (since I complained years ago when I did have to pay €10 customs)

I don’t know how they label their merchandise though. I haven’t  ordered  anything in years (and thus not used my coupon in years),...

I’m not even sure the goods come from the US?  What is the czech republic mention for??

9F2C9F5C-9877-4C56-A14B-632073A47A57.jpeg

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Sherry, as on twitter (I am Sabine from U2tour.de) I, unfortunately, have to disagree. Under German Customs Law (maybe even European) a company cannot send gifts. While the membership gifts are labelled as gifts (and have been for years), they are actually a part of a package that I paid for and thus, should be labelled as that.

Situation in Germany is as follows (and has been for me at least 9 times out of the past 13 years): we get a notice from the mail service that the package is at the customs office and all applicable forms. You can then:
1. either pay EUR 28.50 plus customs fees to the mail service that they do all necessary customs work for you
2. Go to the customs office yourself and pick the package up. In my case (and I live rather close to the customs office, others have to drive 50-60 miles one way) this means taking off time from work (due to the opening hours), wasting at the very least 2 hours of time for the way and waiting time, paying parking fees and last year also paying customs fees. At least all the other years I was able to avoid that through long discussions.

This is the case for (estimated) 80 per cent of the German fans regarding the membership gifts, taking into account the feedback we receive in our forum and via our social media acounts.. We have addressed that numerous times with Live Nation as this situation is inacceptable but never received an answer. The membership gifts cannot be labelled as gifts (possibly better as membership pack or similar) and should state a realistic value! (up to ca. 25 USD would be ok). Otherwise the customs office will either take the full membership fee or even the value they research via ebay or discogs as base for their own evaluation. Btw, quite a number of German fans do not pick the packages up at all but let them be returned to the (European!!!) return address only to ask for them to be sent again and again until they acutally by chance are delivered directly....

What is really, really ridiculous, btw, is that the past few vinyls were produced in Europe, were shipped to the US and then sent back to Europe so that we had to pay customs. How much sense does that make? (not taking into account the ecological footprint...)

Regarding u2.com: I never order there! Why? Ridiculously high postage to Europe, plus enormously long shipping times, plus customs fees and the time I have to waste with the customs office....I am quite certain that sales would increase enormously, if European fans (of an actually European band) would be treated differently.

Just my two cents ;)

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P.S.
What I forgot to mention very clearly: a pro-forma invoice with a realistic amount (e.g. USD 20) needs to be included with the membership gift package. When being cited to the customs office, we always HAVE to bring an invoice. As the only invoice we have is the one for the full membership fee, this is often the amount that the customs officers take as base to calculate the customs fee. In any case, the customs office always requires an invoice!

Again and very clearly: the gifts have been labelled as gifts to Germany for years now and did not include a required pro-forma invoice and that is the problem!

If anyone is interested in reading it from an official source (English): https://www.zoll.de/EN/Private-individuals/Postal_consignments_internet_order/Shipments-to-Germany/Duties-and-taxes/Gifts/gifts_node.html
Gifts can only be sent from private individuals to other private individuals. Everything else is a Commercial consignment and is only free of customs duty and Import VAT when its value is under EUR 22 (https://www.zoll.de/EN/Private-individuals/Postal_consignments_internet_order/Shipments-to-Germany/Duties-and-taxes/Consignments-of-negligible-value/consignments-of-negligible-value_node.html)

Edited by schisa01

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On 1/13/2019 at 9:23 AM, Sherry said:

I tossed this out to folks on my Twitter acct and received many replies. When the subscriber GIFT is sent, it's labeled as merchandise on the customs form. A gift is a gift, right? For many years subscribers in Europe have had to pay customs fees on the "free" gift - sometimes higher than the cost of the subscription as Live Nation puts the value higher than the cost of the subscription given the type of gift it is. (Book / Vinyl / Posters). None of this is disclosed at the time of the subscription. A gift is a gift and therefore there should be no customs fees incurred as it is a gift.

I've heard from fans in the UK who have purchased tour merchandise from the U2com shop and have to pay customs fees as high as £18.85  on top of £18.95 p+p. Once again, customs fees were not disclosed at the time of the purchase in the U2com shop.

Others have responded to say that this has been going on for years and wonder why there isn't a European distribution centre for the goods. 

While I'm in the U.S. and this isn't an issue for me, I am upset that other fans are having to pay customs duties for things that they really shouldn't have to...and for goods that they might need to, that it isn't disclosed at the time of purchase by Live Nation's merchandise department. I'm glad that @nickharv has started this thread. As the next subscriber GIFT will be coming in the next month or so, I'm hoping we can get Live Nation's distribution department to change the label on the shipments to indicate the item as a GIFT and not as merchandise. It is labeled as a GIFT in the fine print of the news article: "
A limited edition double CD & digital release capturing the i+e Tour and the e+i Tour is the 2019 special gift for U2.com Subscribers." (https://www.u2.com/news/title/innocence--experience-live-2015--2018/news/) - as it is a gift, customs duty should not be applied!

I hope the ZooMods can send this up the chain with the hopes that something can be done about it. Thanks again for starting the thread!

 

Hi Sherry --

There is a UK distribution center. Most of what I get from the store comes from the UK to Canada. So the question should be why they aren't using that to service customers in Europe? The last items I was sent in December all came from the UK, although on occasion I get material from the US as well. In the case of Canada they ship from the US routinely, but if something isn't available in the US, they then will ship from the UK instead.

But on the gift, please DO NOT suggest that it be labeled a gift on the tag with no value.  A gift being sent from a corporation? It always flags the item for customs in my case. Which results in the 'gift' being opened, examined, sometimes damaged, and delays things quite a bit. Even a gift must be assigned value in Canada on our customs declaration, and not doing so only makes the package look suspicious. The last package, the 3-D dance mixes, were sent with a low value on the customs declaration, and that worked far better (I think it was listed as $5). And yes, in Canada, it is the law, that customs duty can be charged on gifts. I've added the documentation below. You can see it clearly states that a gift cannot be sent by a business.  And in the past marking these as gifts has caused hassle for some.  It will likely be different for every country.  I know it sucks having to pay duty on a gift, but attempting to get around that by setting it to a zero value or marking it as a gift only raises suspicions and increases the chances you aren't going to get the gift or it will be heavily delayed.

From the Canada Customs and Border Agency website:

Gifts

For an item to qualify as a "gift", a friend or relative must send it to you personally and include a card or other notice indicating that it is a gift.

  • If you receive an imported gift by mail that is worth CAN$60 or less, you will not have to pay duty and/or tax on it.
  • If the gift is worth more than CAN$60, you will have to pay any applicable duty and/or taxes on any amount over CAN$60.
    • For example, if a relative sends you a gift worth CAN$200, you must pay any applicable duty, GST or HST and/or PST on CAN$140.

Items that do not qualify for the CAN$60 gift exemption include the following:

  • tobacco;
  • alcoholic beverages;
  • advertising material; and
  • items sent by a business.

As well, the CAN$60 gift exemption cannot be combined with the CAN$20 exemption that is available on most items valued at CAN$20 or less.

Edited by AJ2

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Is there any chance to forward this problems to someone at LN/Fanfire who is in charge with the shipping of the subscribers gifts?

To solve most of the above problems just a few small changes have to be made:

1) Not marking it as a "gift" on the customs declaration

2) Insert a "realistic" value on the customs declaration of for example 20 USD.

I'm sure it is not much work for LN/Fanfire to do so but someone who is responsible there has to do anything. Maybe the Zootopia Mods have any contact to them?

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On 2/9/2019 at 7:14 AM, Zargor said:

Is there any chance to forward this problems to someone at LN/Fanfire who is in charge with the shipping of the subscribers gifts?

To solve most of the above problems just a few small changes have to be made:

1) Not marking it as a "gift" on the customs declaration

2) Insert a "realistic" value on the customs declaration of for example 20 USD.

I'm sure it is not much work for LN/Fanfire to do so but someone who is responsible there has to do anything. Maybe the Zootopia Mods have any contact to them?

Yes - gathering all the info and suggestions as they come in and forwarding to the u2comteam.

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I've never had to pay a custom charge for something from U2.com.

 

However I did spend $150 on the Eminem online store and they still charged me £27 quid custom charge at the post office. 

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