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  # 1681366 2-Dec-2016 16:29
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3 years wouldn't be an excuse as i think the IRD requires that sort of record be kept for 7. The gst on an old laptop might be less than the cost of retrieving the file from storage.



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  # 1683039 6-Dec-2016 07:57
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More revelations. I finally decided to pay the $173.40 charge that had been levied against my $NZ833 transaction with B&H Photo in New York.

 

However, I felt it was worth a try to first talk to NZ Customs and see if there was any way that the fee could be waived.

 

I'd also asked B&H what would be the ramifications of me (well, actually Fedex, because they're in possession of my camera) returning the camera.

 

Big surprise. Not only had Fedex already paid the charge, but the process wasn't even handled by them. A third-party broker had made the payment. Which possibly explains the tacked-on $49 over and above the 15% GST.

 

In other words, the choice about whether or not I would pay the fee was never mine. Obviously, with NZ Customs having already been paid, they'd be most unlikely to waive or modify the fee.

 

I think I've been railroaded.

 

On the positive side, at least I'll have my new second-hand camera for Xmas. I just hope it's worth it.

 

BTW, B&H told me that they 'usually refund the customer in full' in a situation like this.

 

However, at the very least, I'm sure I would have been up for the return freight charge. It was $NZ65 incoming - gawd knows what it would have been going back to USA. After more NZ broker's fees, probably 500 bucks.

 

They say experience is always expensive. Amen to that.

 

At least someone out there in "considering-buying-a camera-from overseas-land" might read this and be forewarned. Good luck!

 

BTW: As I conclude this, I see one one of Mauricio's revenue-gathering advertisements directly below the window. A super-duper Canon camera on Amazon for only $859. How nice. And only another $NZ590 to get it into your hot little hands.

 

 

 

 





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  # 1683045 6-Dec-2016 08:31
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I think the $49 is an inspection fee charged by either MAF (or what ever name they answer to these days) or Customs. If you you get pinged for GST you also get pinged the inspection fee.

 

Certainly a bit of a rude awakening for you. I would have expected have paid GST on that value.

 

Once the value of the item plus postage is approaching the GST limit you have to seriously ask you yourself if the deal makes sense. Sometimes the price of that item bought locally isn't so bad after all plus you get local warranty and support.

 

 

 

So far as bringing your own property back into the country, whether it be on you or by courier/mail etc, if that item is likely to attract GST on your return you should get an export certificate before you leave. That way you won't have to pay on your return. Same would apply for sending an item for repair.





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  # 1683049 6-Dec-2016 08:43
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geekIT:

 

More revelations. I finally decided to pay the $173.40 charge that had been levied against my $NZ833 transaction with B&H Photo in New York.

 

However, I felt it was worth a try to first talk to NZ Customs and see if there was any way that the fee could be waived.

 

I'd also asked B&H what would be the ramifications of me (well, actually Fedex, because they're in possession of my camera) returning the camera.

 

Big surprise. Not only had Fedex already paid the charge, but the process wasn't even handled by them. A third-party broker had made the payment. Which possibly explains the tacked-on $49 over and above the 15% GST.

 

In other words, the choice about whether or not I would pay the fee was never mine. Obviously, with NZ Customs having already been paid, they'd be most unlikely to waive or modify the fee.

 

I think I've been railroaded.

 

On the positive side, at least I'll have my new second-hand camera for Xmas. I just hope it's worth it.

 

BTW, B&H told me that they 'usually refund the customer in full' in a situation like this.

 

However, at the very least, I'm sure I would have been up for the return freight charge. It was $NZ65 incoming - gawd knows what it would have been going back to USA. After more NZ broker's fees, probably 500 bucks.

 

They say experience is always expensive. Amen to that.

 

At least someone out there in "considering-buying-a camera-from overseas-land" might read this and be forewarned. Good luck!

 

BTW: As I conclude this, I see one one of Mauricio's revenue-gathering advertisements directly below the window. A super-duper Canon camera on Amazon for only $859. How nice. And only another $NZ590 to get it into your hot little hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You would never have got it waived. You bought GOODS overseas. You must pay GOODS and services Tax bringing it into NZ.

 

The $49 is also unavoidable. It gets added to every transaction (it is called the IETF - Import Entry Transaction Fee).

 

From Customs Website: 

 

 

 

Import entry transaction fee

 

 

 

An import entry transaction fee (IETF) of NZ$29.26 (GST inclusive) is payable on every import entry clearance and import declaration for goods.

 

 

Note: A Ministry for Primary Industries biosecurity system entry levy of NZ$19.98 (GST inclusive) is payable on every entry on which an IETF is payable and is collected by Customs at the same time as the IETF.

 

 

Rate: Combined fee is: NZ$49.24 (GST inclusive)

 

 


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  # 1683054 6-Dec-2016 08:50
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geekIT:

 

More revelations. I finally decided to pay the $173.40 charge that had been levied against my $NZ833 transaction with B&H Photo in New York.

 

However, I felt it was worth a try to first talk to NZ Customs and see if there was any way that the fee could be waived.

 

I'd also asked B&H what would be the ramifications of me (well, actually Fedex, because they're in possession of my camera) returning the camera.

 

Big surprise. Not only had Fedex already paid the charge, but the process wasn't even handled by them. A third-party broker had made the payment. Which possibly explains the tacked-on $49 over and above the 15% GST.

 

In other words, the choice about whether or not I would pay the fee was never mine. Obviously, with NZ Customs having already been paid, they'd be most unlikely to waive or modify the fee.

 

 

Firstly I'm not sure on why you think you shouldn't pay the fee. What makes your goods any different to anybody else importing product and deciding they don't want to pay GST and/or duty?

 

The $49 IETF and biosecurity charge is a standard fee levied whenever goods are liable for GST and/or duty. This is clearly detailed on the whatmsyduty website and on the Customs website.

 

FedEx have their own customs broker which saves people having to approach customs themselves to pay fees which simply adds to the delay of getting goods.

 

At the end of the day you simply need to put this down to a learning experience. Both the customs website and whatsmyduty website in particular make establishing customs charges incredibly clear, and ignorance of these is no defence for not paying them.


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  # 1683167 6-Dec-2016 10:34
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Whilst I would expect to pay the fee I do think it is objectionable: we pay taxes to fund Customs and I consider this to be part of their normal work.

 

What next - a $100 fee for the IRD to print your tax demand letter?






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  # 1683171 6-Dec-2016 10:38
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wsnz:

 

andrewNZ: Had a workmate get pinged for GST and duty on his own tools. He put them in a container with a machine going to Aus, then flew over to install and commission the containers contents. He then sent them home by courier to avoid excess baggage charges. They got held at the border, and as he had no documentation to prove they had been exported, he had to pay about $400.

He could have tried to argue it, but needed the tools so he could work.

 

We had a similar situation with a laptop that was left at our Brisbane office. Because no one was coming back anytime soon and the device was required urgently, it was sent via courier. We didn't have a receipt for the device (3 years old) and Customs would not budge so we had to pay GST on the estimated valuation.

 

 

 

 

A couple of years ago my wife and I returned to the UK to visit family etc and she left her phone here by mistake. As we were away 6 weeks and she was expecting work calls etc she required it so we had the house sitters courier it to my mother.

 

Endless debate with UK Customs & Excise about it being liable for 20% VAT which they eventually accepted should not apply.






 
 
 
 


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  # 1683175 6-Dec-2016 10:41
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Geektastic:

 

Whilst I would expect to pay the fee I do think it is objectionable: we pay taxes to fund Customs and I consider this to be part of their normal work.

 

What next - a $100 fee for the IRD to print your tax demand letter?

 

 

That's not really comparing apples with apples.

 

Faced with major upgrades customs and the Government chose to pass these on as a user pays system rather than funding these through general taxation. I don't see any issue with importers who now benefit from these new systems contributing to these rather than taxpayers who don't use the service having to fund this.

 

 


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  # 1683181 6-Dec-2016 10:45
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sbiddle:

 

Geektastic:

 

Whilst I would expect to pay the fee I do think it is objectionable: we pay taxes to fund Customs and I consider this to be part of their normal work.

 

What next - a $100 fee for the IRD to print your tax demand letter?

 

 

That's not really comparing apples with apples.

 

Faced with major upgrades customs and the Government chose to pass these on as a user pays system rather than funding these through general taxation. I don't see any issue with importers who now benefit from these new systems contributing to these rather than taxpayers who don't use the service having to fund this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So if, say, the department that pays benefits needs a new computer we can pass that on to benefit recipients and those of us who don't use the service won't have to fund it? Excellent!






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  # 1683200 6-Dec-2016 11:33
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Geektastic:

 

sbiddle:

 

Geektastic:

 

Whilst I would expect to pay the fee I do think it is objectionable: we pay taxes to fund Customs and I consider this to be part of their normal work.

 

What next - a $100 fee for the IRD to print your tax demand letter?

 

 

That's not really comparing apples with apples.

 

Faced with major upgrades customs and the Government chose to pass these on as a user pays system rather than funding these through general taxation. I don't see any issue with importers who now benefit from these new systems contributing to these rather than taxpayers who don't use the service having to fund this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So if, say, the department that pays benefits needs a new computer we can pass that on to benefit recipients and those of us who don't use the service won't have to fund it? Excellent!

 

 

You have a choice whether you want to import goods into NZ. Most would argue that (most) people don't go on a benefit by choice.

 

The new customs system meant significant cost reductions for many importers. You wouldn't find many who argue against the IETF.

 

Likewise the MPI fee is charged to people who import goods into the country to ensure biosecurity standards are kept at a high level. If you don't import goods you don't need to pay it.

 

 


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  # 1683250 6-Dec-2016 12:44
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sbiddle:

You have a choice whether you want to import goods into NZ. Most would argue that (most) people don't go on a benefit by choice.


The new customs system meant significant cost reductions for many importers. You wouldn't find many who argue against the IETF.


Likewise the MPI fee is charged to people who import goods into the country to ensure biosecurity standards are kept at a high level. If you don't import goods you don't need to pay it.


 



Agree with all this. What I find aggravating is the charge is a flat fee as opposed to some kind of percentage (perhaps subject to a minimum and a maximum). Somehow it seems disproportionate to charge the same fee on a $400, $4,000 and $40,000 package. It just encourages splitting shipments into multiple packages (particularly when you're around the $400 mark).

And sometimes it doesn't seem to be charged at all! I've had an Amazon purchases that was well over (paid the fees etc on Amazon) but was refunded the lot.



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  # 1683282 6-Dec-2016 14:04
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Just for the record, what I was annoyed about, and strongly objected to, was being clobbered with a considerable additional charge that was totally unexpected. Yes, maybe it IS the law, but if you stopped every second pedestrian in Queen Street and asked them what they'd expect to pay in the way of additional fees on an online international purchase, I'll bet that not many would know that they'd be hit with Goods and Services Tax.

GST is a revenue-gathering system, that, along with all the multitudinous other taxes that we pay, funds the running of the country.

I don't have a problem with GST in this respect, and I'm sure that most Kiwis don't, either.

But I do object to this tax being levied on a transaction that has taken place 99.9% outside of New Zealand.

IMHO, it's a penalty for daring to try and undercut the bloated prices that we've been forced to pay for electronic and photographic equipment for more than 70 years.

Regarding the Customs Dept being unlikely to waive fees, that's not true. A member of my family worked in Customs in Auckland for 40 years and I know for an indisputable fact that fees and duties were often waived, especially for people with 'pull'. But it could also happen to the average citizen* if a case involved genuine ignorance of the law or real hardship.

But now, with Customs firewalled behind the likes of Fedex and their 'brokers', I can understand their reluctance to be involved with a waiver after the fee has been paid. Not charging a fee is one thing but refunding a payment is a totally different ballgame.


*This is still going on. If you don't believe me, try watching a few epidodes of the NZ version of Border Patrol and see how many incoming airline passengers, who have blatantly contravened our regulations, are sent on their way with a tap on the wrist and a smiling 'Welcome Home' or 'Welcome to NZ' ringing in their ears. Strikes me you'd have to be carrying a sack of cocaine over your shoulder to get into trouble when coming through Mangere Airport.





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  # 1683285 6-Dec-2016 14:08
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What I find aggravating is the charge is a flat fee as opposed to some kind of percentage (perhaps subject to a minimum and a maximum). Somehow it seems disproportionate to charge the same fee on a $400, $4,000 and $40,000 package. It just encourages splitting shipments into multiple packages (particularly when you're around the $400 mark).

 

 

Flat fees sting when you are at the lower end of the range ... but they are very simple to apply.

 

Value doesn't seem to be good basis for determining a fair biosecurity levy.

 

The effort required to undertake a biosecurity inspection on something is determined by it's size, complexity and risk profile. 

 

Value doesn't really come into it ... from an inspection effort point of view.

 

 





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  # 1683289 6-Dec-2016 14:22
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MikeAqua:

 

 

What I find aggravating is the charge is a flat fee as opposed to some kind of percentage (perhaps subject to a minimum and a maximum). Somehow it seems disproportionate to charge the same fee on a $400, $4,000 and $40,000 package. It just encourages splitting shipments into multiple packages (particularly when you're around the $400 mark).

 

 

Flat fees sting when you are at the lower end of the range ... but they are very simple to apply.

 

Value doesn't seem to be good basis for determining a fair biosecurity levy.

 

The effort required to undertake a biosecurity inspection on something is determined by it's size, complexity and risk profile. 

 

Value doesn't really come into it ... from an inspection effort point of view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The thing which gets me about the biosecurity levy is that if the item(s) fall below the threshold for GST/Duty, then there's nothing recovered.

 

I'm not sure that there would be any real correlation at all between value of items coming in and biosecurity risk, in fact probably the reverse.

 

Most high value (ie typically tech) item attracting GST/duty probably present very little risk.  The small package of christmas goodies valued at $5 sent by a relative in Togo or Mongolia on the other hand...

 

I don't think the system is "user pays" - but "users pay" - that is if you're bringing in many small consignments of goods attracting duty, then you're subsidising everybody else.


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  # 1683295 6-Dec-2016 14:52
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MikeAqua:


What I find aggravating is the charge is a flat fee as opposed to some kind of percentage (perhaps subject to a minimum and a maximum). Somehow it seems disproportionate to charge the same fee on a $400, $4,000 and $40,000 package. It just encourages splitting shipments into multiple packages (particularly when you're around the $400 mark).



Flat fees sting when you are at the lower end of the range ... but they are very simple to apply.


Value doesn't seem to be good basis for determining a fair biosecurity levy.


The effort required to undertake a biosecurity inspection on something is determined by it's size, complexity and risk profile. 


Value doesn't really come into it ... from an inspection effort point of view.


 



I understand where you're coming from, but I think there is some (though very approximate) correlation between value and inspection. Why should one box of X product have the same inspection charge as three boxes of the same product?

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