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Topic # 248886 14-Apr-2019 19:52
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I brought an item from Australia via Trademe. Cost, including free shipping, of NZ$396.65. A smidgen under the limit to incur gst etc via the "What's My Duty" estimator so I was happy to buy it.

I have received a letter today from NZ Post saying I owe customs $114 if I want my package - the seller has written AU$385 on the package (NZ$410 - a smidgen over the limit).

I have had a look on the customs website and can't find anything about contesting the value - does anyone have any experience with this and do I have a leg to stand on or am I up for paying the extra to get my goods?


Yup, I'll be ringing customs in the morning, but the idea of paying $114 extra has compelled me to post here first.

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  Reply # 2217065 14-Apr-2019 19:52
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Hmmmm. Here we go.





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  Reply # 2217092 14-Apr-2019 20:49
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surely you have the auction price from Trade me showing the price in NZ dollars, this should be sufficient evidence of the actual price.


 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 2217093 14-Apr-2019 20:51
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gregmcc:

surely you have the auction price from Trade me showing the price in NZ dollars, this should be sufficient evidence of the actual price.



I do, one would hope that would be enough - can't find out myself until tomorrow.

Was hoping someone may have had a similar yarn with a happy ending.

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  Reply # 2217098 14-Apr-2019 21:03
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A customs declaration is an official document that should be the official price of a product.

 

FWIW I know a couple of people who have tried to challenge customs declarations over the years under similar circumstances (declared values or assessed values by customs were too high) and in both cases Customs wouldn't budge... So good luck!

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 2217100 14-Apr-2019 21:07
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sbiddle:

A customs declaration is an official document that should be the official price of a product.


FWIW I know a couple of people who have tried to challenge customs declarations over the years under similar circumstances (declared values or assessed values by customs were too high) and in both cases Customs wouldn't budge... So good luck!


 


 



Hmmm, that's pretty much what I expected too unfortunately. Oh well, I will call tomorrow and see but not holding my breath.


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  Reply # 2217119 14-Apr-2019 22:53
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Hopefully an invoice from the company showing the value in NZD may be able to persuade them. Especially as you paid in NZD.

 

I've been stung by having sent money using a better exchange rate than the official Customs exchange rate, they wouldn't budge, but that's a bit more understandable as I'd been invoiced and paid in EUR.


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  Reply # 2217131 14-Apr-2019 23:42
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If you don't have any luck, you could contact the company that sent it to you, that you paid a specific amount in NZ dollars and the amount they put on the form does not match it. As it was purchased va trademe, I presume they did bill you in NZ dollars too, and you will have a tax invoice in NZD.  If they put the wrong amount on the customs form, to send a corrected one to customs.Sounds like they should have put the NZD amount on , based on your purchase price. 

 

Also you may want to contact trademe if you don't have any further luck to tell them about the problem, as their own website does say that buyers don't expect nasty surprises when it comes to duties with their international sellers, at https://www.trademe.co.nz/seller-information-centre/international-sellers/shipping-expecations/ . I am sure trademe would be interested in this, as they would want buyers from their international sellers to have good experiences. Potentially it could be a major issue for anyone buying off an international seller, who is getting close to that threshold. 


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  Reply # 2217157 15-Apr-2019 07:37
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mattwnz:

 

If you don't have any luck, you could contact the company that sent it to you, that you paid a specific amount in NZ dollars and the amount they put on the form does not match it. As it was purchased va trademe, I presume they did bill you in NZ dollars too, and you will have a tax invoice in NZD.  If they put the wrong amount on the customs form, to send a corrected one to customs.Sounds like they should have put the NZD amount on , based on your purchase price. 

 

Also you may want to contact trademe if you don't have any further luck to tell them about the problem, as their own website does say that buyers don't expect nasty surprises when it comes to duties with their international sellers, at https://www.trademe.co.nz/seller-information-centre/international-sellers/shipping-expecations/ . I am sure trademe would be interested in this, as they would want buyers from their international sellers to have good experiences. Potentially it could be a major issue for anyone buying off an international seller, who is getting close to that threshold. 

 

 

This is very sound advice. From my experience I understand Customs to be like a great brick wall and you would be very lucky to get any movement. However going back to the seller and getting them to resolve the issue and/or letting trademe know as this goes against the intent on the trademe site, and finally (assuming you get no luck with anything else) I would (assuming you paid via credit card) invoke a charge-back on the purchase because you never got the goods you received based on the purchase. 

 

Or pay the extra $100 and get the item, but that seems a bit off given the situation :) 


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  Reply # 2217160 15-Apr-2019 07:45
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If Customs won't do anything I too would be complaining to Trademe and demanding they provide a resolution. 


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  Reply # 2217177 15-Apr-2019 08:17
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Schedule 4 of the Customs And Excise Act 2018 states that "the primary basis for determining the Customs value of imported goods is the transaction value". The transaction was in NZD, below the de minimis, no duty is owed.

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  Reply # 2217180 15-Apr-2019 08:26
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It was my understanding that the $400 limit is not a concrete limit, but more a 'suggestion' based on the fact that if the item is below that, it wasn't worth their effort. 

 

That they have made the effort with your parcel, they won't reverse the charges would be how I see it going.

 

 

 

Go back to the seller, and let them know it has cost you extra. Can't see you getting far with them either. They should have written NZD rather than AUD, but I find that a lot of businesses you deal with in AU don't seem to understand NZ is different (try explaining to them that NZ GST is 15%, blows their minds :) )


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  Reply # 2217197 15-Apr-2019 08:37
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When I had an iPhone GIFTED to me from my Mother in Australia, Customs stopped it as it had a value of $800 AUD or so.
We learnt that the threshold was under $100 for GST. Don't be surprised that our country will take every last cent you got at every turn. Thanks to the taxing red party for this! 


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  Reply # 2217204 15-Apr-2019 08:49
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Coil:

 

When I had an iPhone GIFTED to me from my Mother in Australia, Customs stopped it as it had a value of $800 AUD or so.
We learnt that the threshold was under $100 for GST. Don't be surprised that our country will take every last cent you got at every turn. Thanks to the taxing red party for this! 

 

 

As discussed when you posted this a while back the Customs threshold for products marked as a gift is NZ$110. Marking something as a gift does NOT mean it won't incur charges.

 

 


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  Reply # 2217208 15-Apr-2019 08:57
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trig42:

 

It was my understanding that the $400 limit is not a concrete limit, but more a 'suggestion' based on the fact that if the item is below that, it wasn't worth their effort. 

 

That they have made the effort with your parcel, they won't reverse the charges would be how I see it going.

 

 

 

Go back to the seller, and let them know it has cost you extra. Can't see you getting far with them either. They should have written NZD rather than AUD, but I find that a lot of businesses you deal with in AU don't seem to understand NZ is different (try explaining to them that NZ GST is 15%, blows their minds :) )

 

 

The de minimis is actually $60 - so on goods that don't incur any duty but only GST, it means the $60 threshold is passed when the value of goods exceeds NZ$400

 

For products that incur duty such as clothing or shoes the $60 de minimis threshold is reached at around NZ$230.

 

The irony of the new import changes is that it'll mean people who import goods that incur duty will actually be better off, as NZ$230 worth of clothing that would have incurred $113.62 of fees (10% duty + 15% GST + $51.25 IETF fees) will now only need to pay $37.95 for GST

 

 


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  Reply # 2217214 15-Apr-2019 09:13
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Coil:

 

When I had an iPhone GIFTED to me from my Mother in Australia, Customs stopped it as it had a value of $800 AUD or so.
We learnt that the threshold was under $100 for GST. Don't be surprised that our country will take every last cent you got at every turn. Thanks to the taxing red party for this! 

 

 

Why would you blame "the taxing red party" when the Customs thresholds have been set many years ago? Why bring politics into this? Better stop the trolling.





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