International shipping tips, advice n stuff

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vin-tone
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International shipping tips, advice n stuff

Post by vin-tone » 19 Jan 2011, 10:46

So... I know this has been covered in other threads but It's usually buried pretty deep and hard to find. I thought it might be an idea to have a reference thread dedicated to international shipping in and out of Australia outlining the limitations, costs, pitfalls, etc... I'm particularly keen to hear peoples experiences with shipping forwarding companies. Who have you used, how much did it cost, how was their communication. etc.

Here are some pointers to make a start - including the basics for newbies. I'll edit the OP to include more stuff as we go. Let me know anything I've missed or stuffed up.

Aussie customs.....
GST and duty kicks in where the value of the package comes in over $1000. This value does not include shipping. So if value of purchase > $1000Au...
• Duty is 5% and applies to the value of the item. (excluding US made items imported from USA due to FTA)
• Customs fee: is around $40. (*I've never had to pay this - maybe someone can correct me on this one)
• GST is 10% and applies to the total cost of $item + $duty + $shipping + $customs

eg:... If you buy an amp that is $999 and shipping costs $140 adding to $1139 this is still GST and duty free.

USPS size / weight restrictions:
... the bane of an importing bass players life!
All details on importing restrictions via USPS are here:
http://pe.usps.gov/text/imm/ab_012.htm#ep1572941

Importantly:
• Maximum length for USPS Priority is 42". Too short for a bass. Often the best solution is to have the bass shipped wth the neck unbolted. Obviously not possible if your purchase includes an original hard case or neck-through bass.
• Length + Girth must be less than 79". i.e. length + 2 x (width + height) < 79" where length is the longest side. This is a killer for bigger amps like the SVT 6 Pro.

Shipping Forwarding companies:
A great way to access Fedex/UPS and other carriers without paying full fare.
http://www.shipito.com/
http://www.bongous.com/
Last edited by vin-tone on 19 Jan 2011, 12:06, edited 5 times in total.
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Aussie Mark
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Re: International shipping tips, advice n stuff

Post by Aussie Mark » 19 Jan 2011, 11:16

Duty is 5% and applies to the value of the item
To clarify, there is no duty payable at all if the item was manufactured in the USA, due to the Australia-USA Free Trade Agreement. Have the shipper clearly mark the invoice or Customs declaration "Country of Origin = USA".

There is also no duty on a "Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar" no matter which country it is manufactured in, due to the following Tariff Concession, which is a customs ruling that overrides the original 5% duty rate -

TC 9305368
Tariff 9207.90.00
Electric Bass Guitar, solid body
Operative date 23/4/93
Declaration date 1/10/93

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Re: International shipping tips, advice n stuff

Post by Wwolof » 19 Jan 2011, 11:24

Good thread — this should be a sticky.

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Re: International shipping tips, advice n stuff

Post by vin-tone » 19 Jan 2011, 11:36

Aussie Mark wrote:
Duty is 5% and applies to the value of the item
To clarify, there is no duty payable at all if the item was manufactured in the USA, due to the Australia-USA Free Trade Agreement. Have the shipper clearly mark the invoice or Customs declaration "Country of Origin = USA".
Good call. OP edited. Do you know if this applies to second-hand goods or just new? Good for Aguilar, GK, Carvin, Ampeg etc amps.
There is also no duty on a "Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar" no matter which country it is manufactured in, due to the following Tariff Concession, which is a customs ruling that overrides the original 5% duty rate -

TC 9305368
Tariff 9207.90.00
Electric Bass Guitar, solid body
Operative date 23/4/93
Declaration date 1/10/93
This probably negates my question on basses - new or used. Note that GST would still apply.
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Re: International shipping tips, advice n stuff

Post by wilbur88 » 19 Jan 2011, 12:02

+1 on shipito.com. I had a great experience with them recently.

I could well be wrong and usually am, but doesn't the duty & GST kick in on values over $1000.00 inc shipping costs?
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Re: International shipping tips, advice n stuff

Post by vin-tone » 19 Jan 2011, 12:08

^^ No. I actually wrote to customs to get clarification on this. The confusing bit is that the calculation does include shipping, the trigger doesn't.

What's your shipito story Wil? I'm considering using them ATM.
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Re: International shipping tips, advice n stuff

Post by wilbur88 » 19 Jan 2011, 15:01

Bugger. That means that customs ripped me off because I paid duty & GST on my T-bird in 2009.

Re shipito.com - I set up a box on their site (USD 8.50), bought my Rivoli and had the seller ship to that box. It was during Dec, so a few places were snowed in - it took a week or so for it to arrive. When it did, they sent me notification and I used their on line calculator to work out my best shipping option. There were about 6 different options, but best value turned out to be DHL Express for around USD 160.00. It was only about $30.00 more than the standard service rate. So it shipped with the OHSC and arrived at Perth customs in 5 days (I love tracking it!) - during December too! It took longer to clear customs than it took to get to WA from CA.

They have a few locations in US, I used their CA location. A big thumbs up to them.
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Re: International shipping tips, advice n stuff

Post by MrMow » 19 Jan 2011, 15:14

Aussie Mark wrote:
Duty is 5% and applies to the value of the item
To clarify, there is no duty payable at all if the item was manufactured in the USA, due to the Australia-USA Free Trade Agreement. Have the shipper clearly mark the invoice or Customs declaration "Country of Origin = USA".

There is also no duty on a "Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar" no matter which country it is manufactured in, due to the following Tariff Concession, which is a customs ruling that overrides the original 5% duty rate -

TC 9305368
Tariff 9207.90.00
Electric Bass Guitar, solid body
Operative date 23/4/93
Declaration date 1/10/93
I have NEVER EVER been able to get customs to actually come through on this.. I import a lot of gear (ie a **** TON) and have spoken to a lot of customs guys, and while they tell me yes its correct, they can't tell me how I go about getting the exemption..

I'd love to hear how people do it.. I've tried quoting those tarrifs.. never works.

The customs fee last time I filled one out was $42 + 2.5% credit card surcharge
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Re: International shipping tips, advice n stuff

Post by MrMow » 19 Jan 2011, 15:16

wilbur88 wrote:+1 on shipito.com. I had a great experience with them recently.

I could well be wrong and usually am, but doesn't the duty & GST kick in on values over $1000.00 inc shipping costs?
technically yes.. but I've not been pinged on that yet, but yes, if you purchased a bass for $801 and shipping was $200 you would in theory have to pay customs and duty
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Re: International shipping tips, advice n stuff

Post by Marius » 19 Jan 2011, 15:22

A lot of US sellers, whether guitar shops or ebay sellers know all this and will put on it that the value is under 1000.

The bass and amp i bought overseas were labelled $999

no fees.
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Re: International shipping tips, advice n stuff

Post by wilbur88 » 19 Jan 2011, 15:38

Marius wrote:A lot of US sellers, whether guitar shops or ebay sellers know all this and will put on it that the value is under 1000.

The bass and amp i bought overseas were labelled $999

no fees.
....and some on the other hand specifically state that they will not undervalue any sale.
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Re: International shipping tips, advice n stuff

Post by Aussie Mark » 19 Jan 2011, 16:06

MrMow wrote:
Aussie Mark wrote:
Duty is 5% and applies to the value of the item
To clarify, there is no duty payable at all if the item was manufactured in the USA, due to the Australia-USA Free Trade Agreement. Have the shipper clearly mark the invoice or Customs declaration "Country of Origin = USA".

There is also no duty on a "Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar" no matter which country it is manufactured in, due to the following Tariff Concession, which is a customs ruling that overrides the original 5% duty rate -

TC 9305368
Tariff 9207.90.00
Electric Bass Guitar, solid body
Operative date 23/4/93
Declaration date 1/10/93
I have NEVER EVER been able to get customs to actually come through on this.. I import a lot of gear (ie a **** TON) and have spoken to a lot of customs guys, and while they tell me yes its correct, they can't tell me how I go about getting the exemption..

I'd love to hear how people do it.. I've tried quoting those tarrifs.. never works.

The customs fee last time I filled one out was $42 + 2.5% credit card surcharge
Every time I've quoted the Solid Body Electric Bass TC number or the Free Trade Agreement I haven't been charged duty. On at least one occasion I've phoned Fedex/UPS to find out how much I owe for GST/fees, and found out they were going to charge me 5%, and they've corrected the total once I've quoted the TCO or provided proof of US manufacture.

Ask to speak to their supervisor if they don't believe you.

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Re: International shipping tips, advice n stuff

Post by vin-tone » 19 Jan 2011, 17:19

MrMow wrote:
wilbur88 wrote:+1 on shipito.com. I had a great experience with them recently.

I could well be wrong and usually am, but doesn't the duty & GST kick in on values over $1000.00 inc shipping costs?
technically yes.. but I've not been pinged on that yet, but yes, if you purchased a bass for $801 and shipping was $200 you would in theory have to pay customs and duty
Yeah na. This is not correct. $1000 refers to the just the "customs value" which in this case is $801..

http://www.arts.qld.gov.au/publications ... _im_ex.pdf

From the horses mouth:
Overseas freight and insurance costs are excluded from the customs value of imported goods. These are any amounts paid by a trader to a person for transporting goods from the place of export to Australia.
I'm thinking that your frontline customs officer may not be across all the finer details so it might be handy to have that pdf on hand to email if they try and ping you in these situations.
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Re: International shipping tips, advice n stuff

Post by Wwolof » 19 Jan 2011, 20:44

wilbur88 wrote:Bugger. That means that customs ripped me off because I paid duty & GST on my T-bird in 2009.
Mate, if that is correct, contact them and they will refund you.

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Re: International shipping tips, advice n stuff

Post by vin-tone » 28 Jan 2011, 06:39

The Secret Diary of a Shipito User

OK so I'm needing to use Shipito now. My seller couldn't send my new bass USPS even with the neck off - It's a scary thought entrusting your $1000+ item to an anonymous website so I thought I could document what's going on as I go.
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