Import taxes in the EU and "DHL Auslagenpauschale"

Cheers all, as you might know, tax laws have been changed. I can only talk about Germany in detail, but since it was a EU decision, a lot of other countries could have the same “problem”. Here in Germany the taxes were changed at the first of July. There used to be a minimum value when goods where excluded from import taxes (22€, but since they would not collect below a certain amount, it was actually around 27€). Now everything gets taxed automatically if the seller is not in the IOSS (prepaid taxes: Aliexpress etc are on board, but not every shop, especially on ebay etc). This would be fine, but DHL also takes a 6€ handling fee for every delivery. For me that is unacceptable, so I looked for a workaround. In Germany, there actually is one, and I guess in other countries, too. You can opt out of DHL handling your taxes/customs for you. Only drawback is that you have to go to the customs office yourself again. You can opt out here: Internationale Sendungen - Selbstverzollung (choose "Registrierung als Selbstverzoller). I guess there are similar options in other EU countries.
I hope that didn’t sound like incoherent ramblings. :smiley:

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Solid tip!

On my end it is a nightmare. There is a system to collect taxes for the customers for every participating country and submit it to one place, nice right!!? Well that would be cool but the nightmare is if the order is over something like $80 Euro (99% of my international orders). If I collect the import taxes, I have to file and submit it to each and every country the packages go to… Quarterly. Then As many of you know Customs rarely believes the invoices to be true and if and when they dispute it I would have to work with each country and language trying to prove I do not lie on my invoice.

I am all for taxes and import taxes, I get it, they are a necessary evil. But dang, they make it very difficult for everyone involved. I get emails constantly to put “gift” on the invoice to skip customs all together.

On the importing end for me I get a call from customs or DHL/Fedex and a person asking for a CC number. I don’t even get to to see the breakdown until after I pay.

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In Germany, if they do not believe the value to be correct, DHL will not deliver it but you have to fetch it anyways (so you don’t have to pay the 6€). You could not declare the value on the outside to save your customers the 6€, but they might want to pay it to not go to the custom’s office.
Also do yourself the favour and never write “gift” on it, it will blow back when they don’t believe it and let your customer come to the office to open it, they will have to bring the invoice anyway and will be taxed accordingly (gifts are only free below 45€ afaik anyway).
This 6€rule only applies to packages below 150€, everything above is different again.
Germany theoretically has got a website where you can digitally upload the invoices etc. and they will send you a bill, which would be nice, but they messed up and the portal will only be ready in 2022… -_- But hey, let’s start the changes now, to make it extra stupid. :smiley:
I don’t really object to the taxes, I’d rather pay more taxes and not pay DHL for their “service” of prepaying customs for me before getting it back from me. At least I found out that I do have a choice. :smiley:

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I will never advise that you lie on the customs invoice. It just has the potential to generate so many problems.

There are 2 things that I’ve seen which are supposed to get around customs anyway. “Commercial sample” and “Return for warranty/Warranty replacement”

When I first got into DIY electronics and started building amplifiers, I got a package from Onsemi’s commercial sample program, which had an assortment of audio transistors, which would have been quite expensive as a hobbyist. Those arrived tax free, since they were offered as free samples.

Warranty returns/replacements are supposed to be tax free as they were presumably already taxed when the initial product was sold, or are being returned. Probably best if you have the paperwork to prove it.

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Yeah, I will never lie on the invoice. I tell everyone that, it is even on the shipping page, and they typically get very nasty. A few say something like…“worth a shot” the majority get nasty and vow only to shop from Aliexpress or something after that. I figure any lie I make could potentially ban me from that country for a very long time.

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When I ordered a beefy laser from Ali they wrote “woodworking instrument” on the package. Not a blatant lie, but a very friendly way to help me through customs and public regulations…

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Though Aliexpress is part of the IOSS anyway, they now tax you before sending it to you anyway. :slight_smile:

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Yes, they are - it’s super convenient. I was more worried about the regulations concerning strong lasers… that’s why I think ali used a creative label text…

Ah, I see. Stupid me. :stuck_out_tongue:

I bought a hockey jersey from Canada. They called it “doll clothes” on the import form. I think that category was cheaper or something.

The frustrating thing is that they can easily do all this a lot better. We’ve been buying crap off the Internet for 20 years.

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