Ok, so this may sound pretty clueless coming from a mainlander where I never have to think about this, but... I've been reading up on using the internet for buying items and having them sent to your home/PO Box I came across a thread that says, "UPS, FedEx, Paradise Freight and VI Cargo (all on STX) have always charged me for customs duties at the time of pick-up or delivery. "
I'm confused. DO you have to pay customs when ordering online? What about the USPS? And lastly, how do they know what is in the box being delivered to decide if you have to pay customs?
I've tried googling my questions but all I'm coming up with is how much stuff I can take out of the USVI.
I have had only a little experience with the customs charge, but I believe that for new items that were not made in the US, ie....electronics, toys, vehicles etc...made in China, Taiwan, etc....you will be charged a customs charge. Even if you ship a car here, and it is a Chevy or a ford, it depends on where it was made. That info is coded in the cars VIN number. I have had many things shipped from stores in the states with no problem or charge. But it does depend on where the item was made. I purchased two stand up paddle boards and they had to be cleared through customs. It turned out I did nt need to pay, since they were made in the USA, but I still had to get the documentation from customs.
If you ship big items through the cargo companies like Paradise freight, they handle all the inspections for you. It is much simpler than trying to muddle through it alone. We had them ship all our household items plus our car, and we just picked everything up at their warehouse after it all cleared customs
Hope this helps
If you ship through USPS, you don't get charged customs fees on anything.
Not necessarily true. A friend had to pay $130 on a laptop on arrival. Depends on origin of the box and how it is tagged and if they're paying attention.
There are customs fees shipping out of the territory. They mostly affect commercial businesses but they do exist. All USPS boxes in and out of the VI go through customs on Puerto Rico.