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No minimum value for Customs?

 
Mixie
(@Mixie)
Advanced Member

Ordered a fancy $99 toaster. China made (is there any toaster not made in China?). Customs wants me to stop by their office at the airport for their $6 before releasing it -- it came by FedEx (free shipping, didn't ask).
Is there a minimum amount -- or can they literally waste a few hours of someone's time for a buck?

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Topic starter Posted : June 17, 2014 9:27 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Maybe next time around go to KMart. Sorry, couldn't resist but I'm betting that $99 fancy toaster will have no more of a life than any other small appliance here which gets beaten to death with WAPA surges and outages ...

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Posted : June 17, 2014 11:38 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

The usual customs fee is 6% for most items except those that are duty free.

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Posted : June 18, 2014 7:56 am
Mixie
(@Mixie)
Advanced Member

So to my question: there is no minimum, or franchise, on imports? Paperwork is required on a $1 import where 6 cents would be due?!

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Topic starter Posted : June 18, 2014 10:43 am
divinggirl
(@divinggirl)
Trusted Member

At work we have gotten bills for customs fees of twelve cents. It cost so much more than that to fill out the paperwork and mail it to us. So I guessing the answer to your question is: No, there is not minimum. If you want to be sure you should contact CBP and ask.

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Posted : June 18, 2014 11:30 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

i would have to say yes to your question. they can if they choose collect on a 1 cent purchase

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Posted : June 18, 2014 12:29 pm
rmb2830
(@rmb2830)
Advanced Member

the funds that are collected do not go to the US. They first are applied to the cost of having US customs handle the VI, and then the overage goes to the VI gov't

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Posted : June 18, 2014 1:41 pm
meowruff
(@meowruff)
Advanced Member

We have had to pay on Keurig coffee that is shipped FedEx. If one of the items comes from Canada, we have to pay. We've made trips for $0.30 before.

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Posted : June 18, 2014 3:05 pm
Mixie
(@Mixie)
Advanced Member

@meowruff: trip for $0.30?! That's beyond absurd. It doesn't even cover the expense of the US Customs paperwork. It also takes an otherwise productive adult out of active life for at least 1/2 hour.

Is that a US Customs rule (no minimum) or some sort of USVI regulation (since they keep the surplus)?

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Topic starter Posted : June 18, 2014 6:09 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

meow: If you meet a minimum, Keurig ships for free. Not only that, but lightning fast. I ordered on Friday, shipment arrived Monday...

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Posted : June 18, 2014 9:21 pm
meowruff
(@meowruff)
Advanced Member

We always get free shipping from Keurig. Unfortunately, some of the coffees that my hubby orders require a trip to pay customs fees. So, free shipping, but a couple of cents and a trip to the customs office.

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Posted : June 19, 2014 12:05 am
Ca. Dreamers
(@ca-dreamers)
Advanced Member

I had a new remote control from Dish delivered to my house by UPS.

The driver charged me $.27 for customs.

I gave him $.30 and told him to keep the change, LOL!

CD

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Posted : June 19, 2014 12:33 pm
Mixie
(@Mixie)
Advanced Member

@ca.dreamers you were able to pay UPS rather than go to the Customs office? That would be a major argument for using UPS instead of FedEx.

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Topic starter Posted : June 19, 2014 1:46 pm
sunshinefun
(@sunshinefun)
Trusted Member

The UPS guys actually collect the Customs Duty when they deliver. Fedex usually does too. I'm not sure why someone would need to go tot he office unless its an anomaly.

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Posted : June 19, 2014 3:45 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

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. With them, I've never had to go out of my way to pay it. The only time I can remember having to make an effort was with Blackhawk Shipping for a pick up at Gallows Bay, but the customs office is right there, so it wasn't a big deal. We also had to make a trip with our moving rep to some office at the container dock before taking delivery of our container and vehicle when we moved here 9 years ago, but I don't recall exactly what the trip was for. Maybe it was to pay customs.

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Posted : June 19, 2014 7:38 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

meow: May I ask which coffee?

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Posted : June 20, 2014 12:08 am
Mixie
(@Mixie)
Advanced Member

A FedEx manager told me that unless there is a FedEx account in the field marked "taxes and duties", the recipient will need to drag themselves over to a) get stamped by the Excise office at the airport, b) walk over to Customs and pay c) go back to FedEx to claim the package.

The bottom line is the absurdity of the process. This is a tax. There is no way the Customs and USVI government make more money than they are spending doing the paperwork for a $6 fee yet alone $0.30.

The Customs officer told me that this was part of The Danish Law -- No. 64,1914 http://webpac.uvi.edu/imls/ces_uvi/extb2/tax.pdf
Yes, 1914. You learn that exceptions are made for the import of live turtles, manure, mules and asses.

Any Senator out there willing to write a bill that provides says the first $200 on all imported goods are tax free if for personal use? The actual amount should be such that it reflects a) either the actual cost of processing paperwork by Customs b) one hour minimum wage.

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Topic starter Posted : June 20, 2014 1:09 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Don't give them any ideas.
They'll want to raise the rates or impose another tax since they must continue to borrow from Peter to pay Paul while they spend, spend spend as if there is no tomorrow.

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Posted : June 20, 2014 1:28 pm
meowruff
(@meowruff)
Advanced Member

I can't remember which coffee was the problem...I believe it was something that came from Canada. We didn't have to pay for the other items - just the coffee from Canada. But, nothing would be released until we paid our pennies.

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Posted : June 20, 2014 4:41 pm
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