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Question re: IKEA PR shipment to St. Croix via Tropical - Excise Tax?

 
ellee
(@ellee)
Active Member

A friend turned me on to the ability to order from IKEA in Puerto Rico and have it delivered to St. Croix!  I ordered $170 worth of household stuff from IKEA PR on their VI specific site https://www.ikea.pr/virginislands/en and it was shipped via Tropical.  I've been alerted that it will arrive tomorrow and I was instructed to go to excise.bir.vi.gov and register as an importer and fill out some forms. 

I am stuck on the "Item No." field on the 721 Excise form.  None of the drop down options say 'household goods' or otherwise describe what I am 'importing' and if I select 'Not otherwise classified' I am charged a 4% excise tax.  Does anyone have advice on how to fill out the forms for an IKEA purchase?

When I order $170 worth of household items from Amazon delivered to my PO box I am not charged an excise tax - so I must be missing something.

I appreciate any guidance you can offer!

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Topic starter Posted : July 16, 2021 11:11 pm
Stxdreaming1
(@stxdreaming1)
Advanced Member
Posted by: @ellee

A friend turned me on to the ability to order from IKEA in Puerto Rico and have it delivered to St. Croix!  I ordered $170 worth of household stuff from IKEA PR on their VI specific site https://www.ikea.pr/virginislands/en and it was shipped via Tropical.  I've been alerted that it will arrive tomorrow and I was instructed to go to excise.bir.vi.gov and register as an importer and fill out some forms. 

I am stuck on the "Item No." field on the 721 Excise form.  None of the drop down options say 'household goods' or otherwise describe what I am 'importing' and if I select 'Not otherwise classified' I am charged a 4% excise tax.  Does anyone have advice on how to fill out the forms for an IKEA purchase?

When I order $170 worth of household items from Amazon delivered to my PO box I am not charged an excise tax - so I must be missing something.

I appreciate any guidance you can offer!

I would call the local branch where you ordered. They should be able to guide you as they will have experience in this area?? Or so you would think. 

Out of interest, what is Tropical charging you for this? I've wondered about sending building materials over from here (Im in San Juan) to STX. 

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Posted : July 17, 2021 4:21 pm
rewired
(@rewired)
Advanced Member

@ellee

I noticed this at the bottom of the page on the Ikea link you posted:

"US Virgin Islands (St Thomas & St Croix) are supplied by IKEA Puerto Rico. IKEA products are transported from the distribution center in Puerto Rico to these islands, therefore non cross border sales are taking place. If you need more information contact to the Puerto Rico Contact center."

If these are 'non cross border sales', there may be no excise tax...

You may have to try to contact Ikea's PR contact center or BIR directly for an answer.

Please post what you find out, as there are some things I'd like to order from them as well (and many thanks for the link!)

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Posted : July 18, 2021 12:15 am
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

I bought a bed from IKEA PR earlier this year during a free shipping promotion.  I did have to pay both a customs clearance fee and an excise tax, plus do the leg work and it took several hours.  It wasn’t that much money but ended up being more complex than I had anticipated and kind of turned me off using IKEA, if I can find an easier channel. 

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Posted : July 18, 2021 3:42 am
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

For shipping quotes you can contact Tropical by email at customercare@tropical.com.  They respond pretty quickly.  Just provide them with a commercial invoice or estimate.  If you have the weight and dimensions of the shipment and the cost that is even better.  I always order from the states to either STT or STJ so can’t help on cost from PR specifically.  

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Posted : July 18, 2021 5:44 am
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

IKEA Virgin Islands - St. Croix - St. Thomas - General Contracting Conditions

section 1.3 of above link:

"Remember that taxes are not included, you will have to make the customs declaration at destination."

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Posted : July 18, 2021 10:38 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Way too much bother to order anything from Puerto Rico and have it shipped to STX.

I'll stick with ordering from the mainland, ship to Paradise Freight and have them handle all the paperwork.

So much less hassle.

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Posted : July 19, 2021 8:25 am
Knowlesstak
(@knowlesstak)
Advanced Member

This doesn’t apply to this particular shipping question. Sure you know already if you ship with the post office then no taxes on your items when it gets here, and no custom issues. All Post Office packages are still subject to Custom Inspections which they do. Mainly looking for illegal things. If your trying to get a larger items see if it can be shipped Retail Ground or Priority mail with the Post Office. The package will arrive by boat, but will have no custom issues upon arrival as it was cleared through customs already in Florida. 

No hassle either way with the exception it may take 2-3 weeks to arrive. 

Amazon still one of the best bet. Most people have PO Boxes here, and lots of items on Amazon say they cannot ship to a PO Box. However, if you change your mailing address to the physical address of the Post Office where your PO Box is at, and then put the PO Box number after it (like an apartment number) then most of those items can then be shipped. 

That’s how you can bypass that issue. 

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Posted : July 19, 2021 10:26 pm
ellee
(@ellee)
Active Member

Thanks for all your help!  I picked up my IKEA boxes from Tropical yesterday.  The charge was $50 ($40 freight, $10 insurance) for 5 boxes totaling 53 pounds (Ikea did not charge me any shipping).  

Regarding the excise tax form: I ended up selecting the option on the drop down list that listed something similar to what I ordered:  Item 281 'table cloths not intended for restaurant use' or something like that.  No issue whatsoever with using that code (which was tax-free).

After hitting submit and following the other instructions from Tropical, within 30 minutes I got a 'Delivery Authorized' email from STX CBP CARGO and could head over to Tropical (near Leatherback Brewery) and pick shipment up.

So now that I've figured all that out I will be ordering from IKEA PR again.  You actually log into a VI specific site www.ikea.vi.  Even adding $50 shipping we saved a ton of money paying IKEA prices, and I guess more importantly, got exactly what we were looking for.

All that said:  I am curious - it very well might be the same cost to order from IKEA USA and ship via Paradise - no excise tax forms to deal with.

 

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Topic starter Posted : July 20, 2021 11:47 pm
rewired
(@rewired)
Advanced Member

@ellee 

I noticed that Ikea has free shipping to the VI on orders over $250 until the end of the month. Depending on the size of your order, it might save you that $40 you paid in shipping.

Thanks for sharing the link and your experience with the process!

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Posted : July 21, 2021 7:16 am
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

@ellee I think Paradise would be more, as they are minimum $13 per box now plus insurance, that's why if I order from Amazon I always will wait for delivery if they can put it into one box.  Although they do take care of the excise tax for you without supplying any forms.  I use them often.  Now you can pay online and they send me the link so it's a bit quicker than before.

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Posted : July 21, 2021 6:09 pm
Stxdreaming1
(@stxdreaming1)
Advanced Member

@daveb722 What are the size limits of the boxes? (for that price)

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Posted : July 22, 2021 7:04 am
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

@stxdreaming1 I can't find the picture I took when the prices changed.  I should be there next week, I'll see if I can get it.

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Posted : July 22, 2021 4:33 pm
stxisbest
(@stxisbest)
Advanced Member

regular people getting personal items don't pay "excise"--as far as i know if you put it in anything to do with a business you will pay this and customs if needed--on the other hand everyone gets charged "customs" on foreign made things that have been paid for 5 times already on certain items--could be mistaken

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Posted : July 23, 2021 8:00 pm
rewired
(@rewired)
Advanced Member

Here's a link to a post from @daveb722 after the price increase:

https://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/generalrelocating/paradise-freight-2/#post-302599

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Posted : July 24, 2021 7:23 am
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

@rewired Thanks, I thought I posted that, but well old age...

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Posted : July 24, 2021 7:51 am
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