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Implications of refusing/not accepting a parcel from non-EU, due to exorbitant customs declaration fee from b-post

Question

Hello,

We have ordered a phone cover from an American company(Urban armor gear - UAG), on their EU website, which seems to ship it from HongKong. We received following notification from B-post:

"Your parcel has been sent from a country outside of the EU and is subject to customs tax. You will be asked to pay the tax of €38.11 in cash before bpost can hand over your parcel."

The cover itself it about 40€, It is ridiculous to pay another 40€ as customs.
I checked UAG website and I see they state that they do not have control over the imports or customs fees implemented by your country. They cannot be held responsible for compensation.

Additionally we are obligated by law to declare the correct value for shipments. Looking at EC.europa website, goods wroth upto 150€ should be tax-free. But I suppose this is the cost we need to pay b-post for customs clearance/declaration formalities. I see they made sure declaration is couple of euros cheaper than actual cost of the product.
https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/individuals/buying-goods-services-...

What are the implications of refusing/not accepting a parcel from non-EU
If we refuse to accept the parcel, are we still obliged to pay the above said duty of 41€?

Thanks in advance

J

You agreed to pay all customs fees when you ordered. It's in the T&Cs, as it always is.

"Customs Duty is not due for goods, provided directly to the buyer when their value does not exceed 150 euros."
Yes, but VAT and customs clearance fees do apply.

Pay up and don't make the mistake of ordering from outside the EU again.

Oct 30, 2019 22:07
Emille B.

I had the same problem some years ago; bpost agent mailed me that I could refuse the package , they would send it back to the seller.
refunds had to be claimed by myself from the vendor.
(He vastly underdeclared the value to under 22 euro , to avoid EU import duties)

Oct 31, 2019 00:52
kasseistamper

There are two elements here. The purchase - which you have paid for - and the service provided by Bpost.
If you refuse to accept the parcel, Bpost will return it to the sender as is the standard procedure for undelivered items. The sender will then be liable to give you a refund BUT they may well deduct the shipping costs and an administrative charge for the work they have done in sending the item to you. Check their T & Cs.
You will still owe Bpost for the service which they have provided!

Oct 31, 2019 09:57
anon

Read the T&C's, it's pretty clear:

https://urbanarmorgear.com/pages/shipping-information

"International orders may be subject to import and custom fees imposed by the destination country. Urban Armor Gear has no control over these fees and is not responsible. For more information, please follow-up with your local customs office."

So if you refuse the item;
1) you have no liability for the customs charges, and
2) it'll be returned to the sender, but they will almost certainly deduct the return shipping costs and any other costs from any reimbursement to you.

Incidentally, you can buy almost all these items on Amazon.co.uk, or Amazon.de or Amazon.fr or multiple other European sites, where you would not have had these issues.

Finally, just as an anecdote, twice in my 30 years in Belgium, I have refused packages that had duty payable on them. Once from the post office, and once from a private carrier like DHL or FedEx (I forget which). I just told them I wasn't going to pay and they could return the packages. In both examples, the package eventually turned up at the house anyway about a week later and I never heard anything more.

Oct 31, 2019 10:15
WSP

I refused the package. Let me see if I get the refund. Normally they have 30 day return policy. Not sure what will happen if I refuse to accept.

Nov 2, 2019 19:52