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US Customs - any experience?

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    US Customs - any experience?

    I’m not sure this is appropriate (please take it down if not) but I remember a similar thread on the old platform so here it goes.

    I’m considering purchasing a watch from outside US but I’m quite confused on how customs work.
    The watch comes from a reputable dealer that is used to international shipping so I’m not worried there.
    I’m trying to guesstimate how much customs would charge and that’s where it gets messy. AFAICT it’s very dependent on how the seller splits the value of the watch into multiple categories (mechanism, material, etc) since they all have different import fees / rates.

    Anybody went through this before and doesn’t mind share his/her experience?

    #2
    I bought a watch a few years back from a watch company in Denmark. They put the value of the watch really low which kept the duty cheap but it's a risk because you can't insure the shipment for more than its customs value. There are lots of factors at play and the rules have changed since I did it. The rules for exporting changed March 1 for stuff going from the US to the EU so there might be some reciprocal rule changes for incoming product. One thing you might try - set up a return shipment in Fedex.com. You'll need your address and the origin address. I know for outgoing shipments the software will estimate the duty and taxes. Sorry - that's all I got.

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      #3
      Haven’t gone through this specific item on international shipping of a watch. On accessories it seems they normally keep value low, but I never had questions on customs from my side or had to pay anything.

      I did recently purchase a watch from overseas and they had to remove the strap (alligator) so it didn’t get hung up due to CITES. Their US office put on a brand new oem alligator strap which worked out well, but nothing on customs.

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        #4
        Off topic but I must comment on the 997 Targa . Love that color combo - plus I'm a Targa fan. I've had 4 and my 964 black on black Targa is a keeper. Sorry - now back to the topic at hand. You said the watch is coming from outside the US but didn't identify the source country. It might help in getting you other feedback. The rules and costs are not the same from everywhere.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Proftime View Post
          Off topic but I must comment on the 997 Targa . Love that color combo - plus I'm a Targa fan. I've had 4 and my 964 black on black Targa is a keeper. Sorry - now back to the topic at hand. You said the watch is coming from outside the US but didn't identify the source country. It might help in getting you other feedback. The rules and costs are not the same from everywhere.
          Good point, UK.
          I didn’t know the source country mattered!

          Comment


            #6
            I've shipped to the US (and received from the US) quite a few times. The amount you'll pay in customs duty will depend on the % charged for each listed item, i.e. watch 25%, strap 40%. Each element will have its own rate. There are usually sites that you can Google that give you a rough estimate, but you need the customs code for each line item.

            If you have a flexible seller then there is an option to reduce your import duties. Have them declare a nominal value on the customs invoice. This is desirable for a number of reasons, not least it reduces the duty burden for you, but it can also help the package acquire less attention from would-be thieves in transit. Get the seller to describe the watch as a "precision analog measuring device" or similar, don't mention Panerai on the customs invoice as that may attract attention from thieves.

            Use a 3rd party to insure for the full value, I've used Secursus many, many times for this.

            Good luck, it's doable and doable without the risk of being under-insured or losing the watch to US customs - but it needs the seller to be flexible and not all are.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Proftime View Post
              Off topic but I must comment on the 997 Targa . Love that color combo - plus I'm a Targa fan. I've had 4 and my 964 black on black Targa is a keeper. Sorry - now back to the topic at hand. You said the watch is coming from outside the US but didn't identify the source country. It might help in getting you other feedback. The rules and costs are not the same from everywhere.
              Also off topic, but thank you. Lapis blue and sun beige. Dream car for me and the posters on the wall as a child were a 911. Been extremely fortunate - now maybe the newest dream in a coveted Panerai may come to fruition - but after the first graduates college!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Matt Reynolds View Post
                I've shipped to the US (and received from the US) quite a few times. The amount you'll pay in customs duty will depend on the % charged for each listed item, i.e. watch 25%, strap 40%. Each element will have its own rate.
                Krikey! I can't imagine how good of a deal I'd have to get to justify buying from outside the US with numbers like that.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Customs fees can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the country you're importing the watch from, the value of the watch, and the specific customs regulations of your own country.

                  In general, you should be prepared to pay duties, taxes, and possibly other fees when importing a watch. These fees can be a percentage of the value of the watch, or they may be a flat fee.

                  To estimate how much you might need to pay in customs fees, you should research the specific regulations of your country's customs agency. You can usually find this information online, and some agencies even have online calculators to help you estimate the fees.

                  It's also a good idea to ask the seller for an estimate of the customs fees you might need to pay. They may have experience shipping to your country and can give you a rough idea of what to expect.

                  It's important to note that customs fees are the responsibility of the buyer, so be sure to factor them into your budget when considering a purchase from outside your country.

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