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Ebay Lens From Japan - US Customs

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#1 mic1970

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 07:55 AM

I keep losing lens on eBay to auction bots.  I'm looking at a couple buy and go lens from Japan sellers.  They have a bold red note that says the buyer is responsible for customs.  Has anyone bought one of these?  Is there duties and how much?  



#2 siriusandthepup

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 09:09 AM

The notice is so you don't complain if you get charged customs duty.

 

Since we are talking about used lenses and not a new product, there is not a set customs "fee".

 

In general, I don't worry about it. I have not had to pay a customs duty in many years and I have purchased many items (new and used) from everywhere in the world - lol. Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, Australia, Canada, UK, Denmark.

 

It might be a concern if you are buying high $$ items. Most of my purchases have been in the sub $200 range.

 

In any case you will be subject to the whim of customs as to what you are charged. For me it has always been rare to never. YMMV

 

good luck!


Edited by siriusandthepup, 17 September 2019 - 09:13 AM.


#3 OldManSky

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 03:37 PM

Doesn't really apply to mailed/shipped stuff, but it's a good story anyway...

 

Back in 2003 I was regularly traveling to Japan.  On one visit I visited Starbase Tokyo (very cool scope store in Tokyo).  They had Takahashi Sky90's in stock, I'd been wanting one, and when I did the exchange rate calculation, I realized it was about $300 less than I'd pay in the US.  So I bought one on the spot.

 

On the flight home, I kept worrying that customs would sock me for duty for more than the $300 I'd saved, and wondered if I'd made a mistake.  I (briefly) considered not declaring it, but since it was with me in my carryon stuff, and I didn't want to go to jail, I abandoned that idea :)

 

So after landing, with my honestly filled-out customs form including the $2000 Sky90 on it, I warily approached customs.  Handed the officer my form.  He looked it over.  Raised his eyebrows.  Asked to see the telescope.  So I took it out of my carryon bag, and carefully undid the bubble wrap (I had the original Tak box there too, collapsed).  He handled it carefully, took the lens cap off, worked the focuser back and forth a bit.  Then he looked at me and winked, and said, "I've been wanting one of these.  Beats the crap out of my Orion ST-80!  And you got $300 off!  So cool."  He smiled, handed it back to me, and waved me on.

 

What are the odds of getting a customs officer who was also an amateur astronomer?

 

No duty paid :)


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#4 mic1970

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 04:06 PM

Awesome story OldManSky

 

Thank you everyone.  Today I found the Sigma 105mm (newer style) open box used at Adorama in mint condition all in at $379.  My wife has their travel 18-200mm for our Pentax, and we have good use over the years.  I hope to get the same.  It will arrive before the new moon, and I can't wait to try it out.  

 

https://www.adorama.... 1166021.html


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#5 guyroch

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 04:55 PM

Since we are talking about used lenses and not a new product, there is not a set customs "fee".

This is a myth.  There is a set custom fee for every import, it doesn't matter if the item is new or used.  The custom fee is based on the declared value, what ever that amount is.

 

Cameras and accessories falls under Chapter 85.  Take a look at subheading 8525.80.  

 

According to subheading 8525.80 cameras and accessories imported into the US are free of duty.  So, unless the shipper really messes up the customs declaration, you shouldn't pay any customs on digital cameras / or accessories thereof.

 

Regards,


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#6 ThatsMyCoffee

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 01:48 AM

 For me it has always been rare to never. YMMV

 

 

 

I'm the Ying to this Yang.  I get nailed every time.

 

For small stuff, they don't charge a fee if it's under 30 euros, but sometimes the carrier's fee for customs "handling" (One signature on a standard form), is more than the cost of the item I've ordered.   A 35 euro item once cost me over 100, because of the duty, handling fee and shipping...

 

Clearly I've angered the customs Gods and now I pretty much order things only from inside the EU, to avoid this drama.  UK items are now "on sale" thanks to the pound's poor exchange rate.




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