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Cyclops Optics and US Customs

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10 replies to this topic

#1 sparkyht

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 11:16 AM

Anyone have trouble receiving their items from Cyclops Optics? I have a QHY268C on the way and it got nabbed by US Customs in Cincinnati. DHL status shows "Clearance Event" and I've been trying to contact DHL, but their hold times are insanely long. Robin hasn't replied to my inquiries yet. I've ordered stuff from HK/China before and never came across this issue, stuff has always gone right through. Is the US blocking/restricting shipments from China these days? 



#2 jeremiah2229

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 11:28 AM

I ordered gear from Germany and it just arrived today after 42 days. Almost five of those weeks was Customs in Chicago even though it was cleared. This was DHL / USPS also and I have no idea if Customs was slow in the hand off to USPS or USPS backed logged. No scans at all after it cleared Customs, scanned local when delivered here. Strange thing was it was a two piece shipment and the smaller package came right through with a couple days delay. Perhaps USPS is inundated? I would be patient. I did however start a search with the Post Master here after 4 weeks. Don't give up.  waytogo.gif

 

 

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#3 havasman

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 11:45 AM

Yet items I have purchased from Russia and Ukraine consistently arrive in 6 to 8 days.



#4 sparkyht

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 01:24 PM

Customs and DHL are making me chase my tail. They demand information, I give it to them and they turn around and ask for the same information the next day. 



#5 tjay

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 06:18 PM

I ordered a few small items from Agena. I normally receive stuff from them in under two weeks here in Canada, and it took six weeks, four of which were having the package sit somewhere in LA. Shipping is not fast right now.

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#6 Stelios

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 06:56 PM

I think they're just understaffed due to Covid-19 and experiencing higher than usual merchandise amounts to clear, due to people ordering more from China during the pandemic. I ordered something on March 10th which arrive on June 28th. It was toilet paper, held in Customs for over three months.



#7 PatrickVt

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 07:40 PM

Cyclops Optics is located in Hong Kong.  I ordered a photographic camera, as opposed to astro, from Hong Kong (available only there) back in December and it took about a month to arrive here in the US.  I'd imagine things are probably worse right now.  Even when I ordered my camera, I was informed by other photographers that it would take six to eight weeks to get here.  I guess I was lucky at only four weeks.  

 

Patrick



#8 jeremiah2229

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 07:50 PM

Seems to be just USPS getting behind for us here locally as UPS / Fedex hasn't really had any significant delays and those were across the pond also.

 

 

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#9 sparkyht

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 09:44 PM

After all that messing around with customs, DHL is telling me that the duty/tax due on the shipment is $573. That's outrageous. If I bought it from Agena, OPT, etc. with tax the same camera would be $2210. From Cyclops Optics, the camera is going to run me almost $2800??!! I guess I'm cancelling the order and the camera is going back then.


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#10 PatrickVt

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 11:36 AM

I'm having difficulty finding accurate info on import duty, taxes and fees so please do not take what I write below as written in stone.  My main point is that I feel that a lot of confusion and uncertainty about importing products (even on a retail basis which is what is being discussed in this thread) to the US has arisen in the past month and it is worth noting and trying to resolve with accurate published info.

 

I don't know if it has changed or not but I think that once you are over a certain product amount, the rates for duty/tariffs/tax/fees change drastically.  I think that cutoff between duty-free and getting billed for duty and fees has been in the $850-1500 range and it may vary by country of export and product type.  So, a $1500 camera like the original poster purchased certainly might have higher duty/fees than a less expensive camera which may have none due. 

 

I've also read that the White House significantly changed these import duty/tariffs/tax/fees in late July (the last being around July 20th.  I stumbled upon long lists of addenda added in the Customs website dated January through late July of 2020...  it's like reading legal documents!).  Imported products from Hong Kong were impacted as were products from many EU countries but I continue to have difficulty nailing down any firm facts.  

 

That being said, I'm having great difficulty finding accurate info on all of this.  The more I try to research this, the more it seems like accurate info is purposely not available in the public domain.  Or, perhaps I simply have not hit upon the right sources of public info/publications.  I'm also finding that the Customs website is rather vague and convoluted with tons of links to exceptions and additional rules/conditions that are difficult to follow.  It seems like it is more of a "we'll tell you what you owe us when we have your product here in our warehouse" type of thing.

 

Also, even before any recent changes to regulations on imports to the US, it was hit or miss on whether you got tagged with extra fees sort of like the randomness of vehicle stops at the border.  Most people didn't get hit with a bill but some actually did.  I've read about this happening even here in other threads in Cloudy Nights.

 

While researching, I also found that duty, taxes and fees may also be based on country of manufacturer now in addition to country of export.  As I said, I'm having difficulty finding accurate literature on this.  What I do know is that finding a wide selection of scientific instruments made within the US is near impossible so we depend upon trade for a wide selection of goods. 

 

As has been mentioned, in comments above, I agree that the USPS and shipping companies are overburdened right now too.  They are shorthanded while experiencing a higher shipping demand.  This compounds the timeliness of import to the US and especially getting through the backlog at Customs facilities.  

 

If others find a reliable source of info on current duty/tariffs/taxes/fees, please share it somewhere in Cloudy Nights.  A lot of people in the US depend upon First Light Optics, Teleskop Express and other international retailers for products that simply are not available in the US.  I don't mind paying a reasonable percentage in duty/tariff/taxes/fees but now I worry about getting hit with a ridiculously high bill if I have a product shipped from overseas. 

 

Since we all purchase astronomy gear from around the globe, any reliable info people could add in Cloudy Nights would be appreciated.

 

Patrick


Edited by PatrickVt, 04 August 2020 - 11:43 AM.

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#11 entilza

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 11:38 PM

Nothing but the best experience with Robin from cyclops.

I ordered directly to Canada and many times got my package within 48 hours.. Incredible. Yes I paid duty but the service was great.
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