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2+2macht4 10-26-2011 06:27 PM

Mamas in Germany, importing baby items and the zoll, help :)
Well I know that anyting over 150 euro has additional taxes. I have never had this amount exceeded in gift packages.

But my dad just sent DS a box full of winter clothes and the value was over 300 USD :jawdrop:

I have no clue what to expect with customs.

I have read at over 150 euro I am taxed on shipping another 80 or so, plus no tax free expemtion of 45 euro so 17.5% vat on total value plus shipping. Is that right?

But then comes the additional customs charges. I see textile clothing for 12%. No mention of baby items anywhere online. Anyone know what tax percantage it is? What about like baby toys I see no category it would fall under.

I am really worried it will be like a 100 euro customs bill :cry: Not that I am not greatful, but over 30% tax is a bit much to swallow.

Wanderlust 10-27-2011 02:03 AM

Re: Mamas in Germany, importing baby items and the zoll, help :)
I don't have any advise- that just really stinks. I hope someone can chime in with the % I wonder if Germany counts new and used clothes under different tiers. I remember reading about a mama somewhere who didn't get taxed on used baby clothes and used cloth diapers when "used" was stated on the customs forms

AundAPenner 10-30-2011 09:29 AM

Re: Mamas in Germany, importing baby items and the zoll, help :)
What did he write on the actual forms?

Zollamt has stopped many of our boxes - and have let many others through. There seems to be no rhyme or reason.

If they do stop you, you could always explain that they are gifts ... theoretically you could be charged but I have found our local office to be understanding.

Oh, and used diapers always gets a funny look on their face ;)

2+2macht4 10-30-2011 11:13 AM

Re: Mamas in Germany, importing baby items and the zoll, help :)
He wrote gifts. The one time I had used diapers they let all the new items in tax free haha.

But the best was the time I explained breast pump O_O

niadara 11-29-2011 11:25 AM

Re: Mamas in Germany, importing baby items and the zoll, help :)
Ugh that stinks. The Zollamt randomly lets boxes pass and some they hold back. Last year I sent my dad a kite, he wanted a space shuttle kite for my nephews. The darn ding cost me $20. Shipping was $38. I sent it since I couldn't take it with me on the plane. I said gift, $20 worth, and sent it on its way. It was held back by the Zollamt. As it so happened, my parents got the note the day I arrived, so I went along. The guy there was so unpleasant. I said I sent it, so he assumed I bought it while on vacation and sent it over. Then apparently taxes apply (wtf, sorry). He said you have to proof to me it is worth less than 30 euros or taxes apply, and without receipt I have to hold this package unless you can prove me how much it is worth. Luckily I bought it online so he let me use his computer to show him the website. The kite had risen to $28 and he said now he has to charge taxes (makes no sense) because this is not a gift as I do not live in the US (huh? really obscure tactics here). I then said uh no I do live in the US, here's my passport, see, issued in San Francisco. He then gritted his teeth and FINALLY gave us our kite. It is a HUGE pain.

I just kicked my behind as I sent my sister my maternity clothes, some are hers I'm returning since she's due in June. I totally wasn't thinking, put other instead of gift and wrote "borrowed clothing" and $50. Sheesh I shoulda put $20 or less. I hope it won't be stuck. I didn't add a note, but this time as sender address hyphenated my last name with my maiden name so it matches my parent's name (I sent it there since my sis lives in China and will be visiting over xmas). I'm praying they won't make trouble. I already have planned to send my parents a letter of explanation, signed and notarized, with a copy of my passport and utility bill proving where I live that I am returning clothes to their rightful owner so they won't freaking charge VAT on those.

2+2macht4 11-29-2011 01:59 PM

Re: Mamas in Germany, importing baby items and the zoll, help :)
In the end the tax was 46 euro They did not tax shipping nor add any additional customs fees. And the 45 euro was tax free.

Borrowed clothing should not be an issue. I never pay tax on used items. My dad over declares he once put 50 dollars for socks. Yeah I know. I do not try to understand.

But my mom she hits up garage sales and kohls clearence, low balls he used value to like 25 cents per items and values a huge box at 80 bucks or so never taxes.

Only once I was called in to open, I opned it up and used cloth diapers were on top. They sent me home and did not even charge taxes on the other box from my dad I was picking up with new gifts, buhahaha.

Now if only you could have seen the dude face when I tried to explain milk pump one time.

The zoll here are nice. But we are moving and I really hope the new zoll office is not bad.

I also hope my dad learns to start lowballing instead of hig rolling it because with DH in the prebezeit it will be me over and hour on a train trying to carry a baby and box home. Not what I want to do at ALL.

niadara 11-29-2011 02:26 PM

Re: Mamas in Germany, importing baby items and the zoll, help :)
I'm glad you have a good experience overall! It really depends on the individual, much like with TSA at the airport... Our county's Zollamt is small and the guy is just a typical deutscher Beamter (I bet your husband can say a lot about those kinda people)... He's bored and every once in a while someone gets a package from ABROAD! That's sorta the impression I had with him...

I agree about lowballing, it's the only way. Technically Zoll can stop you at the airport too and there is a limit of how much stuff you can bring over, but it has never ever happened to us... But as a precaution my parents wash all the clothes they buy for my nephews here at my house, no tags, washed, so one can say it's used clothing...

My last package is still ... I mean arrrgh why did I write $50? Nursing brain. ;) I hope it will be fine. Shipping was a whopping $67 (I think I was in shock and hence wrote $50)....

I'll fly again to Germany next summer or September, let me know if I can take something along for you, I can ship it cheaply from within Germany :)

2+2macht4 11-29-2011 02:29 PM

Re: Mamas in Germany, importing baby items and the zoll, help :)
The zoll here are hit and miss some are better then others.

In the last city we lived the guy was a beast. My mom sent a carton of ciggerettes for DH. We thought it was ok since on a plane you can bring a carton, but per post the limit is 50.

Long story short he made us sit and hour and a half. We paid a 70 euro fine. Then as we walked out the door he yelled I hope those tatse good. WTF dude.

I asked if I could just leave them and he said no I could only pay return shipping on the whole box or pay 70 euro straf. Return shipping was the same...


trashmuell 08-13-2012 12:53 PM

Re: Mamas in Germany, importing baby items and the zoll, help :)
I know this is an old thread, but just wanted to say thanks for the info. I've been really worried about this too. I've been getting cloth diapers in the States and I'm having my mom send them in packages less than $150 (which is usually less than 5 lbs and can be sent USPS for about $20). She's sent one package thus far. I'm paranoid, so I had her remove all of the tags/packaging, not include any receipts, and write a "gift note" to me making it clear she was giving these to me as a gift. Thus far this has worked with the one package. I have two more to try. We'll see. :)

2+2macht4 08-15-2012 07:02 AM

Re: Mamas in Germany, importing baby items and the zoll, help :)
Just FYI you want reciepts on anything with value even if a fit. You dont want reciepts with your name though then its taxed differently.

My mom is a customs jedi. She does a mix of new and used. She always values right around 100 dollars and I never get Taxed.

German law says even if there is a tax but its less then 10 euro it cannot be charged, so while only 45 euro is tax free on gifts it will still be tax free so long as the taxation amount figured is under 10 euro. It takes some math skills if curious I can write out my forumla it of course varies per the euro fluctuation daily so I leave a buffer.

Customs is always super nice, when ever I get anything name brand or of value we include reciepts, but on her packages they have never questioned it.

My dad on the other hand overdeclares likeputting 50 as a value on used items. I always get taxed on his packages. I have tried to explain customs does not care about my used items from my storage shed there is no value, but he isworried that he will get in trouble I guess. I asked customs myself about used items they said write value 0 used sending to owner, my mom does this and never ever had an issue.

I have a few times opened my boxes they looked it saw it was used items or a mix with gifts not of high value and just say ok, no meds right, I say nope and off my merry way.

But customs can mess up always check. Just yesterday I was charged 35 euro on a package that should have been 13 euro tax. The guy added the insured value onto the package value doubling my package value and tripling my tax. Now we had to pay and go in and appeal which should be easy enough since you can see clear as day where the mistake was made, I think I got a apprentice.

On gifts it should always be:
* No tax on shipping
* Up to 45 euro is tax free, but this does not apply to single items, make sure if you send a heafty gift you include at least 2 items, small tip there :P
* I thought 150 euro was the cut off, where they add additional customs taxation but so far this has never happened to me even packages valued over 200 euro
* The tax varies baised on the item but I have always been charged 17.5%
* under 10.00 never billed
* Gifts sent diect to you from a company are treated as a purchase. Only use eu companies. So if daddy orders a ipad from amazon US and it ships direct to you even though it is a gift there is no waiver its taxed liek below. However same ipad on where vat tax is paid does not incur the additional taxation and since shipping is taxed its much cheaper

Convert USD value to euros - 45 euro tax free equals taxable amount times .175 is your tax

When you buy things outside the eu
*Anything over 22 euro is taxed
* 22 euro icludes shipping and shipping is taxed
* If you exceed 22 euro you get no waiver the full value plus shipping is taxed
* taxation varies baised on item I personally plan with 19%
*over 150 does incur additional importation fees
* If an invoice is not supplied on the outside of the package you will need to supply proof of what you paid

purchase price plus shipping covert to euro times .19 is your tax

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