International shipping problems
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I'm from the U.S. and I just started printing my international orders online through etsy. For the first time, I have buyers saying that they have had to pay large custom fees because of what was marked on the label. I have never had this problem in the past. Is there something I need to change when printing the label? As far as I know, everything is filled out for you by etsy's system. Is there a way to make changes? Has anyone else had this problem?
Posted at 5:02 pm Nov 23, 2012 EST
NO NO NO! Do not check 'gift' on the customs form. It is a federal offense to falsify customs information:
Your customs form should be marked at the value the item sells at, and should be marked 'merchandise' or 'other'. But marking it as a gift could potentially get you into serious trouble.
Posted at 5:06 pm Nov 23, 2012 EST
Sabrina, you should also put in your policy section that buyers are responsible for all customs, duties, etc charged by their own countries. And that you will abide by the law and not mark goods sold as 'gifts'. This is just to cover yourself.
Posted at 5:12 pm Nov 23, 2012 EST
The large potential fines wouldn't be worth it, Jenifer. Don't mark it as a gift unless you are giving it to someone yourself!!
Many countries seem to have cracked down on import duty collection recently--need more money, perhaps? Formerly many packages went through without paying but now not so much.
If you are marking the value correctly (as the sales price) and "merchandise", there really isn't much else you could change.
Posted at 5:15 pm Nov 23, 2012 EST
I can sympathize with them, fees can be nuts in some cases. But no way I'm going to risk everything by falsifying a customs form. Most international buyers are full aware of their countries import fees. There are sellers here who choose to make a point of telling customers that they will mark gift. It sends the message that it's good customer service. Breaking the law is never good customer service, but they get away with it here for some reason.
Posted at 5:16 pm Nov 23, 2012 EST
Buyers are responsible for paying any import duties and taxes as required by their own country.
I would NOT suggest marking the package as a gift because if it is lost, then there is no value associated with it and as such you cannot claim any insurance on the package.
Also by marking a package as a gift when in fact its a purchase, you are falsifying documents and there are severe penalties if you are caught.
Many countries have a much lower threshold for gifts than they do for imports.
Posted at 5:23 pm Nov 23, 2012 EST