JSngry

Hey Kids, Have You Heard The News? MOSAIC's IN TROUBLE!!!

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Received my Mingus box yesterday. Unfortunately, the box but not the CDs or book were damaged but I’m sure it will be corrected. 

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I must admit I cannot quite figure what the bone of contention is to Neveronfriday. Is it OK to be asked to pay the customs fees due or isn't it?
The way I have experienced things it makes no difference if they indicate the ACTUAL value or if no value is indicated at all or if the value indicated is so low that this alone makes things look suspicious. Even in the "worst" case you never pay more than the actual fees due.  And sometimes items just slip through and you are lucky.
I don't know about other regions of this country (though I doubt that the law differs by regions) but I'd HATE to have the carrier (who delivers the parcel) or postman collect my import duties at the door. I have had this happen to me ONCE years ago with a shipment from the US and this meant that in addition to the import duties (applicable VAT on the total purchase price, i.e. item price plus shipping) I had to shell out for a handling fee that was not exactly negligible (not sure if it was as high as the 28.50 EUR I mentioned in the Savory thread but it was a handful). I certainly can do without this because I'd feel like I seriously overpaid in that case. And usually I manage to go to the customs office within the 10-day storage period when I have some business or shopping to do in the same area so it's not that much of a fuss.
As for Neveronfriday doubting my statement that this experience was neither better nor worse than with other shipments form the US - if you have been dealing with US sellers for about 18 years (mostly through eBay which runs the whole gamut from pros to mom and pop affairs to downright clueless characters) you could write a book about it ... Yet strangely what happened on the customs side very often was unrelated to how professionally the seller had handled his part of shipping (and many of thse sellers declared the customs values - e.g. on the green slip - on the low side). I actually remember cases where I received 3 or 4 separate shippings (of identical size etc.) of "bulk" orders from one and the same seller in the US where half of them ended up with me having to go and pay customs duties whereas the others were delivered to my door with no questions asked. It's all part of the game to me so you just have to take it in stride if you want the stuff ...

Anyway .. I am surprised about what Mikeweil said about asking Mosaic specifically to attach copies of the invoice to the package. I'd have figured they have a standard procedure that they adhere to, particularly now that shipping is handled by an outsider. The $15 quoted on my parcel in fact is on a form called "CN23 Customs Declaration". Looks like the kind of paperwork intended for customs processing. I did not ask for that low amount and would not have been surprised if the customs people had doubted that amount. But in fact they seem to have ignored it because the letter I received told me that NO value had been given on the parcel and I therefore had to come collect the parcel at the customs office, invoice in hand.

Some you win, some you lose ... :shrug[1]:

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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8 hours ago, neveronfriday said:

But, again, this is assuming that everyone on this planet would rather rip off the state/cheat on taxes/save a buck.

...

All these hard-nosed people talking about law & order all the time ... unless it concerns their CDs, their stereos, their neighborhood  or whatever. All of those things are, of course, not covered by their principles (P.S.: It's just an experience I've had on many forums ... the state should do this, the state should do that, throw them into the water and let them drown ... but don't make me pay an extra cent for import duties. Screw the system and hope it doesn't notice.... Sign of the times, and all of that).

I rest my case.

I might be back in a couple of months.

I bet when something does slip through unnoticed in whatever part of the EU you live, you confront the mailman with similar indignation demanding to be taxed? Have you considered becoming a professional comedian? Might cover for those monthly customs fees.

Yes, Mosaic should attach the necessary documents to their shipments, but the state gets zero sympathy from me for charging citizens for importing the occasional book or CD. At least increase the threshold from €22 to €50 or so.

If anybody is being ripped off it is certainly not the state.

PS As you said yourself, you are well off and can afford to pay monthly customs duties. If I was charged for every CD I imported it would cripple me, you self-righteous prick!

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36 minutes ago, erwbol said:

Yes, Mosaic should attach the necessary documents to their shipments, but the state gets zero sympathy from me for charging citizens for importing the occasional book or CD. At least increase the threshold from €22 to €50 or so.

If anybody is being ripped off it is certainly not the state.

An all too well-known situation. Over here the threshold used to be some $25 and shipping  fees were NOT subject to customs fees, just the value of the goods. Then the state decided they needed to "levy more revenue" and abolished the threshold in the sense that once the value exceeded this threshold the ENTIRE amount became subject to duties, not just the amount exceeding the threshold, and on top of this the shipping costs were charged too. Happened a couple of years ago but like you correctly say, it still is a reason to feel that if anybody is being ripped off it is not the state.

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Right. Same here. That's 21% on both the item price and cost of shipping plus a flat €13 administration charge. 

Example: CD worth €22,01 with €6 shipping? That will be €18,88 please. We have every right to feel robbed.

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6 hours ago, Big Beat Steve said:

......... but I'd HATE to have the carrier (who delivers the parcel) or postman collect my import duties at the door. I have had this happen to me ONCE years ago with a shipment from the US and this meant that in addition to the import duties (applicable VAT on the total purchase price, i.e. item price plus shipping) I had to shell out for a handling fee that was not exactly negligible

....... I am surprised about what Mikeweil said about asking Mosaic specifically to attach copies of the invoice to the package. I'd have figured they have a standard procedure that they adhere to, particularly now that shipping is handled by an outsider

I  never paid for a handling fee, just VAT.

I asked Mosaic to attach invoice copies because they hadn't done so, but I was asked to pick up the parcel at the customs office and bring along a document declaring the actual value of the package (invoice or payment). Once I even had to open the parcel so they could make sure it contained what my billing documents said. I can understand, as right wing nationalist or Nazi people often import their discs from abroad, and they want to catch these. 

But after they learned to attach invoice copies everything was cool.

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1 hour ago, mikeweil said:

...  but I was asked to pick up the parcel at the customs office and bring along a document declaring the actual value of the package (invoice or payment). Once I even had to open the parcel so they could make sure it contained what my billing documents said.

That's what happened to me yesterday. Normal procedure and to be expected ... and if the invoice attached inside the red plastic sheet on the outside of the parcel had indicated the full amount I would stil have been asked to pay VAT at the customs office because the threshold was exceeded by far. And so nothing gained and the same one way or another ... It will make a difference if you know the total is below the threshold where VAT/Import duty becomes due but not if the total is higher.

That one incident where they collected the import duties due at my door was one case quite a few years back (no idea if the laws have changed since) and there definitely  was a hefty extra handling fee collected at the same time. For an unsolicited service ..

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In the UK I'm pretty sure that Royal Mail in the UK charge a handling fee if shipped via USPS.  I've known the odd parcel to slip through uncharged.  Couriers always charge the customs/VAT but I don't recall paying a handling fee.  They seem to have a pretty smooth system for charging and collecting.  That said I've not bought anything latelly from the US which would warrant a charge but I agree it's a real imposition and the £18 (?) has not changed in years as far as I know

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31 minutes ago, JohnS said:

In the UK I'm pretty sure that Royal Mail in the UK charge a handling fee if shipped via USPS.  I've known the odd parcel to slip through uncharged.  Couriers always charge the customs/VAT but I don't recall paying a handling fee.  They seem to have a pretty smooth system for charging and collecting.  That said I've not bought anything latelly from the US which would warrant a charge but I agree it's a real imposition and the £18 (?) has not changed in years as far as I know

It has been reduced to £15. Over that they hold it until you pay. You have three weeks to pay, after which they send it back. 

 

Too much like hard work.

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There are several regional customs offices spread over the country handling/evaluating the shipments in their area - it seems their procedures vary considerably. Of course they know that values are often understated, they're not dumb. And the customs war Trump started will probably make it worse, I'm afraid.

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The postman delivered the Mosaic Turrentine a moment ago - took four weeks at the lowest shipping rate. Customs were collected at the door, invoice was attached, they had opened tha package to check its contents, which is routine - nothing damaged. All is well ...

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9 minutes ago, mikeweil said:

The postman delivered the Mosaic Turrentine a moment ago - took four weeks at the lowest shipping rate. Customs were collected at the door, invoice was attached, they had opened tha package to check its contents, which is routine - nothing damaged. All is well ...

I don’t think you will regret picking up a copy of this set !

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I've worked my way through the Savory collection and then onto the Teddy Wilson Brunswick/Columbia set. I've not bothered to do an AB comparison with my Hep discs but the sound of the Mosaic is really excellent. 

Some of the tracks are from 'vinyl test pressings'. When would these have been made. At the time of recording or decades later in the vinyl era i.e. 50s etc?

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