Importing a Chinese guitar. Customs fees? Tariffs? VAT?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by JukeJointJunkie, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. JukeJointJunkie

    JukeJointJunkie Tele-Meister

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    Can someone tell me (or point me to a website) that explains import fees, tariffs, etc on Chinese guitars? I'd hate to order something and then find out after the fact that I'd have to pay a boatload of extra taxes and such.
     
  2. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you buy on ebay it should be included. Not sure what import taxes are required where you live. I don't think you have to pay anything if the cost is low like most Chinese guitars.
     
  3. JukeJointJunkie

    JukeJointJunkie Tele-Meister

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    Thanks. I found one website that stated the limit was $800 before you had to pay tariffs.
     
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  4. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    Since you are in Texas read this:
    https://www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export/internet-purchases

    But the tl/dr is:
    If the item is less than $2,000 in value and is not subject to a quota or is not a restricted or prohibited item, a CBP official will usually prepare the paperwork for importing it, assess the proper duty, and release it for delivery. This procedure is generally referred to as a mail entry. Packages whose declared value is under $800 ($100 if being sent as a gift to someone other than the purchaser) will generally be cleared without any additional paperwork prepared by CBP. However, CBP always reserves the right to require a formal entry for any importation and generally exercises this option if there is something unusual about the importation, or if important documents such as an invoice or bill of sale do not accompany the item.

    So far he who shall not be named hasn't added to the current list of Chinese goods subject to increased tariffs so as of this week Musical instruments are not subject to a 25% tariff.
     
  5. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Zuzax got a custom guitar from China, he could tell you.
     
  6. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

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    Mate i would be more concerned about the money you will have to spend on it to get it playable they are notorious for building guitars half arsed
     
  7. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Importing a MIC guitar to Texas and you're worried about tariffs and import fees ? I don't get it. You must not be from around here maybe ? There are none added unless you're talking something made after 2016 with rosewood. Just a guess.
     
  8. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just buy an Epiphone or Squier at GC ... MIC ... Amazon has plenty more ...
     
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  9. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Be on the lookout for a Gibson lawsuit. You've been warned! :p
     
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  10. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

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    If you're going to import a guitar, try for Japanese, they make very nice guitars, as a general rule.
     
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  11. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Tele-Meister

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    I will try to be helpful. I live in Canada so the import laws, while similar, are different.

    If you want to be safe, then you should only buy from Ebay sellers that offer Ebay's International Import service, the one that says 'no extra charges at the door'. So these listings have shipping charges and then a separate 'import charge'. So you pay extra, but you know what the amount will be.

    You will never be subject to VAT though one day your government has to surely consider this.

    There is an $800 discretionary exemption (in Canada, it's $100) but the carrier may be important. If the carrier is FedEX or UPS, despite the exemption, you may still have to pay brokerage fees (the cost of a professional to submit the papers to a gov't official). With these carriers, this is often a percentage of the total value of the merchandise and can be surprisingly high.

    Again, with Ebay's 'no extra charges' there are no extra charges. Ebay sellers don't have the time or perhaps the means to research their buyer's tax systems so the responsibility will be yours.
     
  12. Zuzax

    Zuzax Tele-Afflicted

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    It's been a couple of years now, but there were no customs charges or tariffs or anything of the sort when I got my Jazzbird. It was a major pain in the ass though dealing with the Chinese guitar maker.
     
  13. Speedfish

    Speedfish Tele-Meister

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    I've purchased four Chinese made guitars, through DHgate, over the last 9 months and what I paid at the point of purchase is all that I've paid. No tariff fees or any other fees. I was nervous too when I placed my first order. No worries. Amazing guitars at a fraction of the price!
     
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  14. DonM

    DonM Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I've bought five over the past several years from AliExpress and there is no fee and I've had no problems with customs. The last one was in and out of customs in the same day.
     
  15. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    The one I got directly from China had impeccable fretwork, the Epiphone I bought from a European dealer but also made in China felt like it was rushed out of the factory before fret inspection. That may not be what you receive, just my experience.
     
  16. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I bought a Chibson last month off of eBay, paid about $350. No taxes, fees or tariffs of any kind. Don't know if that will change because of Big Orange's declaration, but you're good to go until then...
     
  17. JukeJointJunkie

    JukeJointJunkie Tele-Meister

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    Good to know, thanks. I bought a new amp this weekend, so I'm putting off a new guitar for now. But I've got my eyes on an LP Jr style guitar, and I think I'll pull the trigger real soon.
     
  18. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    You might want to get them to paint over the fake logo, if there is one, and cover up "Made in USA" on the back of the headstock. I did, because I can't stand that stuff, and it took them about a month to do it, which I didn't mind because I got the guitar I wanted. Also they used to open all of them up where I live, as well as charge customs, as the customs-free total is much lower than the USA.
     
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