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Ordering from Spanish shops to the UK


Geep7
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I wasn't sure whether to ask this in this section, or the Overseas Modelling, but as it is specific to Spanish model shops and Spanish Railway modelling, i'll ask away here.

 

Has anyone had any experience of ordering from Spanish model shops and having it delivered by mail order to the UK?

 

I've started finding it increasingly difficult to buy anything here in the UK that is remotely Spanish in outline, especially scenic items and vehicles. Even stock appears to be increasingly rare, with the odd few items popping up on eBay, and stuff disappearing on Amazon. So i'm starting to have to look overseas to order anything in.

 

So if anyone has had good (hopefully) or bad (hopefully not) experiences, then it would be great to know, before I go ordering anything.

 

Cheers, Chris

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I've ordered a few things from eBay.es with no issues. Some of these have come from model shops selling via eBay.

 

I have also had three deliveries from Basar Valira, probably around ten years ago and there was no method on their website for paying with a UK card. I called them and explained they problem - the girl spoke English - and I just emailed my credit card details. Not these wisest move, but I did want the ALCo on my avatar......I had no problems. I got a 333.3 from Rocafort in Barcelona, but had to get my wife to call and give card details over the phone......

 

Postage can be steep. I paid €30 postage on the orders from Rocafort and Basar Valira, but more recently it has been cheaper from eBay and I even had a 333.3 free postage! I have also had Renfe models from Germany and Slovenia via eBay and old Electrotren catalogues from Italy. All the items I have bought have been tracked deliveries, arrived in good condition and matched the description of what I wanted.

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Like Ellocoloco, I have bought items through ebay.es over a number of years. A couple of vendors I identified as traders (one was in Italy!) and other vendors have been in Germany, France and Portugal as well as Spain. Only once have I had the goods go missing, and that was a private purchase of some Mabar items from someone I had previously dealt with through ebay and I forgot to specify tracked shipping. A couple of lessons learned there! I have persuaded myself that he did actually ship the goods but they were intercepted somewhere en route, as an identical lot appeared on ebay.co.uk a few months later - long enough not to be seen as a coincidence. I have also ordered direct from one manufacturer without problems. 

 

Shipping costs can represent a big mark up.

 

Also bear in mind that the Vat and duty regimes may well change after the Brexit transition period ends. Any readers who have bought stuff from outside the EU will know that these will be charged if customs consider the value to be over the de minimus limit. Duty is charged on the value of the goods, VAT is charged on the value of the goods plus the shipping costs - which count towards the de minimus

To add insult to injury Customs/Post Office will levy a handling fee - it used to be £8 but has no doubt gone up. Always check the Vat computation- I have  had Customs add the postage value on the package to the declared invoice value even if the latter included p&p and therefore over charge the VAT! I did get a refund. Be aware that Customs set a rate each month that they use for exchange conversion, not the spot rate on the day the goods arrive.

 

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Not Spain to the UK but Spain to France so the principles are the same:

 

There was a period when it became difficult to source Redutex textured sheets, so I went direct to the producer in Spain.  No problems whatsoever.

 

From the UK you should expect to see a transaction charge on your card for a purchase in a foreign currency - typically around 3%.  

 

As stated, expect things to change from 1/1/2021 but quite how is anybody's guess - including I would think several senior politicians.

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40 minutes ago, CPW said:

Like Ellocoloco, I have bought items through ebay.es over a number of years. A couple of vendors I identified as traders (one was in Italy!) and other vendors have been in Germany, France and Portugal as well as Spain. Only once have I had the goods go missing, and that was a private purchase of some Mabar items from someone I had previously dealt with through ebay and I forgot to specify tracked shipping. A couple of lessons learned there! I have persuaded myself that he did actually ship the goods but they were intercepted somewhere en route, as an identical lot appeared on ebay.co.uk a few months later - long enough not to be seen as a coincidence. I have also ordered direct from one manufacturer without problems. 

 

Shipping costs can represent a big mark up.

 

Also bear in mind that the Vat and duty regimes may well change after the Brexit transition period ends. Any readers who have bought stuff from outside the EU will know that these will be charged if customs consider the value to be over the de minimus limit. Duty is charged on the value of the goods, VAT is charged on the value of the goods plus the shipping costs - which count towards the de minimus

To add insult to injury Customs/Post Office will levy a handling fee - it used to be £8 but has no doubt gone up. Always check the Vat computation- I have  had Customs add the postage value on the package to the declared invoice value even if the latter included p&p and therefore over charge the VAT! I did get a refund. Be aware that Customs set a rate each month that they use for exchange conversion, not the spot rate on the day the goods arrive.

 

 

There shouldn't be any import duty on toys they are WTO zero rated?

 

Edited by maico
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Maico

I agree that appears to be the case at the moment, but I certainly remember receiving a shipment from the USA where duty was levied. It was way back when, so the agreed tariffs might have changed since then. Also the amount was exceedingly modest, less than two pounds on a shipment that was around £200 IIRC. However it may be that there was something in the order that didn’t qualify as scale models/toys, and that was what was charged and not the whole consignment. I don’t remember what was in the order.

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Bought direct from Redutex a few times without any problem and used PayPal which avoids charges. As has been mentioned - things will change. 

 

Unless there is some kind of deal, WTO rules apply which for model railways is a zero % tariff BUT - VAT is a great complication. Its not completely clear what will happen after 1st January 2021. This is the bit that I think will substantially impact "For goods sent from overseas and sold directly to UK consumers without OMP involvement, the overseas seller will be required to register and account for the VAT to HMRC." I just cannot see outfits like Redutex and others wanting to be bothered registering with HMRC in the UK with all the business complication it will add.

 

I suspect they will simply not ship to the UK after 1st January - if they are even aware of this change.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-vat-treatment-of-overseas-goods-sold-to-customers-from-1-january-2021/changes-to-vat-treatment-of-overseas-goods-sold-to-customers-from-1-january-2021

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Thanks all for the replies.

 

I wonder if any of you have used any of the larger Spanish model shops with their online web shops, such as El Taller del Modelista?

 

That particular shop seems to be the only place where I can get any sort of Spanish model buses in HO, well, without resorting to flying to Spain, which while rather an attractive propect, probably not the best idea at the moment.

 

Perhaps I should try a smallish order with them, and see how it goes, although, as mentioned, the rather high postage cost does rather put me off doing a small order.

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2 hours ago, JimFin said:

Bought direct from Redutex a few times without any problem and used PayPal which avoids charges. As has been mentioned - things will change. 

 

Unless there is some kind of deal, WTO rules apply which for model railways is a zero % tariff BUT - VAT is a great complication. Its not completely clear what will happen after 1st January 2021. This is the bit that I think will substantially impact "For goods sent from overseas and sold directly to UK consumers without OMP involvement, the overseas seller will be required to register and account for the VAT to HMRC." I just cannot see outfits like Redutex and others wanting to be bothered registering with HMRC in the UK with all the business complication it will add.

 

I suspect they will simply not ship to the UK after 1st January - if they are even aware of this change.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-vat-treatment-of-overseas-goods-sold-to-customers-from-1-january-2021/changes-to-vat-treatment-of-overseas-goods-sold-to-customers-from-1-january-2021

 

 

Thanks for the link.

 

I suspect the average overseas small vendor such as the shops we are talking about won’t have any idea this is coming at them, especially if they are outside the EU. I can’t see how HMRC expect to enforce this with small traders resident in overseas jurisdictions. Very large retailers/wholesalers, maybe aware and will comply. OMPs like Amazon and Ebay should be able to put systems in place and get their cut as small traders route their sales through them as the simplest way to comply. As usual the system is rigged so the big boys win out at the expense of the little guys!

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On 16/10/2020 at 20:07, CPW said:

 

 

Thanks for the link.

 

I suspect the average overseas small vendor such as the shops we are talking about won’t have any idea this is coming at them, especially if they are outside the EU. I can’t see how HMRC expect to enforce this with small traders resident in overseas jurisdictions. Very large retailers/wholesalers, maybe aware and will comply. OMPs like Amazon and Ebay should be able to put systems in place and get their cut as small traders route their sales through them as the simplest way to comply. As usual the system is rigged so the big boys win out at the expense of the little guys!

 

Ebay already notified business sellers what will change at Jan 1st:

Items listed on Ebay must have a price with VAT and one without VAT. 

They will collect the VAT for items sold to UK buyers and make the payment to the HMRC. Similar will be done to purchases for UK buyers that buy items in the EU. 

 

Similar tax collections are done by ebay for US & Norwegian buyers.

The only difference is that currently you don't have prices with / without VAT so these buyers pay double VAT now when ordering from business sellers!

 

Ed

 

 

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Hi Chris

 

I regularly use the Spanish online shops for n gauge RENFE and I think I have been pleased with all although postage can be a bit eye watering.  El Taller del Modelista are my go to shop, however, with postage not so bad, a great range and very good service.

 

Andy

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On 16/10/2020 at 20:48, Andy Hayter said:

I think I am right in saying that when Australia did something similar, Ebay and Amazon simply shut down imports.

They have not! We often sell coreless motor upgrade kits, Coreless motors and Gravograph parts to Australia. And bought some other stuff from there as well.

Ed

Edited by etendam
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On 16/10/2020 at 15:22, maico said:

 

There shouldn't be any import duty on toys they are WTO zero rated?

 

This is not completely true. (I know a legal adviser who sorted this out)

When selling from the UK to the EU after Jan 1st import duty on toys are zero rated but ONLY if they are made in UK! And there is the catch what lot's of companies will face and are not fully aware of. You need to fill in the country of origin and if that isn't the UK then tariffs apply regardless the outcome of the Brexit deal.

 

The Automotive industry is already fully aware of this (See almost every news site ) and several thousands of companies should decide whether they set up an EU hub where the imported goods from the far east are send directly to OR first import them in the UK and then try to sell them with a tariff to the EU. So beside the VAT,  the tariff and customs you perhaps also need a Customs Broker.

 

Large MRR companies will therefore setup an EU hub but for smaller companies this isn't the reality. EU buyers are facing a high price (up to 40 or 50% on low value items) when buying from the UK when products are not made there and source items elsewhere. It is also possible that when parts are imported in the UK tariffs and VAT apply and then when selling them to the EU tariffs and VAT are applied again (if the company doesn't have a VAT number in the UK)

 

The country of origin was excluded in Theresa May's deal with the EU but is now a part of the withdrawal agreement. 

 

Ed

Edited by etendam
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Would you like to explain where the only comes from please.  WTO regulations have toys as zero rated across the world.  That is why Chinese made toys come into the EU and the UK duty free - and it does not matter whether the sales company is Hornby, Bachmann, Jouef, LS Models, Heris or any of the other companies that rely on Chinese manufacture.

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This is what  (according the legal adviser) is agreed in the withdrawal agreement with the UK. And not all MRR are classified as toys. The forums are full of examples of US & far east imports that items are one time classified as toys and the next shipment or the same shipment to another buyer are not and he faces customs costs.

Spare parts can never be classified as toys (motors, gears, wheels, kits? etc)

 

Manufacturers should also be aware of CE certificates. This applies not on spare parts or wagons but on RTR models.

 

Ed

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6 minutes ago, Andy Hayter said:

https://www.trade-tariff.service.gov.uk/headings/9503

 

I raise your 9503004100 and bid 9503 where electric trains including track, signals and other accessories has 0% duty.

 

You have expanded into toys other - 

 

Toys representing animals or non-human creatures

 subsection - stuffed (rather appropriately)

Like the chap says. If you are importing you trains and paying duty then you are due a refund.

 

image.png.adeb27ed9265884f4f42763ec83e6745.png

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You can apply for a refund if you are hit with a tariff that isn't correct but:

 

The German Customs classified on 24/10/2019 a working Model train with DCC decoder installed as 9503 00 70 (Other toys and models, incorporating a motor )

 

https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/dds2/ebti/ebti_details.jsp?Lang=en&selectedReference=&reference=DEBTI39938/19-1&refcountry=&valstartdate=&valstartdateto=&valenddate=&valenddateto=&suppldate=&nomenc=9503003000&nomencto=&keywordsearch=&descript=&orderby=&totalRecords=53&linkVal=&viewVal=&keywordmatchrule=&specialkeyword=

 

This is done by a case. This one is valid until 27/10/22

The same discission has been made in case DEBTI23580/20-1 (A H0 Scale Unimog electric with DCC - That is a Märklin 39940 )

 

When looking at https://www.trade-tariff.service.gov.uk/commodities/9503007000?currency=EUR

Then you notice that it is hit wit a 4.7 % third country duty AND of course the standard customs fee - In the Netherlands that is around € 13 and over this total you also pay VAT. So it looks like which custom service employee is looking at the model and where they decide to classify it in and if it is hit with tariffs. This also explains why there are discussions on MRR forums about this subject when (Re-) importing the same model by different buyers.

 

Ed

Edited by etendam
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This thread is all rather interesting to me as I'm a Customs consultant and forwarding agent so this is basically a large part of what I do for a living.

 

The real fun will (might!) come if HMG decide, as is rumored, to impose an anti-dumping duty on Chinese made "toys". Anyone fancy paying 48-90% extra in duties? And VAT on the value of the goods and the anti-dumping duty of course. Be interesting to see where that one goes. The price of our hobby could rise considerably. Of course that might tip the economics in favor of manufacturing in the UK again. 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Andy Hayter said:

Well given that China are said to produce 95% of the world's toys, good luck with HMG trying to resurrect the dead (aka UK produced toys)

 

I suspect HMG aren't too worried about reviving UK toy production (though that would no doubt be a welcome bonus) more that they interested in the revenue generated from the tax. The school of thought is that so many Chinese toys are imported at such cheap prices the importers can afford the extra duties and still make a reasonable profit. Whether they can or are prepared to take the financial hit or will just up prices to the consumer is open to debate.

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