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Old 29 October 2020, 10:55 PM   #1
Nucengineer
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Import duty from Japan

Just got word I owe $$ to DHL for my incoming Spring Drive. Is this common? It was inconclusive from the Japanese website whether import duty would be required or not.
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Old 29 October 2020, 10:58 PM   #2
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If the watch is coming from JP then obviously import charges are due as defined by your country of residence.

It is common as it's the law. It is also up to the individual importing to do their due diligence on what would be owed, not the website.
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Old 29 October 2020, 11:40 PM   #3
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If the watch is coming from JP then obviously import charges are due as defined by your country of residence.

It is common as it's the law. It is also up to the individual importing to do their due diligence on what would be owed, not the website.

It may be the law in some places but it is not a given (I have purchased from Gnomon Watches before and never paid duty/taxes in the US), that's why I was asking the question.
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Old 29 October 2020, 11:56 PM   #4
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In my experience with DHl and international Fedex, I always end up paying import duties... so I think this is common and legally required if done by the book. Not sure if there is a threshold dollar amount


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Old 30 October 2020, 12:18 AM   #5
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In my experience with DHl and international Fedex, I always end up paying import duties... so I think this is common and legally required if done by the book. Not sure if there is a threshold dollar amount


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Maybe that's why no import duty from Gnomon. May have been less than the threshold. Wonder what that threshold is for the US.
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Old 30 October 2020, 12:36 AM   #6
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It may be the law in some places but it is not a given (I have purchased from Gnomon Watches before and never paid duty/taxes in the US), that's why I was asking the question.

Well itís a given if you go by the law, whether you are caught out and charged the taxes is a different story.

For a spring drive, I assume you will definitely be charged given the high value.


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Old 30 October 2020, 03:39 AM   #7
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DHL and FedEx estimate the high import tax and make you pay it. If the watch is shipped by EMS or JapanPost, then usually you don't end up paying import tax. By law, we are required to pay.
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Old 30 October 2020, 03:52 AM   #8
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Many of the import companies pay the duties that are due on your behalf, then bill you afterwards. Others use a middleman who pays, then bills.

It is very common with Asian imports and keeps you from having your shipment held up while awaiting payment from you.
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Old 30 October 2020, 09:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by nucengineer View Post
maybe that's why no import duty from gnomon. May have been less than the threshold. Wonder what that threshold is for the us.
$800.
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Old 30 October 2020, 10:41 AM   #10
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I disputed FedEx successfully for trying to bill me for taxes on cut sapphires from Israel. Turns out we have a free trade agreement and FedEx ate it. Probably not the same for Japan but worth googling.
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Old 30 October 2020, 11:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tools View Post
Many of the import companies pay the duties that are due on your behalf, then bill you afterwards. Others use a middleman who pays, then bills.

It is very common with Asian imports and keeps you from having your shipment held up while awaiting payment from you.
That makes sense. They did pay it and I repaid DHL. My Spring Drive was supposed to show up today and they delivered it yesterday. Glad I paid them promptly. Thank you for the insight.
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Old 30 October 2020, 11:41 PM   #12
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$800.
That would explain why no import duty on Gnomon purchase <$800. I was surprised with this as it was my first time I got hit with this tax.
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Old 30 October 2020, 11:57 PM   #13
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I disputed FedEx successfully for trying to bill me for taxes on cut sapphires from Israel. Turns out we have a free trade agreement and FedEx ate it. Probably not the same for Japan but worth googling.
Thanks for this post. I just looked up import duty on watches from Japan and found this: Chapter 91 of Japan import page shows watches and clocks are "FREE". Customs.go.jp "Duty rates for major products".

https://www.customs.go.jp/english/c-...kan/1204_e.htm

More to follow.....
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Old 1 November 2020, 06:54 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by supernova View Post
If the watch is coming from JP then obviously import charges are due as defined by your country of residence.

It is common as it's the law. It is also up to the individual importing to do their due diligence on what would be owed, not the website.
Thereís usually a threshold. Below that value, no import duty.
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Old 2 November 2020, 06:04 AM   #15
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Ive ordered pieces from Japan and China... NEVER have I paid a duty. perhaps its state based?
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Old 2 November 2020, 06:07 AM   #16
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Ive ordered pieces from Japan and China... NEVER have I paid a duty. perhaps its state based?

I donít think so. Duties are determined by the Federal government. Sales taxes, if any, are handled by the states.


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Old 2 November 2020, 07:20 AM   #17
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Ive ordered pieces from Japan and China... NEVER have I paid a duty. perhaps its state based?

Going to call DHL tomorrow and see what they have say.


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Old 2 November 2020, 03:07 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Nucengineer View Post
Thanks for this post. I just looked up import duty on watches from Japan and found this: Chapter 91 of Japan import page shows watches and clocks are "FREE". Customs.go.jp "Duty rates for major products".

https://www.customs.go.jp/english/c-...kan/1204_e.htm

More to follow.....
You seem to be mixing up imports and exports. I know that website, as I have used it to enquire about importing a watch into Japan (FYI, while you don't get hit with import duty, you do have to pay 10% sales tax).

You imported a watch into the USA, so you need to check the US site.

You mention in the original post "It was inconclusive from the Japanese website whether import duty would be required or not". Same reason, the Japanese seller is exporting the watch, its not their responsibility to list the import tariffs of every country in the world, (never mind individual states of the USA).
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Old 2 November 2020, 10:41 PM   #19
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If you are importing watches from anywhere into the US, then it is very important that you get the seller to split the watch value out between the movement, case, and strap/bracelet. These will all have different tariff codes.

Ideally, you want to put as much of the value against the movement, since the movement is taxed at a flat rate per piece (just a few bucks), whereas the case is taxed as a percentage of the value.

If someone ships you a watch and simply declares the value of the entire watch to be $5K, then you will will end up paying the case percentage tax against the entire declared value.

If someone ships you a watch and declares the value of the movement to be $4.5k, and the case $500 (and that is a perfectly valid split), then you will pay an order of magnitude less tax.

(as mentioned above, if the value of the watch is under $800, then you won't have to pay a dime in tax, although the courier may charge you a processing fee)

Kind regards,


Gerald.
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Old 2 November 2020, 10:43 PM   #20
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You seem to be mixing up imports and exports. I know that website, as I have used it to enquire about importing a watch into Japan (FYI, while you don't get hit with import duty, you do have to pay 10% sales tax).

You imported a watch into the USA, so you need to check the US site.

You mention in the original post "It was inconclusive from the Japanese website whether import duty would be required or not". Same reason, the Japanese seller is exporting the watch, its not their responsibility to list the import tariffs of every country in the world, (never mind individual states of the USA).
But it IS their responsibility to declare the watch properly and against the correct tariff codes.

Kind regards,


Gerald.
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Old 2 November 2020, 10:59 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Nucengineer View Post
Just got word I owe $$ to DHL for my incoming Spring Drive. Is this common? It was inconclusive from the Japanese website whether import duty would be required or not.
Yes, imports into the US are dutiable based on a number of factors.
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Old 3 November 2020, 11:58 AM   #22
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But it IS their responsibility to declare the watch properly and against the correct tariff codes.

Kind regards,


Gerald.
I very much doubt this is true. A Japanese seller is not responsible for USA import duty (or any other country) and is not required to be knowledgeable of each countries tariff codes. Lets say there is some bizarre rule that they responsible for this, how on earth is the USA customs going to penalize a Japanese seller?

It is the responsibility of the person receiving the goods.
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Old 4 November 2020, 02:40 AM   #23
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its the buyers responsibility... once again, as a consumer, I have never been charged duties except from canada. audio equipment, timepieces... never charged.
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Old 4 November 2020, 04:15 AM   #24
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Just got word I owe $$ to DHL for my incoming Spring Drive. Is this common? It was inconclusive from the Japanese website whether import duty would be required or not.
Yes, this is normal. The de minimis for imports to the US is $800 so anything over that will have duties and taxes owed.

I imported a Tuna last month and owed around $150 for taxes on it.

Source: I work in international business
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Old 4 November 2020, 08:23 AM   #25
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Just got word I owe $$ to DHL for my incoming Spring Drive. Is this common? It was inconclusive from the Japanese website whether import duty would be required or not.
Well it seems although there are no duty fees from Japan on Watches and Clocks to the USA, DHL charges Brokerage fees under the guise of Duty or import tariffs and/or fees.
Here is a relevant link:
https://www.reddit.com/r/PersonalFin..._dhl_shipping/
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Old 4 November 2020, 10:23 AM   #26
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Well it seems although there are no duty fees from Japan on Watches and Clocks to the USA, DHL charges Brokerage fees under the guise of Duty or import tariffs and/or fees.
Here is a relevant link:
https://www.reddit.com/r/PersonalFin..._dhl_shipping/
Not sure I would take a random Reddit thread as fact, particularly when the fees being discussed are between $5-20 and the only mention of watch value in any reply is $250.

Like you said, call DHL, ask what tariff code has been applied and just look that up online.
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Old 7 November 2020, 04:39 PM   #27
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I very much doubt this is true. A Japanese seller is not responsible for USA import duty (or any other country) and is not required to be knowledgeable of each countries tariff codes. Lets say there is some bizarre rule that they responsible for this, how on earth is the USA customs going to penalize a Japanese seller?

It is the responsibility of the person receiving the goods.
I never once said that the shipper is responsible for the import duty. Where do you get that from?

The seller is responsible for *correctly describing the goods*. The buyer is responsible for paying the duty (and if applicable, sales tax) on those goods.

But feel free to ignore anything I have said.

If you - or anyone else here - want to deal with a seller who doesn't use the correct tariff codes, and you end up paying possibly 10-20x the amount of duty that you should have paid, go right ahead.
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