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Another Italian Pipe Shipment Hit With Customs and Duties Charges.

(41 posts)
  • Started 1 week ago by npod
  • Latest reply from The Pipe Monk
  1. npod

    npod

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    Damn.

    I just received a shipment of pipes from tobaccheriacorti.com. I got hit with $225 in customs and duties charges. My previous two shipments from Luca we’re free and clear and I paid only the sales price. As many of you know, I’ve been bitching about this issue recently. I thought it was isolated to FedEx, but this time it was DHL express.

    The moral of the story is that we can expect US customs to start inspecting and charging for anything pipe and tobacco related in the future. Based on my own experience, and talking with others, I do not think there is any rhyme or reason to this. It appears to be a random act and there’s no way to predict it.

    Here is the Customs bill. This sucks.

    Neal
    Posted 1 week ago #
  2. mso489

    mso489

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    Ouch. Just as the currency swings far in U.S. customers' favor.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  3. p40warhawk

    p40warhawk

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    Oh my, another NEW way to tax us....

    But I have promises to Keep and Miles to go before I Sleep, and Miles to go before I sleep..
    Robert Frost
    Posted 1 week ago #
  4. npod

    npod

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    The other problem here is that these issues are solely the responsibility of the customer and NOT the vender. Thus, the seller can't estimate these costs in the original purchase price. And there is no way to predict if the charges will be levied.

    Thus, buyer beware. And please do not bitch online about a vender if this happens to you. It is not their fault.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  5. canadianpuffer

    canadianpuffer

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    Welcome to my world lol most other countries pipers deal with this already. Just part of the hobby.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  6. jfred

    jfred

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    Going the other way across the pond, my experience is that 90% of all packages get inspected and taxed. Only the odd package escapes, so I just add a mental 25% to any purchases from US sellers (100% if content is tobacco... sigh).

    Posted 1 week ago #
  7. briarblues

    briarblues

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    Neal what was the declared value of the shipment? If under $800.00 US it should have been declared under Section 321 and as an informal entry with NO duty etc. That could have been arranged by the vendor or courier.

    Regards
    Michael J. Glukler

    Posted 1 week ago #
  8. npod

    npod

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    I thought of that one, Michael. In this case the value was a bit high. But, I this has happened before with a lesser value shipment.

    But your advise to work with the vender to get the declared value lower is a solid nugget and pearl.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  9. olkofri

    Olkofri

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    Could it also be that by now they have your number? Even though it's a different courier, they must all link to the customs deptartment's computers...

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 1 week ago #
  10. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    90% of my pipe purchases from America gets intercepted and charged with added sales taxes of 25% to total value, items which have value lesser value than $ 35-40 may escape the arrest'

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 1 week ago #
  11. briarblues

    briarblues

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    Neal, That is not exactly what I suggested. Trying to "circumvent" duty and taxes ( if caught ) can lead to a whole lot of problems for recipient and vendor.

    I am just saying that any order under an $800.00 US value, entering the US from overseas should be declared as a section 321 with an informal entry. If over the $800.00 US level then all duties and taxes will be collected on the full amount. Not the difference between $800.00 and the value.

    Now you have a little idea why prices are higher in the US than Italy. If a retailer in the US has an order arrive with goods over the $800.00 level, then all the duty and taxes get levied. If over $2000.00 US then it must enter with a formal entry which requires the services ( and costs ) of a customs broker.

    Just to add to the above joys of being a pipe seller, now the FDA has their fingers in the pie, to make things move much quicker. Invoice declaration requirements have been changed. Now all items must show country of origin, type of wood, and end use.

    It is not getting easier to be a pipe seller.

    Regards
    Michael J. Glukler

    Posted 1 week ago #
  12. npod

    npod

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    Damn Michael!

    The Used - Kinda Hectic (Interlude) Lyrics

    Artist: The Used

    Album: Vulnerable

    Genre: Rock

    It's Getting, It's Getting, Getting Kinda Hectic
    It's Getting, It's Getting, Getting Kinda Hectic
    It's Getting, It's Getting, Getting Kinda Hectic
    It's Getting, It's Getting, Getting Kinda Hectic
    It's Getting,Getting ,Getting Kinda Hectic
    It's Getting, It's Getting,It's Getting Kinda Hectic
    It's Getting, Getting, Getting Kinda Hectic
    It's Getting,Getting, Getting Kinda Hectic
    It's Getting, It's Getting, Getting Kinda Hectic
    It's Getting, It's Getting, Getting Kinda Hectic
    It's Getting, It's Getting, Getting Kinda Hectic
    It's Getting, It's Getting, Getting Kinda Hectic
    (Scream)

    Posted 1 week ago #
  13. npod

    npod

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    And on top of that ... There is now internet sales tax collection.

    Oh well.

    This is a good thread to remind us all of the hassles involved with hobby. I hear people complain a lot about prices, but this is a good exercise in the margin costs involved behind the scenes.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  14. burleyboy

    burleyboy

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    I know that feeling from ordering tobaccos from the US. They charge up to 150% of the US price of the tobaccos, if you order to Germany. It feels like being robbed. The worst thing is, that you do never know, whether it will hit you and it also seems, that they calculate differently everytime.

    But the most important thing is, that you do not let them spoil the pleasure you get from your new (Castello?) pipe!

    Kind regards
    Julius
    Posted 1 week ago #
  15. jaytex969

    jaytex969

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    "I'm the lyrical Jesse James!"

    Gunner, Black Frigate. Say "Hello" to my little friend!
    Posted 1 week ago #
  16. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    Example:when I'm buying ,say $80 in the U.S + adding average shipping cost $ 13,thereafter when all import taxes are paid that very pipe turns out to be a $ 120 pipe.no exceptions.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  17. pepesdad1

    pepesdad1

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    Shit!!!

    Posted 1 week ago #
  18. warren

    warren

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    Wouldn't a bit of research with regard to customs, taxes, etc. preclude all of this surprise and righteous indignation? And then, rather than lament finally getting nailed, be happy you got away with the action for so long.

    It's all part and parcel of enjoying our "hobby", right! Some of you sound as though you're not enjoying all aspects of the "hobby."

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 1 week ago #
  19. briarblues

    briarblues

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    exactly correct Warren. Find out in advance what you may have to deal with, PLUS keep up with all the rules as they can change without notice.

    I just recently learned about CETA. It is like NAFTA, but between Canada and the European Union. IF the vendor is set up with CETA as far as customs, then goods coming from Europe to Canada ( except tobacco and alcohol ) are duty free!! The key though is the seller / vendor must know about CETA and arrange everything with the carrier / broker etc. All the buyer pays is the HST, or GST, & PST depending on province.

    So learn, read, and prepare for what you are thinking of buying. Know the ins and outs. If you don't ..... they will tag you with everything they can get their hands on.

    Personally, I like to feel my hands in my pockets, not the governments.

    Regards
    Michael J. Glukler

    Posted 1 week ago #
  20. mikethompson

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    Good point Warren, but I'm sure that doesn't take the sting out of the bill though. At least you managed to dodge customs before!

    Posted 1 week ago #
  21. danimalia

    danimalia

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    If you're receiving pipes with a value of

    Posted 1 week ago #
  22. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Well, I'm expecting something like this as I put in an order to Esteval's for some HU tobaccos. It's a small order, but I won't be surprised if it's a relatively big charge. Makes me happy that I cellared when I did.

    I suggest that you sit back, select a nice pipe, load it with a favored blend, and enjoy a nice relaxing smoke. Maybe a little Mozart or Vaughn-Williams in the background.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 1 week ago #
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    paulfg

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    My way of seeing it is
    I expect to get hit with taxes if I buy a pipe from outside the EU so factor that into the price.
    if I dont its a bonus,
    buy a pipe for 30 Dollars from US i will get 23% taxes plus a fee for customs opening it (20 euros i think).
    buy a pipe for 3000 still 23% plus fee.

    ps I am in Greece

    Posted 1 week ago #
  24. paulie66scandinavian

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    @PaulFg, Lordy That's sound even worse that we've gotten up north, we don't have any 'opening fees whatsoever but Added sales tax of % 24 applies to all outside of EU parcels exceeding the merchandise value of $ 35,(gifts and no commercial items are exempt to this ruling)

    Posted 1 week ago #
  25. ashdigger

    ashdigger

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    It's not just pipes and tobacco gents. Fountain pens get the same treatment.

    If you want to dance, you have to pay the fiddler.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 1 week ago #
  26. mso489

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    I'm glad I'm not a White Spot devotee for new pipes, since Europe has, or had, the best prices by far, along with some other brands. This is not good for business.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  27. craiginthecorn

    craiginthecorn

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    Jesse, I placed an HU order with Esterval’s a few months ago. It was about $200 worth of tobacco and it arrived with no further duties. I have since shared these tobaccos with several friends, a few of which have subsequently placed orders and received them without incident. I placed another order a week ago as a hedge against FDA issues importing HU tobaccos, but again kept the order in the $200 range, not wanting to poke the bear.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  28. craiginthecorn

    craiginthecorn

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    This is timely, but I’m sorry to hear you got hit again, Neal. Smokingpipes.eu has a 10% off sale this weekend and I just placed an order for a Peter Heeschen brandy. Not cheap, but a fair bit less than what seems to be the magic $800 limit. Phew! I’m glad to understand the parameters. Thanks for sharing that, Mike!

    Posted 1 week ago #
  29. brian64

    brian64

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    If you want to dance, you have to pay the fiddler.

    And if he's got a fiddle of gold and expresses an interest in your soul you might want to consider dancing elsewhere.

    “Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.” – George Carlin
    Posted 1 week ago #
  30. disinformatique

    The Pipe Monk

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    Lol and people thought a Republican President would prefer less taxes on pipes and tobacco. Welcome to Customs Taxation my friend. We pay 42% in India on all things labelled tobacco pipes and pipe tobacco is straight away seized now. Guess what? we have a right wing government too. The liberal govt. before, never had this issue. The pipes and tobacco were always delivered without any duties. I have stashed all my high end pipes in the US since 2015 and I have not bought a single tin of tobacco to be shipped to India. The risk is too high.

    Cheers,
    Chris

    Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying, “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.” One of the reasons behind this statement is that pipe smoking is meant to be a slow leisurely activity. It takes patience to smoke a pipe. Unlike cigarettes and cigars, there is a certain amount of technique to smoking a pipe. Where cigars and cigarettes can just be picked up, lit and puffed on, pipes require the development of a technique in order to get the best smoking experience.
    Posted 1 week ago #
  31. anantaandroscoggin

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    When I placed an order for some clay pipes from MarKen pipes last week, with their location somewhere in the U.S. Eastern time zone, I was surprised to get the "it's shipped!" email stating they were being shipped from Germany.

    So now I wonder if, and if so, how much, I'll get zapped by any tariffs against German imports (or anything coming from everywhere else in the world).

    Posted 1 week ago #
  32. drydock

    drydock

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    I'm waiting to see what may happen with an incoming order from Estervals too.

    “Difficulties are what makes it honorable and interesting to be alive.” Florida Scott-Maxwell
    Posted 6 days ago #
  33. npod

    npod

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    Basically, the original point was that pipes (not tobacco) are starting to get noticed. This is new. That's all. Yes, I know the laws and regulations. But Italy was an oasis for a long time.

    Posted 6 days ago #
  34. hoosierpipeguy

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    It may have been an isolated incident or two. I just got two Rubio pipes in that were over $800 with no issue. For that matter, I just got four boxes of Cuban cigars in with no issue.

    Posted 6 days ago #
  35. disinformatique

    The Pipe Monk

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    @npod Random sample selection most probably.

    Posted 3 days ago #
  36. drydock

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    For whatever reason, I'd long assumed that it was the shipping in of Int'l tobacco that was an issue for customs, not tobacco pipes.

    Posted 3 days ago #
  37. anantaandroscoggin

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    Got my MarKen clays with today's mail. Surprisingly, no federal tariffs added.

    Posted 3 days ago #
  38. sablebrush52

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    Judging from prior discussions and from US Customs online guidelines, there seems to be a significant level of ambiguity, fluidity, and individual caprice involved in the whole business. Imports that flow through without incident at one port of entry get snagged and caught in bureaucratic limbo at another. The personal experiences of various people are indicative of nothing more than that. And the practices at one port of entry will change from Monday to Friday, from morning to afternoon, phases of the moon, or whether the agent is happy or pissed when your item shows up. My experience with the Port of Los Angeles is that several weeks delay while sitting in Customs isn't unusual. Other people could have a completely different experience.

    Posted 3 days ago #
  39. cachimbero

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    It seems something is moving. For the first time in more than two decades I had a packet from the US fined in Spanish customs. Only four tins of tobacco and a Rattray’s pipe. Total a bit more than 200USD. Custom charge: 420€. Had to reject the shipment. Very strange, maybe they are getting more serious. I told the guys I was ready to pay 21% VAT and some fee for their “service”, but not more than 100€ (which is a 50% tax), but they wanted to charge more than 200%. I really was looking forward to trying Doblone d’oro. May be if I travel to the US....

    Posted 2 days ago #
  40. mngslvs

    mngslvs

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    I just received a beautiful Ser Jacopo from lepipe.it -- no problem, no charges.

    Also expecting soon a pipe from Moretti. We shall see what happens with that one.

    “All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

    ― Blaise Pascal, Pensées
    Posted 2 days ago #
  41. disinformatique

    The Pipe Monk

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    @cachimbero They are now outright seizing tobacco parcels with 2-4 tins in India, citing import laws which is bullshit because personal use is always permitted at minuscule quantities. I am literally smuggling tobacco to India, still waiting for a notice from the Commissioner of Customs at the Postal Department so I can sue their ass to kingdom come. tobacco is not a restricted or illegal item according to postal and general law in India.

    The duty for pipes is 42% here and for tobacco it was around 32% before they started acting like poopholes.

    Cheers,
    Chris

    Posted 2 days ago #

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