It is no surprise that the question of Import
Duty is a common one. The
rates, laws and regulations are extensive and complex. They
can vary between neighbouring countries and even between neighbouring
states. It is the Customs Service in your country who is responsible
for administering the tariff and processing import entries.
Here is a summary of what you may be expected
to pay dependant upon which part of the world you come from.
As a result of the introduction of The Single
Market on 1st January 1993 there is free movement
of goods, persons, services and capital in accordance with
the provisions of the Treaty of Rome.
Put simply this means that
for all our clients who are within the territory of the European
Community there is no import duty payable on your acquisitions.
For all our clients in North & South America,
Asia, Australasia, Africa and the European countries outside
of the European Community (EC) fiscal (VAT) area, there may
be import duty levied on the purchase price of your acquisition.
The amount payable will depend on the type of product you've
purchased and on the regulations that apply in each individual
country. For the purposes of this web site www.contrabass.co.uk
it is not possible to maintain a database containing the complete,
accurate and up-to-date information relevant to each country.
Instead here follows some useful information, suggestions
and links that will help you to determine the rate applicable
to your country. Alternatively please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
for our assistance.
There are five sub-sections to consider as follows;
Duty rates on virtually all products are determined
by a classification code known as the Harmonized System
(HS) or Harmonized Tariff System (HTS).
This system is applied by most countries of the world and
is the result of an international treaty. The HS defines products
by codes of six digits. Countries may create sub-divisions
in the HS classification and add digits to the HS code, but
these sub-divisions are not uniform.
For all classifications of musical instruments
the tariff heading code is 9202.
For stringed musical instruments that
are played with a bow the HS number is 9202.10.00
For bows, parts of bows, bow hair, chin
rests and other parts and accessories for string instruments
played with a bow the HS number is 9209. 92.60
Using the code applicable to the item that you
are importing contact your local Customs & Excise office
and ask them to quote you the relevant rate of duty. If the
item that you are importing is over 100 years of age and is
therefore classified as antique, enquire whether there is
a different rate applicable. In many countries antique musical
items do not attract import duty or it is set at a much reduced
rate. If required The Contrabass Shoppe is able to produce
a Certificate Of Antiquity to accompany such
items. The document will ensure that the correct duty rate
is levied and will generally facilitate passage through the
whole Customs process.
On collection/delivery of your shipment Customs
may levy a Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF)
for airfreight or a Harbour Maintenance Fee (HMS)
for sea freight. These fees are normally less than 0.25% of
free onboard value and as such can be regarded purely as incidental
charges. Please address all enquiries concerning MPF or HMS
charges to your local Customs & Excise office.
For our fabulous customers in the USA we highly
recommend that you visit the Importing & Exporting
section on the U.S. Customs Service web site. http://www.customs.gov/xp/cgov/home.xml
It contains much useful information for the
frequent and infrequent importer/traveller. There is information
on duty rates, HTS, rulings and regulations, small importer
publications and forms and much, much more. The section
Ports Of Entry conveniently lists all the various
entry points into each US state along with addresses, phone
numbers and the opening hours of their corresponding Customs
Management Offices. If you are impatient to get your
hands on your new acquisition from The Contrabass
Shoppe or in the unlikely event that you require
assistance to get your consignment through customs clearance,
the site even gives addresses of Locally Permitted
Brokers. For a small fee they will gain clearance
for you both quickly and efficiently.
Duty Rates payable in the 50 U.S. states and
Puerto Rico are as follows;
For Stringed Musical Instruments that
are played with the bow the duty payable is 3.2%
For Stringed Musical Instruments that
are played with a bow which are over 100 years in age and
are therefore antique the duty payable is Zero%
For Bows the duty payable is
The Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) is 0.21%
of free on board value with a minimum fee of U.S. $25.00 and
a maximum fee of U.S. $485.00
The Harbour Maintenance Fee (HMF) is 0.125%
of free on board value
In Puerto Rico a General Sales Tax is levied
at 6.6% of duty paid value
The Customs Service in each
country is responsible for administering tariffs and processing
import entries. This listing is provided as a guide only.
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that all details
are up-to-date and accurate The Contrabass Shoppe
cannot guarantee either. If errors are brought to our attention
we will try to correct them. The Contrabass Shoppe
cannot and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies of