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The Question of Import Duty?

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.

1) European Community (EC) Clients
2) Non European Community (EC) Clients

1) European Community (EC) Clients.

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.


2) Non-European Community (EC) Clients.

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 info@contrabass.co.uk for our assistance.

There are five sub-sections to consider as follows;

1) Harmonized System (HS)

2) Other Charges

3) American Customers

4) U.S. Duty Rates

5) Disclaimer

1) Harmonized System (HS)

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.

2) Other Charges

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.

3) American Customers

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.

4) U.S. Duty Rates

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 Zero%

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

5) Disclaimer

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 information.

 
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