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Do I have to pay customs if I order a guitar from France?

I'm in the US.

Any answer is appreciated


  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira MF01, Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 745
    I would imagine the answer is yes - unless you can get the seller to claim it as a "gift" on the postage information forms but the seller may are unwilling to do this. However I wonder if you may be able to claim the purchase tax back, here in the Uk if someone from outside the European Economic Union buys something they can usually claim back the VAT ( our sales tax ). For example if something costs £117.50 then £17.50 of that would be VAT and that could be claimed back.

    always learning
  • I can't give you details on US customs import taxes duties if any but should be available online.

    The Vendor can ship the guitar to an out of EU address without charging the tax. Be careful some will try and charge it but it is not required so you don't have to go through the hassle of getting all the customs forms signed sealed and delivered.

    i get reso strings from England and he always forgets at first that I don't have to pay the tax but when I remind the Vendor then he takes it off.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • alik3954alik3954 New
    Posts: 9
    Thanks guys. The seller is Castelluccia and he is really nice. The 19.6% tax is already deducted. What I am worry about is that after he sends it how much I should expect from US customs import. I found somewhere 8.7% of the price. I hope they don't charge me this.
  • JazzDawgJazzDawg New
    Posts: 264
    Haven't done it myself, but am considering a similar purchase. Here are some links that may help or confuse. I don't understand it all myself, but from what I've read, you best advice is to contact one of the Import Specialists from the port of entry to talk through your purchase to get a better idea of how to calculate what you will or will not pay. So, I've not taken that step yet, but here are the links to the USITC site with information you can read and download.

    Determining Duty Rates -

    FAQS -

    Chapter 92 of the HTS Schedule (Musical Instruments) -
    Be aware that the HTS can be very complicated. If you self-classify an item and the classification is incorrect, the mistake can be costly. Therefore, it is advised that you speak directly with an Import Specialist if duty rate information is crucial to your decision to import something.
  • Charlie AyersCharlie Ayers Salt Lake CityProdigy
    Posts: 277
    I received a guitar from Finland relatively recently, and UPS charged a $156 fee for brokerage/customs. In the past, the state of UT has retrospectively charged me sales tax (6.25%), after receiving info from customs.

  • gitpickergitpicker Beijing/San Francisco✭✭✭✭ Favino, Favino
    Posts: 206
    When I got my AJL I had to pay UPS around $268 for brokerage. I would find out what couriers he can use to ship it and check with them. I think brokerage will need to be paid at some point though no matter what.
    Live life and play music like it's your last day on earth. One day you'll be right- Russel Malone
  • alik3954alik3954 New
    Posts: 9
    Thanks. He's gonna send it by UPS as well. Charlie and Gitpicker can you tell me what was the value of the guitar in USD excluding the shipping? and how much was the shipping?
  • gitpickergitpicker Beijing/San Francisco✭✭✭✭ Favino, Favino
    Posts: 206
    Well AJL (Ari) paid for the shipping. I only paid the brokerage. The price of the guitar was around 3000 euro.
    Live life and play music like it's your last day on earth. One day you'll be right- Russel Malone
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,660
    Brokerage fees vary quite a bit from carrier to carrier. Here in Canada, UPS might charge $100-200 or more, Canada Post charges $5.00 (that's not a misprint, that's five dollars!). UPS once hit us for almost $100 on an item with a value of $100. Go figure. It pays to check around. I've received a number of guitars via Canada Post (originating with USPS or Deutsche Post) and sent a few as well, all arrived in fine condition, no problems at all.

    Of course, we also pay sales tax (13%), plus a 6% duty on non-NAFTA musical instruments. You need to check carefully and be well-informed about importation costs to avoid surprises.

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
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