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Buying equipment abroad from the US

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#1 Andre Trudel

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 03:07 PM

Hey guys and girls.


What information do I need to know when considering a purchase of equipment abroad with the intent to ship into the US? Taxes, fees, insurance, shipping, anything else I’m not aware of.


From what I understand, equipment is duty free if it was made in the US, but if the package is shipped with a commercial courier they may charge a customs paperwork fee. What if there are mixed US and European components, does that change things?


I don’t understand the VAT tax but it seems like most European countries have them. Am I responsible to pay VAT as a buyer even if it is not stated by the seller? Are there export fees for the seller that may be added to the price?





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#2 Lars Erik

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 03:54 AM

VAT is only paid when buyer and seller is located in the same country. When I buy and import equipment from Sweden, UK or the US, VAT is not charged. BUT I have to pay VAT when the equipment reaches Norwegian customs. I don't know if the US has other rules here.

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#3 Andre Trudel

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 07:14 PM

Thanks you Lars.

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#4 Marianne Exbrayat

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 04:19 PM

Importing to the USA:

The manufacturer of the equipment would need to supply you with a country of origin statement if the equipment is made in the USA, was sold overseas and you are bringing back to the US.  To ensure taxes are not imposed you will also need to provide a copy of the original export documentation.  Without these 2 docs, you will most likely be charged duties & taxes.

Regardless of the duties, you will still be charged for Customs Clearance + taxes that may apply (in addition to Duties).

VAT only applies within Europe if buyer & seller reside in the same country and the equipment is shipped within the same country.

Each country has different rules about taxing exports and about export paperwork- most countries do not charge taxes on export as they try to encourage it to improve their exchange balance with foreign countries.

Finally I would recommend you to verify with the company providing service on the equipment if they will service it if your bring it in from another country.  


Marianne Exbrayat

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