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ersatz

U.S. import fees and duties? State sales taxes?

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I live in California and I'm thinking about ordering an Ultimaker direct from the company, but I can't seem to find any info on how much the import fees and duties will be in the U.S.

I wonder if anyone from the U.S. has ordered an Ultimaker from Europe. The cost for the kit plus shipping is about $1670 (usd) before duties etc, which is already at the top end of my price range, so I need to get a sense of the total before I can go ahead with a purchase. (For comparison, the kit+shipping+sales tax is almost $1900 at makershed, the only other supplier I cound find; this would be more than I have budgeted.)

So: any Americans (and especially Californians) with insight about this? Please reply on thread or PM me to share your experiences around extra import costs. Also, if the cost is not too great, I'm hoping to order in the next two days to ensure delivery by Christmas... so if anyone who has done this can reply quickly, I'd be most appreciative :-)

Many thanks!

 

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I live in TN, so the arrangements for California may be different, although the import duty side of things is handled federally, rather than at the State level.

When I ordered my UM1, I didn't have to pay any import duties. I generally find that when ordering from Europe I don't get charged import duties, although in one case, when ordering a largish order of filament from Europe, I did get hit with a 6.5% import duty - which I didn't find out about until several weeks later, when TNT sent me a bill saying 'Oh, we paid some import duties for you. Please send us a check.'

According to dutycalculator.com, 3D printers from the Netherlands to US should be duty free. I know nothing about that site, until Google just sent me there, but that has been my experience, so maybe its right.

I don't know how Sales Tax is handled in California. In TN, when you bring goods in from out of state without paying sales tax, you are required to file a 'Use Tax' return and voluntarily pay the amount you would have paid in Sales Tax had you bought it In-State. Not many people do that, which is one of the reasons that States are pushing for some sort of unified sales tax system for online shopping...

 

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Thanks for your replies!

Looks like you had pretty different experiences. I was just in Europe, and never got hit with currency exchange fees when using my credit card, so I'm mostly worried about import taxes and fees. And I emailed customer service-- they said that Ultimaker 1 kits should arrive by Christmas if I place the order soon. The only thing I'm waiting on is a few data points about import duties.

Any Californians out there?

 

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Thanks to you all for the replies! Please keep them coming! Hopefully we can collect a little info here for future potential buyers of the Ultimaker to reference.

@jdaiglejr: it looks like makershed is actually likely to be *more* costly than ordering from Europe. But that really depends on how much the import fees are... so far in our tiny sample, 1 of 4 UM 1 kits seems to have been hit with import fees, but no one has yet had a number for how much that has been.

Does anyone else have an experience they'd be willing to share?

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I do a lot of importing and exporting in the UK. It's essential that on the importing invoice the 'import duty code' is very clearly stated. It needs to be one of the most obvious things on the invoice, big clear letters. Because I'm importing the UM2 from within the EU I'm OK. However if I import things from the USA I have to get the merchant to state the correct code on the invoice. You may have to find out from your own countries authorities what the specific code they have for a 3D printer is. Ultimaker may not know it, and it's not their responsibility to find out for you. In the UK a computer peripheral such as a printer or scanner is duty free, but if I don't get the merchant to state this really clearly on the invoice I'll end up paying duty. Although I can claim it back, I'll get charged 60-70 GBP to have the case re-assessed, which sort of defeats the point. Basically, the customs department is looking to charge you money if it can legitimately. If they don't find an 'import duty code' which defines the items as duty free, pretty quickly, when looking at the invoice, they'll apply a default code, which will carry a few percent. Occasionally you may get lucky and your item won't be charged because it slips thought the net, but I've found this less common in recent years.

Best advice is to find out which code is correct and make sure Ultimaker clearly add it to the invoice (front and centre). They may already do this, but it's worth checking. I only know so much about this because I've found out the hard way, several times!!

 

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@jdaiglejr: it looks like makershed is actually likely to be *more* costly than ordering from Europe. But that really depends on how much the import fees are...

 

Don't know about import fees, but shipping for me from California was only about $30 (and its the same for UM2). I don't think ordering from Europe will beat that when you look at total cost, including shipping (which I've read from others is between $100-200 for the UM1)... as well as the import fees that you were concerned about. (However, maybe this shipping charge from Europe actually represents these fees you are inquiring into)

 

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Don't know about import fees, but shipping for me from California was only about $30 (and its the same for UM2). I don't think ordering from Europe will beat that when you look at total cost, including shipping (which I've read from others is between $100-200 for the UM1)... as well as the import fees that you were concerned about. (However, maybe this shipping charge from Europe actually represents these fees you are inquiring into)

 

Yeah, the shipping is much cheaper, but California sales tax adds 8.5%, and the base price is much higher (since makershed obviously needs to have some profit margin which i do not fault). Basically, as long as the tariffs/duties/fees are less than about 10%, it looks like it will cheaper to order from Ultimaker directly. But I've never ordered such an expensive peice of kit from overseas, so I have no idea what to expect... and if CA sales tax ends up getting added somehow too, then it's definitely a losing proposition...

 

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When I bought my UM1, the exchange rate and the DHL shipping were what cost a bunch extra. The printer price was listed in Euros. The exchange rate is $1 = 0.7 Euros. As a result, the price jumped by almost one third. Add in the a few hundred for DHL and the gouge is complete. This time around, I ordered a UM2 from Maker Shed. The price was higher, but it was actually cheaper once I figured in the exchange rate and the shipping.

UM2 price = 1895 Euros

divide by 0.7

UM2 price in dollars = $2707.14

DHL (if I recall correctly) was around $200?

That's about $2900.

UM2 price at Maker Shed was $2599.

Shipping was $45.78

Total is $2644.78 (no tax)

EDIT: Forgot to mention that I live in Nevada.

 

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update (for future reference of anyone looking into this)-- i went ahead and ordered an ultimaker 1 kit directly from ultimaker last thursday night (2013-12-05) and it arrived last night (2013-12-09).

the total cost was $1,664.52 (from my credit card statement; this includes shipping by DHL and currency exchange, which is offered as a free service by my credit card). no import tariffs were imposed, and california state sales tax was not assessed.

this compares to $1699.99 from makershed, which is *before* shipping or CA state sales tax (i think it was like ~1850 when i priced it the other day).

also worth mentioning: i have been very pleased with the responsiveness of ultimaker customer service, who have promptly answered my question about shipping, etc.

All this is for an ultimaker 1 kit, obviously the situation may be different for an assembled UM1 or UM2. and of course prices may change, your may have different luck with customs, etc, so YMMV. but so far, my experience ordering from Ultimaker to california has been good. now i just have to finish building it... :-)

 

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