US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

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RobertOToole
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US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

Post by RobertOToole »

Quick heads up to anyone living in the US and thinking about ordering something from overseas.

Earlier this month a South Korean seller sent me an inspec.x L lens for this post:

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=41911

A couple of weeks later I got a bill in the mail for Fedex for duty. This is the first time in my life I've been nailed so I just wanted to let everyone know that thanks to our chief in command we now have a duty of 25% on products of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden or the United Kingdom.

This is in part of a little tariff war with the EU. It should be 0% or 2.3% at the most.

Thankfully the seller placed a value of $80 for me so the bill was only $35 (with a Fedex fee) but it could have been a lot worse!

If you look closely they added on another 2.3% duty for 'other' lenses, photo, camera, enlarger, microscope objectives are all exempt from this added 2.3%. The broker didn't like me I guess.

The US president says on TV that the country of manufacture pays all tariffs like China does so question is does anyone know whom in Germany do I send my $35 duty bill to be paid? #-o

inspec.jpg

Lou Jost
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Re: US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

Post by Lou Jost »

Oh no!!!! Many months ago I bought a $2000 Superachromat lens from a vender in Holland. He sent it a few days ago. Most expensive thing I've bought in a long time.

Why did the Korean shipment get charged? Are there more countries besides the ones you listed which have a 25% tariff? Or is itthe place of manufacture that matters? But for most products that is not obvious.

dmillard
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Re: US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

Post by dmillard »

Lou Jost wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:07 pm
Are there more countries besides the ones you listed which have a 25% tariff? Or is itthe place of manufacture that matters? But for most products that is not obvious.
For lenses (and other photographic equipment), the place of manufacture is restricted to Germany. See https://captureintegration.com/tariffs- ... tographer/

Best wishes on the safe and trouble-free arrival of your Superachromat.

Best regards,
David

Lou Jost
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Re: US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

Post by Lou Jost »

Thanks David, I'm hopeful that it may be the perfect FF tube lens.

Unfortunately it may be months before I will be able to go to the US to pick it up.

dmillard
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Re: US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

Post by dmillard »

Lou Jost wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:31 pm
Thanks David, I'm hopeful that it may be the perfect FF tube lens.


Another potential option for a FF tube lens may be a Pentax 67 300mm f/4 EDIF. It doesn't have the spectral sensitivity range of the Zeiss lens, weighs considerably more, and has a greater front filter thread (82mm vs 60mm), but it is very sharp, has a solid tripod collar, and is readily available at about 1/3 the price. And it should be immune to tariffs at this point in time! :D

Best regards,
David

Macro_Cosmos
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Re: US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

Wow this is... ridiculous. (Just remember it's better to not swear! #-o )
Here I am, still annoyed by the 10% we have to pay in Australia.

This tariff war was originally waged against China under several debatable arguments that I'm not drunk enough to entertain, now it's extending to Europe and (the rest of) Asia?

The lens was sent from Korea, which is great. It's made in Germany, which raises the same question that Lou had. Surely the customs aren't that bored out of their minds, right? This blue metal thingy with purple glass slapped onto it... they really did closely inspect the lens to find that very faint, brown-rice coloured small markings of origin, despite it being sent from Korea?

Also what argument is there for imposing tax on goods that are used, which implies taxes already being paid? What happens to generic looking stuff? What about an Olympus apochromat of $2000 sent from Spain? Would the buyer be required to shell $500 out and another 2.3% on top of that?

I can see many many ways to circumvent this robbery taxation though. I... I'm not endorsing it... sure I'm not, yeah believe me. {-X {-X

RobertOToole
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Re: US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

Post by RobertOToole »

Lou Jost wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:07 pm
Oh no!!!! Many months ago I bought a $2000 Superachromat lens from a vender in Holland. He sent it a few days ago. Most expensive thing I've bought in a long time.

Why did the Korean shipment get charged? Are there more countries besides the ones you listed which have a 25% tariff? Or is itthe place of manufacture that matters? But for most products that is not obvious.

The shipment invoice had the country of manufacture listed. Germany.

Usually, not always, sending USPS results in something like 5% of the parcels will have the right duty attached. With Fedex and UPS the chances are usually a lot higher.

I'm just glad the shipper thought about it and helped with the $80 value. 8)

Best,

Robert

RobertOToole
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Re: US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

Post by RobertOToole »

Macro_Cosmos wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:17 am
Wow this is... ridiculous. (Just remember it's better to not swear! #-o )
Here I am, still annoyed by the 10% we have to pay in Australia.

This tariff war was originally waged against China under several debatable arguments that I'm not drunk enough to entertain, now it's extending to Europe and (the rest of) Asia?

The lens was sent from Korea, which is great. It's made in Germany, which raises the same question that Lou had. Surely the customs aren't that bored out of their minds, right? This blue metal thingy with purple glass slapped onto it... they really did closely inspect the lens to find that very faint, brown-rice coloured small markings of origin, despite it being sent from Korea?

Also what argument is there for imposing tax on goods that are used, which implies taxes already being paid? What happens to generic looking stuff? What about an Olympus apochromat of $2000 sent from Spain? Would the buyer be required to shell $500 out and another 2.3% on top of that?

I can see many many ways to circumvent this robbery taxation though. I... I'm not endorsing it... sure I'm not, yeah believe me. {-X {-X
At least this is the first time I've ever gotten a bill for a duty so I cant really complain.

I looked up the 2.3% on the federal website and that was due to the agent using 'other' to classify the lens, from what I remember looking it up, enlarger lenses for example, are not subject to the 2.3% added.

The stupid part of this is that is our president has been saying for at least 4 years that China (or Germany) is the one that pays the tariffs. Obviously he's never had to pay one.

Best,

Robert

Lou Jost
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Re: US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

Post by Lou Jost »

Another potential option for a FF tube lens may be a Pentax 67 300mm f/4 EDIF.
David, yes, that is a great lens. I have one. It is remarkable for a medium format lens, but it is not quite as sharp as my best 35mm lenses in that focal range, and the focal length is a bit longer than I would like most of the time. The Superachromat 250mm is the best thing I can find to fill the gap between the 200mm and 300mm lenses I have.

RobertOToole
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Re: US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

Post by RobertOToole »


For lenses (and other photographic equipment), the place of manufacture is restricted to Germany. See https://captureintegration.com/tariffs- ... tographer/

Best wishes on the safe and trouble-free arrival of your Superachromat.

Best regards,
David
Hi David,

It is Germany, but it's also more countries than that.

According to the U.S. International Trade Commission website, I refer to them since they are the ones that are going to bill you, its more than Germany!

Also note that some items are at 65% so looks like it could have been a lot worse for me!

Here is the link for 2020 Revision 13:

https://hts.usitc.gov/?query=9903.89.37

Just type in the code 9903.89.37 in the field, this is a screenshot:

U.S.-International-Trade-Commission.jpg
This is a screenshot about the other code they used:


This is a link to the full PDFs for 2020 Revision 13, if anyone in interested: https://hts.usitc.gov/current

For Photo equipment: https://hts.usitc.gov/view/Chapter%2090 ... 0HTSARev13
Attachments
U.S.-International-Trade-Commission-2.jpg

Macro_Cosmos
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Re: US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

Right, so 65% tax on non-photographic related filters and prisms?
A $450 made in Germany beamsplitter cube, the buyer in the US would fork out a whopping $292.5. OD4+ filters that are $400+ a pop for larger sizes...
This is honestly insane.

dmillard
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Re: US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

Post by dmillard »

Thank you for the update Robert! This definitely reduces my occasional temptations for early a.m. Buy It Now purchases :shock:

Best regards,
David

dmillard
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Re: US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

Post by dmillard »

An addendum:

On Thursday the U.S. Trade Representative proposed an additional 25% tariff on German lenses (as well as increased import fees on many other items). This proposal is open to public comment until July 26th.

https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/en ... 3_2020.pdf
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Tariffs2.jpg

enricosavazzi
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Re: US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

Post by enricosavazzi »

RobertOToole wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:12 pm
[...]The US president says on TV that the country of manufacture pays all tariffs like China does so question is does anyone know whom in Germany do I send my $35 duty bill to be paid?[...]
I don't know about addressees in Germany, but addressing to Mr. Donald Trump, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20500 would seem the reasonable thing to do.

For what is worth, in Sweden we pay about 25% sales tax (added to both merchandise value and shipment cost), plus a fixed import fee, on anything that comes from outside the EU. We pay the same sales tax on items purchased in Sweden as well (except for things like electricity, where we pay sales tax on the electricity, energy tax on the electricity, and sales tax on the energy tax).
--ES

Macro_Cosmos
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Re: US Buyers Beware of Tariffs on EU Products

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

:( Tax on tax and tax on already taxed (ie used goods) just rubs me the wrong way.
From the table, I can see that they are trying to hit Made in Germany handtools really hard.
Wiha, a very good screwdriver brand is German. Knipex makes high quality tools for stripping wires and cutting pipes. I suppose it's time for any interested American to get a set before the prices are jacked up.

We haven't even started on Leica and Zeiss lenses, microscopes, objectives, Sachtler fluid heads (oh didn't know they are a part of the Vitec conglomerate empire)... I hope this proposal gets pulled.
On the contrary, it seems that the EU is trying to crack down on the google-facebook advertising duopoly, so one can say a response is inevitable.

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