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recom273

Amazon - Pre-Paid Customs Deposit ?

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I’m just wondering if anyone has had experience with this? I have imported some hifi gear from the states in the past, but i went to the PO and paid the duty, i found the amount to be more than reasonable.

 

This is the first time I have prepaid the tax - we needed some wheeled luggage for a overseas holiday, I wanted something that would last and took the advice of my mother who has this brand from the UK. Total cost per bag was 2700, which 50% is the cost of the suitcase, 25% shipping and 25% is “import deposit”. (The bags are dispatched separately, the breakdown is in GDP). So I’m guessing around 750B for duty. 

 

I bought other things from amazon, they arrived from Germany via EMS and duty was ignored, so I presume they aren’t coming via fedEx or DHL. 

Has anyone else experience with this prepay duty? What should I expect? The worst case I can think of is paying an inflated rate on the total amount including the tax paid rather than the item+shipping, but I’m quite expecting the postman to hand over the package and ride off. It’s just the element of uncertainty when ordering from overseas.
 

Is there an appeals process, should I feel I over paid? 

 

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Amazon will add an import duty on to items they expect to be checked by Thai customs.  If the items aren't checked, or if the duty is less than they expected, then they will refund the credit card used to pay for the goods.  Not all items will have this fee added.

 

The last time I was levied a fee it was refunded when the items passed through customs with no checking (sent by post), and I received the following notification via email.  I've ordered and received a few more goods since then where no fee was added.  I've never had to pay any additional import duties on Amazon goods, though I have with the one occasion I used eBay.

 

We're writing to let you know we processed your refund of THB1081.52 for your Order xxx-xxx.
 
This refund is for the following item(s):
 
    Item: xxxx
    Quantity: 1
    ASIN: xxxx
    Reason for refund: Export fee reduced
 
    Here's the breakdown of your refund for this item:
 
        Import Fee Deposit Refund: THB525.04
 
    Item: xxxx
    Quantity: 1
    ASIN: xxxx
    Reason for refund: Export fee reduced
 
    Here's the breakdown of your refund for this item:
 
        Import Fee Deposit Refund: THB556.48
 
We'll apply your refund to the following payment method(s):
 
XXXX Credit Card: THB1081.52
 
We've processed a refund for the above order in the amount of THB1081.52. In most cases, once a refund has been submitted, the issuing bank will post it to your account within 3-5 business days when issued to a credit card. Refunds issued to a bank account or pin-less debit typically take 10 business days to reflect on the account balance. This time frame may vary from one financial institution to another.
 
The amount showed up as a refund on my next card statement.  If your goods arrive and no duty was paid, but Amazon don't refund you, then you should contact them:
 
Have questions about our refund policy?
Visit our Help section for more information:
 
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You will not be asked to pay any tax, because you (Amazon) paid this already. (In case you should be asked to pay anything just refuse the package, but has never happened to me)

If you are lucky you might get a bit back (from Amazon) because the actual taxes were lower than estimated by Amazon.

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3 minutes ago, ballpoint said:

Amazon will add an import duty on to items they expect to be checked by Thai customs.  If the items aren't checked, or if the duty is less than they expected, then they will refund the credit card used to pay for the goods.  Not all items will have this fee added.

 

The last time I was levied a fee it was refunded when the items passed through customs with no checking (sent by post), and I received the following notification via email.  I've ordered and received a few more goods since then where no fee was added.  I've never had to pay any additional import duties on Amazon goods, though I have with the one occasion I used eBay.

 

We're writing to let you know we processed your refund of THB1081.52 for your Order xxx-xxx.
 
This refund is for the following item(s):
 
    Item: xxxx
    Quantity: 1
    ASIN: xxxx
    Reason for refund: Export fee reduced
 
    Here's the breakdown of your refund for this item:
 
        Import Fee Deposit Refund: THB525.04
 
    Item: xxxx
    Quantity: 1
    ASIN: xxxx
    Reason for refund: Export fee reduced
 
    Here's the breakdown of your refund for this item:
 
        Import Fee Deposit Refund: THB556.48
 
We'll apply your refund to the following payment method(s):
 
XXXX Credit Card: THB1081.52
 
We've processed a refund for the above order in the amount of THB1081.52. In most cases, once a refund has been submitted, the issuing bank will post it to your account within 3-5 business days when issued to a credit card. Refunds issued to a bank account or pin-less debit typically take 10 business days to reflect on the account balance. This time frame may vary from one financial institution to another.
 
The amount showed up as a refund on my next card statement.  If your goods arrive and no duty was paid, but Amazon don't refund you, then you should contact them:
 
Have questions about our refund policy?
Visit our Help section for more information:
 

Amazing, thanks for your reply.
 

So all is good!

 

They should make this widely know, I have been reluctant to buy things from Amazon before because I saw the duty added, and I presumed it would be pocketed by amazon. I tend to buy small electronic components, It’s only these larger items I couldn’t really buy at the quality and price, even with added tax. 
 

Thanks again! 

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How do Amazon's shipping charges compare with those of a US based re-mailer ?

 

I am discouraged from buying things from the US due to the cost of shipping,  many times it's equal to or greater than the cost of goods 

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I guess you need to check for the individual suppliers, this was fulfilled by amazon and the price was reasonable, I paid 500B per backpack, I tried other online camping stores and they wanted half the price of the bag to ship if at all.

 

I was actually thinking, if this goes well, that I should check amazon more. Lazada is OK, but sometimes I would welcome some different trusted brands.

 

The only thing I didn’t check before purchase was the supplier - both were fulfilled by amazon, one colour was From amazon EU and the other was amazon GB, due to availability of stock. One item has already been dispatched, yet one, a week later is still awaiting shipping in the UK.
 

How can this be? If something’s sitting there on a shelf, why is it not in a box within 24 hours. I guess, we get used to living in Asia with its glut of cheap labor.

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1 hour ago, Langsuan Man said:

How do Amazon's shipping charges compare with those of a US based re-mailer ?

 

I am discouraged from buying things from the US due to the cost of shipping,  many times it's equal to or greater than the cost of goods 

 The easiest way for you to compare is to check on their website. If you have an existing account just add your foreign "ship to" address. If a new customer just set-up a account with your foreign address. After your done, when you select an item or category, it when display the items that can be shipped to Thailand and the cost for shipping. 

  How economical the shipping is depends on how bad you want it. If you can't buy it locally or the local price is inflated then buying from Amazon might be a better value.

  

   

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If I can't find what I want on Lazada, or Power Buy, for example, I will buy things I need from Amazon. The shipping fee & duty is specified when you complete the last page where you have to confirm the order. When I get to this page, I decide if I want to pay the shipping & duty, or not. Usually it is quite reasonable. Almost always, my Amazon order is delivered by Thai Post. They have never asked for additional duty.

 

As others have said, I have actually received credits to my credit card account when the duty was less than what was estimated.

 

As an aside, I did want to order some shirts from LL Bean. The shirts were about $40 each. BUT, when they added duty & shipping, the cost of ONE shirt was over $140. Needless to say I did not buy those items.

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Just to follow up on this subject, if it helps anyone.

 

The luggage that I ordered from Amazon.co.uk (29/11) was delivered by a total cowboy. Delivery from Europe was pretty quick, around 10 days. The courier called one day, around mid day and asked where the house was, the next day we called him and asked where he got to? And could it be delivered this morning? no, he didn’t work in the morning - wife waited all afternoon and he didn’t show, next day he shows up with boxes and no customs receipt.

We used the luggage from 20/1 - 2/2. They turned out to be a worthwhile and study purchase.

 

I was buying something from amazon.com and thought about the customs deposit I had paid. I used the onsite chat to speak to the operator. (23/2)

 

She asked for the order details, and I explained that I was forced to pre-pay customs duty, but was never provided with a receipt on arrival of goods. She said, no problem and without even checking. she would issue a refund. Strangely, she asked, how much did I prepay??? And would I like a gift credit or payment to original card. Gift credit could only be used with amazon.co.uk and not amazon.com
 

12 hours later I received an email confirmation that payment, 1500thb, would be made in 3-5 working days.
 

So, there seems no automatic system of repayment for duty that wasn’t claimed. I was expecting a bit of a delay and a bit of bureaucracy, but he operator was happy to provide a refund immediately.

 

My next purchase was a bit of electronics kit. On .co.uk it was 2500thb (59GBP) ( inc. 10GBP shipping  and 10GBP customs deposit) but on .com was 1500thb ($44.52) inc. $7 shipping, No customs deposit, both shipped from the company in Germany. It’s a zigbee USB antennae, the second I have purchased and isn’t available from China, duty wasn’t charged on first delivery. Quite a big difference between $76 and $44 just by ordering from different sites.

 

It seems you need to be a little cautious when ordering from Amazon, check prices across the sites, and keep in mind the purchase, if you prepaid duty.

Edited by recom273

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4 hours ago, recom273 said:

no customs receipt.

I think that's normal, i never got a customs receipt. Probably because i didn't pay the customs, but Amazon did, so they send the customs receipt to the shipper.

 

4 hours ago, recom273 said:

So, there seems no automatic system of repayment for duty that wasn’t claimed.

There is, it just takes a week or two.

 

4 hours ago, recom273 said:

but on .com was 1500thb ($44.52) inc. $7 shipping, No customs deposit

You don't pay customs on orders below 1500THB.

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24 minutes ago, jackdd said:I think that's normal, i never got a customs receipt. Probably because i didn't pay the customs, but Amazon did, so they send the customs receipt to the shipper.

When I received good fedex or I have picked up goods from the post office, when duty is to be paid there has always been stamped paperwork from customs in one of those transparent envelopes. I think fedex have a really professional service, the same cool driver has covered my area for the more than the past five years and always has paperwork breaking down the costs.

 

The whole point of the update is, the customs duty wasn’t paid on these bags, they skimmed under the radar, Or whatever and obviously no receipt. Amazon weren’t aware of any duty paid and just sitting in the deposit.
 

33 minutes ago, jackdd said:

There is, it just takes a week or two.

Huh? I placed the order in the last week of November, and have been busy until now. It’s nearly March, when I contacted them. I expected to wait a couple of weeks while they contacted Thai customs to check, but they gave up the money immediately. They may have had an automatic system in the past, but not even an automated email? The fact that the offer was instant sounds a bit suspect to me.

 

I’m not complaining, just pointing out, if you deal with amazon and pay this deposit, you need to keep a check on it, if I hadn’t have contacted them, 35GBP would have been pocketed.

 

41 minutes ago, jackdd said:

You don't pay customs on orders below 1500THB.

You have miss the point, I am aware duty is not paid when the good + shipping are less than 1500thb.


It’s the price of the item, this is the second I have purchased. When ordered via the US it was shipped from the manufacturer in a Germany via EMS. Delivery within 7 days at standard rate.

 

Amazon US - $37 + $7 shipping ( Approx $44)

Amazon UK - £37 + £11 shipping ( Approx $62) this is 59thb above the threshold which gives amazon UK the opportunity to add another £10 duty deposit (total £58)

 

Again, I’m. It bothered or complaining - the item is quite specialized, and not cloned by the chinese, the manufacturer only distributes via amazon, but that’s 50% more if buying from amazon UK? Just saying, if you buy from amazon, it’s worthwhile checking the prices on both sites.

 

On the whole, I have had a good experience from amazon, shipping times are good, and the items unavailable locally, not available as a copy on AliExpress or direct from manufacturer. To me, things cost what they cost, if I want them I will pay. I’m happy to pay duty if charged, but I feel this “import fees deposit” needs to be kept an eye on.

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9 minutes ago, recom273 said:

When I received good fedex or I have picked up goods from the post office, when duty is to be paid there has always been stamped paperwork from customs in one of those transparent envelopes.

Yes, when you pay the customs to the customs department in Thailand yourself you do of course get a receipt.

When i prepaid customs to Amazon i never got such a receipt, because i guess Amazon forwards the money to the shipper, the shipper pays the custom fees, and then sends the receipt back to Amazon.

Sometimes i get an email from Amazon telling me that i get something back. I assumed that if i don't get such an email it just means i paid the correct amount.

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Over the last few months I have used Amazon (US) to buy two ASUS routers (bought at different times...one costing $250 and one $200 before shipping/customs costs) which involved pre-paid customs....also done a couple of buys of clothing items costing less than $50 total including shipping without an pre-paid customs required.  Items shipped to my Bangkok address  In all four cases the items were received quickly (in less than a week...actually around 5 days) with no additional customs, VAT, etc....simply the price I paid Amazon.  

 

Also, usually a person is offered two shipping methods/speeds....be sure to price-out both methods before final check out as it can cause a very significant difference in price.  And surprising, so far in all four of my orders selecting the "fastest" shipping method (like delivery in one week compared to two weeks) provided the lowest cost by a very significant margin.  

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3 hours ago, jackdd said:

Yes, when you pay the customs to the customs department in Thailand yourself you do of course get a receipt.

When i prepaid customs to Amazon i never got such a receipt, because i guess Amazon forwards the money to the shipper, the shipper pays the custom fees, and then sends the receipt back to Amazon.

Sometimes i get an email from Amazon telling me that i get something back. I assumed that if i don't get such an email it just means i paid the correct amount.


So, when I received the item, there was no import tax receipt that I would expect / have seem when other couriers had delivered, amazon didn’t have record of any duty paid therefore no import tax was paid. 
 

It was a 30 second conversation along the lines of “Hi, I bought something, I prepaid the duty, could you tell me if the duty was paid?” “That’s ok sir, I can issue you with a refund” .. I questioned again “was the duty paid?” .. “I can issue with a full refund for the tax deposit sir” .. it was literally just that. 

 

 

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