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I have read on other forums about the Douane ( French Customs) taking a keen interest in imports . The concerning bit was the interest shown in the goods brought over by people transporting & distributing from Tescos Uk. I don’t know how true all this is & why post on the motorcycle section. What I do know is that previously have ordered parts from the USA for my cruiser & have not had the slightest attention from the Douane. This Christmas parts ordered have taken 8 weeks to clear customs & they have charged on average 50% the total value of the goods. I was told that the Douane is a very big organisation & revenue is urgently needed to protect jobs. I have also noticed the Gendarmes added activity around us armed with their mobile speed guns, fully accompanied with chase car & motorbike to give you an on the spot fine, probably all for the same reason, to raise revenue.
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My own experience in importing from the States is very hit and miss customs-wise and I reckon you've just bumped into the negative side for the first time!  About 80% of the time I haven't been charged and then suddenly they wake up and I get a TVA and import duty bill. There has never seemed to be any pattern to it so I don't reckon there's anything special going on - just normal service.
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It's a heads up for Bikers ordering stuff from the States or anywhere else that may involve customs duty. For it to increase from its usual 10 to 15 % to 50% for the same service items has caught me by surprise. Just thought I would let people know.
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Hmm.  Well the TVA is nigh-on 20% for a kick off so if you've got away with 10% including import duty in the past you have done quite well.  I reckon you should always calculate for both taxes and just take the free passes as a bonus when you get them.  I'm still not convinced that there is anything sinister or different happening here but as you say, bikers and others should certainly include these charges in their sums when buying from the US (or anywhere else outside the EU for that matter.)
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[quote user="motts"]In my region, one local told me that each year before christmas the cops and customs etc are out in droves stopping as many people as possible simply to generate as much revenue as possible.[/quote]

Surely though, if you have done nothing wrong then you have nothing to fear. If you were, say, speeding, why should you not be fined?

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Eddie sometimes buys books from a company in USA and up to now there's been no charge from the douanes.  But today there was an extra charge of as much as the book cost [blink].

As someone said earlier, they charge TVA on the TVA!

And there was a note on the bill saying if you refuse to pay the amount due will increase with interest. The courier had to collect this charge.

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I have just bought someting on e-bay, it is coming from Taiwan I think, not a lot of money, around £8 IIRC, if the factrice or courier wants anything more than a couple of euros I will tell them they can keep the parcel and buy the same thing agin but delivered to my UK address.

Whereupon no doubt the same thing will happen [:P]

It will be interesting to see how they react.

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