Certain well known shipping companies have been happily trying to scam recipients of packages sent from abroad by adding "clearance duties", "brokerage fess" and other such nonsense all under the guise of "Customs and Duties" invoices.
Guess what children?
It transpires that they are taking he piss, and trying to pull a fast one. HMRC are aware of this, and frown upon it.
Those of you who receive such an invoice, are more than welcome to use this proforma letter that I have successfully used on more than one occasion:
"Thank you for your invoice ***** for £** (dated ***).
Please be advised that as no explanation was given, despite repeated requests, as to what the charges were for (prior to the attempted delivery today) the delivery was refused.
However, subsequent to the attempted delivery an explanation was received.
I will pay the customs duties of £**.
However, please be advised that I refuse to pay the Brokerage Fees/Admin Fees of £**; since at no point was I made aware of, nor did I agree to, any terms and conditions which clearly stated that I would be liable for any such charges.
At no point in the transaction, and subsequent attempted delivery, was any contract for a clearance of administration charge made between *** and myself.
I paid the supplier for delivery, and would expect that any international clearance fees be factored into the initial cost of such a shipment.
The £** is not a duty or tax, as such you should not use a duty/tax invoice to try to claim it.
I will be making HMRC aware of this, as they have in the past publicly criticised companies for doing this.
If you wish to pursue further charges for delivery or administration or the terms upon which goods are shipped, I suggest that you take it up with the company who shipped the goods initially.
Please resubmit an amended invoice for me to pay, and advise me as to when delivery will be made.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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