Declaring low value for customs (GST) potential problems?

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Pengo
01-21-2006, 09:49 PM
A buyer on Ebay wants me to declare the value of his item below $300 when I ship it to Australia so he can avoid GST (goods and service tax) that is charged to incoming items valued $xxx or higher. Item will end at about $500 on Ebay, he wants me to list it as $300 or so on the customs form.

Any potential problems with this? I've googled and gotten a few sites that talk about similar things and mention it may not be a good idea, but no real concrete information on it.

I'm curious if anybody has any knowledge of shipping or any experience in the matter. Obviously I'd like to say yes if it wouldn't cause any problems so he will bid more.

Snaps
01-21-2006, 10:02 PM
Customs are there for looks purposes only. Go for it! (make sure to post updates on outcome)

ChaoStar
01-21-2006, 10:12 PM
I have to ship international packages at work sometimes and they will send them back to me if the declared value is to high.

Pengo
01-21-2006, 10:15 PM
Obviously I'm hesitant - just wondering if anybody else has any real knowledge on the matter. $300 for the item is still a reasonable value (used computer).

ChaoStar
01-21-2006, 10:18 PM
Well the packages I send are purchased at $399, but declared at $100.

Elvis Hitler
01-21-2006, 10:21 PM
If you declare it at what sounds like a reasonable market value for the goods, you probably shouldn't have any problem.

DemonKyoto
01-21-2006, 10:23 PM
The last dozen packages ive sent off anywhere, ive never had to even declare how much the **** was worth, but the last time i did, id just BS it and put 100 or something :shrug:

KellyMonaco
01-21-2006, 10:24 PM
Generally the way I do international shipping like that is to declare it however the buyer wants, but only on the condition that he or she agree that the item is non-refundable in the event the package is lost or siezed.

DwarfVader
01-21-2006, 10:55 PM
Just remember this...

You sold it on ebay for a certain amount, ebay sees that amount and has a record of it. Sending it with a cost of $300 is claiming that the person you are sending it to bought it for $300. Its fraud to say it costs less then they purchased it for.

I'm not saying NOT to do it, I'm just telling you what the possibilites are if for any reason customs on either end thinks there is a problem.

Geck0
01-21-2006, 10:59 PM
You shouldn't have a problem. They will have to pay duty on it anyway because the threshold for duty is $250AUD anyway.

$300 USD = ~$401.60 so they'd pe paying duty on it - it will just reduce the duty paid.

Customs is highly unlikely to even check such a pissant transaction. If it was a pallet load or a container load it would be a bit different.

Pengo
01-21-2006, 11:03 PM
Yep, thats what I was thinking.

From what I've heard and read on the USPS site so far the US is pretty indifferent to taxes/duties that other countries charge (and isn't going to punish you). So, the worst that can happen seems to be the item gets seized, but that doesn't seem likely if I value it reasonably.

I'll just tell the buyer that the payment is non refundable as mentioned above.

Thanks

DwarfVader
01-21-2006, 11:04 PM
You shouldn't have a problem. They will have to pay duty on it anyway because the threshold for duty is $250AUD anyway.

$300 USD = ~$401.60 so they'd pe paying duty on it - it will just reduce the duty paid.

Customs is highly unlikely to even check such a pissant transaction. If it was a pallet load or a container load it would be a bit different.


Probably...

And he really shouldn't worry to much about the fraud thing. I was just pointing out that god forbid if customs did question it for whatever reason he would have to explain it.

KellyMonaco
01-21-2006, 11:08 PM
Its fraud to say it costs less then they purchased it for.
This is possibly true, depending upon the laws of the country you're mailing to. But that's just it, it's another country. At that point it's the buyer's problem, not yours.

Pengo
01-21-2006, 11:09 PM
You shouldn't have a problem. They will have to pay duty on it anyway because the threshold for duty is $250AUD anyway.

$300 USD = ~$401.60 so they'd pe paying duty on it - it will just reduce the duty paid.

Customs is highly unlikely to even check such a pissant transaction. If it was a pallet load or a container load it would be a bit different.

$250AUD? This Australian Customs website is saying $1000AUD (if I'm reading it right):

http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=5549

All my buyers have told me its $500AUD...wtf hah

Geck0
01-21-2006, 11:11 PM
Could be - it used to be that but they may have changed it. Doesn't really change anything.

DwarfVader
01-22-2006, 12:01 AM
This is possibly true, depending upon the laws of the country you're mailing to. But that's just it, it's another country. At that point it's the buyer's problem, not yours.


Not so as he's the one sending it, and thus he was the one who HAD to commit the act to create the fraud in the first place.

Esp when the other guy can claim "hey man, I paid 500$ it I don't know why he put 300$ down..." And ebay will back that dude up, so not only can he say it but he can back it up to a goverment official.

Geck0
01-22-2006, 12:03 AM
How are they going to know it was sold on ebay?

KellyMonaco
01-22-2006, 01:02 AM
Not so as he's the one sending it, and thus he was the one who HAD to commit the act to create the fraud in the first place.

Esp when the other guy can claim "hey man, I paid 500$ it I don't know why he put 300$ down..." And ebay will back that dude up, so not only can he say it but he can back it up to a goverment official.
You don't seem to understand. Customs, whichever country it happens to be, pretty much only cares about incoming packages. The U.S. would only care if the outgoing package turned out to be a dangerous / regulated item, or was going to an embargo'ed country. I don't really care what Spanish / Croatian / whatever Customs thinks, and truthfully neither do they. Worst case they'd just confiscate the package, and that'd be the end of it. More likely if they had a problem, the dude on the other end pays a higher tariff if he wants to take delivery.

reZolut
01-22-2006, 01:10 AM
More importantly, why the **** would someone from australia buy a used computer from someone in the states?...I can't possibly see any savings he may or may not make on the price justify all the ****ing around with customs as well as the sipping costs

Geck0
01-22-2006, 01:12 AM
Have a look at hardware pricing in Aus. That's your answer right there.

I bet it's a laptop.