Inbound custom charges shipping a bike to EU
I'm about to ship my scooter back to Italy.
After having finally found a cheap shipping agent for the route Bangkok-Genova, I discussed with some other bikers for what seems to be the higher cost of all: the inbound custom charges.
A guy has been charged 900euros, another biker 600 euros.
Now my question is: if I send it via air-freight would it be as expensive?
Are other EU countries applying so high levies?
You don't mention whether you are importing your scooter from Asia or re-importing an EU registered vehicle so without this information it is difficult help you.
The scooter is actually Italian. But other travellers doing the same procedure (Italian bike abroad sent back to Italy) has been charged VAT and customs despite the bike being registered and everything in the country.
This does not sound right, if all taxes and duties are already paid it should cost nothing are you sure the others were not importing non-EU registered bikes? I have re-imported my bike to the UK several times without charge.
In the first instance I would contact Italian customs and get a letter confirming their position on this, if they insist you have to pay then think about shipping your scooter to another EU country and ride it over the border.
Others with more experience of Italy might have a better solution than this.
i've sent it back my bike, by sea, from Delhi to Italy, on 2007. after paid 320 Euro for the whole thing in Delhi (Lalli Singh) once the crate has arrived on italian shore the italian agent got in touch with me. they were asking me 852 Euro to get my bike back! no any duty or import tax or whatever were requested; jus pay for download from the vessel, upload on the truck, carry it to their own warehouse, download from the truck, storage, upload on the truck to be carried to the custom to be processed, carnet clearance 300 euro, upload to the truck, drive it back to the warehouse, downloaded again and storage fees since i would get there to get it back, plus agent commission and VAT. they, the b++++++s were insisting to deal with an authorized agent to clear the carnet, 300 euro. went to the italian automobile club to get enlightened about. they were laughing at me sayng carnet is made from us and we're the only authorized to clear it. you do not have to pay anything and get in deal with nobody but us. back to the agent i expose the a.c.i. answer to them but no way; they were looking for my money.went to a lawyer, he wrote a letter to the agent claiming power abuse. the agent phone me quite in anger sayng you have to pay at all, no way! back to the agent i had to pay them all the expenses, 400 euro, from the harbour to their own warehouse. then, with a van, get to the warehouse, with a no objection letter from another agent, wich told me 852 euro to release your own bike sounds like a robbery, pick up the crate and went to the custom office in milan. got my bike back two days later payng 110 euro...
the agent mafia in italy, i mean shipping by sea, it tend to extort as much as they can, charging you every single thing, supposing you're just an ignorant walking wallet.
if may i suggest you anithing on about, you own a scooter, wich is small and light; crate it and fly it back to italy. my travel mate did it last october in delhi, he own a BMW gs1150, spending 1000 euro to get the bike in rome.
Seafreight often seems to involve more costs at the receiving end than air... and unfortunately more opportunities to get screwed, too, if you´re not fully familiar with how it all works!
I sent my DL650 by sea from Sydney to EU (Helsinki) in Apr-2008, and all costs at the sending end + ocean freight were just under 500 eur total (cheap, I think!) but then I got charged about 170 euros just to pick it up at the harbour. Funny when you compare the two sums, and what really is included in them!
Nothing is cheap in Finland, so I think that ~200 euros should be about the absolute maximum, that you´d need to pay to pick up a bike in the EU (I mean, when a bike, that´s already registered in the EU, is returning home from a trip, and in that case, you do not have to pay any import taxes or duties). If someone´s asking like 800 for that, they´re probably trying to rip you off.
the actual shipment cost me 370Eur.
I got a quote for the customs procedure in Genoa from the same company that is doing the shipment. First of all, being a LCL, whichever company/agency is in charge of the container, will decide where to do the customs. For me, means Milan.
Obviously the transport from Genoa to Milan will be charged regardless of the fact that it gives me no advantage (I could have taken the scooter in Genoa).
Anyway, talking numbers, here is what I got:
- unloading, loading, thc and emptying the crate (?) 400 Eur
- documents: 50 Eur
- Customs: 80 Eur (only price I know for sure)
- whatever tax the customs will charge
- insurance: min 25 Eur
- phone calls: 10 Eur
To me it looks like 600Eur and more for a shipment that costed me 350 Eur and a scooter worth 150 Eur!!!
A few years ago I flew my bike back from South America to Heathrow airport, paid a small handling charge and nothing else. I delt with customs myself which took 5 minutes and cost nothing, there is no customs tax on a vehicle registered in the EU, it has already been paid, they are robbing you but then I expect you have worked that out for yourself.
If you have not already shipped it I would enquire about air freight, on the two occasions I have used it the problems and other costs have been much less.
Also remember if it is on a carnet it is not essential to have it stamped back into country of origin, as long as it has been stamped out of all countries it has been into, I have never had my carnet stamped back into the UK and had no problem, perhaps Italy is different, check with your carnet issuer.
Epilogue of the shipping experience
So, after having gone through hell to take out of Italian custom my Italian registered scooter, I list here some numbers in case any of you would like to do the same.
Shipping was from Bangkok, Thailand to Genoa, Italy.
I couldn't take the bike in Genoa as I sent it with a LCL mode so 90% the container clears customs for the whole content in Milan. So I had to pay for the unloading of the container from the ship and the consequent forwarding to Milan. Again I couldn't go and take the bike from the coloader warehouse or, as told by them, it would have been more expensive than having the scooter delivered elsewhere in Italy.
I was asked to give the Carnet de Passaage in order to have it cleared with an extra cost and I had to use legal articles to prove them wrong (ie carnet de passage not be used in the country of residence plus only the issuing organization can clear a Cdp).
I was asked many times for the invoice of the goods and the PRA registration (the equivalent of the DVLA) and I had to explain them via many phone calls the uselessness of their requests.
Eventually after a week of exchanging phone calls I solved the issues and I had the scooter delivered to and address in Milan.
Total cost paid in Thailand for the shipment Bangkok to Genoa (without ocean freight): 330€.
Total cost paid in Italy for the service (inclusive of ocean freight 63€): 782€!!!
I strongly advise to any countryfellows or any other biker willing to ship their bike to Italy not to do it! Apart from the level of incompetence shown to me by the freight forwarder, the inbound costs are much higher than other EU contries and definetely less troublesome in terms of bureocracy.
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