At Least I'm Not Dead. (official Blog Update)


Jul 10, 2008
From :

QUOTE ("Official Blog")
At least I'm not dead.

Things are always a learning curve the first time you try them. Apart from maybe suicide.

Anyway, the point is the last couple of weeks have had delays caused by a most unexpected event - US Taxes and UPS.

See the thing is we ship the parts to the USA, Dallas to be exact, they put them on a PCB and then all that comes back to the UK. But here is the weird part - UPS keeps wanting us to pay taxes on these parts - even though they are to be re-exported soon after. We have tried the recommended routes 'Temporary export' and 'Controlled goods' but still, randomly, a huge tax bill arrives. It's frustrating stuff which we are having to try to deal with yet UPS keep moving the goal posts.

Now, here is the community involvement part - does anyone out there know the real way to deal with this? The real rules? As UPS just keep changing the story every time.

So is there anyone out there who can shed some light on how we should be doing this to avoid those taxes? An expert on US customs and taxes maybe? You can answer over on the forum.

Aside from this we are very pleased and happy to have chosen to manufacture in the USA rather than China - I hear, alas, that's a pretty rare thing these days.

Craig gives more details on the UPS / US tax problems. Thoughts?
Don't use UPS. Go with a company who will tell you up-front *IN WRITING* that they will avoid these taxes & how they will do it.
How to avoid problems with UPS in 3 easy steps
1) Don't use UPS
2) Seriously, don't use UPS
3) WtF dude, what did I just say? DON'T USE UPS!!!
ups brings nothing but trouble. UPS is the most expensive company, but you dont get what you pay for at this company.
I shipped 3 items of the 3 with UPS, and i only got trouble with them. one of them never arrived(insured item).

UPS is a crap company, and everyone should avoid them and let them go bankrupt.
When I used to ship goods overseas (many years ago) It was most important to get the invoice that accompanies the goods made out correctly. i.e. Invoice clearly states "No Commercial Value, goods for temporary importation only, to be re-exported after processing" to have the correct Tariff Codes, plus you need to look up the specific country requirements (we used a book called "Croners Guide To Exporting"). Even so, UPS should know how to do this, you've got to find a person within UPS who can advise you of the correct procedures. Ask to speak to a supervisor. An alternative would be to employ a Freight Forwarder to sort out all this technical stuff.
tell them that since they are being unreasonable and unmanageable, that you are going to switch shipping companies. that'll get their attention. ;)

I don't know UPS or the details of shipping items into your country that will be exported again. (And for those items you're going to be shipping out as products for people IN the UK? Do you have to make those a separate delivery?)
The only thing I can suggest is to document EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY you talk to, insist on talking with managers and / or supervisors. Once you've found a person who is able to help you with an issue, try to get that person's name and personal contact info so you can deal with them again in the future if things go belly up one more time.

Good luck,
Sorry there's more troubles.

The company you're working with in the US. Do they have any suggestions on what you can do about UPS? Is there any other company out there that specializes more in international shipping that could help - though at this late date that's probably not an option...maybe for round 2 of the Pandoras?
UPS is a crap company, and everyone should avoid them and let them go bankrupt.

Really, that's funny, because they're almost always the low cost shipper within the US and only on rare occasions have I ever had problems. Even then the problems were minor compared with the alternatives. Even then it was a matter of weather, not their service.

On international shipping though, I'm not so sure that I'd recommend them, the cost is high and they tend to be over zealous with the customs stuff.
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only use DHL if you like dealing with the worst shipper ever conceived... Ups is utopia compared to them. (even with the extremely common damaged package problem)

I shipped my check via USPS from usa to Europe and had no problems whatsoever, they are the best shipper in my opinion. Don't know if OP can use them though.

edit: didn't know FedEx did international, learn something new everyday ^_^
Craig M8 check to see if it the state laws taxing u on the parts since every state got different laws and rules.
here is the top three Problems with Temporary Import Shipments

In many instances, the three most common errors concerning temporary shipments are:

* Failing to indicate on the shipping documentation that the shipment is a temporary import.
* Failing to properly document and re-export or destroy the articles. When this happens, the bond or security deposit is forfeited and the importer bears the duty and tax expense.
* Failing to indicate the customs broker

ship fed ex as they are very good with this situation here in there policy

also here is instructions for applying for temporary import bonds which is what you need

but it would be advisable to find a TIB broker as they can handle this stuff easily
have people smuggle them in and out of the country, Just Kidding maybe you can start assembly in america, probably a bad idea but then just mail them from the US to where they have to go individuality. Try asking other carriers like fed-ex, (I have had bad experiences with DHL but maybe them to or any one else) either way good luck
I wonder how many people remember this picture:

And the accompanying text:

This is what happens when you ship some $1000 Pandora prototypes via a well known american courier company.

We probably won't be using them again.

Could this mean they'd have to cross two couriers off the list?
QUOTE (Craigx)
Now, here is the community involvement part - does anyone out there know the real way to deal with this? The real rules? As UPS just keep changing the story every time.

Another glaring admission of omission to perform BASIC research on the part of the OpenPandora team. They start a project which they *know* is going to involve importing and exporting parts from many countries, and they fail to learn the import/export rules for the countries involved.

Some countries, according to ED, allow you to do an temporary import thus avoiding import taxes. If the country does NOT allow this I believe that you're supposed to PAY the takes on import and claim them back on export.

But I'm no expert. Do some research.
Just googled a bit an came up with this link.

"All goods entering Canada, even those being imported temporarily or those goods which were exported temporarily, are subject to duty and tax on their full value, unless there is a provision in legislation or regulations to relieve the duties and taxes owing."

I think the same might be the case here. Default situation is pay full tax, but a refund should be possible I guess..

Also for Canada: