Purchased an item from overseas during Black Friday, and now I'm facing a minimum of 42% in import fees!

zero_cool

Disciple
Hello everyone, this is a sort of PSA as well as a TIFU thread to help others avoid the same mistake I made. For a long time, I had my eye on a Quad Lock mount for my motorcycle, and every year, I would eagerly anticipate the 30% Black Friday discount. After upgrading my motorcycle from a Honda Unicorn, which I had for 8 years, to a cruiser, I finally felt that the mount would be a worthwhile purchase.

This year, after some contemplation, I decided to pull the trigger and bought the mount for $91. While this may seem excessive for just mounting a phone to the handlebar, I justified it to myself as it had been on my wishlist for a long time. However, last week, I received an email from DPEX, the courier used by Quad Lock to ship my mount. In the fine print of the email, it mentioned that customs duty would be charged at 77.28% for goods coming in, irrespective of the HS CODE, if they are in the personal name. Upon further research, I discovered that the central government had changed a rule in 2020 resulting in such high import duty if one does not have an IEC number, and 77.28% will be applicable in case of a gift.

Since my purchase was made through a credit card and came with proof of purchase, I will likely be charged 42.08%. However, for anyone eyeing something from abroad, please be cautious about importing it via courier, or you may end up paying a hefty price—pun intended. I will check about the duty I need to pay with the courier agency and I hope they are diligent enough to levy 42.08% based on the documents.

I thought I was saving a few bucks by purchasing from Quad Lock directly as had I purchased them from a Bike n Biker, a seller in India, they would've cost me ₹13,000 or $156 for the same order but it seems I will pay more than that.

Edit: After reading a few threads on Reddit, it turns out my ordeal might get worse as the value of the item is decided by the customs office. So, the 42% in import fees migh be on a much higher amount if the official decides these goods are worth more than $91, it will have pay a lot more.
 
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I am part of /r/repfamindia where people buy replica sneakers from china using pandabuy (i am not into sneakers) and I have myself placed 2 orders of replica lego sets (less in weight) from china too. my 2nd lego set package right now is stuck in customs hold. But the value I have declared in the package is $12 so I am hoping even if I am charged duty, it is based on $12. Let's see.
My last lego set (london architecture) was declared at $8 by me and no duties charged.
People on that subreddit advocate making a fake invoice of credit card to reflect the amount declared on the invoice (which too we only give to pandabuy).
Basically, if i tell pandabuy to declare something as $10, I need to make sure my credit card statement somehow shows around 840-900 rupees as a transaction.
This is needed in case the customs officer asks for invoice and bank statement. And yes they do ask as I have seen people on repfamindia put pics of the letter they receive from customs officers.
Customs charge on item + shipping always but with pandabuy, you actually pay separately both as in first you order stuff and it comes to their warehouse and then as per weight, you again pay (Assuming you have no pandabuy balance) for shipping so this way, you get freedom to declare a value you want and make sure your credit card statement also reflects the same (without even editing it).
 
I am part of /r/repfamindia where people buy replica sneakers from china using pandabuy (i am not into sneakers) and I have myself placed 2 orders of replica lego sets (less in weight) from china too. my 2nd lego set package right now is stuck in customs hold. But the value I have declared in the package is $12 so I am hoping even if I am charged duty, it is based on $12. Let's see.
My last lego set (london architecture) was declared at $8 by me and no duties charged.
People on that subreddit advocate making a fake invoice of credit card to reflect the amount declared on the invoice (which too we only give to pandabuy).
Basically, if i tell pandabuy to declare something as $10, I need to make sure my credit card statement somehow shows around 840-900 rupees as a transaction.
This is needed in case the customs officer asks for invoice and bank statement. And yes they do ask as I have seen people on repfamindia put pics of the letter they receive from customs officers.
Customs charge on item + shipping always but with pandabuy, you actually pay separately both as in first you order stuff and it comes to their warehouse and then as per weight, you again pay (Assuming you have no pandabuy balance) for shipping so this way, you get freedom to declare a value you want and make sure your credit card statement also reflects the same (without even editing it).
Well, I cannot utilise Pandabuy or the likes of it as shipping is bourne by the seller. The invoice is attached with the item which states the value of the goods is $90.91 so the only my credit card statement can be of use to support the actual purchase value so I am looking at 42% on $91.
 
Well, I cannot utilise Pandabuy or the likes of it as shipping is bourne by the seller. The invoice is attached with the item which states the value of the goods is $90.91 so the only my credit card statement can be of use to support the actual purchase value so I am looking at 42% on $91.
That's what. If it was pandabuy type arrangement, you could have got away by putting invoice value of $5 if you had wished. Anyways, I suggest next time as on forum as people make offer alternate options or some other way to get it at reasonable price.
 
In your case, I suppose there isn't much you can do. If you had asked the seller beforehand to underdeclare the package, then something could have been done. Where is the item getting shipped from btw, if it's a parcel from asia then there's a chance it might go fine. The city you ship to also matters. Mumbai and Delhi will absolutely eat you up if your parcel gets held, atleast in bangalore/kolkata/chennai they will be reasonable in custom charges. I've shipped replicas for myself using various agents over the past year now for chinese stuff atleast and as long as you follow some basics, it's fine. Also I've never heard of DPEX before, which might be a saving grace for you if it means it will be delivered by Indiapost, usually fedex or any other international courier that will do the last mile delivery itself will make sure you get charged as much as you can legally be charged (i.e too much).

Secondly you should have googled around a bit first lol, by just typing india customs reddit, you will see thousands of posts of people crying over getting charged 200% of the good's value. Used laptops being charged more than their worth. Free gifts being charged customs 3x the value.
 
Where is the item getting shipped from
Hong Kong.

The city you ship to also matters. Mumbai and Delhi will absolutely eat you up
I am based in Mumbai :confused:
Also I've never heard of DPEX before, which might be a saving grace for you if it means it will be delivered by Indiapost
I came to know about DPEX for the first time after this purchase as well but apparently it probably has a small setup in India and it does deliver door-to-door. Furthermore, in my case, the shipping cost is not mentioned separately in the invoice so I hope I don't get charged extra.
Secondly you should have googled around a bit first lol, by just typing india customs reddit
In my defence, I had purchased a mobile phone from USA and several goods from Ali Express. The phone was shipped to India via FedEx where I wasn't charged such obscene fees and although this it was a long time ago, this never occurred to me. I had resorted to getting stuff from visiting relatives so this never crossed my mind but having said that, the purpose of this thread is to educate the uninformed of the pitfalls of importing goods.
 
Hong Kong.


I am based in Mumbai :confused:

I came to know about DPEX for the first time after this purchase as well but apparently it probably has a small setup in India and it does deliver door-to-door. Furthermore, in my case, the shipping cost is not mentioned separately in the invoice so I hope I don't get charged extra.

In my defence, I had purchased a mobile phone from USA and several goods from Ali Express. The phone was shipped to India via FedEx where I wasn't charged such obscene fees and although this it was a long time ago, this never occurred to me. I had resorted to getting stuff from visiting relatives so this never crossed my mind but having said that, the purpose of this thread is to educate the uninformed of the pitfalls of importing goods.
You're very lucky then, majority of folks have had to go through bureaucratic hell going to the foreign post office multiple times to get stuff cleared. A phone via fedex would be the last thing I would do now lol. But there's always a possibility you'll be charged less or nothing even, customs are unpredictable.
@raksrules: Are these replicas reverse-engineered or stolen from the original factory?
If clothing replicas production applies to lego as well, then yes it's basically reverse engineered, each part analysed and replicated. Also no, they don't steal anything from factories albeit at times (with regards to clothing), they get their hands on the og product before the world does and start to replicate.
 
@raksrules: Are these replicas reverse-engineered or stolen from the original factory?

They are not stolen but design obviously is copied upto the point that they are almost 100% match. The only diffence between a lego and no lego set you would find is that each stud (that dot on plate) to have the word LEGO or not.
Check my post here..


and couple of them after, the porsche RSR 911 Technic car is huge (relatively) and usually sells for upwards of 30K INR on amazon for original lego (obviously some random seller so price can be whatever seller wishes to charge). But I got mine (replica) for 3.5K and if I had ordered from china, even cheaper.
The lego London architecture is not even available most of the times in India and if is then it is over 7K minimum. I got for less than 20% of that.
Replica lego has come a long way and are of excellent quality now. You still do have some issues like missing parts sometimes but then you are paying a fraction of original price and if you are not a lego purist, I suggest go for replica.
 
So, I have an update. I was eventually charged 42.9% but the courier company also added ₹590 as handling charges. I did protest about these with the seller who claimed free shipping but I just received a long sweetly worded message stating they cannot do anything about this and also not to expect anything like a refund or credits. So after adding all the costs, here is what I paid for a motorcycle mobile holder.

1702008570537.png


Hope these calculations help determine what will it cost when ordering a product. Also, at the time of placing the order, USD was ₹83.31 but I was charged ₹83.44 so perhaps one should add ₹0.20 to the market rate to estimate the cost of a product. As I mentioned in my first post, had I ordered it from a seller within India, it would've cost me $156 but where is the fun in that and it wouldn't led to to this thread.

If you folks are interested, I will share photos of my order, how it looks on the bike and whether it was worth the cost.
 
I will like to update on a small lego (replica) set through pandabuy (actually one Shanghai architecture and another was a set of 8 small lego dinosaurs and 8 minifigs from Jurassic world dominion movie). The weight of my package was 850 Gms, declared value (Self declared) was $12. The customs folks in Mumbai opened my package, assessed the value as 1222 rupees (more than what I declared) and charged me 42% on this and including Rs. 30 postal charges, I had to pay Rs. 544 as customs.

After all this, I am convinced that going through a freight forwarder and getting stuff in bulk (as in > 5Kg) is better option as I did with my other 7.5 Kg replica lego haul. At least I know what I will be charged upfront as the cost per kg is including customs.

@zero_cool For me, the customs considered 1 dollar as 84.x rupees. Will try to upload my receipt.
Also, yes please share pics. See, the item is worth to you so by all means go for it. It may be waste of money for someone else but you know how much YOU value.

People use mouse that costs Rs. 200 while the one I use (Logitech Ergo M575) cost me Rs. 3500. I know for some people it may be expensive but as someone who has suffered from Carpel tunnel and uses mouse 10 Hours a day, this is of immense value to me, so much so that I have a sealed pack backup mouse in case this goes bad.
 
Hello gents! Final update. So the package was delivered via DTDC. I suspect I paid for it in the guise of the handling charges. Not much to state about shipping except it took about 18 days to reach me, which is fast considering it was an international shipment.

About the product, I order Quad Lock Handlebar mount with a vibration dampner and a case for my iPhone SE 3. I also purchased two additional universal mounts just to future proof as the iPhone is my secondary phone and the primary is Android. Installing the mount was a cumbersome process as my bike, Royal Enfield Meteor, does not have much room on the handlebar apart from the bar clamps and handlebar rises sharply leaving a gap of about 1 cm. As seen in the photo named Gap 01, the mount sits at same height as the clamp cap after tightening it so I had wriggle my way around to leave a few millimetres between them and ensure it fits in the flat area of the handlebar before it curves. Attaching the extension arm was a bit cumbersome as well but since the arm raises a bit, it managed to be really tight fit as seen in Gap 02. Mounting the vibration dampener and the mount head was easy as screwing in the side panel on a case.

Yesterday, I mounted my iPhone and used it for navigation by deliberately taking an unfamiliar route to test its if it is any better to than looking down at the phone in my tank bag. The setup is unlike any other phone mount. I have used Bobo Gears as well be this one is top notch. The vibration dampener does its job well and the phone was steady throughout the ride even when I went over speed breakers and potholes. Looking at the phone is easier and almost like glancing in the rear view mirrors so it works well. The downside is since this is very rigid, adjusting the mount to get the most comfortable view of the phone is difficult. I will need to further purchase either spacers so the arm is well above the clamp cap or a dual pivot joint to get the best view of the phone and that is the big downside as well the expensive part. Overall, I would recommend this only if you are using an iPhone, Pixel or a Samsung Galaxy S series device so you can get a case for the phone and if you save on the customs duty on the mount. For what I paid, it isn't worth it but I won't have the problem with navigating around that us until this breaks as the mount is made of plastic and in our heat, I don't think this can last forever. I suspect over time, the vibration dampener will harden up so that is will need replacement. I will give it 5/10.
 

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