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Buying things from outside EU

Some time ago I bought a computer part I needed. The best offer was from Israel 🇮🇱1)This is obviously the Israeli flag! https://esham.io/2014/06/unicode-flags It shows up in WordPress preview but not in edit view. I hope it works with your favorite font!. The delivery method was Post. About a week after sale it arrived in Austria and landed in the beautiful "Auslandszentrum Post / Zollamt Wien" (AWZ) - pictured below!

Customs office (AWZ) 

Customs didn't recognize it so I get the usual letter forcing me to deliver receipt and bank transfer or have the delivery perish on September 10th. I provided this on August 22nd. And there it sits since then for nearly 2 weeks now waiting to be processed.


There is a phone number for inquiries which I called this time out of curiosity. Turns out between post and customs office they are really good at passing responsibility between each other like a hot potato if you actually want to talk to somebody. Also first time I called they just threw me out of the waiting line after 17 minutes. When I got trough the only response that I got was:

1 month customs office processing time is completely normal.

Here's what happens once customs finally bothers to check the parcel:

  1. It will be cleared
  2. post delivery will want the value added tax (VAT) + 10 euro service fee in cash at delivery time, which I have to pay from my personal money since company doesn't have a cash register.
  3. Then I will reimburse myself for my personal cash expenditure from my company account since it's a company item.
  4. Then my company will charge that against the tax offices VAT claims.

The only parcels that always make it through customs, no matter how grossly wrong they are declared are parcels from China!

Summary

I think it's obvious that this is not going ideally. In the end it will just have been a huge waste of time. Sadly most sellers don't offer (expensive) FedEx or DHL with pre-paid customs option. So mostly it's either not worth it or not feasible to buy outside the EU single market. I fear when UK leaves the EU. This will be the next country where I will avoid to buy stuff from. Jay Brexit!

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    1. This is obviously the Israeli flag! https://esham.io/2014/06/unicode-flags It shows up in WordPress preview but not in edit view. I hope it works with your favorite font!