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ShakingBanana

Importing From Overseas

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Hi All,

 

I've been looking to get a Tokyo Marui Recoil Shock SCAR-L and being based in the UK with a tight budget it's difficult to find one I can afford. I've read some posts on here and discovered Echigoya in Japan, offering the SCAR at a vastly cheaper price than in the UK. I have never bought a RIF from abroad before and wanted some advice about importing one, VAT, customs and any other extra costs or fees that I will have to pay. Is it actually cheaper to import than buy in the UK?

 

Any advice would be highly appreciated.

 

Cheers

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I've imported a few things over the years and here's my experience:

 

  • It's very rare not to get customs NOW, unless the sender makes something up on the paperwork (!)
  • From memory expect (roughly!) 25% of your order total + a few quid to be VAT/duty over £135 - http://www.dutycalculator.com/ will give you a better idea
  • UPS are pretty good and try to keep things as speedy as possible
  • make sure they have your UKARA number

 

Just remember you aren't going to have much of a warranty! Stuff sent by the couriers normally turns up on less than a week, my last via PF was 2 days (left on monday, with me on Wednesday morning)!

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Thanks for the help! I suspected Her Majesty's Customs would have something to say about importing. As for the warranty I'm sort of relying on TM's build quality to save me there.

 

Has anyone ordered a RIF from Echigoya before?

 

Did everything go alright?

 

 

 

Cheers

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Yeah I'd echo the above.  Brought 2 RIFs in from the US recently (first time importing from somewhere other than HK) and with my number written in nice, big letters multiple times on the outside of the main box and then again on the inner box containing the weapons; no dramas at all.

 

Had a large box some time back that held 2 x 14.5" M4s from WGC where I don't think they wrote on my membership at all (or at least nowhere obvious) and that ended up with something like a 3 month wait in customs.

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Yeah I'd echo the above.  Brought 2 RIFs in from the US recently (first time importing from somewhere other than HK) and with my number written in nice, big letters multiple times on the outside of the main box and then again on the inner box containing the weapons; no dramas at all.

 

Had a large box some time back that held 2 x 14.5" M4s from WGC where I don't think they wrote on my membership at all (or at least nowhere obvious) and that ended up with something like a 3 month wait in customs.

 

I do recall going to town with a sharpie on that parcel.

 

heh. 

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I had imported a lot form Pistol GBB, AEG, parts, accesories no probs.
Just be ready with your paperworks, particularly your UKARA Membership no. and your good to go.

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I havd 7 guns and none of them i bought from UK, make sure when importing tell them to put on the outsideof the box in bold your UKARA number so they see it, And be ready for a nice custom charge

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Yeah, the postage and import tax, plus anything parcel force will no doubtedly add for handling. After all that it ends up about £30 cheaper than buying in the UK, which to be honest really isn't worth it. Any shop you buy it from in the UK will probably give you some sort of warranty or at the bare minimum will replace it if there's a fault out of the box. I reckon it's best to buy in the UK, as the savings you would make are minimal.

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I found that not true, every gun i bought when i added the cost, postage and tax still came out to be cheaper from the UK, for example the last gun i got was £100 cheaper but two UK sites where selling for £100 - 150 more expensive

Only thing that is an issue like you said is warranty.

If you buy from abroad be ready to ship back which could be expensive! But then some companies say take pics and it the evidence is good enough no need to ship back, for example WGC.

So now its really your choice? But ive never really had a big problem.

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I calculated that it would cost £420 to buy from echigoya and get it to the UK, through customs, plus the £20 or so pounds that Parcel Force will add for handling and it ends up at £440. It costs £475 for a TM SCAR-L from Firesupport so it's not really worth importing from abroad.

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Another thing you might want to consider is that by using UK retailers we are supporting and presenting the case for airsoft to continue as a hobby in the UK.

 

Whilst those in parliament are more concerned with other, more pressing matters at the minute than RIFs I feel that by using UK retailers we provide a much clearer picture of tax and jobs created by the UK market and therefore put our activity in a positive light.

 

This is one of the reasons I try to buy UK when possible.

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This may be a silly question, but did you factor in the postage cost? This often takes a big chunk out of the apparent savings

Yup a lot more cheaper plus they throw in some extra's which the UK retail stores won't do, for a £200 AEG you buy here same brand, that's it.  You buy in HK if you're a regular customer they will throw in a lot of freebies as a thank you gesture, like mags and batteries etc. same pice with P&P and the dreaded custom taxes.

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Yeah, A while back i thought id found the motherlode when I browsed CRW; I believe they had the latest akm full steel and wood, cyma, for £60...until I checked out; then it became over 200 after shipping. Ebairsoft doesnt charge shipping, but importing a gun is risky as hell, chances are itll be seized. I brought a cyma m1 carbine springer a while back that never came home. If its something simple like an aep you can buy it in parts and assemble yourself; the asian sites charge reasonable shipping on stuff less than a kilo.

 

It might be worth asking if ebairsoft would 2tone a gun though, you could still save a fair bit even after import taxes (Ive never actually been charged these, maybe you only pay if its a certain weight?

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importing a gun is risky as hell, chances are itll be seized

 

Simply not the case at all,  please don't spread mis-information because a lot of people lurk these forums and are likely to believe what they read.  Almost every RIF purchase I've made over the last 6 years or so has come from HK, never had anything seized and I'm far from the only person in that same situation.  I've had stuff stopped and queried by ignorant customs agents causing delays on 2 occasions but that's it, I've always received the items as long as I've satisfied customs r.e. my VCRA defence and again, I'm far from the only person that's been in the same situation.

 

maybe you only pay if its a certain weight?

 

Import taxes are largely made up of VAT, which is of course based entirely on the monetary value of the items.  The other import tax that kicks in above a certain value is again value based for the most part.  I'm not aware of weight having anything to do with it.

 

The details are here:

 

https://www.gov.uk/goods-sent-from-abroad/tax-and-duty

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Ok fair point, I get you. To clarify at the time I couldnt provide a defence...case closed. Now I can, its a good time to finnally get my carbine-ordered it after reading your post, infact.

 

The weight is surely a retail thing then I guess; buying parts costs next to nothing, but the momenti added a gun, the shipping skyrocketed. Are lot of china sites are doing new year special no shipping fees.

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Interesting.  So you tried to import a RIF with no defence and they just confiscated it? Did you get a warning or anything?

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Simply not the case at all,  please don't spread mis-information because a lot of people lurk these forums and are likely to believe what they read.  Almost every RIF purchase I've made over the last 6 years or so has come from HK, never had anything seized and I'm far from the only person in that same situation.  I've had stuff stopped and queried by ignorant customs agents causing delays on 2 occasions but that's it, I've always received the items as long as I've satisfied customs r.e. my VCRA defence and again, I'm far from the only person that's been in the same situation.

 

 

Import taxes are largely made up of VAT, which is of course based entirely on the monetary value of the items.  The other import tax that kicks in above a certain value is again value based for the most part.  I'm not aware of weight having anything to do with it.

 

The details are here:

 

https://www.gov.uk/goods-sent-from-abroad/tax-and-duty

 

I totally concur that the risk of getting the RIF seized is minimal as long as you have your UKARA no. as part of the shipping document. I have imported well over 30+ RIF without to much problem.

 

I would say though, as many have said here, that the cost for shipping + VAT+ duty is very significant when shipped from outside EU and sometime the cost saving is not really worth it. However, if you were to import from within the EU, there no VAT nor duty. Shipping cost tends to be much lower too. So its worth while to see if you can bag a bargain from the continent.

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'Worth it' is subjective end of the day, these debates happen a lot as some people do seem to garner a weird allegiance to their own 'club' of where they buy their stuff from.

 

Fact is, if you want something specific and it's only available in HK or the US etc then that's where you'll have to buy it from.  Given the very small levels of stock that UK stores are able to bring in (not much different across Europe either) that particular circumstance can crop up pretty often, depending on what it is you want.  If you want maximum peace of mind, you're new to the game and either have very few or zero guns or anything like that then buy in the UK and pay a bit extra for the warranty/return options etc.  If you've been at this lark a fair while and have lots of backups then it's more appealing to save a bit buying internationally and adding some less-commonly available items in to your order while you're at it; if something goes awry in some fashion then it's not as big of a drama to deal with overall.

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Yeah the UK market is tiny compared to the US and HK ones; there are many models simply not available here, so importing is the only option really.

 

Eg ive been after the cyma bolt action M1 carbine for ages now, and Ive had to go with a HK site with good rep-ive given them my defence details, and fingers are crossed. (Havnt imported for many years, and that last was a fiasco)

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