Importing a Laptop

  [DELETED] 19:55 27 Aug 2003

My son is just about to return from Sabah (Borneo). He has discovered that he can get a good quality laptop for about £300! He emailed me to find out if I need one and, I believe is willing to bring some back for friends.

I would have thought that bringing back more than one would infringe some sort of customs regulation and he would be stung for imprt duty on his return. Perhaps bringing back only one would mean that he would have to pay duty.

Does anyone know the rules for this?


  [DELETED] 20:10 27 Aug 2003

Does anyone know the rules for this?


But the HM Customs website will.

click here for the HM customs website.

  [DELETED] 20:25 27 Aug 2003

The info seems quite clear and it looks as if he would have to pay duty (At what rate I have not yet dicovered, but I will email Customs and Excise.)


  Forum Editor 21:07 27 Aug 2003

a customs duty,the amount of which is a percentage of the value of the goods (so tell him to be sure to bring an invoice showing the full purchase price) and also VAT at the full UK rate of 17.5%.

I have visited Sabah a couple of times on business myself, and saw similar 'bargains' there but.......I have to say that I was far from convinced that the machines were all that they were said to be. Your son will obviously act on his own judgement, but I would strongly advise caution in this. If the machine (which will have cost a good deal more than £300 by the time it's cleared HM Customs & Excise) goes wrong at any time your son will have absolutely no recourse to either the retailer or the manufacturer - he'll be on his own.

I truly hope that your son has indeed found a real bargain,and he may well have done just that, but consider this - if these machines were really as good as they seem we would all be buying them, even after the import duty and VAT have been applied, but we're not....and there must be a good reason why we're not.

  spuds 22:57 27 Aug 2003

Having worked and lived in the three states of Borneo, I know that some bargains can be found.Importation into this country with a personal use computer,would not be a major problem, even though it would incurre HM duties to be paid, at a lower rate [if you have a nice customs officer],and if the machines looks as though it as been used?.If more than one new unit was imported, then I am afraid, Mr Customs Officer will assume these machines are not for self use or gift, so it could result in an expensive exercise.Make sure that all the purchase documentation is readily available.HM do have a list of these type of goods and their country of origin value, so be warned.

  [DELETED] 06:54 28 Aug 2003

Your son might want to bring back some "Rolex" watches, "Nikon" cameras, "Dior" dresses for your wife. "Genuine" Microsoft software can be obtained at very reasonable prices as well.

Tell your son to be very circumspect in his purchases.

  [DELETED] 08:17 28 Aug 2003

Thanks to all. I have emailed my son with the comments. I am sure that he is now forwarned...


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