French import duty on non EU laptop

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French import duty on non EU laptop


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Old 12th December 2010, 09:56 AM
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Default French import duty on non EU laptop

Hi,
Can anyone shed some up to date light on this one please?

I'm going to be spending 90 days in Australia soon and want to know if I were to buy a MacBook out there, use it throughout my stay, bring it back to France as a used laptop, would I have to pay TVA here on entry?

I understand the GST (TVA here) is 10% in Australia, whilst here it's 19.6%. There is a saving to be made, but the concept of "is it used or new" is unclear.

There may be a period of ownership in Australia to qualify this, there may also be a question of residency. I am a French resident.

Thanks in advance,

John

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Old 12th December 2010, 11:24 AM
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On your initial move to France, you're allowed to bring in your household goods free of TVA except for anything you have owned less than 6 months. This allowance is tied to your entry visa, however.

If you are a French resident and you buy stuff overseas, you are expected to declare and pay TVA on any goods you bring back with you. It has nothing to do with the MacBook being "used." Depending on what your MacBook costs, you may want to look into getting your GST refunded when you take your purchase out of Australia.
Cheers,
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Old 12th December 2010, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John34000 View Post
Hi,
Can anyone shed some up to date light on this one please?

I'm going to be spending 90 days in Australia soon and want to know if I were to buy a MacBook out there, use it throughout my stay, bring it back to France as a used laptop, would I have to pay TVA here on entry?

I understand the GST (TVA here) is 10% in Australia, whilst here it's 19.6%. There is a saving to be made, but the concept of "is it used or new" is unclear.

There may be a period of ownership in Australia to qualify this, there may also be a question of residency. I am a French resident.

Thanks in advance,

John
We have never paid TVA on stuff brought in from England so my answer would be 'I don't think so'

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Old 12th December 2010, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Bevdeforges View Post
On your initial move to France, you're allowed to bring in your household goods free of TVA except for anything you have owned less than 6 months. This allowance is tied to your entry visa, however.

If you are a French resident and you buy stuff overseas, you are expected to declare and pay TVA on any goods you bring back with you. It has nothing to do with the MacBook being "used." Depending on what your MacBook costs, you may want to look into getting your GST refunded when you take your purchase out of Australia.
Cheers,
Bev
Hi Bev,
Mmmm... I could get the GST back, then pay the TVA, I've done a quick calculation and I reckon to be able to save 87,00. I'm not sure if its worth the hastle for such a small gain. The manufacturer offers a 12 month tutorial for a fee of course and once I've got back, I'll only have 9 months of that left. I think all in all, I'd be better waiting till I get back.

Ref your first paragraph, as I entered France from the UK, there were no formalities at all, (within the EU) I remember driving through customs with an overloaded van, didn't see a soul!!

There still remains the issue of "used", I would be shocked if using another example, to pay TVA on an item that had depreciated in value. You might argue that the TVA issue is subject to a market value if the merchandise had been in service for some time. (3 months in this case)

Thanks Bev though for your input!

John

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Old 12th December 2010, 01:32 PM
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We have never paid TVA on stuff brought in from England so my answer would be 'I don't think so'
No, nor did I, BUT, the original post concerns importing from outside the EU. Quite a different kettle of fish!

John

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Old 12th December 2010, 01:48 PM
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Yea but! its a laptop not a kettle of fish ho ho
I have also bought stuff of the net from the States and delivered to my home here in France and not been charged TVA

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Old 12th December 2010, 02:28 PM
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Yea but! its a laptop not a kettle of fish ho ho
I have also bought stuff of the net from the States and delivered to my home here in France and not been charged TVA
Yes, thought of that, most main stream carriers like DH 'ell, you- PS and so on have a system which allows an estimate of duty payable in the destination country dependant on the contents of the package, to be added to the delivery charge.

With some dispatchers and certain carriers, there is a possibility that you might get lucky with a direct unchecked and untaxed delivery. The onus in put on the recipient to pay duty if your package is picked out for inspection. Only a percentage of stuff gets checked. However, there is a risk of goods being confiscated if it is felt there is intent to evade duty.

You takes yer chances!

John

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Old 12th December 2010, 02:44 PM
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John and Scrumpyjack,
There is no TVA issue if you're bringing things in from another EU state. The question arises because the OP is proposing buying something outside the EU and then bringing it back "home" (i.e. to his/her EU place of residence).

According to the law, you should declare purchases over a certain amount at Customs on entry. (Not sure these days what the "certain amount" is anymore - it used to be something pathetically small like 400 francs and of course no one ever did so.)

If you stride purposefully through the "Nothing to declare" line on arrival, chances are you won't have anything to pay unless you get stopped for some reason and they ask to check your bags. My husband has a friend who was stopped on her return from Hong Kong, or some other world renown shopping haven. They opened her purse and there were all her receipts for the stuff she'd bought on holiday. She got hit with TVA, and good! (Back in the days it was 20.6% - plus penalty for being found out.)

Your mileage may vary - though I have never been stopped when coming back from the US, either. And I have been known to do "some shopping" while over there. Best not to carry the receipts with you. (If you must have them, mail them to yourself from wherever you've been doing your shopping.)
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 4th January 2011, 05:42 PM
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I should make sure it looks very used & good luck with it.. We have taken loads of stuff out to france over the last 10 years (maison secondaire) & never given it a thought.. often castme offs etc.. Plus we often take laptops in either direction.. depends on where we are up to..

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Old 5th January 2011, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John34000 View Post
Hi Bev,
Mmmm... I could get the GST back, then pay the TVA, I've done a quick calculation and I reckon to be able to save 87,00. I'm not sure if its worth the hastle for such a small gain. The manufacturer offers a 12 month tutorial for a fee of course and once I've got back, I'll only have 9 months of that left. I think all in all, I'd be better waiting till I get back.

Ref your first paragraph, as I entered France from the UK, there were no formalities at all, (within the EU) I remember driving through customs with an overloaded van, didn't see a soul!!

There still remains the issue of "used", I would be shocked if using another example, to pay TVA on an item that had depreciated in value. You might argue that the TVA issue is subject to a market value if the merchandise had been in service for some time. (3 months in this case)

Thanks Bev though for your input!

John
You can not get the Australian tax back after you've used the computer. Tax back is for new unused goods leaving the country.

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