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Thread: Importing watch from Japan

  1. #1
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    Importing watch from Japan

    I'm thinking of buying a watch from a dealer in Japan.The converted cost is roughly £1700. What would I expect to be paying in customs & VAT fees?

  2. #2
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    I think for a watch, you should times it by 1.24 to get a rough idea. 20% VAT and around 4% import duty.

    This is for the whole cost so include the delivery cost too in your calculations.

    BW,
    Chi Kai


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  3. #3
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    There is just the 20% VAT plus shipping (with handling fee) to add. Duty on individual watches isn’t collected.
    Last edited by benny.c; 21st October 2020 at 18:39.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by benny.c View Post
    There is just the 20% VAT plus shipping to add. Duty on individual watches isnít collected.
    This, plus usually about £15 handling fee by the courier.

    Sent from my SM-A105FN using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ctam View Post
    I think for a watch, you should times it by 1.24 to get a rough idea. 20% VAT and around 4% import duty.

    This is for the whole cost so include the delivery cost too in your calculations.

    BW,
    Chi Kai


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Max duty is €0.8 per piece. The VAT calculation is (value + shipping cost + €0.8 + handling fee)*20%.

    Correction: The EU of course already has a free trade deal with Japan so forget the €0.8 duty payable.

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    Last edited by lughugger; 22nd October 2020 at 00:02.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the correction guys. Is this just for Japan or for other countries as well?

    BW,
    Chi Kai


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  7. #7
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    Couldnít you just ask the seller to put a lower sales figure to slip it under the radar?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooshabak View Post
    Couldnít you just ask the seller to put a lower sales figure to slip it under the radar?
    Tax evasionís generally not a good idea. Plus in my experience, Japanese dealers are sticklers for playing with a straight bat.


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  9. #9
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    Would be surprised if a dealer would undervalue it for shipping incase it goes awol in transit.

  10. #10
    Master jukeboxs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooshabak View Post
    Couldnít you just ask the seller to put a lower sales figure to slip it under the radar?
    Proposing breaking the law on an open forum, nice one.

  11. #11
    Master j111dja's Avatar
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    As stated you will pay 20% plus some fees.

    Is it a new watch? If not then just be aware of possible hidden issues and the risks involved.

    Negotiating a lower value and the risks that involves is not recommended, especially for piece of mind. Full value and insured to that value is the only way to go.
    Last edited by j111dja; 21st October 2020 at 22:45.

  12. #12
    Wait till next year once the trade deal is in place.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by langdalematt View Post
    Wait till next year once the trade deal is in place.
    That is a good point! We may get some good deals from Japan or the US of trade deal is negotiated.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by langdalematt View Post
    Wait till next year once the trade deal is in place.
    And this my friends, is why we're in the sh*tshow that surrounds us.

    I hate to disappoint but import VAT will still be payable. The EU already has a free trade deal with Japan. The net gain in buying from Japan on 1st Jan will be a big fat zero.
    Last edited by lughugger; 22nd October 2020 at 00:03.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lughugger View Post
    And this my friends, is why we're in the sh*tshow that surrounds us.

    I hate to disappoint but import VAT will still be payable. The EU already has a free trade deal with Japan. The net gain in buying from Japan on 1st Jan will be a big fat zero.
    This is the correct interpretation - free trade agreement doesn't automatically equal VAT-free import. It mainly relates to duties and trade barriers (additional duties on cars for example), rather than the VAT.

    Japanese watches are attractively priced only if you visit/go on holiday in Japan.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jsong6688 View Post
    This is the correct interpretation - free trade agreement doesn't automatically equal VAT-free import. It mainly relates to duties and trade barriers (additional duties on cars for example), rather than the VAT.

    Japanese watches are attractively priced only if you visit/go on holiday in Japan.
    Only if youíre tax-avoiding.

  17. #17
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    I saved about 28% buying a new Grand Seiko from Japan vs Europe even with the VAT.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for the replies. The watch I'm interested in is a Grand Seiko. The retail here is £2.8k whereas the Japanese dealer had it at £1.7k plus shipping. If my maths is correct it looks like I'd still be hundreds better off importing it.

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  19. #19
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    Contact Solojapan on eBay. He's located in Spain but has strong connections with Japan. Perhaps he can help.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by zen123 View Post
    Thanks for the replies. The watch I'm interested in is a Grand Seiko. The retail here is £2.8k whereas the Japanese dealer had it at £1.7k plus shipping. If my maths is correct it looks like I'd still be hundreds better off importing it.

    Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
    Go for it! You'll still be better off unless you're able to negotiate a favourable discount with your AD. This might be a good option to go with first before you go down the import route?

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