In practice nobody in the USA pays anything unless it is a company receiving the goods shipped from outside the country.
By the way, in Europe we don’t pay an “ import tax” as such, we pay VAT (Value Added Tax) which is another thing altogether (there are many previous threads about this specific issue) than an “import tax”.
In Europe the carrier (being the postal service or courier) will also apply a completely arbitrary “ handling through customs” which tends to be weighing very heavily on small items and depends on declared value. If the declared value is unrealistic, the customs has the power to stop the goods and ask for a proof of purchase, even in that case, they can deem it unreliable is not conform to the majority of similar goods. They can asses the value independently. In practice these things are very rare and only apply to larger and insured parcels.
If you insure a parcel for €1000 and declare a value of €1 they may not believe you.
The VAT is applied at the level of the “ port of entry” (different countries have different VAT varying from 19% to 25%) in the EU. Unless you have two invoices (one for shipping and one for the goods) the VAT is also applied (improperly) to the shipping charges (at least in principle VAT only applies to goods not to services). If one want to reduce the VAT (again this is not an import tax because a business can revert it) you better have two invoices, one for the goods (which will be traveling with the goods and for the base of taxation) one for the service (which needs not to accompany the goods).
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