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No problem here in Italy, no distinction
We have to pay import duties both from individuals and from stores, there is no zero value, no "gift".
35% more to pay on the value of the goods (in euros !) in vat and other taxes
Example : value $100 import taxes €35
Lately they are calculating these taxes on the "assumed" value, so they do not take into account the declared value
I don't know if this count is 100% legit, but we certainly get robbed every time we buy something outside the EU
You are lucky...
 

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I just purchased a clarinet from Dawkes Music in the U.K. They gave me the option of prepaying "duty and tax to the United States," which they calculated at ~3 percent. They recommend this option but do not mandate it: "For speed and reliability we offer Duty & Tax pre-payment. Choosing to pre-pay means your order will ship directly to you without delay and without the need for any further payments locally."

They do not explain how they are calculating the amount due. From running some comparisons, the rate seems to vary slightly according to the price of the item. Shipping is via DHL.
 

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I just purchased a clarinet from Dawkes Music in the U.K. They gave me the option of prepaying "duty and tax to the United States," which they calculated at ~3 percent. They recommend this option but do not mandate it: "For speed and reliability we offer Duty & Tax pre-payment. Choosing to pre-pay means your order will ship directly to you without delay and without the need for any further payments locally."

They do not explain how they are calculating the amount due. From running some comparisons, the rate seems to vary slightly according to the price of the item. Shipping is via DHL.
So did you take the option?
 

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Ebay offers that option too, I have had two (not saxophone related ) strange experiences with this, the objects are sent to a middelman company and they provide the shipping to you,
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I just purchased a clarinet from Dawkes Music in the U.K. They gave me the option of prepaying "duty and tax to the United States," which they calculated at ~3 percent. They recommend this option but do not mandate it: "For speed and reliability we offer Duty & Tax pre-payment. Choosing to pre-pay means your order will ship directly to you without delay and without the need for any further payments locally."

They do not explain how they are calculating the amount due. From running some comparisons, the rate seems to vary slightly according to the price of the item. Shipping is via DHL.
I would imagine if you would’ve bought a Conn from Dawkes, it would’ve been lost, making it a lost Conn.
 

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In the past year, I bought a sax from Thomann in Germany, and another sax from a shop in Spain, and shipped both to the US. In both cases, I had to pay the 4.9% import tariff (both were over the declaration limit).
 
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