Hi everybody, thank you all for providing useful information.
Since those are information that we did not want our competitors to know, we were thinking of getting them in secret by e-mails, but we realized that from the viewpoint of our customers, sharing the information would be more useful in many ways.
In particular, information from Shotgun that shows separately how much was paid for what is helping a great deal.
Incidentally, when additional charges for importing products are all bundled together, they become unclear. Additional charges can be categorized as below.
1.VAT (Value Added Tax), GST (Goods and Service Tax)
2.Customs clearance fee
There appears to be many who feel VAT is unreasonable, but the prices we sell our products at w-darts are without VAT (to be more exact, GST). This is a significant difference to other stores. If we sold with prices including VAT, that would result in double taxation. (If you are a vendor purchasing from EU zone using a store within EU, by having a VAT number you might be able to save VAT. Please check on your end)
Similar logic applies to shipping costs as well. International shipping costs are not taxed. Therefore I can understand VAT being charged to shipping costs when you receive goods. When you use a delivery service within your country, I believe that cost includes VAT. This is the same thing. Nobody likes to pay tax, but VAT paid when receiving an international package is the same as paying VAT for purchases within your country.
Next is the customs clearance fee. This appears to differ significantly from country to country. Especially for countries within EU zone; apparently the customs clearance fee differs between packages imported from the same EU zone and those from outside of the zone. The reason for vague wording here is because this is the information that I could not find out, however hard I tried.
I was surprised to hear customs clearance fee in the Netherlands costs 17 EUR. Customs clearance fee in Japan is 2 USD. And this is only charged for packages worth over 200,000 yen.
Lastly, the customs duty. We can only say this depends on circumstances of various countries. This is because customs duties are driven by policies for protecting domestic economy of respective countries. However, individual customs officers have their own individual interpretations, and sometimes customs duties are charged, and sometimes they are not; so it is no wonder that you feel the customs duty to be unreasonable.
At w-darts, in order to avoid unnecessary customs duty cost to our customers caused by arbitrary individual interpretation of customs officers, we have been printing “HS codes” scrupulously since October 2015. HS codes are international codes that are common among all countries. With these codes, we are trying to avoid having differences in customs duties due to individual customs officials, by making clear that darts products correspond to toys for games under sports products category. Incidentally, since darts cases have strong apparel-like elements, they are treated as bag ornaments. So if you buy a real leather case, you may be charged a hefty customs duty.
As an aside, importing products over 200,000 yen requires payment of various fees and customs duties in Japan. If a package is less than 200,000 yen, not even customs duty is charged. I import quite a lot from overseas personally, but I have never paid any additional charges, not once. Surprisingly, in reality Japan is a country with virtually no customs duty.
I would love to hear a lot more of your experiences. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Hajime Yamanaka. World Darts Shop owner.