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Csacwp
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Csacwp

I’ve got the best UPS driver ever. He just broke the rules and overrode Leica’s package hold request to let me take it off the truck (I caught him a few blocks away as I was leaving). My SL looks good, and they fixed my M-L adapter. My replacement 28 lux is a stunner and is like a completely different lens from the first one... you may have followed my saga on the M lenses part of the forum. I’m one happy camper.

wlaidlaw

Leica's CS for registered professionals in Wetzlar, seems to work very well indeed. I had a period about three years ago when every new Leica item, Camera or lens, seemed to be either wrong on delivery or went wrong soon afterwards but quick service or repair redeemed the situation. There is an excellent contact lady at CS, Wetzlar, who always seems to get my items serviced, adjusted or repaired almost by return (regulars will know who I mean). It seems to me that New Jersey need to find someone

FlashGordonPhotography

I now have two SL's, exactly because I don't trust Leica's service speed. Plus a CL and TL2 just in case. They have no pro service, in Oz. They try their best but my SL was away 10 weeks even though Leica Australia asked the mothership to expedite things. Short of flying to Wetzlar and personally dumping the thing on the front counter you need to be totally self reliant.   And it's not like I'm going via a dealer. I'm dealing directly with a subsidiary of Leica Camera AG, I'm the single bigges

The duties were recently imposed. I’ve been hit twice for them now, once for buying a 75 lux from Austria and the other time for buying a 28 lux from Canada.

I suspect you are confusing import brokerage fees charged by a carrier with duty charged by the govt. If for example, you purchase something from Westlicht in Vienna and it was shipped via UPS, you paid brokerage fees not duty. If you had them ship via Austria Post, you wouldn’t have the UPS fees. (I’ve done this both ways and have experienced the nasty UPS fees and have avoided them using the slower Austrian Post). On your Canadian purchase, I bet you had it shipped by UPS or FedEx, both notorious fee “adders”.

 

I really don’t believe there is any change in the US import duty schedule. If I’m wrong, I’d love to know, but my search of the US import codes show no change for cameras & lenses.

 

 

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Edited by pixelman
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Nope, I know how it works. I was charged brokerage fees by UPS, but I was also presented with an import tax breakdown on the lenses. I questioned it and was referred to the latest duty code from the government, which does indeed call for a duty on foreign-made optical lenses.

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Nope, I know how it works. I was charged brokerage fees by UPS, but I was also presented with an import tax breakdown on the lenses. I questioned it and was referred to the latest duty code from the government, which does indeed call for a duty on foreign-made optical lenses.

With all due respect, I don’t believe that you “know how it works” so well... Sorry to keep pushing back on you, but this is an important topic for this group and I believe you have some bad data or have been given less than wise treatment by UPS when they imported your goods.

 

Currently (2018 rate table) US HST Duty Harmonized Tariff rates allow for many ways of importing cameras and lenses with NO DUTY to the US.

 

9007.10.00 Cameras NO DUTY

9902.23.50 lens for digital camera focal length from 55-200mm NO DUTY

9902.23.51 lens for digital camera focal length from 17-55mm NO DUTY

 

There are other codes that could apply as well. https://hts.usitc.gov/?query=Camera%20lens

 

Suggest that you look closely at the code UPS used (they have to supply it) and push back on them and that you avoid UPS when possible (I’ve had that miss code duty more than once and they always seem to have very high brokerage fees).

 

 

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I think the clue is in "for digital camera" Omit that crucial phrase and you have to pay.

I don’t believe that is correct Jaapv. There are numerous other categories (that could be used for lenses) that don’t call out digital cameras and all have “no duty”.

 

Here’s another example:

 

9001.90.40 “Lenses” NO DUTY

 

Here is an example that illustrates why it is important to choose a good importer. If the importer chooses to use 9007.91 (Parts and accessories for cameras): AND

 

If the importer chooses the subcategory:

 

9007.91.40 (Parts), no duty is assessed

 

If this one is chosen:

 

9007.91.80 (Other), 3.9 % duty is assessed.

 

Even worse, if the importer selects 9006.91.00 (Parts and accessories/cameras) you can get hit with 5.8% duty (depending on where it is from)

 

Bottom line, if you leave the coding to a random UPS employee, your Milage may vary, but you shouldn’t need to pay duty for cameras/lenses coming into the US if done correctly.

 

I haven’t tried asking a foreign merchant to specify an import category before, but I might try the next time I splurge on something from Vienna. I have imported items myself numerous times and I am careful about the category and coming int this US or Canada o duty is charged. Coming into Canada you do have to pay taxes, but not duty (for cameras/lenses).

 

 

 

 

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Chapter 90 under heading 9002 of the harmonized tarriff schedule: https://hts.usitc.gov/current

 

 

“Lenses, prisms, mirrors and other optical elements, of any material, mounted, being parts of or fittings for instruments or apparatus, other than such elements of glass not optically worked; parts and accessories thereof:

Objective lenses and parts and accessories thereof:

For cameras, projectors or photographic enlargers or reducers”...... 2.45% tarriff

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Chapter 90 under heading 9002 of the harmonized tarriff schedule: t

 

 

“Lenses, prisms, mirrors and other optical elements, of any material, mounted, being parts of or fittings for instruments or apparatus, other than such elements of glass not optically worked; parts and accessories thereof:

Objective lenses and parts and accessories thereof:

For cameras, projectors or photographic enlargers or reducers”...... 2.45% tarriff

If your Importer picked that category you should complain. You didn’t need to pay duty for a camera lens.

 

Note also, from the same schedule in the URL above:

 

9001.90.40 lenses “No Duty”

 

I believe the one above (9002) is for component parts used to manufacture a product. Note the “being parts of or fittings for”.

 

 

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Edited by pixelman
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"Instruments or apparatus" seem to be distinguishable from cameras, since cameras are excepted in the more tightly defined categories.  But this does sound like full employment for lawyers.  Perhaps this stuff is what we are supposed to be paying the carrier/broker to do correctly.  I've been basically happy with our local FedEx franchisee in getting me stuff through the barrier of our customs and our 17% VAT (bad, but not quite as bad as the 21% the EU imposes).

Edited by scott kirkpatrick
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"Instruments or apparatus" seem to be distinguishable from cameras, since cameras are excepted in the more tightly defined categories. But this does sound like full employment for lawyers. Perhaps this stuff is what we are supposed to be paying the carrier/broker to do correctly. I've been basically happy with our local FedEx franchisee in getting me stuff through the barrier of our customs and our 17% VAT (bad, but not quite as bad as the 21% the EU imposes).

Indeed.

 

The US and Canadian codes are far from unambiguous so it pays to look at the detail and make sure you are getting a fair coding. In a lot of cases with less caring importer clerks, they look for the first code they find in a search and enter it and move on.

 

It is much easier to get this right at the import step than to correct it later, but it can be fixed.

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It does say “Objective lenses and parts and accessories thereof: For cameras, projectors or photographic enlargers or reducers”. To me this would seem to include lenses for still cameras. It is very ambiguous, but this is what both Fedex and UPS refer to in addition to the standard brokerage fees. I tried to challenge it but got nowhere.

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It does say “Objective lenses and parts and accessories thereof: For cameras, projectors or photographic enlargers or reducers”. To me this would seem to include lenses for still cameras. It is very ambiguous, but this is what both Fedex and UPS refer to in addition to the standard brokerage fees. I tried to challenge it but got nowhere.

If you have the energy you could try sending UPS a note, pointing out their error in coding and specifying a more appropriate code and asking for a refund. The odds of UPS actually doing something aren’t great though.

 

Very frustrating especially since UPS & FedEx have no problem charging us fees to be “our broker” and then do nothing to support us...

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just received a lens shipped with UPS from Austria to Texas.  No duty or handling was charged.

 

 

I would love this to happen here, too

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