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pickman28
Community Member
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎02-07-2011

Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

Hi, I recently received a message from a buyer who has paid £50 for an item I had on auction.  The buyer is in Norway and has asked me to "set the item as under 20 pounds".  I messaged her back, asking her to clarify what she means by this, but I'm guessing that they want me to declare the item as being under £20 on the customs certificate at the post office.  

 

Would anyone here actually do this, or is it too dodgy?  I would just like to know the best way to respond, as I have never been asked this before.

 

Thanks.

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harduppensioner
Community Member
Posts: 2,865
Registered: ‎07-03-2003

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to pickman28

Hi - personally wouldn't do it as it is an official document and if item gets lost you would be in a strange position trying to claim.

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bravergrace
Community Member
Posts: 8,110
Registered: ‎05-01-2007

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to pickman28

Yes, I've been asked to do this a few times.

 

I reply that I won't  make a false declaration, but if the buyer would like to cancel the transaction, I am happy to do so.

In practice, my buyers have always gone ahead with the purchase, and there have been no repercussions for me.

 

If the buyer is unpleasant, you can also report them to eBay, using the "report a buyer" form, for encouraging illegal activity. This is a breach of the buying practices policy, which states:

 

 Customs declarations: Asking a seller to falsely declare an item as a 'gift' on a customs form is considered to be encouraging illegal activity.

 

http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/buying-practices.html

 

 

 

 

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thimbleshackuk
Community Member
Posts: 5,565
Registered: ‎10-10-2012

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to pickman28

I would simply point out to the buyer that what she is asking you to do is commit a criminal offence, so you're unfortunately unable to comply with her request. In any case, what would happen if the item became damaged in transit and you had to make a claim from the carrier? They would hardly entertain a claim for £50 if the CN22 stated it was only worth £20.

 

Having said that, I never state an item's value on the Customs form anyway - all I'm ever asked by PO staff is to sign and date the form and to give a brief description. 

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pickman28
Community Member
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎02-07-2011

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to bravergrace

Thanks, I had a feeling that this might be too dodgy to consider. 

 

bravergrace, thanks for the advice on how to reply.  When the buyer gets back to me (assuming that this was what they meant) then that's how I will respond. 

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redface3000
Community Member
Posts: 83
Registered: ‎02-06-2011

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to pickman28

Complete the transaction as simply and quickly as possibly-Don`t get into any discussions with him-you don`t need a customs decleration to Norway if your a private seller.They`ve paid you;Send it.They`ll advise you at the Post Office (avoid my Hermes etc for international stuff for now due to the new legislation which came into effect of May and March of this year) of any legal requirements you have as the sender-he`s obviously unsettled you with the fishy question and he does sound fishy-Avoid him like the plague and put him on your block list now (he won`t know and you can finish this transaction-he`ll only be able to contact you about this one in the future and won`t even be able to look at your items etc-so do it now rather than be drawn into whatever he`s up to and don`t let him upset you any more than he has done already-Best of Luck with it-Customs label should`nt be required,,,and if it were don`t lie-it`s not worth the hassle-and the rules are there to protect folk.

 Kind Regards Sue

    

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thimbleshackuk
Community Member
Posts: 5,565
Registered: ‎10-10-2012

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to redface3000

redface3000 wrote:

Complete the transaction as simply and quickly as possibly-Don`t get into any discussions with him-you don`t need a customs decleration to Norway if your a private seller.They`ve paid you;Send it.They`ll advise you at the Post Office (avoid my Hermes etc for international stuff for now due to the new legislation which came into effect of May and March of this year) of any legal requirements you have as the sender-he`s obviously unsettled you with the fishy question and he does sound fishy-Avoid him like the plague and put him on your block list now (he won`t know and you can finish this transaction-he`ll only be able to contact you about this one in the future and won`t even be able to look at your items etc-so do it now rather than be drawn into whatever he`s up to and don`t let him upset you any more than he has done already-Best of Luck with it-Customs label should`nt be required,,,and if it were don`t lie-it`s not worth the hassle-and the rules are there to protect folk.

 Kind Regards Sue

    


Norway is outside the EU, so a Customs label is required. It makes no difference if the sender is a private or business seller.

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towelposter
Community Member
Posts: 11,901
Registered: ‎25-01-2011

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to redface3000

redface3000 wrote:

Complete the transaction as simply and quickly as possibly-Don`t get into any discussions with him-you don`t need a customs decleration to Norway if your a private seller.They`ve paid you;Send it.They`ll advise you at the Post Office (avoid my Hermes etc for international stuff for now due to the new legislation which came into effect of May and March of this year) of any legal requirements you have as the sender-he`s obviously unsettled you with the fishy question and he does sound fishy-Avoid him like the plague and put him on your block list now (he won`t know and you can finish this transaction-he`ll only be able to contact you about this one in the future and won`t even be able to look at your items etc-so do it now rather than be drawn into whatever he`s up to and don`t let him upset you any more than he has done already-Best of Luck with it-Customs label should`nt be required,,,and if it were don`t lie-it`s not worth the hassle-and the rules are there to protect folk.

 Kind Regards Sue

    


you don`t need a customs decleration to Norway - incorrect.

 

avoid my Hermes etc for international stuff for now due to the new legislation which came into effect of May and March of this year - what new legislation?

 

Avoid him like the plague and put him on your block list now - why? the buyer is asking a legit question, that is all.

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towelposter
Community Member
Posts: 11,901
Registered: ‎25-01-2011

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to thimbleshackuk

thimbleshackuk wrote:

I would simply point out to the buyer that what she is asking you to do is commit a criminal offence, so you're unfortunately unable to comply with her request. In any case, what would happen if the item became damaged in transit and you had to make a claim from the carrier? They would hardly entertain a claim for £50 if the CN22 stated it was only worth £20.

 

Having said that, I never state an item's value on the Customs form anyway - all I'm ever asked by PO staff is to sign and date the form and to give a brief description. 


The CN22 is only for airmail, there are other documents required for couriers, so the OP will only be able to claim for £20 if not sent by ISF.  

 

If the parcel gets lost/damaged RM will have absolutely no idea what was written on the CN22 as it is not written down anywhere.

 

If you had asked this wuestion on the International Board OP you would have received totally different advice.  By stating a lower figure on the CN22 you are making the parcel less attractive to would be thieves.  A £10 item sent unrecorded is far less likely to be stolen than a £50 one.  

 

If the Norwegian Customs intercept the parcel, open it and decide that it is of a higher value than stated they will charge the buyer any excess duty, but there won't be any come back on you as they have no juristiction over UK citizens.

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2beor02bmerlin
Community Member
Posts: 1,301
Registered: ‎13-02-2009

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

[ Edited ]
in reply to pickman28

OP

 

Yes, it's a bit of a redundant question, really, as you have been advised.

 

For members of the EU there is no need for a CN22 which is the ONLY thing that states value. You may think of not including a Priced Packing Note, however.

 

The point is that the lower Rate of duty (£13.00 Goods Value Not including P&P) is ONLY for Countries that DON'T have Value Added Tax. The VAT Rate is normalised over the EU Countries so they are all considered to be giving the same rates. The Current VAT Rate is then added on to every other countries' Imports to 'level the Playing Field' with EU (Domestic) Suppliers.

 

The Value at which you WILL need as Customs Document (which I think is a CN23) is about £140.00 ( from memory - please check if it's important)

 

Merlin

+++ Siggy +++
Chapter One - Jokes that DON'T work on paper :-

"I went to see the new Shailene Woodley film "Dai Vergent". It was very good but, despite the Title, NONE of them sounded particularly Welsh !!!

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towelposter
Community Member
Posts: 11,901
Registered: ‎25-01-2011

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to 2beor02bmerlin

Norway is not in the EU Merlin so a CN22 IS needed. :smileyhappy:

 

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gogetafix
Community Member
Posts: 248
Registered: ‎18-12-2006

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to towelposter

towelposter wrote:

Norway is not in the EU Merlin so a CN22 IS needed. :smileyhappy:

 


I have just looked at a 'Guide to sending items to Norway from the UK' on RM's website and it states: Price zone: Europe

http://www.royalmail.com/norway

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gogetafix
Community Member
Posts: 248
Registered: ‎18-12-2006

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to gogetafix

If, in the future, the OP gets the same question from a buyer from a country not in the EU then the customs form only needs to be signed and dated according to RM's website. I had the same problem as OP. A guy in Brazil asked if I coulld put a lower valuation on the customs form. I told the buyer that I've never had to write down the value of the item on the CN22 customs form so it would be ok for me to send and I presume ok for him in Brazil. He got his item without any trouble.

 

This is what Royal Mail says about custom forms:

 

All items with contents up to the value of £270 must have a signed and dated customs declaration form CN22 attached to the front. The current CN22 forms are white – an older green version expired in 2003.

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eekhorn1
Community Member
Posts: 1,209
Registered: ‎22-12-2003

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to pickman28

There is always the same gut reaction to this question, and it gut reaction with little thought or research.

 

If the item is lost you will only be able to claim the declared value? Think about that, if the item is lost then so is the declaration.

 

It's an official document. Well that sounds scary, but means nothing.

 

It's illegal. Really? Such certainty? Who is it illegal for, the buyer or the seller? It's fairly easy to find evidence that a buyer is legally responsible for the CN22, but the seller breaking the Law by putting his own idea of value on the CN22?

 

That's not so easy, and it's even harder to find the slightest shred of evidence of a seller in trouble for doing it. In fact despite a dedicated thread on the US boards that ran for 6 years with some extraordinary efforts made to prove illegality (for the sender) and to find evidence of a seller in trouble, both UK and USA...........Complete and utter failure.

 

At the same time eBay were asked to explain which law would be broken by who, the buyer or seller if anything other than the selling price was used. They could not answer the question. They did not even understand the question.

 

On the same thread several US sellers were reported to the US authorities for openenly offering to put any value a buyer wanted on his customs documentation, and much to the reporters disappointment the US authorities wrote back saying that this could cause problems for the receiver.

 

Where on the CN22 does it say what value has to be used?

 

I took part in that thread for 6 years and I could go on like this all morning, but I don't have time.

 

If some sellers are determined that every penny of the selling price must be used as a CN22 value because some mysterious demon is going to jump out and get them, feel free. It's your business and your customer. Me, I never use a value that will attract the attention of customs officers and thieves and nobody is going to do anything about because there is nothing for them to do anything about. If I decide tha item is worthless I can say so.

 

The CN22 is a buyers delcaration to his own country and it is he that is legally liable for it's accuracy and he answers to his own country. In effect, in the unlikely event value is challenged, he may end up paying his tax. Big deal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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eekhorn1
Community Member
Posts: 1,209
Registered: ‎22-12-2003

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to bravergrace

Yes, I've been asked to do this a few times.

 

I reply that I won't  make a false declaration, but if the buyer would like to cancel the transaction, I am happy to do so.

 

It amuses me when people say this without even truly knowing what a "false" declaration actually might be. If a buyer asks me to put a certain value on the CN22 then that is what I do. It's his declaration and it's between him and his own country. Nobody is coming for me if his country do not agree with his valuation.

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lipstickandmusic
Community Member
Posts: 522
Registered: ‎24-06-2011

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to eekhorn1

From RM site www. royalmail. com / norway (under Customs duties and taxes header):

 

Goods being posting from the UK to another EU nation do not require customs documentation. The exceptions to this are the following EU destinations:

  • Channel Islands - Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Herm and Sark.
  • Andorra.
  • Canary Islands.
  • Gibraltar.
  • San Marino.
  • Vatican City State.

Norway is fine.

 

Now, the list above has come as a little shock to me as I have been sending items to Gibraltar, Jersey & Guernsey CN22 free and the items have arrived, no problems.

 

 

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**towery**
Community Member
Posts: 4,649
Registered: ‎12-08-2007

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to lipstickandmusic

lipstickandmusic wrote:

From RM site www. royalmail. com / norway (under Customs duties and taxes header):

 

Goods being posting from the UK to another EU nation do not require customs documentation. The exceptions to this are the following EU destinations:

  • Channel Islands - Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Herm and Sark.
  • Andorra.
  • Canary Islands.
  • Gibraltar.
  • San Marino.
  • Vatican City State.

Norway is fine.

 

Now, the list above has come as a little shock to me as I have been sending items to Gibraltar, Jersey & Guernsey CN22 free and the items have arrived, no problems.

 

 


norway is not fine

 

along with denmark and switzerland they arent members of the EU

they do need customs forms - if you visit and you need their own currency (not just Euro)

 

the EU members that need the customs forms  seem to be those that have different tax arrangements , although things do arrive without them it is suggested parcels have them


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afantiques
Community Member
Posts: 2,035
Registered: ‎18-12-2003

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to pickman28

I have always declared a value of less than 20 quid on  everything of the thousands of packages I have sent overseas to customers, as a matter of self defense. Lost items were about 2 or 3 in 1000, so it worked. Sales prices ranged from a few pounds to over £1000.

 

Gold watch, £400 is a thief magnet, old watch, £15. is not nearly so attractive. Simple as that.

 

The form is the buyer's import declaration, completed by the seller as agent of the buyer. The seller is not responsible in any way for the contents of the declaration, as they are an agent.  The form is officially the property of the relevant department of the IMPORTING country. This is abstracted from the Universal Postal Union (UPU) regulations on the subject.

 

I suspect Norway, like Switzerland has some form of special customs relationship with the EU, neither are members, both are solidly Europe for Royal Mail, both have pretty open borders with their EU member neighbours.

 

 

af,
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anapaul2
Community Member
Posts: 80
Registered: ‎29-05-2006

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to towelposter

Norway is not in the EU Merlin so a CN22 IS needed

 

Norway is a member of the European Economic Area.  There are no customs duties between the EU and EEA, so there will be no customs duty to pay.  So a CN22 is not required.  I have certainly never used one when posting to Norway, and have never had a problem at the Post office.

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towelposter
Community Member
Posts: 11,901
Registered: ‎25-01-2011

Re: Buyer want me to declare item at lower price

in reply to gogetafix

gogetafix wrote:

I have just looked at a 'Guide to sending items to Norway from the UK' on RM's website and it states: Price zone: Europe

http://www.royalmail.com/norway


Just because a country is in Europe does not mean it is in the EU.  RM charge a flat price for all countries in Europe (and some that technically aren't) but they have no choice about tax issues.

 

Check out their overseas advice about customs.

 

http://www.royalmail.com/personal/help-and-support/I-need-advice-about-customs-requirements#Countrie...

 

For those who don't wish to click on the link I will paste the important parts here.

 

Customs declaration forms

All items with contents up to the value of £270 must have a signed and dated customs declaration form CN22 Opens in new window attached to the front. The current CN22 forms are white – an older green version expired in 2003.

Any item sent with a value in excess of £270 must have a fully completed CN23 Opens in new window customs declaration form. This should be attached using the plastic wallet available from any Post Office® branch.
Both declaration forms are also available at your local Post Office® branch.

 

 

Countries in the EU

Any destination not listed here is considered ‘outside the EU’.

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

You will also need to complete a customs declaration for the following EU destinations:

  • Channel Islands – Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Herm and Sark
  • Andorra
  • Canary Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • San Marino
  • Vatican City State
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