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Hi guys,

 

I wanted to create that thread for European and British people to share their experience with swords and the now soon to be implemented Brexit. It concerns your overall experience as it unfolds:

 

- issues encountered

- paperwork needed both to import or export (CN 22?)

- what to declare to customs

- new tarif codes if any

- whatever useful tips you can give.

 

I've intended to send a sword to polish to Scotland this year but I was waiting the whole mess to settle. If I send a sword to the UK, I don’t want the guy who gets it to pay fees and I don’t want to pay fees on something I own in return. Reading the draft of the commercial agreement, I’m not sure goods not manufactured in EU or UK will be exempted from custom fees.

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Its early days JP and we will have to learn as we go but as it is a "free trade agreement" I would hope there will be no charges. You are not shipping goods for sale but for restoration and even now if you ship something from Europe to Japan and clearly state it is for repair/restoration I don't think it incurs charges. There may be some additional paperwork., but tariff codes are international and I doubt there will be any special or changed codes following this agreement.

 

 

 

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Yes, Paul, you are right, of course. It is indeed to early and only time will tell. However, I’m not as optimistic as you are after having skimmed and read part of the draft. It was my impression that already before Brexit, exporting swords to UK from a non Euro area had become more difficult for safety reasons.

 

Now that you guys are an international destination for us, it’s bound to create more hassle. Stuff will be opened, X-rayed, and might be returned to sender or confiscated. Besides, how do you prove you aren’t selling a sword and actually are sending it for restoration? It’s a bit too easy don’t you think? Countries like to collect taxes like the vampires they are! :)

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The good news is.

NO TAXES! Nothing will change between Europe and GB in selling and buying stuff.

 

The bad thing is me and my wife was thinking about to buy a house on the scottish coast when we are reached pension.

Now that is very complicated to stay longer than 90 days in GB.

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Not sure of your timing but don't worry too much. One of two things may happen:

1. Things will settle down and as people become familiar with the new situation it will be easier.

2. Nicola and her team of independence enthusiasts will leave the UK and apply to become part of the EU again 

Not saying which would be best but either way it should not prevent you from fulfilling your dream 

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On 12/27/2020 at 12:21 PM, paulb said:

2. Nicola and her team of independence enthusiasts will leave the UK and apply to become part of the EU again 

 

 

Laugh out loud. 

After 2020, I may no longer be certain the sun rises in the East and sets in the West- but it is almost certain that Scotland will move to be part of the EU again.

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only if they vote for independence or I should say get the opportunity to and then vote to leave. We all tend to get a very one sided view from the media and there is no doubt Nicola  is a very good politician and is great at manipulating situations to her advantage (i.e. suggesting that an sudden increase in Covid in Scotland was seeded by the English crossing the border. ) But there is a large part of the community that don't follow her or trust what she says. It may be the Scots vote for independence but it is a far from given that it will happen. I truly hope not.

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I think there will be quite a lot of cold water poured on the romance of Scottish independence, including but not limited to:

 

Loss of funding via the Barnett formula whereby Scotland receives around £11,000 per capita from the UK government each year and the need to recoup this from somewhere before they start receiving hand outs from the EU;

 

The time lag between applying to join the EU and being allowed in during which time they will have to put in place their own currency as they won’t be allowed to keep the Pound Sterling;

 

Being allocated a share of the UK national debt, currently through the roof compared to when they had the last referendum;

 

The presumption that they will get access to the North Sea oil fields and that the price of oil will generate an adequate revenue from its sale;

 

The other parts of the UK are Scotland’s biggest market for their products which they risk losing or paying for; and

 

The need to use England as a land bridge to receive goods from Europe which will no doubt be made harder and costlier than it currently is.

 

Ultimately, if Scotland wants to leave the UK then there will be a lot of pressure applied for it to stay via the above and other means and, if they didn’t want to leave the EU because they think they will be worse off, then they need to weigh being worse off still against the cry for freedom. 
 

Sorry for the lengthy post. Lockdown has given me too much time to fill. 

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On 12/27/2020 at 2:23 PM, vajo said:

The good news is.

NO TAXES! Nothing will change between Europe and GB in selling and buying stuff.

 

That's not correct unfortunately. The EU is now treated the same as non EU countries (we aren't in the single market or customs union) so buying a sword from someone in the EU is the same as from Japan/USA etc. Anyone in the UK will need to pay the 5% VAT for an antique over 100 years old.

 

There is also now the new pre-paid VAT scheme that dealers in the EU and elsewhere in the world will need to sign up for to ship to the UK. This has some significant monthly costs and requires the business to send the VAT payments to the UK. I believe the EU is starting a similar scheme soon.

 

 

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3 hours ago, pcfarrar said:

 

That's not correct unfortunately. The EU is now treated the same as non EU countries (we aren't in the single market or customs union) so buying a sword from someone in the EU is the same as from Japan/USA etc. Anyone in the UK will need to pay the 5% VAT for an antique over 100 years old.

 

There is also now the new pre-paid VAT scheme that dealers in the EU and elsewhere in the world will need to sign up for to ship to the UK. This has some significant monthly costs and requires the business to send the VAT payments to the UK. I believe the EU is starting a similar scheme soon.

 

 

But don't they initially impose the full rate of vat ,then you have to have the seller inform them its over 100 year old as they will not take your word for it before the vat is dropped to %5 .

Any idea how long the whole process takes.?

Mark

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UK is so near but now far, far away. All was so familiar the last decades as a member of the EU. I remember my first stay in the UK as i was visiting  London with me class in 1985. The GBP was so terrible expensive and my spending money was so less. :laughing:

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4 hours ago, Markdd said:

But don't they initially impose the full rate of vat ,then you have to have the seller inform them its over 100 year old as they will not take your word for it before the vat is dropped to %5 .

Any idea how long the whole process takes.?

Mark

Hi Mark,

No, not normally if the seller has described the item as an antique and used the appropriate harmonised tariff code the 5% rate will be applied. 
 

If that is in order, when things are working normally, then once the parcel arrives in country, you’ll get a letter requesting payment of VAT which you can do in a number of ways including on line. Seven to 10 days after payment you should get your package. 
 

At least that was the case pre-Covid and Brexit...

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On 1/19/2021 at 8:29 PM, Shugyosha said:

Hi Mark,

No, not normally if the seller has described the item as an antique and used the appropriate harmonised tariff code the 5% rate will be applied. 
 

If that is in order, when things are working normally, then once the parcel arrives in country, you’ll get a letter requesting payment of VAT which you can do in a number of ways including on line. Seven to 10 days after payment you should get your package. 
 

At least that was the case pre-Covid and Brexit...

Hi,

John a couple of questions for yours it easy and safe to import swords from Japan had been looking at some on samuraistore.com ,

do you just order pay they arrive in the uk and then pay the charges.

what sort of costs would I be looking at to import a sword say for instance I was to spend  5k on a sword what would the final bill be,then I could work it out either ways it a fixed amount per pound?

 

Also I see some swords from Japan come with no papers is there a reason some do and some don't is it because if they were submitted they would not pass or some other reason.

Thanks for any help mark

 

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Hi Mark,

I've had no problems importing swords or fittings from Japan in terms of ordering and getting what I paid for but I can't recommend or disrecommend Samuraistore.com, but perhaps others can. I've used Aoi Art, Touken Matsumoto and Sanmei Trading (Tokugawa Art) and had no problems with receiving goods from these guys. I wouldn't necessarily recommend Aoi or Sanmei but not for any issue relating to the ordering and receipt of their goods.

 

In addition to the sale price, at the seller's end there may be shipping costs and the cost of de-registering the blade in Japan. You need to check that the price includes these costs or whether they are "add-ons", but they are normally included in the sales price but, if not, these shouldn't be significant sums. Providing the sword is properly described in the sales paperwork as being antique, the price you pay when the sword gets to the UK should be 5% of the purchase price, so if you are paying £5k for the sword your costs when it gets to the UK should be £250 in VAT at 5% plus an admin fee of £15. This fee may have increased as it is a couple of years since I imported a sword but should be around this amount. I've never had a package opened to establish that the item was in fact an antique.

 

The whole issue of papers isn't a short conversation and quite nuanced. All swords in Japan need to be registered with the authorities and receive a "Torokusho" that travels with the sword within Japan. This isn't an authentication paper but merely confirms that the legal niceties have been complied with and shouldn't be confused with authentication of the sword or signature. So, essentially, if the sword is in Japan and has no authentication papers then it has either failed shinsa or not been submitted. If there is a big name on the sword and it has no papers then you can assume that the signature is false because it lies easily within the gift of the seller to get the sword papered if genuine, so you need to beware. That isn't to say that the blade in question has no "quality" but it needs to be treated as if it were an unsigned blade and the price should reflect this - don't believe any backstory about how it might be by a famous smith because it is pretty certain that the seller has checked it out and it won't be. Also if it has the old NBTHK green papers, they have been discredited so should be taken with a pound of salt if given to a famous smith.

 

Anyhow, if I were you I would post a link to what you are thinking of buying on here and get a view.

 

A further issue you may have is the ability to ask questions of the seller, and to make sure that they include the correct description of the sword, due to the language barrier. If the suggested amount wasn't hypothetical and you are looking at dropping £5k on a blade then, if it were my money, it needs to have NTHK papers as a minimum and ideally NBTHK papers as these organisations have international standing - there are other organisations in Japan that authenticate blades and fittings etc but their views carry less weight in the market. An althernative to buying in Japan would be to  look to the USA as there are a number of excellent dealers. I've bought from Ray Singer and Grey Doffin who besides being total gentlemen, have some excellent blades, you can talk to them in English and it would make for a far easier transaction. Ed at Yakiba also has an excellent reputation. The price for importing from the US is the same as from Japan and the GBP is strong against the US dollar at the moment, so if you are about to spend a significant sum, make it as easy as possible to determine that you are getting something that is worth what you are paying.

 

I hope that helps, but I'm sure others have some views they can offer.

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Hi,

Thanks John for those valuable comments ,the 5k was about the max I was willing to spend, do the US dealers have no problem then shipping to the uk, as some from the US don't like sending things here.

Mark

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Has anybody importeda nything from Great Britain to the UK yet? Did you any European buyers also have to pay tax / customs for a sword / item coming from the UK after the 1st of January?

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Things must have changed because according to this french government official page, the receiver has now to pay:

 

1) the french VAT (20% or 5.5% for antiques) on the total value

2) customs fees if the value is above 150 euros

 

I've also read multiple reports since last week about customers having bad surprises when buying items from UK despite "all things being like before".

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Hello Francois, that has also been my understanding that you now have to pay full custom charges including VAT which add 25% additional value. Given the often bad Sterling exchange rate, the UK unfortunately has become unattractive for me as a buyer. It is a pitty as there are some very fine craftmen over there for sword restoration but I am afraid that sending something there is now much less of a hassle than it used to be.

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On 1/25/2021 at 1:50 PM, Markdd said:

Hi,

Thanks John for those valuable comments ,the 5k was about the max I was willing to spend, do the US dealers have no problem then shipping to the uk, as some from the US don't like sending things here.

Mark

Not in my experience - I’ve had no one say they weren’t prepared to ship  USA to UK. 

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I have sent a couple swords to the UK from USA in the fast few months.  I had to produce extra paper work to help the buyers prove antique status but, eventually, both made it undamaged.  I would do it again.

Grey

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