Need some help? Check out our new Help Centre

Customs charge?

I just got a bill from TNT saying that I owed customs charges back to them. For some reason I was not aware that this would happen. Guess I thought it would be part of the shipping I already paid for.


  • Hi Kipp,
    Customs and import duties were always the responsibility of the customer. This was in the bottom section of the kickstarter page.

    Each country has its own set of fees and they are sometimes charged and sometimes not. It is close to impossible to predict this.

    What we have been finding is that TNT (in some cases) charge a couple of fees on top of this. This seems to be inconsistent and country by country. For instance we just had a US customer charged an extra two fees of $15 each, on top of the $14 duty.

    We have followed this up with TNT who stated that this is normal and at the discretion of the local country as to whether they apply these charges or not.

    What we would like to do is start to get an idea of what sort of customs/duties people have been charged.
  • They're charging me as follows:
    HDG - $15
    PI - $15
    DT - $15.55
    They define HDG as TNT handling to clear and confirm customs
    They define DT as the duty assessed by customs
    they define PI as the residence fee duty

  • In Finland you can do customs declaration in internet, so TNT did not charge me at all. I paid the customs fee via web bank. It took 10 minutes to do it.
  • I'm not sure if we could do that or not in the U.S. What info did you need to link to the shipment and complete the process? I have more items coming from kickstarter and indegogo.
  • For New Zealand, the Customs charge was a whopping NZ$227 (USD$177) for the A3 model.
  • Wow, thought with the close proximity, yours would be fairly cheap. You guys should have a free trade agreement.
  • Calvin,

    Can you possibly email me any paperwork you received relating to this customs charge. We would like to look into why it was so high.
  • edited January 2015
    Customs Charges A3 Emblaser
    Have also emailed to
  • Seems NZ gets a pretty raw deal getting something posted to them.

    From their website as an example

    Description​ Jewellery Amount​
    (a) Value of duty of goods (NZ$)​ NZ$300.00​
    (b) Duty = (a) at the rate of 5% NZ$15.00​
    (c) Freight, insurance, and shipping costs​ NZ$20.00​
    (d) GST value = (a) + (b) + (c) NZ$335.00​
    (e) Goods and Services Tax (GST) = 15% of the total of (d)​ ​NZ$50.25
    Payable​ ​
    Customs charges payable = (b) + (e) NZ$65.25
    (exceeds the de minimus)
    Import entry transaction fee (IETF)​ ​NZ$46.89
    Total payable​

    Now it seems that NZ charges either 0 or 5% Duty on items posted in. (10% for clothes ouch) on top of that a 15% gst as well. You also have to pay an over $40 Import entry fee!

    I cant really read that invoice too well but the numbers are close.

    (a) Value of duty of goods (NZ$)​ NZ$700.00​
    (b) Duty = (a) at the rate of 5% NZ$35.00​
    (c) Freight, insurance, and shipping costs​ NZ$50.00​
    (d) GST value = (a) + (b) + (c) NZ$785.00​
    (e) Goods and Services Tax (GST) = 15% of the total of (d)​ ​NZ$117.75
    Payable​ ​
    Customs charges payable = (b) + (e) NZ$152.75
    (exceeds the de minimus)
    Import entry transaction fee (IETF)​ ​NZ$46.89
    Total payable​

    Now thats just rough stab in the dark stuff but yeah... Pretty painful way for the Government make some extra cash.

    In saying that is there a line there (sorry not clear) that says TNT has charged an extra $50 admin fee? Surely they got their share, knowing it was to be processed through NewZealand customs, when they were paid for shipping?

    The rest seems crappy but above board. Unfortunately...
  • There was no customs charge here in the US. The EmBlaser was delivered to our loading dock via FedEx, not TNT.
  • Customs Charge in Greece for electronic goods = (value of goods + shipping)*0.23
    TNT wants 30 euros for the logistics + 15 euros for storage.
    I paid total 180 euro.
  • In Finland I had to pay VAT (goods+shipping)*0,24 eur. Customs charge would have been less than the minimum 10 eur, so it was not collected. As said earlier I paid this through internet service with no added fees. TNT would have charged eur 30 fo the service. No fees for storage, because it was in customs storage. Darkly Labs was kind enough to produce HS Tariff Codes clearly in shipping documents.
  • In Norway I got a bill for 1507 NOK (196 USD) for the A3 version. I think I threw away the bill, but it's probably around where it was supposed to be.
  • At the risk of tempting fate and a bill arrives on my doorstep later ... here in the UK the courier van (TNT) just dropped the parcel off and a) demanded nothing and b) there is nothing attached to the box demanding any sort of payment. You experience of course may vary - and I will definitely post again if a bill does turn up.
  • @David H

    Same happened to me, although they left the package under a car standing in my drive. It was there over the Christmas period so I had to dry the box out a bit when I discovered it a week later...

    Unfortunately, I received an invoice from TNT by post yesterday for £136.32 for Duty, VAT and Handling charges (A3 Emblaser plus spare laser head).

  • Hi everyone,

    This is all very good information. I am meeting with our local TNT representative next week and I will certainly raise these comments and issues.

    Leaving the package under a car...OMG...
  • I got my bill today:
    DT $11.69
    HDG $15.00
    PI $15.00
    Total: $41.69 for A4 model
    WTF is "residence fee"?
  • It seems that some TNT depots in the US charge a $15 fee for residential customers. If it was a business then this would not be charged.

    We are still trying to get TNT to either waive these charges for US customers or at least reduce / standardise them so that it is a known amount that we can plan for.

    We are very unhappy about this situation and pushing TNT to resolve this.

    From our research it appears all the other major couriers do the same.

  • My customs charge was RM430 (USD118) for an A3 =(
  • They claim this charge is related to customs. I do not see how. Or they just use ability to charge more for service they already paid for?
  • I am very frustrated with TNT - we have had our Emblazer for quite awhile now and they just sent a bill - to the shipping address and not me (the backer) ... it is more frustrating having something like this come out of nowhere (since it has been so long)- we are in the US and unlike Jeffrey - the total is $41.69 US with the $15 fee for residential delivery.. be aware - 1) the bill could arrive a month or more later and 2) that it will go to the shipping address and not the backer......DHL knows what to do with international shipping and we have always been charged reasonably and in a timely fashion ...... TNT should be held to a minimum standard - I would like to see the $15 residential fee refunded to all backers who have paid and those who haven't, have that fee zeroed out. I did expect a customs fee, but I would have shipped to a commercial address (which is closer to me than to a residential address which is "staffed" for longer hours) if I had known that it was a higher cost - this $15 was not discussed in the kickstarter campaign.
  • Hi Tyler,
    We agree with you and are doing everything we can to work through this with TNT.

    This was not mentioned during the campaign because we were not made aware of these extra charges. They came to light only after we started shipping our kits to the US.
  • Japan - A4 Model
    TOTAL:JPY3600(USD 30.7)
  • Denmark
    175 $ i tax
  • I have paid 230USD in Spain for A3. Our government believes that Spanish citizens are rich.
  • Just received an invoice from TNT for Vat and import duties for £92.00 - I am based in the UK - I bought the A4 Emblaser and a spare laser head.
  • I just received my TNT bill.
    So for France and version A3 we have:
    € 15 customs duties
    € 25 administrative fee
    VAT and 111 €
    plus 5 € VAT on € 25
    a total of € 156img001
  • I paid something like $230 when the kit arrived to Iceland but I deal with the customs many times per week so I was fully prepared for that. They basically charge VAT on the price and some customs fees that depend on the value and which category the product falls into. I was honestly expecting to pay a bit more so I'm happy!
  • edited April 2015
    I just received a bill yesterday (my kit was delivered in Jan.). This is actually the first time I have ever received any further charges from any shipper for items I received from overseas to here in the US. Whether that's because fees were already part of the shipping costs or not, it's actually the first time in my life I've ever received anything requesting a duty/customs fees and especially after receiving the shipment. Getting something sent to me 3 months after really smells of something fishy.

    The amount was $49.06.

    What was the outcome of the discussions with your local rep?
  • The discussions with the local TNT representatives have led nowhere. It has been a very disappointing exercise and has culminated in no further reply to some outstanding questions we still have.

    At the end of the day the official word is that:
    1: This is out of local Australian jurisdiction as the charges are instigated by the US division.
    2: These charges are normal and charged by all other couriers.
    3: TNT charges are actually competitive or cheaper than other couriers.

    If we accept that the charges cannot be removed or revoked, we still have issue with the following:
    1: The duty (approx $15) and handling fee ($15) seem appropriate. The extra $15 fee for delivering to a private address does not.
    2: Having customers charged weeks or months after a delivery is not acceptable and compounding the whole situation.

    I will email our reps again with a link to this discussion so that they can see the comments from customers.
Sign In or Register to comment.