Can't Sell My USA Bought Camera in the UK?

Started Jul 4, 2014 | Discussions
edwardwallace Regular Member • Posts: 175
Can't Sell My USA Bought Camera in the UK?

My wife and I have been living in the UK now for 9 months. Her job transferred her here on a 2 year secondment. I purchased my camera from KEH in the states back in March 2012. Yesterday, I was trying to trade my D800 and a lens to MPB Photographic . They told me they would not be able to buy it from me . I was asked, " Do you have proof of VAT being paid upon these items when importing into the UK." Then was told, "the deal cannot go thru because I did not pay VAT"

Can someone please explain what the deal is ???

Best,

Ed

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NottsPhoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,531
Re: Can't Sell My USA Bought Camera in the UK?

edwardwallace wrote:

My wife and I have been living in the UK now for 9 months. Her job transferred her here on a 2 year secondment. I purchased my camera from KEH in the states back in March 2012. Yesterday, I was trying to trade my D800 and a lens to MPB Photographic . They told me they would not be able to buy it from me . I was asked, " Do you have proof of VAT being paid upon these items when importing into the UK." Then was told, "the deal cannot go thru because I did not pay VAT"

Can someone please explain what the deal is ???

Best,

Ed

Mpb are being a bit pedantic...     They like to sell gear with good provenience... Not grey.

If you import a bit of kit when you immigrate this comes in as personal chattels for VAT purposes...  But if you then Sell it rapido like then VAT may be due upon it depending upon how long you have held it...  There may be guidance about this specificly,  but I suspect it will come down to a decision by HMRC based upon the individual case. (Yachts are a bit clearer for this...)

If you had purchased the gear in the UK then you would have paid VAT upon purchasing it... If I go to the states on holiday and buy some gear then I am liable for VAT and duty upon return...

So,  you could declare this equipment to HMRC and pay the VAT due,  and then be free to sell it without any encumbrance...  But of course this will still be a US import and not a EU bit of kit... Ie it will be considered a Grey import by a lot of retailers...  OR....  You could sell it privately and not worry about it... OR... You could just part ex it to another dealer who might be less fussy..  Especially if you don't bother going into the history...

btw... Keep the receipts for any gear you buy here,  and then claim back the vat when you move back to the states..

imho there is no point in you paying the VAT and duty if this is a personal chattel of yours... Just sell it privately... I have bought plenty of gear used without any thought as to provinence... I just bought a lens from a very good dealer,  and I have zero idea if it's EU or not...   If otoh you have bought the gear in the states with the express idea about making profit by reselling it into a more expensive market ... Then the VAT and duty are due.

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NottsPhoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,531
Re: Can't Sell My USA Bought Camera in the UK?
3

As well I assume that mpb are working in the marginal vat scheme for reselling their used gear,  so they need clear provinence on this to ensure that they comply with this...  Ergo...  The scheme as managed is not designed to enable dealers to import grey goods at lower costs,  and then return to  HMRC lower vat returns based upon this lower grey cost...   Working in the marginal scheme means that they have to ensure or at least take reasonable steps to ensure,  that the gear they sell under the scheme qualifies as legitimate EU imported and vat paid gear...

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Sante Patate Veteran Member • Posts: 5,908
Re: Can't Sell My USA Bought Camera in the UK?

edwardwallace wrote:

My wife and I have been living in the UK now for 9 months. Her job transferred her here on a 2 year secondment. I purchased my camera from KEH in the states back in March 2012. Yesterday, I was trying to trade my D800 and a lens to MPB Photographic . They told me they would not be able to buy it from me . I was asked, " Do you have proof of VAT being paid upon these items when importing into the UK." Then was told, "the deal cannot go thru because I did not pay VAT"

Can someone please explain what the deal is ???

The "explanation" is at http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageLibrary_PublicNoticesAndInfoSheets&propertyType=document&columns=1&id=HMCE_CL_000282

Scroll down to Section 5.1.

To cut a long story short: if you owned the camera for 12 months before you went to the UK, and declared it to HM Customs when you arrived (scroll back up to Section 3.1), and have owned it for 12 months after you arrived, you don't have to pay VAT.  It sounds as though you didn't declare the camera when you arrived, and in any case you haven't used it in the EU it for 12 months, so the shop was right.

Whether you can retrospectively declare it now, wait three months and try again I do not know.

darklamp Senior Member • Posts: 3,567
You can sell it, just not trade it in

As already explained in, this relates to VAT and Duty on imports.

However you can sell your camera on eBay and in all honesty you'd probably get a better price than going the trade-in route.

Also note that DPR has a "for sale" forum.

OP edwardwallace Regular Member • Posts: 175
Re: You can sell it, just not trade it in

Fantastic replies! thanks for the advice

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Mike_PEAT Forum Pro • Posts: 13,250
OP isn't even the original owner...

NottsPhoto wrote:

edwardwallace wrote:

My wife and I have been living in the UK now for 9 months. Her job transferred her here on a 2 year secondment. I purchased my camera from KEH in the states back in March 2012.

If you import a bit of kit when you immigrate this comes in as personal chattels for VAT purposes... But if you then Sell it rapido like then VAT may be due upon it depending upon how long you have held it...

If you had purchased the gear in the UK then you would have paid VAT upon purchasing it... If I go to the states on holiday and buy some gear then I am liable for VAT and duty upon return...

The fact that it was bought from KEH probably means it was bought used, so the OP is not the original owner, certainly that should make a difference.

But of course this will still be a US import and not a EU bit of kit... Ie it will be considered a Grey import by a lot of retailers...

That should only matter if there's still warranty on it...if they bought it two years ago and it was already used, I doubt there's any manufacturer warranty left. Due to the age the manufacturer wouldn't do a repair under warranty whether it was bought from the UK or not, so why should that matter? In that case it's not "gray market" especially since they didn't bring it over to distribute it.

Corkcampbell
Corkcampbell Forum Pro • Posts: 17,800
You've started 3 threads on this; can you stop the other two? (nt)
2

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Aberaeron Senior Member • Posts: 6,483
Re: Can't Sell My USA Bought Camera in the UK?

I don't believe for one minute that this is a VAT related issue. Consumer goods are not generally VAT reclaimable and therefore there is never VAT on a resale. It is quite probable that a VAT registered business like the camera shop has to pay VAT on the difference in purchase invoice and sales invoice on such an item but there will be no VAT element to the resale unless the original owner claimed the VAT back for a VAT registered business. In any case, there is no way that the Revenue and Customs VAT inspectors could know the provenance or history of any individual item like a camera except by going through the accounts of the original owner, should such accounts even exist.

No, what they really don't want is a grey market or unofficially imported expensive camera on their shelves costing them capital that could be used elsewhere. The status of the camera would have to be declared to any potential customer and it would put them off straight away. If it was a relatively cheap item, who cares! But it's not, it's a premium item in a sea of other premium items that the customer could and would choose instead to avoid any future hassle of their own like this.

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OP edwardwallace Regular Member • Posts: 175
Re: Can't Sell My USA Bought Camera in the UK?

Gee whiz. Maybe this is for the best. The camera that I wanted was a D3s camera that was severely used and had 262,000 or so shots on it for £1299. Maybe someone out there can have a go at it.

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Aberaeron Senior Member • Posts: 6,483
Re: Can't Sell My USA Bought Camera in the UK?

This one?

http://www.mpbphotographic.co.uk/used-equipment/used-digital-slr-cameras/used-nikon-digital-slr-cameras/nikon-d3s-1?gclid=CjkKEQjwodmdBRDm_ZLhorWm68UBEiQAKhO3_R0sx0M4GGZvceBchdVnmkT5v34zbv9soTx9JREjRYzw_wcB

That particular one is indeed sold through the VAT marginal scheme. Others for sale by the same vendor are not declared as such. Not sure how that works but unless you are VAT registered yourself it is not an issue. If you are and VAT was claimed back on it originally by a VAT registered business, then it will be re-sold subject to VAT [in this case inclusive] and you will again be able to reclaim it.

Frankly, regardless of other issues, that is an awful lot of money for something that is described as well worn generally. These things don't last forever.

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NottsPhoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,531
Re: Can't Sell My USA Bought Camera in the UK?

Blimey,  lucky escape there...   That's a ex press camera if I ever saw one....  I wonder if it's one of the PA ones that they are floggin having layed off a bunch of snappers...

But really,  that D800 is a better camera than the D3s...     Stick with that.

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TTMartin
TTMartin Veteran Member • Posts: 7,304
Re: Can't Sell My USA Bought Camera in the UK?

Sante Patate wrote:

edwardwallace wrote:

My wife and I have been living in the UK now for 9 months. Her job transferred her here on a 2 year secondment. I purchased my camera from KEH in the states back in March 2012. Yesterday, I was trying to trade my D800 and a lens to MPB Photographic . They told me they would not be able to buy it from me . I was asked, " Do you have proof of VAT being paid upon these items when importing into the UK." Then was told, "the deal cannot go thru because I did not pay VAT"

Can someone please explain what the deal is ???

The "explanation" is at http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageLibrary_PublicNoticesAndInfoSheets&propertyType=document&columns=1&id=HMCE_CL_000282

Scroll down to Section 5.1.

To cut a long story short: if you owned the camera for 12 months before you went to the UK, and declared it to HM Customs when you arrived (scroll back up to Section 3.1), and have owned it for 12 months after you arrived, you don't have to pay VAT. It sounds as though you didn't declare the camera when you arrived, and in any case you haven't used it in the EU it for 12 months, so the shop was right.

Whether you can retrospectively declare it now, wait three months and try again I do not know.

Where is it that you are making the assumption that he didn't declare it initially?

He's only been in the UK 9 months, VAT would be due if he sold it now if he declared it originally or not.

If it was declared, then he should be able to sell it after being in the UK for 1 year (another 3 months) without VAT being due.

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Glen Barrington
Glen Barrington Forum Pro • Posts: 19,507
Re: OP isn't even the original owner...
1

Could this have been the sales person's way to avoid telling a potential customer, he or she just didn't want a product that had little resale value?

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Aberaeron Senior Member • Posts: 6,483
Re: Can't Sell My USA Bought Camera in the UK?

TTMartin wrote:

Sante Patate wrote:

edwardwallace wrote:

My wife and I have been living in the UK now for 9 months. Her job transferred her here on a 2 year secondment. I purchased my camera from KEH in the states back in March 2012. Yesterday, I was trying to trade my D800 and a lens to MPB Photographic . They told me they would not be able to buy it from me . I was asked, " Do you have proof of VAT being paid upon these items when importing into the UK." Then was told, "the deal cannot go thru because I did not pay VAT"

Can someone please explain what the deal is ???

The "explanation" is at http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageLibrary_PublicNoticesAndInfoSheets&propertyType=document&columns=1&id=HMCE_CL_000282

Scroll down to Section 5.1.

To cut a long story short: if you owned the camera for 12 months before you went to the UK, and declared it to HM Customs when you arrived (scroll back up to Section 3.1), and have owned it for 12 months after you arrived, you don't have to pay VAT. It sounds as though you didn't declare the camera when you arrived, and in any case you haven't used it in the EU it for 12 months, so the shop was right.

Whether you can retrospectively declare it now, wait three months and try again I do not know.

Where is it that you are making the assumption that he didn't declare it initially?

He's only been in the UK 9 months, VAT would be due if he sold it now if he declared it originally or not.

If it was declared, then he should be able to sell it after being in the UK for 1 year (another 3 months) without VAT being due.

There is NO VAT due on used consumer goods in the UK unless the original purchaser was VAT registered and reclaimed the original new purchase VAT.

For instance, a pick-up truck is invariably sold as a commercial vehicle and the vast majority of buyers reclaim the whole 20% VAT on that purchase price. When the time comes to  sell it, they charge VAT on the sale price [passing it back to HMR&C] and the dealer then itemises VAT on the invoice for a subsequent purchaser who might, or might not further reclaim that VAT. If the original purchaser did not have a VAT registered business and did not therefore reclaim the original VAT, then there will be no VAT on resale ever again on that item, whether it be a pick-up or a camera.

Camera buyers, even professionals, tend not to be VAT registered [even if only because they would have to charge 20% extra to all their customers if they were] and therefore you can generally assume, unless stated otherwise, that an used camera will not be eligible for VAT and VAT will not be part of the sale price.

It's not that hard to grasp, surely?

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Aberaeron Senior Member • Posts: 6,483
Re: Can't Sell My USA Bought Camera in the UK?

NottsPhoto wrote:

Blimey, lucky escape there... That's a ex press camera if I ever saw one.... I wonder if it's one of the PA ones that they are floggin having layed off a bunch of snappers...

But really, that D800 is a better camera than the D3s... Stick with that.

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That could well explain the condition and the VAT element.

As it happens, a couple of my cameras are allocated to my business which is VAT registered and have therefore had VAT reclaimed. Most are private purchases and have not been reclaimed. One can't push one's luck with Revenue and Customs VAT.

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NottsPhoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,531
Re: Can't Sell My USA Bought Camera in the UK?

Aberaeron wrote:

TTMartin wrote:

Sante Patate wrote:

edwardwallace wrote:

My wife and I have been living in the UK now for 9 months. Her job transferred her here on a 2 year secondment. I purchased my camera from KEH in the states back in March 2012. Yesterday, I was trying to trade my D800 and a lens to MPB Photographic . They told me they would not be able to buy it from me . I was asked, " Do you have proof of VAT being paid upon these items when importing into the UK." Then was told, "the deal cannot go thru because I did not pay VAT"

Can someone please explain what the deal is ???

The "explanation" is at http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageLibrary_PublicNoticesAndInfoSheets&propertyType=document&columns=1&id=HMCE_CL_000282

Scroll down to Section 5.1.

To cut a long story short: if you owned the camera for 12 months before you went to the UK, and declared it to HM Customs when you arrived (scroll back up to Section 3.1), and have owned it for 12 months after you arrived, you don't have to pay VAT. It sounds as though you didn't declare the camera when you arrived, and in any case you haven't used it in the EU it for 12 months, so the shop was right.

Whether you can retrospectively declare it now, wait three months and try again I do not know.

Where is it that you are making the assumption that he didn't declare it initially?

He's only been in the UK 9 months, VAT would be due if he sold it now if he declared it originally or not.

If it was declared, then he should be able to sell it after being in the UK for 1 year (another 3 months) without VAT being due.

There is NO VAT due on used consumer goods in the UK unless the original purchaser was VAT registered and reclaimed the original new purchase VAT.

For instance, a pick-up truck is invariably sold as a commercial vehicle and the vast majority of buyers reclaim the whole 20% VAT on that purchase price. When they sell it, they charge VAT on the sale price and the dealer then itemises VAT on the invoice for a subsequent purchaser who might, or might not further reclaim that VAT. If the original purchaser did not have a VAT registered business and did not therefore reclaim the original VAT, then there will be no VAT on resale ever again on that item, whether it be a pick-up or a camera.

Camera buyers, even professionals, tend not to be VAT registered [even if only they would have to charge 20% extra to all their customers if they were] and therefore you can generally assume, unless stated otherwise, that an used camera will not be eligible for VAT and VAT will not be part of the sale price.

It's not that hard to grasp, surely?

That's not strictly true, Under the VAT margin scheme dealers in used goods charge VAT on the difference between their purchase price for the goods, which would not have had the vat reclaimed... And their selling price. Ie the increase in value that has not had VAT charged on it..

but the dealer has to be carefull if he is using the scheme, as it assumes that VAT has already been paid on the goods new price.... Otherwise this could be a convenient way for dealers to bring in ex EU goods with no vat on them, and escape liability for vat on the full value landed in the EU.... So a dealer has to ensure that the goods don't have any outstanding vat liabilities before he can resell it under the scheme.. Which of course mpb use... If the dealer is not carefull, then of course he could come unstuck during a ( all too common ) inspection and HMRC could assign liability at their discretion.... So even though during a private sale vat is not a issue, if it's being resold as part of the vat margin scheme then vat liability is a issue..

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/start/schemes/margin.htm#5.

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TTMartin
TTMartin Veteran Member • Posts: 7,304
Re: Can't Sell My USA Bought Camera in the UK?

Aberaeron wrote:

TTMartin wrote:

Sante Patate wrote:

edwardwallace wrote:

My wife and I have been living in the UK now for 9 months. Her job transferred her here on a 2 year secondment. I purchased my camera from KEH in the states back in March 2012. Yesterday, I was trying to trade my D800 and a lens to MPB Photographic . They told me they would not be able to buy it from me . I was asked, " Do you have proof of VAT being paid upon these items when importing into the UK." Then was told, "the deal cannot go thru because I did not pay VAT"

Can someone please explain what the deal is ???

The "explanation" is at http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageLibrary_PublicNoticesAndInfoSheets&propertyType=document&columns=1&id=HMCE_CL_000282

Scroll down to Section 5.1.

To cut a long story short: if you owned the camera for 12 months before you went to the UK, and declared it to HM Customs when you arrived (scroll back up to Section 3.1), and have owned it for 12 months after you arrived, you don't have to pay VAT. It sounds as though you didn't declare the camera when you arrived, and in any case you haven't used it in the EU it for 12 months, so the shop was right.

Whether you can retrospectively declare it now, wait three months and try again I do not know.

Where is it that you are making the assumption that he didn't declare it initially?

He's only been in the UK 9 months, VAT would be due if he sold it now if he declared it originally or not.

If it was declared, then he should be able to sell it after being in the UK for 1 year (another 3 months) without VAT being due.

There is NO VAT due on used consumer goods in the UK unless the original purchaser was VAT registered and reclaimed the original new purchase VAT.

For instance, a pick-up truck is invariably sold as a commercial vehicle and the vast majority of buyers reclaim the whole 20% VAT on that purchase price. When the time comes to sell it, they charge VAT on the sale price [passing it back to HMR&C] and the dealer then itemises VAT on the invoice for a subsequent purchaser who might, or might not further reclaim that VAT. If the original purchaser did not have a VAT registered business and did not therefore reclaim the original VAT, then there will be no VAT on resale ever again on that item, whether it be a pick-up or a camera.

Camera buyers, even professionals, tend not to be VAT registered [even if only because they would have to charge 20% extra to all their customers if they were] and therefore you can generally assume, unless stated otherwise, that an used camera will not be eligible for VAT and VAT will not be part of the sale price.

You might reread this.

Bringing your belongings to the UK from outside the EC

5. Moving or returning to the EC on transfer of residence

For everyone who moves their normal home to the EC (including expatriate UK citizens). It also applies if you originally came to the EC as a visitor, but now intend to stay permanently.

5.1 Can I get relief from duty and tax on transfer of residence?

Yes. You can bring in your belongings or vehicle free of duty and tax so long as you:

  • are moving your normal home to the EC
  • have had your normal home outside the EC for a continuous period of at least 12 months
  • have possessed and used them for at least 6 months outside the EC before they are imported
  • did not get them under a duty/tax free scheme (but see paragraph 5.2)
  • declare them to us as explained in paragraph 3.2
  • will keep them for your personal use and
  • do not sell, lend, hire out or otherwise dispose of them in the EC within 12 months of importation, unless you notify us first and pay duty and VAT on disposal. Our National Advice Service can tell you how to do this.

Belongings include clothing, furniture, portable tools of trade, pets and other household and personal effects, but not alcoholic drinks or tobacco products: you will not get relief on those unless they travel in with you and qualify for the duty-free allowances - see paragraph 2.1.

We will normally waive the second and third conditions if you could not meet them due to circumstances beyond your control. Explain the position to our officer when you declare your belongings or vehicle.

Generally speaking, "possession" means "to have" rather than "to own", but there are particular restrictions in relation to company vehicles imported by travelling sales representatives. Our National Advice Service can give you full details.

See paragraph 5.5 if any of your belongings or vehicle were previously taken out of the EC.

Other goods and vehicles imported for commercial purposes will not qualify for this particular relief. However, if you are also transferring your business to the UK, you may be able to claim the alternative relief on imported capital goods. See our Notice 343 Importing capital goods free of duty and VAT.

It's not that hard to grasp, surely?

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NottsPhoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,531
Re: Can't Sell My USA Bought Camera in the UK?

Aberaeron wrote:

NottsPhoto wrote:

Blimey, lucky escape there... That's a ex press camera if I ever saw one.... I wonder if it's one of the PA ones that they are floggin having layed off a bunch of snappers...

But really, that D800 is a better camera than the D3s... Stick with that.

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That could well explain the condition and the VAT element.

As it happens, a couple of my cameras are allocated to my business which is VAT registered and have therefore had VAT reclaimed. Most are private purchases and have not been reclaimed. One can't push one's luck with Revenue and Customs VAT.

Have you considered the fixed rate scheme?   I find it gives considerable advantage...

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Glen Barrington
Glen Barrington Forum Pro • Posts: 19,507
There are people who want the VAT tax for the federal USA taxes

They try sell it as a simpler plan than our current mish-mash.  From following the thread so far, it doesn't sound any simpler to me! It might have started out as simpler, but considering it is in all government's interest to lie and confuse the taxpayer about taxes, your system didn't stay simple for long!

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