The Vans Aircraft Company are based in Oregon, USA which means that, as we are based in the UK and are technically ‘importing goods’, we normally have to pay import duty, VAT & transaction fees. Luckily there are a few ways that I’ve found to save some money. Start as I mean to go on, eh!
End Use Relief
The first thing to do is to apply for End Use Relief with HMRC. Providing the aircraft is for personal use and not intended to be sold on for profit it (and parts for it) qualifies for End Use Relief. Unfortunately this does not include the tools required to build it, but hey ho, anything is better than nothing.
I completed form C1317 and sent it off to HMRC.
I believe there is a simplified procedure but I haven’t yet tried it. As I understand it you simply ask Vans Aircraft to write the following on the outside of the packaging.
PARTS FOR CIVIL AIRCRAFT – COMMODITY CODE 8803300010 – CPC 40 00 028 – EU 9999/999/99
Then when the goods arrive in the UK the couriers should complete and submit form C88 (SAD) on your behalf and not charge you import duty.
The couriers will, however, calculate and charge you VAT based on their estimate of the value of the goods. There is not a lot you can do about this and it MUST be paid or the goods will not be delivered.
These are the fees charged by your bank or credit card company for paying in Dollars. Thankfully someone warned me about this BEFORE I made my first purchase. Once I investigated I realised that I could have been stung for some serious fees in the £100’s!!! I was definitely not about to let that slip. Some research on the forums threw up a recommendation for transferwise.com who specialise in transferring money abroad. I have to say they have been fantastic in every transaction I’ve done so far. Highly recommended.
So that’s all the ‘financials’ worked out all I need to do is actually order the kit once I get my end use relief number.