Jasmin was a terrific help. She provided a great starting point.
Where are you located? I'm in the U.S., the Denver, Colorado area. Did you order the Glasfaserpinsel 10.000 or 14.000? (I hope you don't mind me asking.)
I've sent an initial email inquiry to ProStar at firstname.lastname@example.org (the address listed on their website). One of the questions I have concerning Document Handling costs for export to the US... are all these additional costs included in DHL's shipping charges? (After the shipment arrives in the US, I don't want to have to arrange Customs clearance myself. Since the sprays are probably considered low-value items, there shouldn't be any big problem, as long as US Customs receives the necessary information needed to process clearance.)
From previous messages, it sounds like ProStar is unfamiliar with exporting to the U.S. However, If DHL assumes shipment responsibilities to a destination within the US, they should be familiar with all US import requirements... DHL is one of the more reliable international carriers. If, however, they are only responsible for shipping to the US port of entry, there is a problem. After I receive ProStar's response, I thought I'd call DHL just to confirm their import process, and who is responsible for what... (their "terms of shipment"). I've been out of the International Trade business for almost 10 years. U.S. regulations may have changed a lot.
Before placing an actual ordering, I thought would take a picture of the Fantasia 4000 spray I'd like to replace, and mark out the dimensions on the photo, then email the picture, with specifications, to ProStar.
@Joe (jmpenny) - I'll definitely get a picture posted as soon as I can.
I'm buying the full lamp with the 14.000 spray.
The lamp will be shipped via DHL. It's been my experience with shipping from the UK via DHL that the shipper and DHL handle all customs paperwork.
My UK purchases have been through Mathmos via a forwarding service, and Mathmos and the forwarding service declare what I spend on the lamps. DHL reports this to U.S. customs. If U.S. import fees are owed, then DHL pays them and invoices me separately for them. They charge a nominal fee for this service. Read: it's worth it, so your package is not delayed. The U.S. import fees and at what values they begin to kick in are different for each exporting country.
You can read more about the import fees and taxes for Germany http://www.dutycalculator.com/country-guides/Import-duty-taxes-when....
I expect that DHL will handle it the same for packages coming from Germany.
@Jasmin - you are my new hero on OG!
Chances the DHL shipments will arrive with no problems. I do intend placing an order for a 14.000 spray after receiving a response to my email sent earlier this morning to ProStar. I may now wait until after Kirk receives his order.
I worked for a large US corporation in both import and exports, including managing an in-bond warehouse, for more years than I like to admit. Before placing any international order, I do like to know the exact terms and conditions of the sale, especially all shipment and delivery terms, (Door-to-Door, CIF, FOB, FAS, Ex-Works, etc.) That way, I know exactly what I'm responsible for paying.
Most US Customs Inspectors are reasonable, and will let minor issues pass. However, there were a few that would hold paperwork for very petty reasons. I recall one inspector holding a shipment because of minor misspelling on an invoice, another held a shipment because an HTSU number listed on the invoice was incomplete. I quickly learned there's no use arguing, and it often depended upon their mood and the type day they were having.
I have already placed quite a few International orders, mainly from Europe, always making sure delivery terms were Door-to-Door. Most were shipped through the local Postal Service. I did receive one from France via DHL, which arrived within about 10 days. I've had two orders confiscated by US Customs... I was told there were discrepancies in the paperwork. Both orders were purchased through PayPal; I did receive refunds after filing disputes.
I am so excited about this! Thank you to Jasmin and Kirk and whoever else is helping us find what we need for our lamps. I am following all progress and can't wait to see a post or pic from someone who has ordered these products. I am eager to do so myself. Thanks for the great work!
I'm assuming DHL still has in-house Forwarding and Import Broker Departments, and DHL's Document and Handling Fees are included with the freight costs added to ProStar's invoice sent through PayPal. I did a quick online search of the US Tariff schedule, and the glass lamp spray may fall under other glass lamp parts, tariff # 9405.91.60.80, at a general duty rate of 4.5%. (I was never a Tariff Specialist, so I could be mistaken.)
Since the declared merchandise value invoiced is minimal, (about $200.00), and shipment is from Germany, I don't believe US Import Duties will be applied by US Customs. (Duty rates can also depend upon the country of manufacture and the exporting country.)
Please let me know if any of my assumptions are incorrect.
I forgot to ask how you made initial contact with Mr Virmond? Was it through email at email@example.com ? (That's the email address I found on the website.)
Rod - I think you are correct. I've ordered the full lamp - about $340. I think I'll owe somewhere around $20 in import duties.
If you ordered an entire lamp, and not just the spray, the Tariff classification will change. I've lost track of all our Commodity Specialists. (Usually the manufacture / Seller and the Freight Forwarder will work together to determine the specific Tariff Classification. Oftentimes, it's not an easy job. It may be under something like "Household Electrical Table Lamp with Glass Shade, Metal Base". You have to keep drilling down under the classification.)
I'm estimating what I think I'll pay based on what the import duties were on a similar total value for Mathmos lamps imported from the UK. It'll be close.
$340 is the shipped price plus about $20 for import duties.
Remember, a similar size new Fantasia spray recently sold for $372 on Ebay. Plus shipping. :>) Oh, and that is probably the last one we'll see for months.