Importing to UK from USA


I’m just getting ready on pulling the trigger on ordering a few upgrades for my Shapeoko 3 but wanted to try and budget in an amount just in case I was stung for import duties etc.

VAT is easy to work out but I’m having a hard time getting my head round what the import duty would be so I thought I would ask on here to see if anybody from the UK has ordered anything and if so what duties and fees they had to pay,


1 Like

Back in August 2020 I bought a Carbide 3D HDZ + Tools & Dust Boot to upgrade my 3XXL.
Total outlay was £900, £200 of which was tax of one variety or another.
It seemed steep at the time but the HDZ has proved a great asset. You don’t mention what your upgrade will be but I can recommend the HDZ.

1 Like

When I imported my N3 there was VAT paid on the goods, no duty required.

1 Like

If you get hit for import duty it depends on the class of goods, I recall paying about 20% on top of the VAT.

However, the expensive bit is what FedExtortion will charge you in handling fees, because they can fees, some other made up fees, bonded warehouse fees, fee calculation fees etc. They decide for you that they are going to pay all the duty on your behalf and that magically, you have agreed to cover all their extra profit to pay the CEO’s bonus with, despite having no contract with you. Expect to get hit with another £50 to £100 in BS made up profit fees as well. You may get off more lightly, but beware, pickpockets are working the import duty racket.

It’s generally worth paying the markup to somebody such as RobotShop who can ship within the UK if they have the Carbide parts available.


You can ask sales for the class code they will put on the declaration and look it up on HMRC website. There may be some accessories that have duty due in addition to VAT but when I bought my N3, neither the machine or any of the accessories attracted any significant duty. I paid £12 to FedEx for handling which compared to the cost of goods, shipping and VAT is insignificant. I can see how people get upset if they get hit for £12 for a very low value item.
I was satisfied I bought direct, I have found the existing UK distributors have patchy stock levels. There was no delay by opting for long distance shipping and as I paid the VAT whilst the package was on the aircraft there was no delay when it hit the ground.


Good point,

When I’ve ordered direct from Carbide they’ve certainly shipped quickly, provided all the required customs declarations and everything else, no complaints there.


Wow, 200 Sterling tax against a 900 Sterling purchase seems like such punishment.

1 Like

Thanks for all the tips.

Sales provided me with the HS code they use so I have a reasonable idea on what I may have to pay if the parcel does get picked up by HMRC.

1 Like