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Thread: Has anyone shipped a quilt to Europe?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Grandma Jane's Avatar
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    Has anyone shipped a quilt to Europe?

    I just finished a quilt for my son who lives in Amsterdam. How do I ship this to him so that he does not pay an arm and a leg for duty and taxes? Last year I mailed a birthday present and he had to pay as much in D & T as the gift cost to purchase. Thanks for any help you can offer.
    Grandma Jane
    Wisconsin

  2. #2
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    I would suggest you wait and take it to him if you are going there or wait for him to come here. A friend of mine does that. She sends minor items thru the mail and waits on the large items.

  3. #3
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    I sent a quilt to Berlin a few months back from Canada. I put it in a bag and then a shoe box and paid over $50 Cdn to ship it as a small parcel with tracking before Xmas. It was received in great shape. I was told it would take 6 weeks...but it was received in 3 weeks. Name:  Jens and Nadine001 (Small).JPG
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  4. #4
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thimblebug6000 View Post
    I sent a quilt to Berlin a few months back from Canada. I put it in a bag and then a shoe box and paid over $50 Cdn to ship it as a small parcel with tracking before Xmas. It was received in great shape. I was told it would take 6 weeks...but it was received in 3 weeks. Name:  Jens and Nadine001 (Small).JPG
Views: 302
Size:  52.9 KB
    I like that quilt!
    Bernie

  5. #5
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    It looks as though their taxes are quite high as it seems they pay a duty tax as well as VAT
    Maybe this will help
    http://www.dutycalculator.com/help_c...e-Netherlands/
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  6. #6
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    Two years ago a quilt was sent to me from Kentucky. It was owned by my brother who lived in US for about 16 years. After his passing I received the quilt back and it was sent with Priority Mail, indicated as a present with a value of $ 35. It postman brought it home to me and I didn't have to pay taxes or VAT because it was a present. Probably the custom officers were quite friendly that day.

  7. #7
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    I always thought personal items were exempt from customs - although I have never traveled overseas and have never sent anythng international - seems like if its a personal gift - why would it be taxed? This is interesting.

  8. #8
    Super Member MacThayer's Avatar
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    I have sent numerous items to my family in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. They have never had to pay duty or VAT. First of all, don't wrap it up as a present! They'll just unwrap it! You will have to put a value on it, so put the value of the materials used in the quilt on it. Then emphasize that this is a gift. For instance, I will write on the Customs form: Gift for sister Linda for birthday. Then I will put the same information, along with her address, and pin it to the quilt, in case they open the box and the custom's form gets separated. Don't send it air mail. I've sent it the cheaper "overland" many, many times, and it never takes as long to get there as they say it will. For a quilt, I would seal it in a plastic bag, and put the extra set of information in a plastic bag and tape it to the outside of the plastic bag. I've had things get wet in transit, which makes sense if they're in a container on a boat. Even on a boat, it didn't take 6 weeks to arrive!

    Good luck to you!
    MacThayer

  9. #9
    Senior Member fien777's Avatar
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    If you send it as a gift you don't have to pay taxes for it.
    A friend of mine even ordered a whole quiltframe ( that costed over $3000,00) in america and had it posted to the netherlands.
    The compagnie that sold it was willing to send it as a gift and therefor she didn't need to pay any tax.
    I can't wait untill another friend of mine is going to get her green card and moving to america so when I order fabrics she can send it to me as a gift!!!!!!!
    greetz, fien
    http://quiltfien.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Senior Member hevemi's Avatar
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    You should Google Customs Tariffs for EU countries (territory?). VAT varies regarding items shipped and each country states their own. Find out what is the tax exempt amount in EUROs in Netherlands for a)gifts and b)imports from outside EU. In Finland the first is 45 eu. The import tax is based on value also and the value includes freight charges so be careful how you ship your present and do not undervalue too heavily or they will slap you for it! Customs declaration forms must always be filled.

    For "fien777": this does not apply in EU countries. The are limits on gift values, some items may be exempt from tax, however, if their value does not exeed a certain amount. In Finland, for example, wedding presents , none others. Also when removing, temporary residence for work or study etc.

  11. #11
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    I shipped a baby quilt to a friend of mine in France - i just took it to the post office, they gave me a box, I filled out the paperwork (as a gift) put the estimated value on it and $15.00 later was out the door. She got it 2 weeks later. I would rely on the US Postal service expertise to get it through.

    Hey hevemi - I used to work for a company called Ahlstrom out of Helsinki and the above mentioned friend's family was from Turku! Such a small world...

  12. #12
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    When you ship a quilt anywhere, never never never put the word "QUILT" where it can be seen on the outside of the package, as quilts are stolen all the time. Call it "cloth" or "bedding" maybe.

  13. #13
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    I have an APO so it's like shipping to the states for me. There are some things that cannot be shipped to an APO and I had a dress shipped to my German address. I don't know about where he is but DHL is who delivers here. I have seen a UPS truck as well. I know that if you ship Fed Ex from the states it will sit at a port for a month...Joanns uses Fed Ex. I would ask your son who delivers there and use a company where it is not switching hands or companies in transit. They would be able to give you the tricks to avoid customs fees and taxes because I believe it's all in how you claim it on the customs forms.When I shipped the formal here I was given a choice to pay like 10 euro in up front customs charges verses waiting til it got here. I paid the upfront, took 3 days to get here. Hope it helps and good luck!!
    *Rachel*

  14. #14
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I'm from Europe and often send things home to family. I always use the US Post Office. Since last October, they have stopped shipping things by boat and everything has to go via air, which has raised the cost of shipping appreciably. If you have a baby-sized quilt it will fit into the prepaid cube box, but even that now costs $47 (approx). My solution has been to put quilts (I only make lap-size) into a Tyvek envelope (they're the ones that are a cross between fabric and paper and feel sort of slippery), suck the air out of it (like those vacuum bags) and seal tightly. Make sure that on the customs documents you emphasize "gift" or "personal gift" and use the value of the materials. I usually mark mine as $25 and haven't yet had anyone charged taxes or customs. There is a limit on the value of gifts received per year, but if you're only shipping one quilt, then your son shouldn't exceed his personal limit.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  15. #15
    Senior Member hevemi's Avatar
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    Lynn VT wrote " not to mark as Quilt". She is absolutely right. Sometimes at Customs - in cases when the value of the gift is hard to evaluate- they take into account the estimated RESALE value. Just mark it as "bedding" as she recommended and give your value in the price of materials ( but if you used let's say Echino linens don't tell them that!). Gifts under 45 Eur- about $40- are exempt from custom duty, and as the VAT will be less than 10 Euros it will not be collected in EU countries.
    Last edited by hevemi; 04-24-2012 at 11:05 PM. Reason: bad spelling

  16. #16
    Junior Member Grandma Jane's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the good advice, I really appreciate it!!
    Grandma Jane
    Wisconsin

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