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How do I calculate duties on a package mailed to Italy from the United States?
October 13, 2011 6:47 AM   Subscribe

How do I calculate the duties, taxes, and/or other fees that a person in Italy will have to pay in order to receive a gift mailed from the United States?

I am a lawyer in the United States representing the estate of a woman. The woman left a bracelet to her friend in Italy and now I have to mail the bracelet to the friend.

I have been altogether unable to find out how much money the Italian friend will have to pay (in taxes, duties, customs fees, etc.) in order to receive her bracelet. DHL does not know. The post office does not know. I was unable to locate a source on the internet for the information I need.

Can you assist me?
posted by kellygreen to Law & Government (7 answers total)
Summarized from the Customs Agency (Section: Regalo proveniente da Paese extra UE), if the gift is there are no import duties and taxes to be paid; there might be a €5.50 postal charge.

Above that, it gets complicated.

There is a section in there for the exemption of duties and taxes on the importation of inherited items from a non EU country, but as it species "a relative" I'm not certain if this situation would also be exempt. The Italian friend should contact the dogane, as even if the package would indeed be exempt from duties and import taxes, in order to obtain said exemption the friend would have to present in advance a notarized document to certify that the bracelet was acquired by inheritance.
posted by romakimmy at 7:41 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

I should note that the value of the bracelet and shipping exceeds the gift exemption amount.
posted by kellygreen at 7:49 AM on October 13, 2011

Honestly? As someone who deals with the Italian dogana a lot, send it FedEx. Give them a call, there should be an option to pre-pay any potential tax due at customs at the time of shipping. They'll give you an approximation, usually, because the Italian dogana is... arbitrary.
posted by lydhre at 8:13 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

As I said, it gets complicated. Import duties and taxes are based on a classification system. For example, a bracelet with precious or semi precious stones (that are not diamonds or pearls) has it's own classification number (71162011) and seems to go by weight in grams.

Which I can't really tell nor find the applicable tariff because the classification system is one of those shit-ass 1998 government websites optimized for Internet Explorer 5 and half the links are busted.

So you best bet is to have the Italian friend get information/exemption directly from the dogane or go with lydhre's FedEx suggestion.
posted by romakimmy at 8:21 AM on October 13, 2011

I think you're going to have to estimate this. Look up the article in the EU's TARIC database. You need to provide more information about the article to find it specifically. It might be: That indicates a duty of 0%. But if it's not "made wholly of natural precious or semi-precious stones" (for example, it is a silver bracelet), customs might classify it as something else that has a duty of 2.5%. For more information, you can use Italy's TARIC web site which additionally indicates import VAT of 21%. There will also be brokerage fees, which FedEx or DHL should be able to tell you about in advance.
posted by grouse at 8:38 AM on October 13, 2011

If you want all the charges paid, you need to send the package DDP. DHL Express will do this for you, as will TNT and possibly also FedEx.
posted by Aizkolari at 1:02 PM on October 13, 2011

Here's an online calculator that you can try for free for a few times. Not sure how accurate it is, but it did give me a general idea.
posted by Vaike at 4:53 PM on October 13, 2011

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