How can I buy a UK appliance and have it shipped to the US?
October 28, 2019 6:19 AM   Subscribe

My wife and I are trying to purchase a Candy washing machine. We can’t seem to find an easy-ish way to purchase and deliver to us here in the USA. Does anyone know of a British importer, /exporter, or freight forwarder, or LCL service?

Candy is a brand that seems to be dominant in the UK with overseas distributors in lots of places, but none in the US.

Today we got a quote for £500 to ship but we were told needed an EORI number.

—-An Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI number) is a European Union registration and identification number for businesses which undertake the import or export of goods into or out of the EU—-

We are hoping to find a middleman for this who might have an EORI or otherwise streamline the process for us.

I wish we could just give up on Candy, but they have a specific model that is the only washer that fits the space we are planning to put it.
posted by karst to Shopping (11 answers total)
 
There are some electrical considerations you may be missing here.

Any UK/European washing machine will be designed for a 240V 50Hz supply, not the 120V 60Hz used in the US. Although you may have a 240V outlet available of the type used for cookers etc, this does not work the same as a European one.

In Europe only one side of the supply is live/hot at 240V, the other is neutral and close to earth/ground. US 240V sockets have two opposing sides, each at 120V relative to ground. Internal circuitry of a European appliance will be designed accordingly; safety may be compromised if the neutral conductor is supplied with 120V relative to earth/ground.

The other issue is the frequency. Even if the motor isn't directly synchronous to the line frequency (which would mean it would run 20% faster on a 60Hz supply), the control electronics may well use the line frequency as a timing reference meaning that timings and speeds would be off.

Voltage converters do exist that can correctly adapt a US supply for an EU appliance, but for something as powerful as a washing machine they will be large and expensive.

Also if you try to import an EU machine, you may run into problems because it will not be certified against US standards and this could cause it to be refused at customs.
posted by automatronic at 6:51 AM on October 28 [15 favorites]


Candy is a brand owned by Haier, a Chinese conglomerate. Can you find an equivalent from them in the US?
posted by pharm at 7:05 AM on October 28 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the input.

I am looking for a specific 230v/50hz washer.

Unfortunately Haier doesn’t make an equivalent, non-Candy version.
posted by karst at 8:07 AM on October 28


Which model are you looking for?

(and have you allotted room for the transformer? You're going to need something in the range of 10,000 watts [remember, you need a minimum of 100% slack for an appliance like this and some people recommend 3-4x] so it's not going to be a small item by itself, assuming you already have a very high-amp circuit available)
posted by aramaic at 8:52 AM on October 28


Is this the AQUA 1042D1? You are going to spend a lot of money to import a really shit washing machine. Candy is a brand sitting firmly at the bottom of the market. Here, where we have WEEE recycling and the retailer has to take back the old machine when you buy a new machine, the fact that you're replacing them every 3 to 4 years isn't a big deal. For you it will be.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:32 AM on October 28 [6 favorites]


In Europe only one side of the supply is live/hot at 240V, the other is neutral and close to earth/ground. US 240V sockets have two opposing sides, each at 120V relative to ground. Internal circuitry of a European appliance will be designed accordingly; safety may be compromised if the neutral conductor is supplied with 120V relative to earth/ground.

Note that in the parts of Europe using Schuko plugs and sockets for grounded appliances (Germany, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Finland, Spain, Portugal and most of Eastern Europe and the Balkans) the wiring polarity at the appliance is not guaranteed since its plug can be rotated through 180 degrees. Hence the wiring must be designed to deal with either line being live and any appliance that is sold all over Europe will have its internal wiring being polarity-agnostic.
So using an Euro washing machine on an US 240V supply does not introduce a hazard that way.

Now why one would want to have a low-end washer hauled across the ocean, paying more in transport than the bloody thing is worth is another matter, but that's not for me to decide.
posted by Stoneshop at 11:32 AM on October 28 [2 favorites]


Oh, and if width is the limiting factor, there are the AEG L5CB30330 and LC53500, both at 50cm.
posted by Stoneshop at 2:21 PM on October 28 [2 favorites]


Hence the wiring must be designed to deal with either line being live and any appliance that is sold all over Europe will have its internal wiring being polarity-agnostic.

That's a good point I hadn't thought of from my UK perspective, thank you.

That leaves the frequency issue. I looked into this a bit further and many washing machines use a universal motor which is non-synchronous, and the speed control methods for these (thyristor control or a tapped field coil) don't seem like they should be significantly influenced by line frequency.

Other machines use a variable frequency drive, which would be completely unaffected.

And as far as cycle timings etc go, these days these would likely be driven by a microcontroller with a crystal oscillator.

So it's likely the electrical issues are OK, but I can't be 100% sure.

There is still the issue about it not being certified to US standards however, which could easily scupper things if you have to formally import it.
posted by automatronic at 1:53 AM on October 29


To give a little more context, the washer is destined for a sailboat. The boat is 230v/50hz. I’m replacing a unit that was installed and later removed. The plumbing, wiring, etc is already in place. The cabinet it goes in is narrower and less deep than anything else on the market. To move the location would be $1000’s in additional expense.

Though I appreciate the advice on electricity and reliability, the question was meant be focused on a narrower problem, ie shopping from the UK to the US. There are two Candy washers that fit, the 100f and the 2D (afaik) and no other manufacturers make a product that would work (other than totally portable units, though none of those really solve my problem any better than the Candy).

Any advice on shipping is greatly appreciated.
posted by karst at 11:18 AM on October 29


To give a little more context, the washer is destined for a sailboat. The boat is 230v/50hz.

Oh, I hate it when people totally run away with some tangent issue instead of the actual question, and here I've been doing exactly that. And I'm even a boat person so would have totally understood that context. Sorry!

So back on the actual topic: as far as I can tell, UK freight forwarders and customs agents still require the sender to have their own EORI number. As far as I can see though, if you can't find a seller who will export to the US, there is nothing stopping you have an individual in the UK purchase the machine and then obtain an EORI number to export it to you. The application form allows for the exporting business to be a sole proprietor (i.e. an individual).

However, I'm not totally sure you need to go this route. In this EORI FAQ from the UK government it says:
For goods sent from the UK using a parcel company, an EORI number from the UK will not usually be required by the sender. This is because the parcel company will usually take on the role of the exporter and will be responsible for handling all customs processes. The parcel company can advise you if an EORI is required for them to export your goods.
I fed some estimated shipping dimensions of a boxed 1042D1 (50kg, 60 x 57 x 80 cm) as a parcel into P4D from UK to US, and it gave DHL Express as an option for £347. The DHL site confirms that their Express service will carry parcels up to 70kg. So maybe you can simply ask a seller to ship it with DHL.
posted by automatronic at 5:28 PM on October 29 [1 favorite]


Not a direct answer to your question, either, but out of curiosity I looked up this manufacturer and got websites from the U.K. and Italy. If the U.K. source ends up being a no go, perhaps you could try a different EU country that might sell them and be able to export.
posted by Short End Of A Wishbone at 10:21 PM on October 29


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