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Old 11.07.2017, 11:44
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DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

I recently got a 30Fr watch from China, the value was noted on the package. DHL now have given me a bill covering tax and a 19Fr service charge, so a total of close to 30Fr.

The documentation states that the value was Fr69, 30Fr for the watch and a mysterious Fr39 "fracht" charge, that I assume means freight that someone at customs seemed to put on there only to bump up the total value.
How is that possibly legitimate? I would love to contest this somehow, but I get the feeling that if I complain to DHL they will blame customs, and if I somehow get customs to take the tax burden away I will still probably have DHL try to pin their admin fee on anyway.

Anyone had any success actually contesting this sort of crap?
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Old 11.07.2017, 11:48
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

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I recently got a 30Fr watch from China, the value was noted on the package. DHL now have given me a bill covering tax and a 19Fr service charge, so a total of close to 30Fr.

The documentation states that the value was Fr69, 30Fr for the watch and a mysterious Fr39 "fracht" charge, that I assume means freight that someone at customs seemed to put on there only to bump up the total value.
How is that possibly legitimate? I would love to contest this somehow, but I get the feeling that if I complain to DHL they will blame customs, and if I somehow get customs to take the tax burden away I will still probably have DHL try to pin their admin fee on anyway.

Anyone had any success actually contesting this sort of crap?
The value of the shipment includes the cost of delivery so if it nudges it above the maximum of (I think) CHF 62.-, you're stuffed and you have to pay the charges.

I've also been burned in the past so always calculate in the cost of the delivery.
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Old 11.07.2017, 12:04
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

If you can proof that you indeed only paid CHF 30 including shipping, then you have a case against customs. Be aware that in case of tax reimbursements there is a processing fee of CHF 20.

Additionally if that the declaration on the package was correct, and also that the declaration indicated that shipping was included in the sales price, then and only then you have also a case against DHL. Otherwise they just did the job they are supposed to do and you can blame your shipper for shoddy work and incomplete or wrong declaration.

In cases where it is not clear that postage is part of the sales price, the Swiss Post uses so called stamp values (Briefmarkenwerte). DHL will do similar things.

here the stamp values:
https://www.post.ch/-/media/post/pk/...erte.pdf?la=en

China, in case of Swiss Post is Zone 5
https://www.post.ch/en/business/a-z-...-parcel-prices
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Old 11.07.2017, 12:16
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

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If you can proof that you indeed only paid CHF 30 including shipping, then you have a case against customs. Be aware that in case of tax reimbursements there is a processing fee of CHF 20.

Additionally if that the declaration on the package was correct, and also that the declaration indicated that shipping was included in the sales price, then and only then you have also a case against DHL. Otherwise they just did the job they are supposed to do and you can blame your shipper for shoddy work and incomplete or wrong declaration.

In cases where it is not clear that postage is part of the sales price, the Swiss Post uses so called stamp values (Briefmarkenwerte). DHL will do similar things.

here the stamp values:
https://www.post.ch/-/media/post/pk/...erte.pdf?la=en

China, in case of Swiss Post is Zone 5
https://www.post.ch/en/business/a-z-...-parcel-prices
I have always got a full refund when customs fees were added 'fraudulently'
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Old 11.07.2017, 12:56
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

The value of the shipment was 30Fr, and the shipping cost was Fr7.62, I paid extra for the shipping so it would go through DHL, which is totally ironic now. The package sender noted the value of the shipment, but not that the shipping charges were Fr7.62. What I find weird is that since DHL was the one paid to sip it, why would they then say that the shipping was Fr39?
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Old 11.07.2017, 13:23
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

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The value of the shipment was 30Fr, and the shipping cost was Fr7.62, I paid extra for the shipping so it would go through DHL, which is totally ironic now. The package sender noted the value of the shipment, but not that the shipping charges were Fr7.62. What I find weird is that since DHL was the one paid to sip it, why would they then say that the shipping was Fr39?
Shipping of 7.62 I guess would be regular post (even that seems cheap from China). You paid extra so it would go through DHL which is the 39.00 Fracht charge. So your invoice total inc shipping would be 69.00 which is over the Duty/MwsT free limit of 62.00 (for normal 8% MwsT rated goods). So I don't actually see you have a leg to stand on.

In future, ensure the shipment including delivery is less than 62.00 (for most goods with a 8% MwsT rate). The total MwsT has top be less than 5.00 CHF
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Old 11.07.2017, 13:33
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

In my experience of Aliexpress, regular shipping is most of the time free.

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Shipping of 7.62 I guess would be regular post (even that seems cheap from China).
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Old 11.07.2017, 13:39
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

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Shipping of 7.62 I guess would be regular post (even that seems cheap from China). You paid extra so it would go through DHL which is the 39.00 Fracht charge. So your invoice total inc shipping would be 69.00 which is over the Duty/MwsT free limit of 62.00 (for normal 8% MwsT rated goods). So I don't actually see you have a leg to stand on.

In future, ensure the shipment including delivery is less than 62.00 (for most goods with a 8% MwsT rate). The total MwsT has top be less than 5.00 CHF
The shipping I paid was CHF 7.62, not CHF 39. You don't pay shipping then get charged more shipping when it gets to you.

The total value of the shipment was CHF 36.70 including the amount I paid in shipping, very much under the CHF 62.00 threshold, that is my point. They made up the 39Fr just to get it above that limit.
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Old 11.07.2017, 13:41
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

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In my experience of Aliexpress, regular shipping is most of the time free.
Exactly, I paid them so that it would go through DHL and arrive faster than the usual 3 weeks you get with free shipping. Now DHL make up the shipping charge of FR39 so I can pay them their 19Fr admin fee for going above a total value of 62Fr.
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Old 11.07.2017, 13:50
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

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The shipping I paid was CHF 7.62, not CHF 39. You don't pay shipping then get charged more shipping when it gets to you.

The total value of the shipment was CHF 36.70 including the amount I paid in shipping, very much under the CHF 62.00 threshold, that is my point. They made up the 39Fr just to get it above that limit.
Was the item packaged and labelled properly, with the shipping documents on the outside of the box? Sometimes if it's not clear what it is any how much it is worth (ie: the sender didn't declare it properly, as many Chinese sellers don't)( then they open it to find out and then slap a charge on top. I also read somewhere that as the importer they are 'obliged' to pay VAT themselves and then they bill you for it plus admin fees for organising it.

I try never to use DHL any more as I have been burned in the past, and no other courier I use does the same sneaky things. It's a money-making scheme for them imo.

The trick is instead of accepting the delivery to just get DHL to return the package and therefore avoid paying the fees. And then order from somewhere else.
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Old 11.07.2017, 13:52
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

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The value of the shipment was 30Fr, and the shipping cost was Fr7.62, I paid extra for the shipping so it would go through DHL, which is totally ironic now. The package sender noted the value of the shipment, but not that the shipping charges were Fr7.62. What I find weird is that since DHL was the one paid to sip it, why would they then say that the shipping was Fr39?
If there is no evidence what was actually paid for shipping (PS: The shipment normally means the goods + the shipping cost) DHL will open some book, which has a table with standard shipping values. Just like the list from the Swiss Post i linked to. It is up to you to prove that the actual shipment and shipping cost was lower than what DHL assumed because your shipper was a lazy, non-declaring merchant.

Do not shot the messenger, but the one which is responsible for the bad news: Your seller.
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Old 11.07.2017, 13:58
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

Yeah I was wondering about any potential charges for opening and inspecting the item, but the value was clearly printed on the outside of the package, and the seller also included a commercial invoice noting the price and the contents as well. And the fee for DHL was just a normal "admin fee", no inspection noted.

DHL seems like they are trying to avoid people denying packages, they didn't notify me of these costs when I picked up the package last week, yesterday I got the invoice in the mail, no chance to deny the package!
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Old 11.07.2017, 13:59
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

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Shipping of 7.62 I guess would be regular post (even that seems cheap from China). You paid extra so it would go through DHL which is the 39.00 Fracht charge. So your invoice total inc shipping would be 69.00 which is over the Duty/MwsT free limit of 62.00 (for normal 8% MwsT rated goods). So I don't actually see you have a leg to stand on.

In future, ensure the shipment including delivery is less than 62.00 (for most goods with a 8% MwsT rate). The total MwsT has top be less than 5.00 CHF
Shipping costs are charged with customs dues?
As all they could be claimed to be is "Dienstleistung" (service) at most they should be charged MWSt (and first take China's MWSt off if they got something like that). No?
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Old 11.07.2017, 14:07
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

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If there is no evidence what was actually paid for shipping (PS: The shipment normally means the goods + the shipping cost) DHL will open some book, which has a table with standard shipping values. Just like the list from the Swiss Post i linked to. It is up to you to prove that the actual shipment and shipping cost was lower than what DHL assumed because your shipper was a lazy, non-declaring merchant.

Do not shot the messenger, but the one which is responsible for the bad news: Your seller.
I seriously doubt that a package that weighs 0.2Kg is CHF 39 in whatever table they might use to estimate shipping, though.
The other side of the coin is that DHL don't have to look up how much shipping was because they were the ones paid to deliver it. DHL picked it up in China, and DHL delivered it in Switzerland. The sender provided the original shipping order, which was made through DHL.

I'm not shooting the messenger, I just don't understand the logic of saying I should make sure the total value is less than 62Fr next time, when DHL can make up whatever additional shipping cost they want to make it beyond 62, even when they were the ones paid to ship it in the first place.
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Old 11.07.2017, 14:10
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

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Shipping costs are charged with customs dues?
Yes.

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As all they could be claimed to be is "Dienstleistung" (service) at most they should be charged MWSt (and first take China's MWSt off if they got something like that). No?
No.

Tom
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Old 11.07.2017, 14:10
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

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Yeah I was wondering about any potential charges for opening and inspecting the item, but the value was clearly printed on the outside of the package, and the seller also included a commercial invoice noting the price and the contents as well. And the fee for DHL was just a normal "admin fee", no inspection noted.

DHL seems like they are trying to avoid people denying packages, they didn't notify me of these costs when I picked up the package last week, yesterday I got the invoice in the mail, no chance to deny the package!
Write to them and contest the fees, or at least ask for a detailed explanation. It will only cost you the price of a postage stamp.
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Old 11.07.2017, 14:12
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

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Shipping costs are charged with customs dues?
No shipping costs were charged. O.k. they were, CHF 7.62, at ordering time.
But because there was no shipping cost on the provided invoice and way bill, or any other hint that shipping cost was included in the total sales price, DHL had to guess the value of the shipping as the total value of the shipment maters (goods + shipping) for taxation and not the value of the goods only.
According some table the shipping value for a similar package from China is CHF 39. Thus for calculating if any tax may have been due, CHF 39 was added to the value of the goods do finally arrive at the value of the shipment as it is at the Swiss border. Considering that most sales to foreign countries have no tax levied at the sending country, and additionally if were levied, not indicated on the way bill, no foreign tax could have been deducted. from the total shipment value.
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Old 11.07.2017, 14:16
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

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It will only cost you the price of a postage stamp.
That might turn out to be 39 CHF.
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Old 11.07.2017, 14:18
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

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No shipping costs were charged. O.k. they were, CHF 7.62, at ordering time.
But because there was no shipping cost on the provided invoice and way bill, or any other hint that shipping cost was included in the total sales price, DHL had to guess the value of the shipping as the total value of the shipment maters (goods + shipping) for taxation and not the value of the goods only.
According some table the shipping value for a similar package from China is CHF 39. Thus for calculating if any tax may have been due, CHF 39 was added to the value of the goods do finally arrive at the value of the shipment as it is at the Swiss border. Considering that most sales to foreign countries have no tax levied at the sending country, and additionally if were levied, not indicated on the way bill, no foreign tax could have been deducted. from the total shipment value.
I paid the shipping on top of the price of the item, so shipping was charged.
DHL were paid to ship the item.
DHL then estimated shipping at CHF39, even though they were the ones who shipped it and didn't need to estimate it. This estimate also bumped up the final value so they could claim a CHF 19 admin fee.

It's pretty clear what happened, which is why I thought this post would be better suited in the complaints threads. I wasn't sure how successful people have been in similar circumstances.


I spoke to DHL and have written to them contesting it, so I'll let people know how it turns out.
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Old 11.07.2017, 14:22
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Re: DHL/customs - made up 39Fr shipping charge on a 30Fr item!

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I seriously doubt that a package that weighs 0.2Kg is CHF 39 in whatever table they might use to estimate shipping, though.
The other side of the coin is that DHL don't have to look up how much shipping was because they were the ones paid to deliver it. DHL picked it up in China, and DHL delivered it in Switzerland. The sender provided the original shipping order, which was made through DHL.

I'm not shooting the messenger, I just don't understand the logic of saying I should make sure the total value is less than 62Fr next time, when DHL can make up whatever additional shipping cost they want to make it beyond 62, even when they were the ones paid to ship it in the first place.
Even the table of the Swiss Post does not make any sense whatsoever. But it is the table used in case shipping cost is not indicated on the invoice. They cannot be bothered to spend time and investigate the actual priced charged to the sender for each and every package. This information is very likely not available to DHL Switzerland and is known by DHL China only.

This is also the very reason why the price of shipping must be listed on the invoice. Your merchant was lazy, and did not do the customs paper correctly.

If you do not want the problem in the future you must instruct the sender that shipping cost is clearly stated on the invoice and customs declaration. Can be even 0 in case it is included in the sales price.
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