Tag Archives: customs

More excessive customs and handling fees

Bought a somewhat fancy keyboard. (more on that later) Bought some custom made icelandic keys to go on it. Paid regular VAT on both. Bought some plastic inserts to help mount the new custom keys on the new keyboard. Got charged 7.5% customs. What? What is this duty for? It’s certainly not protecting any local industry. And it’s not to cover recycling of the parts or their packaging, there’s a separate charge for that. Still, only 7.5% still “not much” in the scheme of things. And then of course, the ever delightful hammer of icelandic online shopping, the flat rate 550kr “handling charge” of Iceland post. Effective net percentage on top for “fees”? 72.4% That’s unreasonable. I’m not complaining about VAT, (even though, because too many companies in europe don’t know how to take VAT off to send to Iceland, outside the EU, I’d already paid VAT in another country for this order) I’m complaining about the excessive handling charges with no alternative path. Good job Icelandic Customs, they legally allow “any” charge by the handler. Of course, I can’t control what shipping partner my parts are eventually delivered by, so I have no way of avoiding this. Iceland Post offers no way of preprocessing or providing more information to reduce or eliminate the charge either. It’s simply an impediment on trade, with no gains for anyone other than the postal service.20160630-customs-keyboard-parts-real

Protecting the domestic LED strip industry – Icelandic super taxes

Blah, another post about excessive import duties.  Boring, sure, but as heavy and obnoxious as always, and writing them all down gives me a nice record of them.


73% net import tax on 1480kr purchase price.

Bought a 1m strip of WS2812 led strip lighting.  $11.11, including shipping, or 1480 kr at today’s rates.  10% import duty, not sure why _this_ gets a duty charge, and not other electronics.  It can’t be an ewaste tariff, because none of the other electronics I’ve imported gets it, so I can only presume it’s protecting the nascent (non-existant) icelandic led strip manufacturing industry.  25% VSK,  Ok, expecting this, that’s just what VSK is.  and then the glorious 550kr fixed handling charge.  Some parcels get this, some don’t.  No way to control it, so no way to know in advance whether you should buy more on an order or not.  Hooray for consistency.

Total sum of charges: 550+386+146 = 1082 kr giving us an effective net import tax of just over 73%.  Excellent.  I love inconsistently applied regulations.

Icelandic post handling fees

I’m against being charged an arbitrary handling fee for receving a parcel. I’m fine with paying the customs + VAT charges, but I hate having to pay a flat fee for “handling” on top of that. But, if you’re doing it, it should at least be consistent. I got a parcel recently, and the invoice stuck on the outside of the parcel showed the split charge of VAT and handling properly.

Split fees for handling and customs

Split fees for handling and customs

You can see why I hate the flat fee here, it’s more than entire sum of VAT, resulting in an effective import tax of >50% instead of 25% (961 kr fees on a 1712 kr value parcel). It comes down far too heavily on small imports

However, the receipt I got from the post office after paying this has split it differently, claiming it was “free” to deliver it to me, and lumping all the rest into one line item.

"free" delivery, merged customs and handling fees

“free” delivery, merged customs and handling fees

This receipt is weird. Why would you have a line item for “delivery” being free, and then throw away the prior knowledge of this as two line items, and merge them into one? Silly post office.