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Buying from US, using in UK

  BMW F21 125d
Everyone knows that Apple devices are cheaper in the US than the UK. I'm off to Vegas in 3 weeks and am hoping to get myself an iPad Air (decent little upgrade from my current iPad 2) and they cost $499 which is £297 ish, which is 25% cheaper than the UK for the 16Gb Wifi only model. Now I read on HMRC website that you can bring back from Non-EU countries upto £390 of personal items that aren't fags and booze. Anything over that is taxable. However, as the iPad only actually cost me £297 I should be OK? Yes? Also tax wise, they say that anything over that is charged at 2.5% and VAT so if they were being really arsey they could say it was £400, so I'd owe them the tax and vat on £10, but the first £9 of total charges is waived anyway, so I'd still be OK? But they can also charge you tax on the entire item and if they did that I'd only be about £20 better off than purchasing in the UK in the fist place?

I know that Apple devices carry an international warranty so I would be OK if I had any problems, but I don't want to just 'shove it it my case and forget about it', nor do I want to leave all the packaging in Nevada to make it look like I took it with my in the first place. Hundreds if not thousands of people must pass through customs with an iPad in their bag, personal use on holiday etc, so they aren't going to be checking everyone and identifying the serial number to check for purchase information, surely? And if they did, I'm almost in the clear anyway, yeah?

I also thought briefly about getting an iPhone 5c sim only whilst out there, but they work out at £486 for the 32Gb so even if I put it in the Mrs' bag we'd still be over the limit so it's not worth the hassle just in case.

So who done it?
  GTD, Lupo
I brought back 3 iPads last time i went to the states, only difference is i came back on an Antonov so customs was pretty easy going! If it is for personal use and you don't intend on selling them to make a profit i can not see it being too bigger problem.

Its a little like cigerettes the limit is like 400 but 800 would be fine for personal consumption 3000 would be taking the piss.
  BMW F21 125d
From HMRC ( I was slightly wrong this reads better )

You can bring in other goods worth up to £390 without having to pay tax and/or duty.
If you arrive by private plane or private boat for pleasure purposes, you can only bring in other goods worth up to £270 tax and duty free.

Customs Duty rates
In all instances Customs Duty is waived if the amount of the duty payable is less than £9.
For other goods brought into the UK by travellers, duty only applies on goods above £270 or £390 (whichever is appropriate) in value. Over this allowance and up to £630 there is a duty flat rate of 2.5 per cent.

If you bring in any single item worth more than your allowance, you must pay duty and/or tax on the full item value, not just the value above the allowance.

So if they said my iPad Air was worth £400, id owe them £10, or maybe even just £1.


Import VAT
Import VAT is charged as a percentage of the total value of the goods plus any other duties payable. The rate is the same VAT rate that applies to similar goods that are sold in the UK.

Minefield !
I bought mine when I was in the US on holiday (MacBook Air)
Started using it when I was over there, brought it home and no one at customs or anywhere else minded a bit.
I didn't pay anything at customs and mine was about £800s worth.
  E92 325D
Im sure you'll be fine. Its so much effort for them to check. Now if it was being posted they have to put a value on the customs label, thats where they sting you, unless they were to mark as a gift and the value under $20 or something.


ClioSport Club Member
I think you're over worrying about it. My brother spends a month a year in the US and always brings back expensive items without issue, inc iPads and his last two iPhones.


ClioSport Club Member
  Golf 7.5R & Clio 200
I brought the box etc from home to protect it. Done.

If the receipt scares you, stick it in the post to your home address.


ClioSport Club Member
I think you're over worrying about it. My brother spends a month a year in the US and always brings back expensive items without issue, inc iPads and his last two iPhones.
This. I bin any boxes and get rid of any tags on anything I buy to be on the safe side, never had an issue at customs on my return.
  ST1050, 320d
Just take it out the box if you're that worried. I brought a few bits back from Hong Kong with no issues, if it fits in your case no one is going to notice or do anything about an iPad.


ClioSport Club Member
  BMW 120D M X Drive
You may want to look into the international warranty again, in fairly sure that they changed the policy a few months back, maybe wrong though!

You'll be fine through customs though, they're not looking for the people who bring in the odd thing!
  Audi Q7, Avalanche
When buying your ipad in the US, simply request them to email you the receipt. That means you don't need to have it mailed nor on your person through customs. You don't need any boxes, you will never use them again, its nice when it comes time to sell, but lets be honest, the new buyer puts them under the bed never to be used again either lol...

Buy a case for it and use it as you would, customs are not going to nab you nor be able to figure out when or where you bought it.