Saddle and Nut wrote:
I am looking at importing 2 Guitars from the states for personal use.
Can anyone provide me with the process required.
Saddle and Nut
Rather let the company or guy in the States "export' them to you. If it is a shop or company then they will be ready to do this. If you buy form a private individual you have a problem which is solved by contacting one of the local courier or freight forwarders to do the job for you. Courier companies are preferred due to speed but might be more expensive.(double the rate then exporting form the States)
In either case the local freight forwarder or courier company will collect from the place of origin of the goods and will give you an accurate quote for that. This quote will include duties and vat payable as well as delivery to you locally if you prefer this. You can also collect from the freight forwarder or courier company to save maybe R100.00
Duties will most certainly be charged if you "Import" yourself unless you get the shop or individual to put the correct HS code on the commercial or tax invoice. Customs goes by the commercial invoice and both should be included in the shipment. If no customs code is provided and you advise the freight forwarder or courier company of this detail before the goods land in SA (you should get a airway bill from the freight forwarder or tracking reference number from the courier company) to avoid paying duties. Customs will always try and charge you even on goods that do not have duties. VAT is always payable on the value of the goods only in the commercial or tax invoice. These values should be the same. You will not pay VAT on the delivery charges if the goods are exported from the States. If you import the goods via a freight forwarder or courier company the VAT will be higher as you pay for a local service.
It is always better and less expensive to let the seller export and ship the goods for cost reasons. The bad thing is that you have no control over the shipping and delivery to you as this is paid by the "exporter" in the States in this case. With experienced sellers oversees delivery is not a problem they done this numerous times and are not interested in not delivering the items you purchased.
Regarding payment : when you let the export the goods they will demand up front payment of the costs of the goods and delivery charges(some of them even include local SA duties and VAT in their invoices. This is called DTD(Door to door) all responsibility lies with the "export"in the States in this case and you have no control over it at all but you know exactly how much you.
A local freight forwarder might let you pay COD(Cash on delivery) Courier companies as well but if you do not have an account with them they will want up front payment as well. This will only cover "import" as described above, you will first have to pay the seller in the States for the goods, including bank charges which might be included in the invoice he will send you. Local bank charges are to be paid by you. If you do the transfer you will need to advise the bank to share costs(mark it on the bank money transfer form)
There are many other issues you need to take care of like insurance, make sure the commercial invoice or tax invoice is setup correctly to pay un-necessary local VAT and also make sure you do not pay the sales tax in the States as you are not liable for that.
I am an importer(not of musical instruments) I always use the sellers delivery service but have the goods shipped to my local freight forwarder/clearing agent. Note that I am the buyer but the delivery address is my freight forwarder. They organise clearing(which they charge me for) and give a tax invoice indicating paid VAT so I can reclaim this when I resell the imported goods. Unless you resell the guitars on a Tax invoice and you are registered for VAT in SA you can not claim VAT back
Hope above helps.