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Returning item to US - commercial value?

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[OP]
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Jun 1, 2007
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M4W 1J6

Returning item to US - commercial value?

Hi,

I'm wanting to return an item to the US via courier. What would I put on the commercial invoice to avoid US customs from charging taxes/duty for the receiver, as it is a return? Thanks.
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Jan 3, 2014
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Raptors wrote: I'm wanting to return an item to the US via courier. What would I put on the commercial invoice to avoid US customs from charging taxes/duty for the receiver, as it is a return? Thanks.
You'll need to put the value you expect to get back from the courier if it gets lost/damaged as often there's only one place to declare a value and it is that amount that is used to determine insurance levels. You could make a note that it is a return for refund/repair (whatever the case may be), but ultimately it would be up to the receiver to deal with the US side of things.
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 1, 2007
1163 posts
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M4W 1J6
I took a look at eshipper and it seems like it allows different values for insurance and commercial value. In this case, would it be ok to put a $1 commercial value with description indicating a return?
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Jan 3, 2014
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Raptors wrote: I took a look at eshipper and it seems like it allows different values for insurance and commercial value. In this case, would it be ok to put a $1 commercial value with description indicating a return?
In my opinion it would be since there is no commercial value as it pertains to this transaction. I would suggest you include in the package or shipping documents folder a copy of your original purchase receipt and/or the RMA authorisation (and if there's not an RMA, a note to the seller that it is a return and a refund is expected). That way if the Customs guys take a peek, there's at least some supporting documentation.
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Raptors wrote: I took a look at eshipper and it seems like it allows different values for insurance and commercial value. In this case, would it be ok to put a $1 commercial value with description indicating a return?
Yes. The value for insurance is the actual value of the contents if the package got lost or stolen. That would be the purchase price plus all the duties, taxes and import fees. The commercial value is, like allcaps says, the value of this transaction. In this case, since it's an RMA, the value should be nominal. You should include copies of documents that substantiate this along with the commercial invoice and shipping waybill.

There's something else to be aware of. Hopefully when the seller returns the repaired/replaced item to you they'll also declare a commercial value of $1 and also include documentation to back this up. (If this is an out of warranty repair, they could declare the commercial value as what they charged you for the repair and you could pay taxes/fees on that. It happens and it's legit. But you shouldn't have to pay a second time for the full value of the item being sent back to you.)
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