Customs and Aliexpress

Customs and taxes can be a tricky issue when buying products from Aliexpress which are all from China. If you use Aliexpress’s mother site Alibaba.com you are able to buy from all over the world in huge quantities, mostly addressed to companies. I regard people to know their home countrys policies when it comes to customs, vat and import taxes.

Importing from China to Denmark

Im from Denmark so I will make a short explanation on how to manage customs and taxes on imports from China and especially Aliexpress. You will probably be able to make use of this, no matter what country you live in.
In Denmark you have to pay 25% vat if you buy for more than around 14$ (80 DKK). In addition to that fee, all companies who do the customs declaration claim a fee ranging from 25-30$ ( 150-180 DKK). This makes cheap products rather expensive. Normally the Aliexpress sellers write a low value on the commercial invoice for the products send with HK- or Chinapost. Many times the products will still be checked in Danish customs upon arrival (Post Danmark manages that). Clothing tend to be the easiest to get through without paying any vat or other fees, even if opened, they dont bother herrassing you.

If they do, you have to send them a product receipt and a link to the place you bought it. If the products are counterfeit, nothing really happens as long as it is for your own use.

A second choice is to send your newly bought products with Dhl or Fedex. More expensive but a lot faster and most important; you can get many products exceeding the 14$ limit send with a low value invoice. Talk to the seller on Aliexpress and tell him to set the invoice to less than 14$ and if he agrees, you are sure that the products will run smooth through Danish customs. And why is that? Dhl and Fedex are responsible for the customs in Denmark when articles are send with them. BUT the articles send from China have already been checked by the Chinese Dhl and Fedex. Commercial invoices are made by the seller (From Aliexpress shop) in agreement with Dhl and Fedex and then there is no reason for the Danish Dhl or Fedex office to do anything. The customs have already been cleared.

Example of a watch send with Dhl

Price 120$ + Dhl delivery 20$
Invoice was set to 10$ by the Aliexpress seller with no problems.
5 days later I received my watch.

If I used HK post or China Airmail it would have looked like this.

Watch incl free shipment with HK Post or China Airmail: 120$
Vat: 30$
Post Danmark fee: 25$
Shipment around 3 weeks

This would cost me a whoppin 175$ instead of the 140$ with Dhl. Saving me 35$ and with faster shipping.

Always make sure to calculate if you can save money using Dhl or Fedex.