Import tax/duty to UK

Hello everyone,

Just for the record. I have received an invoice from FedEx for the import of my Keyboard into the UK for a total of £26.81. This invoice arrived around 14 days after the keyboard arrived into the country.

Just in case anyone here from the UK has been waiting for their keyboard (This is a similar post to Import costs to Finland). I backed the “One for home and one for the office.” pledge level so I’m expecting another invoice once the second keyboard from the MP2 batch makes it way over here to jolly old blighty. I’m wondering if j+k may want to add a (*) clause to shipping costs on to let post-KS customers that local import duties/taxes will apply to their purchase & that they will be separately invoiced/billed once they receive their keyboard and isn’t included in their shipping estimates.

Anyways, just to let people know that the tax man wants his money :slight_smile:

So, good luck to i+j+k on their ongoing keyboard adventures and to let them know this I’m really happy with this keyboard and whilst it’s taking some time to get used to the layout (and once the Dvorak keycaps make their way over here I’ll have to start all again :frowning: ) it’s all part of having one of the coolest keyboard I’m ever likely to see.




About the same story in Denmark.

I got a bill for:
Import tax - 232 DKK
Administration charge (from FedEx) - 144 DKK
VAT 25% (on the administration tax) - 36 DKK
Total - 412 DKK (~64 USD / ~49 GBP)

If the import tax had been declared and payed before sending the keyboard,
then I think I wouldn’t have had to pay the 144+36 DKK=180 DKK (~28 USD / ~21 GBP)

So maybe that is useful feedback for the shipping partner.

1 Like

It’s been just over a fortnight and I haven’t had a followup yet (also in the UK) — but FedEx originally misdelivered my keyboard halfway across the country.

Maybe it’s just taking a while due to them mailing these things out in monthly batches, but I hope some innocent bystander didn’t get sent my import bill in error.

1 Like

I live in Ireland. My box was shipped on 16th October. I got the bill from FedEx on the 22nd November, dated 14th November, for €28.96 (VAT) + €12.50 (handling) = €41.46.

They are SLOW.

1 Like

FYI, the FedEx admin charge is effectively a scam. It should have been quoted to Keyboardio as part of the shipping cost, and in the EU they are not allowed to charge the recipient (us) without having previously agreed to it.

Just google “fedex administration fee” or similar and you will find plenty of legally savvy bloggers who challenged FedEx on that fee and got it scrapped from the bill. I did the same and saved £12.


How did you challenge the fee?

This is the letter I sent to their invoice query email address (the exact address depends on your Country)

This is in reference to invoice #<invoice_number>.

After having bought a computer keyboard from China, I understood there
would be the possibility of VAT due on receiving it.

I was however surprised to see an additional section for a clearance
administration charge of £12.

Since China is outside of the EU, I have of course paid the VAT due.

However, I refuse to pay the clearance admin charge of £12, since at no
point was I made aware of, nor did I agree to, any terms and conditions
which clearly stated that I would be liable for any such charges.

At no point in the transaction and subsequent delivery was any contract
for a clearance administration charge made between FedEx and myself.

I paid the supplier for delivery, and would expect that any
international clearance fees be factored into the initial cost of such a

If you want to pursue further charges for delivery or administration or
the terms upon which goods are shipped, I suggest that you take it up
with the company who shipped the goods initially.

Therefore, I request that you update this invoice to reflect no admin
fee, which will bring the total outstanding amount due to £0.00, since I
have already paid the £14.81 VAT via internet banking.

Please let me know when this has been done.

Kind Regards,


Thanks! I shall follow your example and do the same once my M01 gets here :wink:

FedEx are, in fact, supposed to call you, ask you to confirm that you’re willing to have them act as your import broker and tell you what those fees are before delivery.

1 Like

It is technically not a shipping fee but either a customs brokerage fee or an ‘advancement’ fee, for them paying the VAT on your behalf and then collecting it later. It’s my understanding that every express carrier does roughly the same thing. If we shipped using the postal service, they wouldn’t do clearance on your behalf and wouldn’t charge you for it, but the packages would take longer to get there, have a higher loss rate and be harder for us to track. It’s not an ideal situation, but I’m not (yet) aware of a better option.

1 Like

Perhaps I should have added a disclaimer that I am no lawyer, no legal expert, and that my messages should not be taken as legal advice. I’m merely telling my experience.

Jesse, I’m sure that’s how they like to spin it, but it sounds like a pretty weak argument. Surely doing the paperwork required for shipping an item is part of the cost of shipping.

Regardless, if I was wrong and they were right, I’m sure they wouldn’t have scrapped the admin fee so promptly. Probably they find it cheaper to not tell people in advance, and risk losing the fee if someone complains, than to call everybody and spend time on the phone arguing. I don’t know.

Also, while my experience may have put FedEx in a bad light, from my little googling around I believe that most other international couriers are much worse (like charging a much higher admin fee, and holding the parcel in ransom). So, overall, I think you chose the right courier.


Just got the bill for my second keyboard.

VAT GBP 17.57
Duties GBP 0.00
Excise GBP 0.00
Admin Fees GBP 15.00
Amount to Pay GBP 32.57

The admin fee is taking the Michael Bliss especially as I ordered two keyboards so I’ve had to pay twice.

1 Like

Yep, that’s what I got too. “Admin” fees, you gotta love 'em :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

P.S. “Michael Bliss”. I :heart: cockney slang.

1 Like

Just got my UK fees (only my first keyboard) through aramex, and they’re the same as garan’s. Hopefully the keyboard will be here soon :slight_smile:

I also got my SMS/email this morning. The fees are the same, paying them was quick and easy. It seems it took 4 days for the package to travel form Hong Kong to London. I expect I’ll probably get my keyboard delivered early next week.

I’m really looking forward to getting it.

Just received a phone call from Amarex, they charge a 30€ fee to add to the 17€ VAT in France.
Total 47€, that’s even more than the 39€ I had to pay Fedex for the first keyboard I received back in November :frowning:

1 Like

I’m typing this on mine! Just arrived. Very slow at the moment.

Quite unimpressed/annoyed with Aramex.
After arriving at LHW, it took them 24h just to figure out that it had to go onward to AMS, after which it took another 16h for the packpage to actually arrive there (a 45m flight, between two main terminals in W Europe – heathrow and schiphol). Then another 8h for them to get it to customs. And only then do they send me an email to ask if I want them to act as my broker (extracting a ridiculous €30 fee for that ‘service’). Then it somehow takes customs nearly 2 days to tell them what they already knew and told me – that I’d be charged ~€17 in VAT – and for them to send me an invoice (with no option for direct payment, so there goes another work day waiting for the transfer and processing).
So now it’s coming next Monday, unless they mean it will be sent onward to their Dutch partner (?) or delivered (not sure which, the word choice is rather ambiguous) on Monday.

1 Like

I’m not impressed either. Friday morning (the 16th) they sent me a text asking for payment, which I paid at about half past ten. They marked it as cleared customs at the same time. Saturday morning (the 17th) at 7:30 am , it alegedly left their facility in London heading for Belfast. Wednesday evening at 6pm it alegedly left their facility in London again. Thursday lunchtime they delievered it.

What exactly were they doing with it from Friday morning 'til Wednesday evening.

1 Like

Delivering mine. They had their priorities right as far as I can tell!

Sorry really, that sucks as mine must have arrived at Heathrow at the same time and arrived in Southampton on Monday.