Question About Online Purchase & Aduanas

jimmythegreek

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Dec 4, 2008
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I am looking to buy a cellphone that will have a total invoice of exactly $199 shipped through to EPS in Miami.

The online retailer is also including a gift of a cellphone battery charger-which will show a zero value on the invoice as a gift.

Will my package make it through Aduanas without any problem even with the gift-so long as the total on the invoice is $199?

Thanks.
 

Peterj

Well-known member
Oct 7, 2002
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Dominican Republic
I am looking to buy a cellphone that will have a total invoice of exactly $199 shipped through to EPS in Miami.

The online retailer is also including a gift of a cellphone battery charger-which will show a zero value on the invoice as a gift.

Will my package make it through Aduanas without any problem even with the gift-so long as the total on the invoice is $199?

Thanks.
Yes, it should, but they might ask for a copy of the payment of US$ 199 when they are in doubt about the value.
And even then they might just try to screw you (they are the experts) by telling you the cell-phone you bought is worth much more than US$ 199.....
Living here is an adventure...
 

jimmythegreek

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Dec 4, 2008
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Yes, it should, but they might ask for a copy of the payment of US$ 199 when they are in doubt about the value.
And even then they might just try to screw you (they are the experts) by telling you the cell-phone you bought is worth much more than US$ 199.....
Living here is an adventure...
I've already brought in two of these phones with invoices at exactly $199-so that is not a problem. The phone has a retail at $199-although the last one I brought in was a retail at $249 with $50 discount and it still sailed through Aduanas. My concern now is that they may try to claim that the gift at zero value can not pass through aduanas without some retail value and then the entire package would be over $200 resulting in a 21% tax on its entire value.
 

SKY

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Apr 11, 2004
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EPS seems to have a hook there. Things fly right through. Even things with no receipt. If it says 199 you are good.
 

jimmythegreek

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EPS seems to have a hook there. Things fly right through. Even things with no receipt. If it says 199 you are good.
Indeed-I've had only good luck with EPS-As long as the invoice is $199.99 or lower-never a problem-but don't go $200.00 or higher.
 

windeguy

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2004
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Would not be a problem with Encargopaq. I was also told that shipping by air has much less scrutiny than shipping by sea.

What the means is that sometimes even items that would be taxed if brought in by sea, they might not be taxed if brought in by air.
 

jimmythegreek

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Would not be a problem with Encargopaq. I was also told that shipping by air has much less scrutiny than shipping by sea.

What the means is that sometimes even items that would be taxed if brought in by sea, they might not be taxed if brought in by air.
Well I looked at the preliminary invoice and it states $218.99 Subtotal and -$19.99 "Discount for Gift 1" and then Grand Total: $199.00.

Somehow I imagine this is going to be a problem going though Aduanas-Once they see anything on the invoice above exactly $200.00-the problems begin en mass.
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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you might get the 'Christmas Special'..... no charges

Still, $199 is your total..... should work
Nothing is certain, however.
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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I think we have heard stories here about leniency at Christmas...... as I recall, but my recall.........????
 

AlterEgo

Administrator
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Jan 9, 2009
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Playa Najayo & South Jersey
I think we have heard stories here about leniency at Christmas...... as I recall, but my recall.........????
Yeah, join the club.

I know at the airport they just wave everyone through, TVs and all, but not sure about the couriers. According to the news you have to go to the courier and prove you're exempt. Probably depends on the courier, the time of day, where the sun is shining, if there is a full moon, etc.
 

Mauricio

Active member
Nov 18, 2002
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As said before: Most things send through EPS aren't opened by customs. EPS opens everything in Miami and customs receives it here but trusts the judgement of EPS.
 

rubio_higuey

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Feb 7, 2007
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Can you request the seller to accommodate the invoice and just place US$185 on it?
I received a $350 phone from China/Hong Kong with multiple gifts invoiced at US$180 + US$9.99 shipping for a total of US$189.99
Plus, I also uploaded the invoice to the website, before the package arrived. Apparently if the package is pre-notified they do not open them up and use your online invoice. You would need to be in bad luck for Aduana to select to inspect your package, see the invoice before/after applied discount and then decide to tax you.
Just make your invoice for US$199 and upload it.
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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Just make your invoice for US$199 and upload it.

Someone let the cat out of the bag..
 

Kipling333

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Jan 12, 2010
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I have purchased numerous articles with a total ranging from 195 to 199 and never had a problem..I use Vimenpaq and they always ask for a copy of the invoice as soon as the parcels reach the Miami depot
 

Cdn_Gringo

Well-known member
Apr 29, 2014
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Beware of the book

In the vast majority of cases for many items Aduanas doesn't seem to care. If the item and the stated value is reasonable, in most cases things sail right through. Commercial items with a declared value of $0 never mean $0 to customs. If they can identify the item, and if it is of significant value (a phone charger probably isn't), they'll look it up in "the book" and add the book price to your shipment.

For example a older used cell for $199 and a charger for $0 will probably work just fine. However a charger for $39.99 and an Galaxy S6 (which they will immediately recognize) for $0 undoubtedly will not.
 

beeza

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Nov 2, 2006
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Just make your invoice for US$199 and upload it.

Someone let the cat out of the bag..
Yup that's right Windy! Done it hundreds of times! A little bit of digital artistry and they will never know! I ordered a car radio head unit that had a value of over $600. I "doctored" the invoice to show that it was some cheap no brand unit from China worth less than $200. Bingo! No tax paid!
 

SKY

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When you buy from Ebay you can PM the seller and tell him you want an invoice for say $190. Almost every one of them will comply. No comply, no buy.

But it has to be something that is not obvious to Aduanas. Not too hard to find those items.