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How does EMS deliver shipments in your coutry?
  • I am asking because in Germay there are lot of complaints about their local German partner GDSK. I got a letter from GDSK that my shipment is stored at Frankfurt Airport customs and they will work on it for a handling fee of 30€. No matter that I have to pay customs or VAT but not extra fee for another parcel company. Did you buy sth which was shipped by EMS?

  • 15 Replies sorted by
  • This sounds a bit like Parcelforce in the UK. Regardless of how something was shipped in to the UK, if it attracts customs charges it seems to get put in a Parcelforce warehouse and you have to pay Parcelforce the customs charge, plus a fee to Parcelforce for storing the item and for making the payment! They seem to have an "in" to the UK gov't for charging / paying customs duties. A bit cheeky really, but it seems like your situation in Germany is very similar, and really you have no other choice than to pay this company if you want to eventually get your gear shipped to you.

  • @Mark_the_Harp thanks for your reply! I found out that you dont have to go with this parcel company. It is possile but quite complicated to do an online customs declaration and than they should have to deliver it for free. They brazen-faced take advantage of the situation that most people are worried and don't see how it works. I was wondering whether it was just by chance here in Germany or whether it's an EMS thing.

  • I regularly buy stuff from ebay that get shipped by EMS to the US, like GHx batteries. Never has there been any extra fees.

  • I had the same problem with EMS and GDSK. I'm also from Germany. Same with FedEx.

    As soon as you have to pay VAT they "offer" to handle the package for you and charge you twice (even as FedEx was already payed to deliver the package and no other company was involved). And they charge you a ridiculous amount of money: 15 EUR VAT + 12 EUR "handling" fee by FedEx or something like 50 EUR VAT + 35 EUR by GDSK. It nearly doubles every VAT payment.

    The only company I haven't had this problem was DHL, maybe because its a German company.

    But doing the VAT declaration yourselfe is not that hard, its just that this companys hide that option very well from customers.

  • So, DHL is best for Germany?

    How about TNT?

  • I don't know which one is best.

    In my limited experience FedEx is worst (they even lost one package IN the house I live!), GDSK is not good either. DHL seems ok. And I haven't tryed TNT yet.

    I'm "trying" USPS at the moment ;-)

    Best method is a company that delivers to Germany and has NO partner here. The VAT office will inform you about the package, you have to declare it by yourselfe (which is easy) directly to the VAT office and then they will send it to you by DHL/German Post with no extra charges (except VAT).

  • The VAT office will inform you about the package, you have to declare it by yourselfe (which is easy) directly to the VAT office

    Interesting, and why this guys can not use enclosed customs declaration and invoice?

  • Everyone seems to have different experiences, mine with DHL are not too bad either I get parcels from TNT very rarely.

    Interesting, and why this guys can not use enclosed customs declaration and invoice?

    they check whether it's matching to the payment - and in the meanwhile they have probably learned that the declaration in most cases is too low to safe custom's fee.

  • I have always found DHL to be more expensive than alternatives. No problems with EMS from U.S. to Korea ever. Landing in China, I had 4 EMS boxes arrive from Korea smashed in with holes. One box was so totalled they sent it along with a bag that held all of the contents. Don't think I'll be sending any camera stuff in the mail. FedEx has always been solid, but pricey.

  • @peaceonearth Here in the UK I've had a parcel from DHL and then been sent a separate bill for customs clearance. Not so much fun, but at least you get your stuff quickly.

    With EMS, and I've had it happen twice, where Customs has decided to step in, Parcelforce will (eventually) send you a letter with a request for customs fees, plus their other charges. It sucks really, because the letter delays things by another few days before you get to see your goods. But of course, they have your postal address but not your email address, so I can see how that happens, even if it's annoying and so last-century.

    Some companies (B&H in the US is one) have the option for you to pay customs costs upfront, which saves delays. That at least gives you the choice to pay more or gamble that you will get it cheaper. Of course, the suckiest thing is having to pay the fees and have your stuff delayed!

  • @Lincoln11 It's a bummer when that happens. I sent a record deck to someone who bought it off me on ebay. I packed it really well, padded inside a box which was then padded inside another box, and Parcelforce in the UK still wrecked it and then claimed I hadn't packed it properly. I later discovered the lorry carrying it had fallen off a bridge, so that would explain a lot. You can't totally guarantee that stuff won't get smashed, unless you pack it in a huge amount of padding and thus pay even more for sending it. So I'm always amazed when anything gets to me from somewhere far away, in anything like the same sort of shaped box it was sent in. I fully expect anything rectangular box sent by Parcelforce will arrive completely spherical - so the fact that EMS stuff sometimes goes to Parcelforce for customs clearance is an added worry.

  • @Mark_the_Harp The lorry fell off a bridge and they had the check to suggest it was damaged because you hadn't packed it properly! LMAO.

  • EMS is delivered by the Post Office here in the USA. I've tried to ship to other countries via UPS and FEDEX and some countries have "second carriers" that seem to subcontract from these other main carriers and they have asked for "handling" charges from the recipients, similar to what you are talking about.

  • The last EMS package I had sent to me was lost in customs by the USPS. Wish that it wasn't a $1200 lomo superspeed. Thanks for nothing US customs!

  • @Mark_the_Harp Yeah, now I know the deal from the locals. If you are going to ship to anywhere in China, ship it to Beijing or Shanghai first, if you have a friend that lives there. For some reason, perhaps the presence of so many foreigners, they tend to be a bit more professional with their handling. Then, they say local shipping is not so rough; who knew.