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Taxes and VAT of EU citizens


Customer Service


I don't know much about other countries in the EU, but living in Denmark, it can be pretty expensive to buy stuff at Paizo.

In Denmark, there is a rule that if a package shipped from outside of EU, cost more than DKR 80 (approx $17) including the shipping price, we have to pay VAT (no taxes are needed from Paizo).

Now, I don't mind paying the VAT, it is me who is living in Denmark. However, the Danish Postal Service have a monopoly on checking through international shippings, adding VAT. For that, they are allowed to add an amount they judge to be the cost for them. For that they charge DKR 150 (approx $32).

As an example, I order a Pathfinder module, $14, pays for shipping $6, and ends up with a $20 payment. Then it arrives to Denmark, a $5 is added for VAT, and a $32 for handling the VAT, for at total of $57.

Now my problem isn't as much the $57, as it is the feeling I am feeding a monopoly, who thanks to me feeding them, will do everything they can to stay on that monopoly, and claim that it is reasonably that they charge a $32 times 12, $384 for handling 12 packages of mine, that I have already paid $6 times 12, $72 to be handled.

At the moment, it seems that more and more packages are getting caught by the postal service, eg. they are figuring out that they are sitting on a gold mine. I would believe that in 6-12 months, they are adding VAT to all packages from Paizo to Denmark.

My guess is that you are going to loose most of your Danish customers who are buying directly from Paizo.com.

Would it be possible for you to somehow set up a European office, where say, when a package is ready to ship for the EU, you bundle it with all packages for the EU, you pay the VAT (which you of course have added to our orders), and then you resend the packages as they arrive inside the EU?

If that isn't possible, at least I have let you know what the reason is, should you start to loose Danish customers (whom there probably aint that many of anyways).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Selsted wrote:

I don't know much about other countries in the EU, but living in Denmark, it can be pretty expensive to buy stuff at Paizo.

In Denmark, there is a rule that if a package shipped from outside of EU, cost more than DKR 80 (approx $17) including the shipping price, we have to pay VAT (no taxes are needed from Paizo).

Now, I don't mind paying the VAT, it is me who is living in Denmark. However, the Danish Postal Service have a monopoly on checking through international shippings, adding VAT. For that, they are allowed to add an amount they judge to be the cost for them. For that they charge DKR 150 (approx $32).

As an example, I order a Pathfinder module, $14, pays for shipping $6, and ends up with a $20 payment. Then it arrives to Denmark, a $5 is added for VAT, and a $32 for handling the VAT, for at total of $57.

Now my problem isn't as much the $57, as it is the feeling I am feeding a monopoly, who thanks to me feeding them, will do everything they can to stay on that monopoly, and claim that it is reasonably that they charge a $32 times 12, $384 for handling 12 packages of mine, that I have already paid $6 times 12, $72 to be handled.

At the moment, it seems that more and more packages are getting caught by the postal service, eg. they are figuring out that they are sitting on a gold mine. I would believe that in 6-12 months, they are adding VAT to all packages from Paizo to Denmark.

My guess is that you are going to loose most of your Danish customers who are buying directly from Paizo.com.

Would it be possible for you to somehow set up a European office, where say, when a package is ready to ship for the EU, you bundle it with all packages for the EU, you pay the VAT (which you of course have added to our orders), and then you resend the packages as they arrive inside the EU?

If that isn't possible, at least I have let you know what the reason is, should you start to loose Danish customers (whom there probably aint that many of anyways).

Another Dane here. So far I've only had one package snagged by the Postal Service, however I was also left flabbergasted by the fact that I had to pay those $32 just to be allowed to pay my $6 VAT and get my package.

However, I think the only thing Paizo can do (besides your suggestion, which I'm afraid don't think is possible - if it were, though, it would also set up the possibility for customers to pay with VISA Electron cards) is to either not print the price of what's in the packages on the address label or put them consistently at the same price (below the $17 mark, shipping included).

Andoran

I am from Denmark too. So far (because of the low dollar) the pathfinder sunbscription has been below the $17 limit.

My biggest concern is the Beta Release, which could end up costing me $72. And that is simply too much, even with the low dollar.

I don't have any problems with the VAT either. Its the ridiculous $32 fee.

Packages shipped from the EU however is not subject to VAT and therefore the fee. So if Paizo could ship to its EU customers from the EU, it would be happy times :)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

GentleGiant wrote:
However, I think the only thing Paizo can do (besides your suggestion, which I'm afraid don't think is possible - if it were, though, it would also set up the possibility for customers to pay with VISA Electron cards) is to either not print the price of what's in the packages on the address label or put them consistently at the same price (below the $17 mark, shipping included).

As you surmise, a European office isn't in the cards anytime soon, even as just a remailer. (Keep in mind that even if we did set up such a remailer inside the EU, *they'd* have to pay customs duties on the product as well.)

As for your other suggestion, misrepresenting package contents and values to avoid customs fees would be illegal.

Andoran

Vic Wertz wrote:


(Keep in mind that even if we did set up such a remailer inside the EU, *they'd* have to pay customs duties on the product as well.)

Its not the duties that is the problem, its the fee you have to pay in order to pay the duties. And that fee would be gone with a remailer.


The remailer system would have its own cost, even if it probably wouldn't come to $32 per shipment.

Honestly though, that sounds like a problem you'd want to take care of at the root rather than address just one of the symptoms. Can't you try to get the interest of whichever politician has the post under his jurisdiction? This can't be affecting just Paizo customers, after all.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

It sounds as if it would be cheaper for you to buy the pathfinder books from a local game store and have it shipped to you (even a game store that is outside Denmark but inside the EU). Depending on how important it is for you to get the PDFs, you could get those seperately through Paizo.

Living in the Netherlands, I can think of at least one game store that would be glad to have your business.

Bummer your postal system is so outdated :)


We have a similar situation in the UK, albeit with a few notable differences. Here, the cutoff point for import duty/VAT is £18 (about $36) at the moment, and the "handling charge" is £8/$16. I thought that was bad enough, but your $32 added charge is outrageous! The main difference here in the UK, though, is that books are not subject to VAT. As most of the Paizo stuff I buy (including all of my subscriptions) are classified by Paizo as books, they never get charged. I only have to be careful about order sizes when I'm ordering flipmats and the like. Sounds like you guys are getting squeezed by your postal service - those levels and charges are unreasonably restrictive. But, like you say, you're in a monopoly. Bummer.


That is really outragous. Sometimes my packages were caught by german customs (usually some D&D books I bought via Amazon Marketplace) when they were not properly labeled. And then the taxes were too low to be even collected (less than 5 Eu), the only annoying thing was to go an pick them up at the custom's office.
As proposed, you should buy your pathfinders at european retailers (amazon.co.uk, amazon.de, amazon.fr), although you might have to wait longer than with the subscription. If you want the pdf and can expect that every package is taxed, than you could easily buy the pdf directly at Paizo in addition to the print version (14$ in comparison to 32$) and would still be better of.
Another thing which might make you happy, but you would have to inquire on it: the limit for pakcages from outside the EU taxed will be raised from now 22Eu to 120Eu (not entirely sure about the numbers) within this year, accounting for the increased international trade, especially with electronics. Normally this should be a EU wide thing, as otherwise it would not make sense (importing things to the eg. Germany for free and then to Denmark for free instead of directly to Denmark for a hefty fee).
I hope you can manage to continue your Pathfinder, and will be glad to assist you with a Curse spell onto some of those greedy mail agency manangers ;-)

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Can you avoid all these taxes and fees through UPS or DHL?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Andrew Turner wrote:
Can you avoid all these taxes and fees through UPS or DHL?

Usually not. I had a nasty experience when someone sent us a wedding gift through DHL. We ended up having to pick up the package and pay almost as much VAT and handling charge as the product was worth.

It may be worth a try, though. I cannot imagine they charge 150 DK for something like that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I thought I would bump this thread and ask again if there was anything new planned about a European remailer?

My experience is similar to those described above: I'm in Belgium and each time I got a package from Paizo, I had to pay an extra fee of 10 Euros. At this point, this extra tax is more or less the only thing that stands between me and a full Pathfinder subscription.

I seem to remember reading that Intrafin (your distributor in Belgium) organizes remailing services, though I do not know the details.

Keep up the good work, and thanks for perhaps considering exploring new options for 2009? :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Some of us remember the absolute disaster that was the last year of the remailer service for Dragon and Dungeon.

The Place For Games (a UK company) were responsible for delivery of all subscription copies in Europe - and were completely useless. If you go back far enough in the forums I imagine you'll find the hundreds of irate threads about it.

I think Paizo in the end had to contract somebody else to go in a van and collect months worth of issues from TPFG to then be remailed. I doubt it's an experience tehy (or we) really want to repeat.

Osirion

On a little tangant, I am lucky here in Australia that they do not charge custom duties on items from the US unless it is more than 250 dollars excluding postage. Even then they do not always charge you.

There are limited retailers here as there are a handful of gaming wholesalers and they appear to charge an arm and a leg. It is usually cheaper for me to order and import stuff in than buy here and thanks to Australia/US relations it is easy.

Maybe you all can move down here? :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules Subscriber
crazy_cat wrote:

Some of us remember the absolute disaster that was the last year of the remailer service for Dragon and Dungeon.

The Place For Games (a UK company) were responsible for delivery of all subscription copies in Europe - and were completely useless. If you go back far enough in the forums I imagine you'll find the hundreds of irate threads about it.

I think Paizo in the end had to contract somebody else to go in a van and collect months worth of issues from TPFG to then be remailed. I doubt it's an experience tehy (or we) really want to repeat.

Yeah, awful memories with several issues getting lost in the process having to be remailed by paizo directly (thanks again for the trouble paizo took upon them back then).

Strangely enough, I never had any trouble with customs or post offices for all the paizo packages, besides having to pick them up at the ost office. Several had been opened by customs, but that´s all.

Stefan

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

As a Danish superscriber to Paizo's products, I'm always forced to pay the extra fee whenever I receive a package from Paizo, and I've stopped counting the times I've cursed the Danish Postal Service and wished them (them being the boss dudes, not the man on the floor) all kinds of unpleasantness. I could just unsubscribe to some of the products, but I'd rather not see that happen. If the fee continues, I'll probably be forced to. :(


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I vaguely remember reading something like that about the old magazines, yes. While I can understand that this kind of experience would make people more cautious, maybe it's better not to completely discard the idea just because of one bad experience? I would think (hope?) that most remailers are serious about their business.

(If they get a deal with their Belgian distributor and things don't work out, I can easily get a van to go and get the books ... that's the advantage of living in a tiny country!)

Andoran

Dalvyn wrote:
'm in Belgium and each time I got a package from Paizo, I had to pay an extra fee of 10 Euros.

In Denmark the administration fee just for APPLYING the tax and vat is 20 euro these days :-((((((

Masika wrote:
On a little tangant, I am lucky here in Australia that they do not charge custom duties on items from the US unless it is more than 250 dollars excluding postage. Even then they do not always charge you.

In Denmark that amount is about 15 dollars and sometimes they seem to include postage. And these days almost every package gets picked up by the custom duties... It is getting VERY expensive to have a subscription.

Osirion

I am a supersubscriber and in Australia we get charged nothing in custom duties or taxes.

In fact the S&H cost for my subscriptions appear to lower compare to shopping online so I can not complain at all.

Migrate to Australia!!! :)

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Masika wrote:

I am a supersubscriber and in Australia we get charged nothing in custom duties or taxes.

In fact the S&H cost for my subscriptions appear to lower compare to shopping online so I can not complain at all.

Migrate to Australia!!! :)

Since this thread started (possibly because of this thread), Paizo started refunding part of international shipping... to the point that they loose some profit by charging less than the actual shipping price IIRC.


And I love them for it, though I'd buy from here anyway. It's the quality I buy here for more than anything else. Also, Ireland is scant on paizo products.

Cheliax

vagrant-poet wrote:
And I love them for it, though I'd buy from here anyway. It's the quality I buy here for more than anything else. Also, Ireland is scant on paizo products.

I'm glad the UK doesn't charge VAT on books, maybe we could push that Europe-wide? :)

I am starting to not like the £1 administration fee my bank charges for every international transaction.....I'm considering opening an account with a different bank, just for Paizo, it would save me the cost of a couple of modules.....

Andoran

Gotta pay for all that "free" healthcare somehow, ya know ;)

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:
Gotta pay for all that "free" healthcare somehow, ya know ;)

No,that's paid for by general taxes, this is a separate problem. But don't let complete ignorance on the topic stop you from speaking up. You are American after all, so we expect that sort of thing from you bloody Colonials. ;-)

Andoran

Paul Watson wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Gotta pay for all that "free" healthcare somehow, ya know ;)
No,that's paid for by general taxes, this is a separate problem. But don't let complete ignorance on the topic stop you from speaking up. You are American after all, so we expect that sort of thing from you bloody Colonials. ;-)

You ever seen Government bookkeeping? I've handled $100 millions accounts for our Dept. of Homeland Security, govt. money isn't as separated as a lot of people think ;)

Taldor

I had one package confiscated by customs once, probably because it was metal minis.

I had to pay VAT and customs tax, which was not all that bad.

The real problem, was that I had no clue it had happened until I received a shabby little slip of paper telling me I was fined and had to pay.

Presumably, if I had not been home at the time they delivered the paper, they would just have thrown it away. I wonder if this is what happened to my two latest orders...

Still, that is an acceptable risk ...

Especially since VAT for books in France is only 5.5 % so the amount of the fine is pretty light.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Dalvyn wrote:
I vaguely remember reading something like that about the old magazines, yes. While I can understand that this kind of experience would make people more cautious, maybe it's better not to completely discard the idea just because of one bad experience? I would think (hope?) that most remailers are serious about their business.

Actually, we had bad experiences with two remailers—the one we inherited when we took over the magazines from Wizards was nightmare as well, and the reason why we switched to the one that caused problems towards the end of the magazines.

The bottom line is that introducing another company into the chain is a risky proposition. It adds complication and cost to our systems, and in the end, you may just be trading one problem for another. Worst of all, when customers do have problems, we're often placed in a position where we have little ability to solve those problems in an expedient fashion, yet we're the ones who pay the cost—literally and figuratively—for providing poor service to our customers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Ah well ... that's too bad.

If you find a satisfying solution to this, or are willing to take a bet on the riskier "remailing" option, make sure to announce it loud and clear! In the meantime, I'll stick to visiting my not-so-local shop to benefit from your products.

Thanks for taking the time to answer!


Well I want to buy the two The Gamers dvd's for my boyfriend for his birthday, but reading what others wrote, it just doesn't seem worth the money. How much would I end up paying?
And does anyone know a store where you can buy the dvd's in Denmark or at least i EU?

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