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Jan 2 14 3:31 PM

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Anyone that imports Blu-rays/DVDs into the U.K. or Germany or anywhere else that has a very low import allowance threshold will know how frustrating it is to have to pay an often very large additional sum for your disc once it reaches the border control. In my country (U.K.), any Blu-rays/DVDs coming from outside the EU that have a customs declared value of more than £15 ($25) will be subject to a 20% levy plus an additional £8 ($13) handling fee from Royal Mail. 

The reason I bring this up is because of the hidden cost that may face international backers. If AnimEigo declare a person's Kickstarter pledge amount as the "value" of the package's contents, we could be in for some hefty fees indeed. Even the $60 for the basic option would result in an additional $25 charge. 

But, it would not be false to say that the real "value" of the Blu-ray is in fact, nothing. The money that I have given to AnimEigo was in support of the Kickstarter, not a transaction for goods. It's not like this Blu-ray has an MSRP! The fact I'm receiving a copy of the Blu-ray is more of a gift from AnimEigo for my pledge.

So, can AnimEigo confirm that when they ship the Blu-ray out to international backers, they will declare its value as $0 (or if necessary, an arbitrarily low sum, such as $5)? This would be much appreciated by all facing such charges, and as far as I am aware is not contrary to any customs/shipping laws in the U.S. 

Last Edited By: EddieLarkin Jan 2 14 8:19 PM. Edited 1 time

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#1 [url]

Jan 3 14 12:19 PM

We will take reasonable steps to minimize customs issues for international customers but we are not going to do something that has the potential to get us in hot water with the Post Office. I will need to consult with my local Post Office folks in order to determine the appropriate value to place on the packages.

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#2 [url]

Jan 3 14 12:39 PM

Of course, no one would expect you to risk getting in trouble over it. I only bring it up because this is a unique situation. As far as I am aware, because the set has not been "sold" to anyone, its "value" is basically what you decide it is. 

Anyway, thanks for responding and I hope all goes well when you look into this issue.

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#6 [url]

Jan 4 14 7:21 AM

But I didn't buy the set, I donated money to get it made for X amount.
Say, if someone donated $1000 for the Boomer cel and the BD set, would you declare the package as $1000?
No you wouldn't, because that isn't the actual cost of the items.

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#7 [url]

Jan 4 14 9:57 AM

Perhaps using the minimum donation at which one gets a physical set seems optimal, at least for the minumum value. I believe that was $40 for the early adopters.
Sadly import taxes are something we'll have to live with.

In Germany we pay about 17,5% import taxes. Items up to 45€ are free of charge, if they are gifts from private persons, and bought items up to 22€ are free of charge.

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#8 [url]

Jan 4 14 5:48 PM

Say, if someone donated $1000 for the Boomer cel and the BD set, would you declare the package as $1000?No you wouldn't, because that isn't the actual cost of the items.

I think technically that's exactly what you're supposed to do. Since you had to pay ("donate") at least $1000 to get that particular cel, that makes it a pretty clear purchase of goods, and arguing that it's a donation is probably not going to fly. Otherwise you could buy a vintage collector's item from eBay for $1000 and then argue that $995 of that was a donation to the seller because you were so happy to finally find it, and the value of the actual goods $5 because that's what it cost when it was originally available for purchase 40 years ago.

But yeah it's a bit ridiculous and it's not like anyone's ever going to check. A $40 value is reasonable for the set since that's the minimum you had to pay to get it.

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#9 [url]

Jan 4 14 6:12 PM

But yeah it's a bit ridiculous and it's not like anyone's ever going to check. A $40 value is reasonable for the set since that's the minimum you had to pay to get it.

It may make the most sense, but it'll still result in hefty fees for hundreds of international backers, generating thousands of dollars that AnimEigo will never see.

How to officially value an item for export is described here:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/19/1401a

...do we have any lawyers here?

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#10 [url]

Jan 4 14 9:35 PM

EddieLarkin wrote:
But yeah it's a bit ridiculous and it's not like anyone's ever going to check. A $40 value is reasonable for the set since that's the minimum you had to pay to get it.

It may make the most sense, but it'll still result in hefty fees for hundreds of international backers, generating thousands of dollars that AnimEigo will never see.

How to officially value an item for export is described here:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/19/1401a

...do we have any lawyers here?

Everybody will have to check the customs declaration for their own country, I think it is likely that not all countries will handle the same items equally. And, at least in my experience with German customs, they will check items at random or if they seem suspiciously priced. And yes they do have internet access that they use to lookup things.

The fees for a $40 (30€) item aren't too high.

I'm not sure what you mean exactly with money that animeigo will not see. It's not as if the customs charges are deducted from what they will receive via kickstarter.
If you mean people jumping off at the last minute, then I'm sure they thought that through before investing 4-digit figures into international stores.

Last Edited By: Deruji Jan 4 14 9:39 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#11 [url]

Jan 4 14 9:58 PM

But again, Kickstarter isn't a store. You don't buy stuff, you donate money to fundraisers and get rewards depending on how much you donated.
When Production IG sent me the Blu-ray for Kick-Heart (via Right Stuf), it wasn't valued $70 despite the fact I donated $70.

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#12 [url]

Jan 5 14 4:56 AM

Like I said, guys, it's complex: clearly, someone buying one of the cels (or the poster, and arguably, the Premium set -- especially if most of the premium budget got allocated to stuff that everyone got) is paying a premium to help the project over the real value of the goods. It would be unreasonable to mark his package -- with the exact same contents -- higher than another person who is getting the exact same thing.

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