Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Horror Story: don't take a good fiddle through Germany


bean_fidhleir

Recommended Posts

So, a summary:

1. upon exit, fill out thte form Michael K. just pointed out, and show it again upon reentry

2. If the violinist had this beautiful violin in her posession before she immigrated into Belgium, she would not have been obliged to pay the taxes discussed, as the musical instrument is used as a toll for her profession (I've seen this on the german Zoll website also: tragbare musikalische Instrumente). However, she should have declared it anyway in order to have it registered and receive paperwork for future border crossings, which is what she seems to have forgotten?

3. If she acquired the violin after becomeing a resident of the EU, she should have payed the taxes for import.

One Question remains, and is, in connection with this case, hypothetical, but must be something that otherwise happens quite often. What if she had bought the violin from a private person within the EU? Then no official paperwork would have been involved at all. Would the paper Michael K. referred us to have been all she needed?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 81
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

So, a summary:

1. upon exit, fill out thte form Michael K. just pointed out, and show it again upon reentry

2. If the violinist had this beautiful violin in her posession before she immigrated into Belgium, she would not have been obliged to pay the taxes discussed, as the musical instrument is used as a toll for her profession (I've seen this on the german Zoll website also: tragbare musikalische Instrumente). However, she should have declared it anyway in order to have it registered and receive paperwork for future border crossings, which is what she seems to have forgotten?

3. If she acquired the violin after becomeing a resident of the EU, she should have payed the taxes for import.

One Question remains, and is, in connection with this case, hypothetical, but must be something that otherwise happens quite often. What if she had bought the violin from a private person within the EU? Then no official paperwork would have been involved at all. Would the paper Michael K. referred us to have been all she needed?

To your “remaining hypothetical question”;

Should she have bought the violin from a private EU person there would be no VAT, should she have bought it from a EU Shop/maker/dealer, VAT would have been included in the sales price. Since she wouldn`t be importing it, there would be no input VAT to pay at any border, which would be certified with Michael’s form.

To your point 2. It would have had to be declared at the time off moving her household to the EU (and shown to have been in her possesion for longer than a year)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jacob, yes, I was implying that there would be no vat by saying that there would be no paperwork. The question was how she could then,without any official paperwork proving that she bought the violin in the EU from a private person, travel legally with the instrument without having to be affraid of, upon reentry into the EU, being accused of importing a violin. Without paperwork this could not possibly be proven, could it. Would the document Michael K. made us aware of have been enough?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jacob, yes, I was implying that there would be no vat by saying that there would be no paperwork. The question was how she could then,without any official paperwork proving that she bought the violin in the EU from a private person, travel legally with the instrument without having to be affraid of, upon reentry into the EU, being accused of importing a violin. Without paperwork this could not possibly be proven, could it. Would the document Michael K. made us aware of have been enough?

I start to wonder if you have bought a Del Gesu for cash without any paperwork recently, I certainly havn’t. If you are not importing anything, there are no import duties, which seems reasonably straightforward too me. If you are traveling abroad and returning, Michael has described which paperwork would be appropriate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I post something a bid wrong here and on other forums.

You get in contact with the customs regular in the country of the final destiantion in the EU. But in the issue her it was different.

Ms. Horigome left the transit-aera on the Airport in Frankfurt because she was planing to stay one day in Frankfurt. And that was the reason why the german customs catched her. If she only changed the plans there she had to cross the customs in Belgium. But there are the same rules as in all other countrys.

On the street-borders there are no more passport and duty controls inside the EU. (Schengener Abkommen)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Agreement

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Seems the matter is now resolved amicably according to this report?

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/japanese-violinist-to-get-her-1-2-mil-guarnerius-back-from-german-customs

"German customs officials said Saturday that a $1.2 million violin seized from a Japanese professional musician over unpaid duty will be returned to her. Belgium-based Yuzuko Horigome will not have to pay any tariffs or penalties, customs officials said."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aren't they forgetting a few things?

1) 15 Years ago there was not a EU. So how could she pay her taxes to an EU that started to exist later?

2) Most importantly, Germany has a law that if you are making your living with a musical instrument you are exempt from paying taxes on that instrument.

NONSENSE

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RELIEF FROM IMPORT DUTY

The following, in particular, shall constitute "personal property":

Household provisions appropriate to normal family requirements, household pets and saddle animals, as well as the portable instruments of the applied or liberal arts, required by the person concerned for the pursuit of his trade or profession, shall also constitute "personal property". Personal property must not be such as might indicate, by its nature or quantity, that it is being imported for commercial reasons;

Just look here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32009R1186:EN:NOT

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RELIEF FROM IMPORT DUTY

The following, in particular, shall constitute "personal property":

Household provisions appropriate to normal family requirements, household pets and saddle animals, as well as the portable instruments of the applied or liberal arts, required by the person concerned for the pursuit of his trade or profession, shall also constitute "personal property". Personal property must not be such as might indicate, by its nature or quantity, that it is being imported for commercial reasons;

Just look here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32009R1186:EN:NOT

This case concerned import VAT, not import duties (Read Article 41 of your link!)

The Horigome case can only be discussed here in the conjunctive, since the salient details are not availiable. When importing an instrument to the EU there is input Vat to be payed, should you be caught evading it, you have to pay double. Should you move house too the EU, you have to declare your possesions, but not pay VAT. Straight forward, I think.

Re. your post #58, there is of course VAT to pay on the purchase of a violin (or a violin repair) within the EU.

Since the Customs officials had the reasonable suspicion that she was evading import VAT, because she walked through the "Nothing to Declare" gate without documents, they were absoulutly correct or rather obliged to confiscate the violin. Or should they say "all right darling, show us your proof next time" in your opinion?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fortunately there was a Europe before 15 years ago, there was even a European community 50 years ago... :mellow:

In any case Horigome has her violin back, and I guess this is all that matters as far as she is concerned.

What would also matter, would be that people would learn out of the incident. MellowCello seems grimmly determined to have his/her/it's cello confiscated, so that he/she/it can feel opressed by german customs though. A free world, I suppose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is official theft. Does this mean that from now on when I enter Germany I need papers for my Leicas and lenses? I've never heard of this sort of idiocy from the Germans before. Having lived there I do know that once the Germans get on something Ordnung muss sein and they go nutz with their rules and regulations. Right now they are starving Greece because of the mentality. I hope the lady gets her violin back without too much screaming a desk pounding (which you must unfortunately do in Germany to fight official stupidity).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is official theft. Does this mean that from now on when I enter Germany I need papers for my Leicas and lenses? I've never heard of this sort of idiocy from the Germans before. Having lived there I do know that once the Germans get on something Ordnung muss sein and they go nutz with their rules and regulations. Right now they are starving Greece because of the mentality. I hope the lady gets her violin back without too much screaming a desk pounding (which you must unfortunately do in Germany to fight official stupidity).

You haven't read this thread properly, have you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

What is this with Japanese connected instruments travelling through Germany?

Yet another instrument seized - and no mean fiddle - the 1736 Muntz!

http://www.timeslive...lin-demand-1.5m

The instrument pictured an even more famous fiddle in the news of late.

Strange video clip too which seems to be a pirated recording from somone seated 50 meters away....

(maybe by a German customs officer? <_< )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In this case all the papers are in order.

This is pure and simple theft at the highest level!!!

Just because some country demands 1.5 million for the return of an instrument does not make it right.

Legalized Theft!!!

Just because someone has the power to do something does not make it right.

http://www.thelocal.de/national/20121004-45357.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In this case all the papers are in order.

How do you know?

The details in the paper are sparce. It seems that a violinist who is resident of Germany has a violin that is resident of Japan and has neglected to carry a carnet. BTW the 19% will be Input VAT, not duty. Talk of theft or wrongdoing is abject rubbish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just carry a carnet. Right.

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/ATA_Carnet

http://www.uscib.org...documentID=1843

That may be fine if you're carrying a Strad, but most of us would find that solution extraordinarily expensive and cumbersome. In addition to generous fees and paperwork, the process includes submitting a detailed itinerary for the next year and posting a 40% bond.

On taking a 19th-century violin through Germany on vacation, I was once questioned about whether I intended to sell it in Europe. Fortunately, I had deliberately taken an instrument with not much value, and the official believed me, but this all leaves me with a very uneasy feeling about travel with an instrument. They seem to be seizing instruments with some frequency. Unless someone can assure me that customs officials only seize very expensive instruments (and can tell the difference), I have to assume that mine would be fair game.

The process of getting a seized instrument back apparently involves lawyers, submitting copious documentation (that I might not even have), lots of patience, and probably foreign travel. I'm rather appalled by the presumption of guilt by some Maestronet readers, and I have to assume that some customs officials would react similarly. For most of us, retrieving an instrument from abroad could well be prohibitively difficult, expensive, or impossible. In addition to tax questions, the traveling musician has the potential problem of proving that instruments and bows do not contain illegal wood or ivory. I have no such proof. No thanks, I think I won't be traveling with instruments any time soon.

It's a real shame that sometimes it's necessary to travel with an instrument. On one occasion in the past I traveled with a unique and valuable (nonmusical) object. I took special care to get a U.S. customs certificate in advance, but ultimately I had little confidence that it would be acceptable or accepted as proof. One can attempt to obtain paperwork in advance, but there's no assurance that it will be accepted. Never again if I can avoid it.

I note that in all three cases that we have discussed, valuable instruments were seized and later returned after considerable expense, or are likely to be returned. I don't know what the solution is, but hassling traveling musicians doesn't seem like a solution to anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 years later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...