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Musical Instrument Sales in the EU and Great Britain Post Brexit


GeorgeH
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Thanks for the clarification!

Yes I was talking only of import VAT, since for now in our strange BREXIT limbo there are no customs tariffs between the UK and the EU - I'm sure this will change as we get closer to all-out warfare.

You are right about the confusion and backlog. I sent a very knackered 200 year old violin case to a friend in Cologne. The whole clearance process took 7 weeks, and I had to enter into philosophical discussion with German Customs about the fair market value of such an item. I claimed the value was whet I had bought it for at a flea market in Shepton Mallet (£20) - they asked for evidence of comparable sales. Unfortunately I couldn't find any sales records for wormy broken Georgian violin cases ... In the end I wore them down :lol:

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58 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Thanks for the clarification!

Yes I was talking only of import VAT, since for now in our strange BREXIT limbo there are no customs tariffs between the UK and the EU - I'm sure this will change as we get closer to all-out warfare.

You are right about the confusion and backlog. I sent a very knackered 200 year old violin case to a friend in Cologne. The whole clearance process took 7 weeks, and I had to enter into philosophical discussion with German Customs about the fair market value of such an item. I claimed the value was whet I had bought it for at a flea market in Shepton Mallet (£20) - they asked for evidence of comparable sales. Unfortunately I couldn't find any sales records for wormy broken Georgian violin cases ... In the end I wore them down :lol:

Were you able to read German, I would recommend the book “Geigengeschichten” from Albert Berr, which is a collection of anecdotes from a travelling violin dealer from the beginning of the 20th C. Starting from page 133 of my copy, he explains the situation in Istria from back then, known in Italian/Croat as “Dazio”, which would have had you foam at the mouth, would it happen to you today. It is on the one hand very funny, but on the other makes one realise that our percieved “progress” is simply propoganda.

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5 hours ago, martin swan said:

I had to enter into philosophical discussion with German Customs about the fair market value of such an item.

One thing to win the sympathy of German bureaucrats is to have a nice talk about something what's distracting them from their boring daily routine.B)

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It looks like London is still a good venue for antique instruments (5% VAT on Hammer price +20% VAT on commission) is not unreasonable for a UK buyer.  If you're outside the UK and EU you get the VAT refunded anyway whether London or Berlin, so it makes no difference, just the hassle of all the bureaucracy. 

For modern instruments and especially bows it makes sense to buy and sell within one market.

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4 hours ago, Grandini said:

It looks like London is still a good venue for antique instruments (5% VAT on Hammer price +20% VAT on commission) is not unreasonable for a UK buyer.  If you're outside the UK and EU you get the VAT refunded anyway whether London or Berlin, so it makes no difference, just the hassle of all the bureaucracy. 

For modern instruments and especially bows it makes sense to buy and sell within one market.

It's true that from the perspective of someone living in Switzerland very little has changed. Also for people from Asia, the US etc. The issues, such as they are, really only affect what was up until last year a seamless trading relationship between the UK and the other countries of the EU.

 

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On 10/16/2021 at 11:14 AM, Blank face said:

One thing to win the sympathy of German bureaucrats is to have a nice talk about something what's distracting them from their boring daily routine.B)

In the near future there may be fiddle carrying migrant farm workers to talk about. 

U.K can always try to find a friend with Canada and us, I mean U.S.  

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37 minutes ago, duane88 said:

I believe that his name was Luigi Tarisio...

A possible smart thing to do is for Luigi to send back what is already in mainland EU, fiddle wise speaking, to Scotland for example.  The load could qualify to be duty free until 2022 early, assuming I was reading Brexit wiki correctly.

But why move what is or was in London to say Germany?  None of my business really - just wondering.

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9 hours ago, uncle duke said:

But why move what is or was in London to say Germany?  None of my business really - just wondering.

It's easier for an EU buyer, it saves having to deal with customs, and paying potentially an extra 20% for VAT.  Same for UK buyers in London, except the UK has only 5% VAT on antiques.  

In some circumstances a UK buyer could get 19% VAT refunded from Germany and only pay 5% UK VAT.  It depends where the instrument originated

It also seems it's at least still possible to travel with an instrument UK/EU without difficulty.

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3 hours ago, Grandini said:

 

It also seems it's at least still possible to travel with an instrument UK/EU without difficulty.

If it's your own instrument and you can prove it, yes ...

If it's a purchase and you're bringing it home then you need to declare it and pay import VAT in your home country or bring it in as a temporary import if you plan to export it again. If it's to sell outside of your home country, you need to pay import VAT in the destination country. If it's to maybe sell or just to show, you need a carnet. If it's for repair, you need to import it under temporary admissions.

We should also clarify that if you are VAT registered and reclaim import VAT, legally you are required to sell the instrument plus VAT, not on a margin scheme.

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2 minutes ago, jandepora said:

What kind of documents could be useful in this situation?

I need to travel to UK to show Florian  a pair of instruments and I do not know what I need to travel there without problems.

thank you,.

If you want to play by the book you would need some kind of proof of purchase and you should declare the items by going through the red channel.

In practice I don't suppose many people would do this ...

 

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3 hours ago, Grandini said:

What I read online says that accompanied instruments for personal use do not need to be declared, but I haven't tried it post Brexit.  Let us know what you find out.

Switzerland Customs are notorious for confiscating "instruments for personal use" that have been bought outside Switzerland. I hope the UK doesn't go the same way :ph34r:

With its current agenda to become a neo-liberal tax haven playground for the rich and stupid, it seems unlikely!

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32 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Switzerland Customs are notorious for confiscating "instruments for personal use" that have been bought outside Switzerland. I hope the UK doesn't go the same way :ph34r:

With its current agenda to become a neo-liberal tax haven playground for the rich and stupid, it seems unlikely!

Interesting, I didn't know that about Switzerland. In my work we were mainly concerned about Russia or people accidentally taking CITES restricted items to the US.

I used to have to get lots of item passports from the Arts Council, but now they have really relaxed the temporary export of musical instruments since Brexit. They also no longer issue these passports either so we just produce our own instead and laminate them.

 

 

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Isn't there a story where Patricia Kopatchinskaja had a big problem leaving swizerland with her del Gesu?

 

Super confusing thread. If I buy an instrument (older than 100 years) from Austria in the UK like an auction I have to pay now 20% duty customs, did I understand that right? And if I buy from the US an instrument older than 100 years, then there is no duty for Austria?

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She was entering Switzerland, I believe. Didn't have the right paperwork, del Gesu confiscated (they gave it back later), 1000 Franc fine...

Austrian VAT will be the same if you buy from UK or US or anywhere outside the EU.  If you've paid any UK VAT the auction house will refund it on proof of export from UK. 

Import duty between UK and EU may not be charged, but duty is usually not very much anyway.

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