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Item stuck in customs for 6 weeks

  • 27-08-2021 8:30am
    Posts: 61 ✭✭

    I bought a couple of tennis rackets from Sports Direct (a UK business). It has been with Fastway Couriers for 6 weeks and they are saying there is a delay with customs.

    Sports Direct is not offering me a refund or replacement.

    At this point I don't want to wait an unknown amount of time and just want my money back.

    What are my options here?



  • Registered Users Posts: 415 ✭✭andrewfaulk

    It's actually Fastway who file the customs entry to clear the goods into Ireland, they act as an agent on your shippers behalf.. But have heard that Fastway just can't handle the volumes of shipments needing clearance since the change of rules on 1st July..

    I would ask Sports direct for a full refund, this is perfectly within your rights as they booked with Fastway, who aren't able to fulfil your order..

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    Nothing you can do. Britain is not in the EU, so your legal rights are effectively feck all.

    I thought sports direct precleared and sold including Irish vat.

    But if not, expect a bill for close to 30% of the cost for vat and duty.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,152 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    Customs seem to be handling the volume as other carriers are delivering without delay.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,152 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    And you accepted that excuse? I've had numerous deliveries every week without a single customs delay. All breezed through. One UPS delivery was a day late recently as the address was skewways but that was about it. Blaming customs is an easy out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,152 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    That's not what I said. I replied to a post saying Revenue were swamped and unable to deal with the volume. That is evidently not true. Couriers may be delaying delivery (hence why I will not use certain couriers) but there is very little held up by Revenue or Customs is the paperwork is correct.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 415 ✭✭andrewfaulk

    I’m getting responses from customs in 3mins all last week as usual.. Very little staff involvement on the revenue side unless your shipment is flagged for exam

  • Posts: 61 ✭✭[Deleted User]

    50 days now waiting for customs clearance for a couple of tennis rackets from Sports Direct UK / Fastway.

    I requested a refund but Sports Direct are not going for that as "the package might arrive tomorrow for all we know".

    I wasn't contacted to pay import duties by Fastway so at this stage I can't get any specific advice / information or next steps from either the UK retailer or the courier.

  • Registered Users Posts: 377 ✭✭Saudades

    I'd get back onto Fastway and ask them to declare the package lost to Sports Direct.

  • Posts: 61 ✭✭[Deleted User]

    They haven't lost it, they are saying it is "waiting to clear customs". 50+ days.

  • Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭mct1

    Something similar happened to me recently - Fastway and a UK business. After 4 weeks I contacted the business and they said to wait a further 2 weeks and if it hadn't arrived they would investigate the matter. In fact tracking said it was "with the carrier" for 3 weeks - so I knew Fastway had it but they didn't respond to my three emails (no surprise there). Today after 5 weeks 5 days it arrived!

    Firstly I wouldn't believe a word Fastway said. Did Sports Direct send you a tracking link? If not, rather than ask for a refund/replacement can you ask them nicely to investigate? Or ask how long more before they will investigate the matter or declare it lost. There has to be some kind of time limit on delivery.

    Worth a try.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Have a look at the thread on An Post returning packages from outside the EU in Online Buying and Auctions.

    Thousands of packages and parcels from UK, US, Japan, and other non-eu countries are being returned to sender without the recipient even being informed - sometimes even after Customs have collected VAT owed!

    Some of these packages are waiting weeks for a spot on a plane or freight to be returned.

    Its a complete and utter ****-show.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,046 ✭✭✭silver2020

    I've two packages coming from China with UPS from established B2B suppliers who I've dealt with for years and well over €1,000 in value, so always needed taric codes and full clearance. Usually it clears customs automatically, but both have been selected for inspection.

    They arrived in Dublin on Sept 1st and I'm told it can take a further 10-14 days due to a backlog in customs. I reordered from one supplier on Monday and chose Fedex as carrier as I need the goods next week (we order every couple few months, so delayed goods will be used) and the new package cleared this morning and out for delivery today.

    So it can be pot luck and seems the customs inspection team is substantially understaffed. But very frustrating

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,472 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    Contact customs directly with the shipping references. Ask them straight why they have put a hold on it.. what would be required to release the shipment for delivery and who needs to provide it.

    they will say along the lines of...

    paperwork issue, import duty owed, no commercial invoice etc....

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Not if Fastway didn't send the correct customs information.

  • Registered Users Posts: 415 ✭✭andrewfaulk

    A shipping ref means nothing to customs, they will just ask for the MRN from the customs entry and it might not even be flagged for inspection at Revenues behest..

    Goods could be flagged for inspection for numerous reasons.. It depends on the goods but could be one of about 4 or 5 different sections of the Dept of Ag, HSE environmental health or customs themselves..

    The declarant(UPS) will deal with all of these as part of the customs clearance process, but it can be a slow process!

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,751 Mod ✭✭✭✭whiterebel

    Sports Direct have a .ie website where they are supposed to pay VAT and duty on your behalf. They would need to be for the price of their tennis gear.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    ”Customs” probably refers to the courier’s own customs agents, as Revenue do not individually clear each item. They just keep a general oversight on it and ensure systems are in place and might do the odd spot check. It’s the carriers themselves who do the clearing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    They will select items randomly for full examination.

    I have a DHL package from USA that is in customs clearance for over two weeks. Delays are crazy

    Package has all the correct details and I take goods from the company regularly for many years.

    I sincerely hope I'm not waiting 6 weeks

  • Posts: 61 ✭✭[Deleted User]

    When I google contact customs it says to use Revenue MyEnquiries. Did you do this?

  • Posts: 61 ✭✭[Deleted User]

    The terms state the contract is with a UK company.

    VAT law requires them to charge Irish VAT but that is not the same thing as import duties which they are not obligated to charge from what I understand.

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  • Posts: 61 ✭✭[Deleted User]

    If the carriers themselves do the clearing what would it mean exactly when Fastway tell me after 50 days that they are waiting for "customs clearance"?

    Someone has to take an action for my package to arrive, what would that action be? Thanks.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,751 Mod ✭✭✭✭whiterebel

    From their "Irish"website: "If you order from us from outside the EU, there might be import duties and taxes to pay to get your parcel. These charges are usually levied when the order reaches the delivery address and you will be responsible for the payment of those." I have ordered from them this year and all charges were paid by them.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    You’re ordering from inside the EU though?

  • Registered Users Posts: 204 ✭✭Hallaz

    Regardless of what the tracking is saying I would call and ask below

    What location depot are the goods currently in?

    Is it going through export customs or import customs procedure?

    Have Fastway entered the shipment into Customs or are they using another company to do it on their behalf?

    If so what is the customs entry number? The number should look like 21IEDUB4004xxxxxxx and have an entry date.

    If they have this number it can have several routing, ifs its Orange, its usually document check by Revenue,  If RED its usually a physical check by Revenue

    (if at this stage it should not be held so long by customs, certainly not 50 days)

    If Fastway do not have a customs entry number it is likely not have been entered to customs yet.

    If so Fastway should advise you why they have not entered it and what is the delay ie are they awaiting more details from shipper’s side?

    To note above is based on larger shipments coming in, I think couriers can mass declared goods differently but I’m not 100% sure.

  • Posts: 61 ✭✭[Deleted User]

    I don't expect the have to pay import duties beyond what I have already paid when ordering.

    A .ie website doesn't mean you are buying from an Irish business and you should check the terms and conditions on the website when ordering and the address I ordered from is which is actually a .com website with a .ie subdomain - they could have anything they want instead of the .ie when it is structured like that.

  • Posts: 61 ✭✭[Deleted User]

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Yeah but their .ie website says

    If you order from us from outside the EU, there might be import duties and taxes to pay to get your parcel. These charges are usually levied when the order reaches the delivery address and you will be responsible for the payment of those." I have ordered from them this year and all charges were paid by them.”

    So I assume that might apply if you’re ordering something to the U.K. or other non-EU address from their Irish website?

    I’ve ordered from ASOS Ireland website for example and the items came from the continent, not the U.K.

    A lot of those brands have big continental operations too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    From what I can find out Sports Direct are fully registered here for vat and duty and the goods are fully pre-cleared. So the excuse that they have been held up by customs is exactly that - an excuse.

    Even if the package was selected for examination, it would be here now (I got a USA package caught for examination and it finally was delivered Friday)

    I'd be firm with SD and say that after waiting 7 weeks and the fact that all your deliveries to Ireland are precleared and do not need to go through an individual customs process, you would like a refund as it has not been delivered. If they cannot confirm the refund within 3 days you will commence a chargeback process with the card company.

    Send this on Monday and start the chargeback on Thursday