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I would like to participate in a giveaway a certain US-based company is doing right now. They are randomly selecting two recipients for a high-end (about USD 1200 in value) consumer-grade electronics product.

Now, I am living in Germany. Luckily, they have made it explicit that they will ship worldwide. Still I am unsure about any monetary risks I might face in the event that I win, e.g. import taxes and customs duties.

Would there likely be any taxes, customs duties or other payments required even though the actual product, albeit being of relatively high value, would be sent to me for free? How much would they be?

  • I don't think customs care about what you paid, but about the fair market value. Since it's brand new, you should probably expect to pay 19% VAT on that amount. – Rupert Morrish Jan 5 '18 at 0:53
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    This can be a scam. Do you know the US company. – Dheer Jan 5 '18 at 1:52
  • Well, gifts go tax free but only if they are worth less than 45€ or less than 700€ in some cases: zoll.de/DE/Privatpersonen/Postsendungen-Internetbestellungen/… So in your case expect to pay the full amount of tax and customs. – Sumyrda Jan 5 '18 at 8:50
  • @Dheer Thanks for the warning, but this is most definitely not a scam. The company in question is extremely well known in its area of expertise, exists since 6+ years and is valued at multiple millions of USD. – meyfa Jan 5 '18 at 9:46
  • @Sumyrda That link says it all. "Shipments from companies are not gifts". Thanks for the info. Feel free to turn that into an answer, just for completion's sake. – meyfa Jan 5 '18 at 9:49
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Well, gifts go tax free but only if they are worth less than 45€ or less than 700€ in some cases. Here is the link to the German customs website: http://www.zoll.de/DE/Privatpersonen/Postsendungen-Internetbestellungen/Sendungen-aus-einem-Nicht-EU-Staat/Zoll-und-Steuern/Geschenksendungen/geschenksendungen_node.html

But your shipment is worth over 700€ and shipments from companies never count as gifts. So in your case expect to pay the full amount of tax (19%) and customs (% depends on the type of good).

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