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Subject   (reply to 425508)
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>> No. 425508 Anonymous
30th March 2019
Saturday 10:00 am
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This might well be a daft question but, if I flew to Japan, bought a bike there, stuck it in a bike bag as my luggage and flew it back here, am I supposed to declare that? It'd be taxed if I had it delivered, so I assume so. But would they notice? Would anyone figure out I'd just bought the bike over there and hadn't just been returning with my own bike? It'd be hard to prove either way which country I bought it in as it'd be second hand anyway.
Expand all images.
>> No. 425509 Anonymous
30th March 2019
Saturday 10:12 am
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Honestly think it's just down to luck and I wouldn't declare anything. The amount of times I've flown back into this country and there's been no employees asking or checking about declaring items has outweighed the times I've seen them actually stopping and asking people.
>> No. 425510 Anonymous
30th March 2019
Saturday 11:13 am
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Just buy the bike online and have the seller declare it as a gift.
>> No. 425512 Anonymous
30th March 2019
Saturday 12:07 pm
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So are we talking a motorbike or an actual bicycle?

I'm not sure how much import duty for a Japanese bicycle is, but surely it isn't going to be enough to make physically going to Japan yourself and collecting it a worthwhile option.

Also, they're really on their toes at Heathrow. A friend of mine used to travel to Australia regularly for business and during one layover en route to Sydney, he commissioned a tailor in Singapore to make two silk suits for him, which he then collected on his way back to England two weeks later.

Long story short, he had to pay £300 import duty at Heathrow. They said it didn't matter that the suits were custom made and of no distinct brand name. They had an expert there for that sort of thing who valued the suits at around £800 each, I believe.

Still a good deal for my friend. Singapore suit tailors appear to be impressively good value, because my friend said he barely paid £500 for both of them. He showed the suits to me, they look every bit as good as the finest Armani suits I have seen.
>> No. 425513 Anonymous
30th March 2019
Saturday 12:16 pm
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I've order stuff regulary from Japan and import tax has never been that much. Unless we know how much this bike will cost it always seems better to just get it shipped.
>> No. 425515 Anonymous
30th March 2019
Saturday 12:27 pm
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How did they even find out about the suits?
>> No. 425518 Anonymous
30th March 2019
Saturday 1:15 pm
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Actual bicycle. It'll be worth about a grand and a half as a whole bike. I know from others who have had frames shipped over that the duty will only be a couple of hundred quid, and you sometimes go under the radar if you're lucky. So I'm not really that worried, more curious. I'm going to Japan anyway and would have rented a bike while there too, so I just thought I might as well buy and build up something I've wanted for years to use for the trip and then lug it home.

The luggage cost is still cheaper than the delivery would be, even if I do end up getting collared by an NJS expert on the way home I'll be saving about fifty quid. But it'd be nice to not have to pay duty - and I believe VAT - on a second hand bicycle. I had sort of assumed nobody would notice, that they'd think I was just travelling with a bike - the girlfriend does this a lot and nobody's ever accused her of importing hers. People must do that all the time, right?

Like I say the import fees won't put me off the whole endeavour, but saving a couple of quid and/or defrauding the state is always nice.
>> No. 425519 Anonymous
30th March 2019
Saturday 2:01 pm
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Through various means, they'll know that you didn't have one when you left.
>> No. 425522 Anonymous
30th March 2019
Saturday 2:16 pm
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So if I bought an old knackered bike for twenty quid and carried that over, then dumped it in a canal and replaced it with the new bike, I'd get away with it?

The perfect crime.
>> No. 425523 Anonymous
30th March 2019
Saturday 2:21 pm
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You'll be charged VAT and duty if customs reasonably believe that you're importing goods rather than re-importing your own belongings. A Japanese bicycle frame in your suitcase will probably attract import charges if it's spotted by customs; a fully built bicycle in a bike bag probably won't.

I used to bring in camera equipment in my hand luggage and posted the boxes and paperwork back to myself. A brand new camera bag full of brand new equipment would almost certainly arouse suspicion, but a slightly tatty bag with a mix of new and used kit didn't.
>> No. 425525 Anonymous
30th March 2019
Saturday 3:03 pm
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HMCE keep up on this kind of thing. They follow up on certain trends and listen to what travellers that they search at airports tell them. Apparently, Singapore among other Southeast Asian hubs has had a reputation now for a couple of years for top quality custom suits and other business attire at extremely reasonable prices, so then when they see a businessman or -woman travelling alone arriving from Singapore at Heathrow, and if then through questioning them they find out that they didn't just seamlessly change planes in Singapore coming from Australia but stayed there one or two days, they will investigate further if you've brought home certain items that are subject to import duty in the UK. Apparently, expensive looking suits without brand name tags are one of those red flags if they go through your luggage. And the problem doesn't go away if you stick on fake Armani tags, because they can then charge you with importing counterfeit goods. They really have special staff at big international airports now who can spot these things.
>> No. 425526 Anonymous
30th March 2019
Saturday 3:16 pm
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What happened to the old wheeze of saying they're yours and they came with you on the way out?
>> No. 425527 Anonymous
30th March 2019
Saturday 3:17 pm
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How would they even detect that you're importing suits though? Do they scan your suitcase and compare the contents to an archived image of the contents it had on your outbound flight or summat?
>> No. 425529 Anonymous
30th March 2019
Saturday 3:51 pm
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I would guess they simply know what kind of person to watch out for. Not everyone of them will probably actually be importing goods, but they will probably do spot checks on travellers that they consider most likely. 

The same way that for reasons I can't fathom, I get checked on every other flight for drugs residue on my hands with a swab test. I've talked about this with a few people, and none of them can remember getting checked as frequently for drugs as me. 

So far they've only done hand swabs with me during boarding though. Even that one time I came home from a holiday in South America, nobody went through my stuff as such looking for drugs.
>> No. 426783 Anonymous
14th May 2019
Tuesday 12:10 pm
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What do you look for in a quality bike? The welding and metal composition of the frame? I imagine the language barrier will make it hard to get advice, so you must know what you're doing.
>> No. 426784 Anonymous
14th May 2019
Tuesday 1:00 pm
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Japan is absolutely obsessed with Keirin, a type of track cycling that involves being paced around the velodrome by a motorcycle. All components on a Keirin bike must be certified by the Nihon Jitensha Shinkōkai, to prove that a) they're safe for use at high speeds and b) they're traditional steel components that don't offer an aerodynamic advantage. Any component bearing the NJS stamp is guaranteed to be of the highest quality.

The frame shown in >>425518 is a Nagasawa, hand brazed in the workshop of YoMi'kmaqki Nagasawa. He apprenticed as a framebuilder in Italy in the 1970s and his name has since become the stuff of legend. His frames are the ne plus ultra of traditional lugged steel frames; to a bike enthusiast, the extraordinary quality of the custom-forged lugs and the craftsmanship of the brazing is immediately apparent. You'd pay close to £2000 for a new Nagasawa frame from a UK dealer and you'd probably have to put your name down on a lengthy waiting list.
>> No. 426785 Anonymous
14th May 2019
Tuesday 1:01 pm
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Quality wordfilter, mods. I meant to say "yoshi aki".
>> No. 426786 Anonymous
14th May 2019
Tuesday 1:13 pm
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I have no clue what either of that means, or why it would even necessitate a word filter.
>> No. 426793 Anonymous
14th May 2019
Tuesday 6:49 pm
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Speak English.
>> No. 426795 Anonymous
14th May 2019
Tuesday 7:37 pm
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You missed the space between the two words, forming another word in the middle of them.
>> No. 426796 Anonymous
14th May 2019
Tuesday 7:49 pm
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I'm just going to type Mi'kmaq to confirm to myself I've worked that out correctly.

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