We regularly import goods from Japan that have a highly specialised use in the semiconductor industry. The goods are often shipped as components, which we assemble to make a product. The components could not possibly be used for any other purpose. The HS Tariff code on these goods is quite clear and unchanged for 20 years with zero duty payable. The carrier is DHL.
For the past year or so we are now seeing small duty charges on every shipment. Small = about £20 to £30 on a shipment value of 1 -2k total. It appears that a component item on a list of say 10 similar components is singled-out and duty applied. DHL then charge a small fee for the admin.
I realise we may be able to claim the duty back. If we claim on DHL they will charge us £25 per claim, so it is not worthwhile. If we try to claim on HMRC forms it's complex and time consuming. My concern is - why is this happening at all and how can it be stopped? Import documentation is clearly marked with the records showing the correct HS Tariff code applying to the whole shipment, so how can a random item be singled out for duty, indeed why not all components? I am sure we should not be charged duty at all and the small amounts are intended to 'go under our radar'.