'Gift' imports are they legal?

Jun 6, 2000
In the UK a knife received gets hit for 26% TAX upon entry. This includes postal charges, they are used to calculate the charge. It seems that undervaluing the package and calling knives 'tools' was legal after all. This from HMCAE who told me this. Thus I got hit for the charge based upon the recipt in the box. Well is it legal to send a knife as merchandise or 'gift' and send the recipt later by a seperate letter?

I am not asking for anyone to break the law here or looking for a flame war. I just wanted to know. Lastly is there a dealer out there who will do this... Private e-mails will be respected of course!


"To strive to seek to find and not to yield"
Ranger motto
Hi General,

You can send it as a gift but you will still be asked to declare a value. The real exposure is that you may loose a knife at some point and be left without adequate recourse.

Good luck.

Those of us who live outside the States are pretty familiar with customs duties and unless i am seriously mistaken, must of us take care to have our packages specially marked. Most custom regulations set some sort of value limit on packages marked gifts as well. For me, this would be RM200 or about US $52.

After learning the hard way on an incoming custom folder that was marked US$500, I always ask the dealers to set the value at $50 or so, leave out the receipt, and label the package "gift-not for resale" and "camping tools" or "pocket tools". Of course in doing so, i have to accept all responsibility if the package disappears and all I can claim for is the value declared.

At first it felt a bit dishonest, but the duties are a killer and I'm not sure what local industry they are supposed to protect. You could try reasoning with the customs officers to have the package more leniently accessed (say, as "Agricultural tools" %5 tax) but for me, I think i would get real tired at having to do that everytime a new knife can in.

I'm a long way from being an expert at the legal aspects of this, but I can truthfully say they were "Gifts" (for myself) for my own personal use and not for resale as a dealer and I don't think any customs officer can prove that wrong. Within reason of course - if i have two dozen microtechs, i'd have a hard time convincing the customs people i wasn't a dealer.

Just my 2 cents

"Praise not the day until evening has come;a sword until it is tried; ice until it has been crossed; beer until it has been drunk" - Viking proverb

[This message has been edited by redvenom (edited 01-10-2001).]
In Canada it would not be illegal to receive a knife as a gift, but it would be at the discretion of the Customs Agent as to whether to accept that it reaaly is a gift. The proper paper work goes a long way in helping make your case.
I am not sure that the same thing is true in Wales. You guys have some pretty tough knife regulations.
We in Belgium have some very strong kniferegulations too, but if a dealer send a knife as a personal gift (so he sends it as private person), and marks it so, the package will not be opened untill it reaches my doorstep. This avoid taxes quit effeciently.
Haven't lost a folder yet.

greetz, Bart.
Thank you for helping me in this, my respect and thanks go out to all of you!


"To strive to seek to find and not to yield"
Ranger motto