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  1. Try & keep short: Son bought '65 Airstream Caravan (yes the polished type)from Florida & shipped by agent in Derby. The agent is a clown & has stupidly paid customs & excise far too much as paid on wrong code. Instead of 5% as its a '65 and due to its weight I believe he's paid 20% which think is about £3.5k. Its his fault & C&E have confirmed they don't know why he paid that amount. Now he isn't releasing caravan unless my son pays whole amount. He only actually owes £937 which is payable on delivery to his door only which he is happy to pay. Police can't act as civil at moment & he has started to contact trading standards. Despite not having the extra he is understandably reluctant to pay the demanded balance in case especially as its the agents fault he paid incorrectly but that he either doesn't ever get back from Gov or has to wait a long time for it. At one point he called police because we thought the van had been vanished as he refused to send any container shipping details either but it is supposed to be in UK now. I am tempted to call the bloke & try & resolve but suspect will still be no avail or to get a solicitor to just send a warning letter to him to release the vehicle. Anyone with any experience in this area gratefully received of how we should proceed.... thanks. I'm going to post additional info as its transpired but on new posts to try and keep clarity and make it easy to understand Information Point 2 the following is info answered by my son as we have gone into it: The person who has the caravan is the shipping agent: He used an unknown shipper to actually collect it from Florida and transport it to New York, and then on to the unknown ship to the unknown port in the UK. He initially invoiced me the correct vat figure which I paid him. I checked this with HMRC and they said sometimes shippers and shipping agents to do this and appears to be a legitimate method as opposed to me paying HMRC directly. It was only when it cleared customs he issued me with a new invoice for the duty and vat. I think it was the US shippers that filled out the customs documents incorrectly and led to a much higher figure. HMRC said the only people who can amend that paperwork are the ones who filled it out. I would contact them directly but he won't tell me who they are or how to contact them. He's just taken it as gospel that the higher figure is correct, paid it from his own account and invoiced me for it. "But I still have no actual proof he's paid this amount. He won't give me any documentation or reference numbers with which I can contact anyone about this. As said, maybe he should be asking HMRC for a refund but I don't know if he can do that unless he resubmits the paperwork. But then I asked him to sort that and he just says I have to pay him the full amount."
  2. Hi, I bought an item from a company in the USA. It arrived safely by Fedex. A while later, I received an invoice from Fedex asking for payment of VAT and a handling charge, £26.29 in total. The following is the relevant paragraph from my second and last email to them. I have now received a demand for payment from Control Account PLC. "If Fedex had made it known to me before I agreed to purchase I would have been able to make a choice. As it is Fedex is trying to make a retrospective charge against me. According to my understanding English law does not allow retrospective charges to be imposed." Is my understanding correct or do Fedex have a legitimate claim against me? Thanks in advance.
  3. Six weeks ago I agreed to purchase (from a UK company) a classic vehicle for restoration which is being imported from the USA. The company has a good reputation and I based my decision to buy upon various photographs showing the areas requiring attention. My intention was to buy the vehicle 'as is' and to have it fully restored mechanically and cosmetically. I paid a 10% deposit to secure the vehicle and agreed in writing to pay a further 15% as soon as it had been shipped. The 15% is due this week, as the seller has the bill of loading from the shipping company. The receipt provided to me acknowledges the payment of the 10% deposit, states that 15% is due on departure, with the final balance payable immediately upon arrival and customs clearance in the UK. The only mention made of a refund is that, if Customs do not accept the vehicle (which is 40 years old) as being of 'historical interest' and the import duty and VAT is higher as a result, I may either accept the additional charges or be entitled to a refund of all monies paid to date. I did not sign a sales contract but have agreed in writing (via email) to pay both the 15% at the time of shipping and the balance on arrival. I work abroad and all of my dealings with the company have been via email. I was not in the UK when the deal was made. My circumstances have changed and I will not be able to afford the restoration. I have written to the seller, requesting a full refund of my 10% deposit. However, I am not sure where I stand legally if the seller refuses. Because I was not in the UK during the negotiations, can I legally pursue the matter under English Law? Would the fact that all contact with the seller was via email fall under the distance selling regulations? Or am I technically in breach of contract, and can the seller in fact sue me for the remaining balance. The seller has not done anything to justify me pulling out of the deal, and in fact has done everything exactly as promised so far. I would find it difficult, though, to complete the purchase and have the restoration work carried out. I'm really not sure where I stand if the dealer refuses to cooperate..
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