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Importing synths from the US into sweden (or EU in general)

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:16 pm
by Cirrus Winery
Does anyone here have any experience with doing this? I'm considering importing a portable dotcom modular, but

1: 25% import tax >_<;
2: It might get caught in customs because of that ROHS thing (i'm not sure if dotcom is RoHS compliant)

Any tips on other stuff to take into consideration when importing?

I'm considering the possibility of being forced to buy a doepfer A-100 system, seeing as it's much less troublesome to import from inside the EU, but it is so freaking ugly.

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:48 pm
by mono/noise
I have bought a few things from the US and had them delivered to Denmark, sometimes I have had to pay over 50% of the original price too get the item( almost 100% with my Thingamagoop ).
Dont know if it's the same in Sweden but it's not worth it IMO unless it's some novelty item you really crave for.

In my case they charge you for having your package delivered to some non-EU warehouse plus some other weird fee's.
They also always charge you tax for the whole amount including the shipment fee even tough I called them and emailed them a few times asking how on earth they could justify that.

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 9:50 pm
by nathanscribe
I contacted Synthesizers.com around a year ago to ask if they shipped to the UK; at the time, they didn't, due to the ROHS legisltation. That might have changed, so it's worth contacting them directly to see where you stand. As for import tax etc., I never used to get that problem, but since last summer I've been stung on US imports of large items.

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 12:05 am
by Cirrus Winery
mono/noise wrote:I have bought a few things from the US and had them delivered to Denmark, sometimes I have had to pay over 50% of the original price too get the item( almost 100% with my Thingamagoop ).
Dont know if it's the same in Sweden but it's not worth it IMO unless it's some novelty item you really crave for.
Well... In my case i badly want a modular system that looks good on stage. That's basically it. Dotcom looks better than Doepfer so that's what i'm aiming for. Then i haven't heard ANY good demos of the Doepfer system either, all i hear is crazy sequencer blip-blop stuff that doesn't interest me at all. Most of the demos i've heard of the dotcom system sounds great though, even the small 22 unit sets.

I'm also much more comfortable working with modulars than i am using monstrosities (not necessarily a noun implying anything positive) like the SH-1000 >_>

Let's just say i want an upgrade.

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:49 pm
by Cirrus Winery
nathanscribe wrote:I contacted Synthesizers.com around a year ago to ask if they shipped to the UK; at the time, they didn't, due to the ROHS legisltation. That might have changed, so it's worth contacting them directly to see where you stand. As for import tax etc., I never used to get that problem, but since last summer I've been stung on US imports of large items.
That's interesting. I know several people in the EU have got dotcom systems. I wonder if they were just lucky or something.

How do customs know if the equipement is RoHS compliant?

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:06 pm
by mono/noise
Cirrus Winery wrote:
mono/noise wrote:I have bought a few things from the US and had them delivered to Denmark, sometimes I have had to pay over 50% of the original price too get the item( almost 100% with my Thingamagoop ).
Dont know if it's the same in Sweden but it's not worth it IMO unless it's some novelty item you really crave for.
Well... In my case i badly want a modular system that looks good on stage. That's basically it. Dotcom looks better than Doepfer so that's what i'm aiming for. Then i haven't heard ANY good demos of the Doepfer system either, all i hear is crazy sequencer blip-blop stuff that doesn't interest me at all. Most of the demos i've heard of the dotcom system sounds great though, even the small 22 unit sets.

I'm also much more comfortable working with modulars than i am using monstrosities (not necessarily a noun implying anything positive) like the SH-1000 >_>

Let's just say i want an upgrade.
Have you checked out other modular manufactures beside Doepfer and DotCom?

Somehow DotCom never gives me any GAS but there are a lot of modular manufacturers that do, specially in the euro rack format.
If you decide to go that route you could build a mean hybrid modular that would definitely catch some attention on stage.

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:18 pm
by Cirrus Winery
mono/noise wrote:Have you checked out other modular manufactures beside Doepfer and DotCom?

Somehow DotCom never gives me any GAS but there are a lot of modular manufacturers that do, specially in the euro rack format.
If you decide to go that route you could build a mean hybrid modular that would definitely catch some attention on stage.
I'm sorry but i have no idea what you mean with "GAS" :?

I guess a hybrid of some kind would be possible as well i guess. I'm not exactly in desperate need, i just realized a month ago that i want to upgrade my stage rig.

I guess i'll take a look into what other manufacturers there are.

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:31 pm
by mono/noise
GAS = Gear Acquisition Syndrome :wink:

www.steelydan.com/gas.html

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:40 pm
by Cirrus Winery
Oh i see 8)

Do you have any reccomendations for other modulars in the eurorack format that can be reasonably aquired in europe?

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:52 pm
by mono/noise
Well this site is a good start.

http://www.schneidersbuero.de/

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:53 pm
by Bitexion
Analogue systems is a very good one. Manufactured in england. Look at the blue link in my signature.

MOTM is ROHS compliant since a while ago now. I remember a news notice on their website. They have the "moog modular" look aswell.

http://www.synthtech.com/

Re: Importing synths from the US into sweden (or EU in gener

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:54 pm
by SickMonkey
Cirrus Winery wrote:Does anyone here have any experience with doing this? I'm considering importing a portable dotcom modular, but

1: 25% import tax >_<;
Well, technically it's VAT, not "import tax". We get to pay those lovely 25% on everything we buy (yet, strangely, one almost never hears anyone complain about that particular tax). But yes, expect to pay another 25% of the price (INCLUDING shipping, mind you) for anything You buy from outside the EU. Also, there's usually a smallish (a couple of %) customs tariff, and 100 SEK or so in handling fees.
2: It might get caught in customs because of that ROHS thing (i'm not sure if dotcom is RoHS compliant)
Do tell me more about this. Wouldn't this ban both import and sales of virtually ALL electronic products more than, like, 5 years old? Yet, i see plenty of vintage synthesizers being peddled here in Stockholm, in broad daylight even...

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:03 pm
by Bitexion
The problem is that it isn't allowed to IMPORT equipment with the wrong type of lead in the soldering. Gear that already contains this solder is no problem to sell within europe. But they can't send it from US to europe.
It is an environmental hazard, and they don't want even more of it coming over here. What is already here they can do nothing about.

Here is all about it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ROHS

When you see that equipment is "RoHS compliant" it means they're using a type of solder that is accepted as non-hazardous.

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:49 pm
by nathanscribe
As far as I understand it, I thought ROHS applied to newly manufactured goods in the EU, and the import of newly manufactured goods from outside the EU, but not older goods that were manufactured before the legislation came into effect. Thus, we can buy old synths - but manufacturing and trading (within the EU or importing into it) a new one that is not RoHS compliant would be an infringement of the legislation.

Since RoHS came into effect, I have had various items imported from around the world, and none have been stopped for RoHS infringement as they've all been vintage. I believe Synthesizers.com no longer are able to send their goods to the EU but before RoHS came along, they were. When their units comply with RoHS, they should be able to ship here again.

From the RoHS.gov website (my bold):
The RoHS Directive stands for "the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment". This Directive bans the placing on the EU market of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants.

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:07 pm
by SickMonkey
nathanscribe wrote:As far as I understand it, I thought ROHS applied to newly manufactured goods in the EU, and the import of newly manufactured goods from outside the EU, but not older goods that were manufactured before the legislation came into effect. Thus, we can buy old synths - but manufacturing and trading (within the EU or importing into it) a new one that is not RoHS compliant would be an infringement of the legislation.

Since RoHS came into effect, I have had various items imported from around the world, and none have been stopped for RoHS infringement as they've all been vintage. I believe Synthesizers.com no longer are able to send their goods to the EU but before RoHS came along, they were. When their units comply with RoHS, they should be able to ship here again.
Yeah, after a bit of reading I've come to the same conclusion, ie anything manufactured before 2006 is still ok to import. Got a bit worried there, for a moment.

On a practical note, though: Do customs REALLY bother to check peoples privately purchased boutique pedals and modular synth components? Has anyone actually gotten "caught"?