There are a lot of gym equipment manufacturers in the EU, especially France and Germany, as well as in North America. Companies that want to import things like cross trainers, treadmills, elliptical trainers, and cycling machines from such locations need to think carefully about how they do so.
This is because imports of gym equipment – whether it is for use in commercial gyms or for resale to the public – will mean making certain declarations.
In the past, it may have been possible to import gym equipment from EU countries without having to worry about VAT, commodity codes, tariffs, and customs declarations but this has changed since the UK left the common market. What are the important things you need to know?
On the face of it, importing gym equipment from other countries is preferable because it will often mean being able to obtain high-quality equipment at a lower cost than would otherwise be possible.
However, the cost of getting your importation wrong could mean that the financial benefits you would expect to obtain could be wiped out.
Organize Your Own Delivery
One of the first things to take on board is that organizing your own delivery from the UK may often work out cheaper than leaving matters to your supplier. This sometimes depends on the size of your order.
What European suppliers may do, for example, is hold your order back until they have others in the UK that they can tie up together. On the other hand, arranging for the collection of gym equipment by a British-based hauler may well be cheaper and quicker.
Secondly, you need to ensure your goods are not held up unduly when they arrive in the UK. This is another good reason not to allow the consignment to be arranged by your supplier.
They will usually hand down a hefty surcharge for arranging the now necessary customs paperwork to get gym equipment over the border. Instead, using a reliable freight forwarding firm with experience in this field will often save time and money.
According to one such firm, Barrington Freight, what suppliers often misunderstand about the UK customs system is that exercising equipment with adjustable resistance mechanisms has different commodity codes than those without them.
Worse still, some suppliers don’t realize that both types are subject to VAT in the UK while some other fitness products are VAT-exempt. If you don’t want your order to be delayed while you sort this out with HMRC, then making the right declaration the first time can be crucial.
Finally, it is worth obtaining expert advice with your chosen delivery method. Couriers can be the fastest and best way to get lighter items delivered into the UK. However, heavy and potentially expensive professional gym equipment may well be better imported in a shipping container by sea.
This certainly tends to be the most cost-effective method for importers of wholesale gym equipment, at least. After all, shipping containers can be easily picked up by UK-based haulers for forwarding onto your gym(s) or warehouse once they have arrived at their intended seaport without great expense.