Thousands in Europe are eyeing-up transatlantic flights to see if it’s cheaper to fly across the pond to buy it because of the fact that the price of the new iPhone X is so high in Europe. But the catch is one could become an international electronics smuggler in doing so even though, after accounting for the cost of the flight, the price in the U.S. is still lower.
The 256GB iPhone X costs €1,319 (£1,186) across the Eurozone and £1,149 in the UK. And there is a saving of almost £280 in the US where it costs just $1,149 (£869.33). And it looks like one can pay for the cost of travel to New York with the savings on the iPhone with Iceland’s WOWair offering return flights from London Gatwick to Newark for £278.
There is yet another catch in the pricing. American prices don’t include sales taxes, which are no higher than 11% but vary by state while British and European prices are quoted inclusive of VAT.
Though a canny customer could cut the cost back to $1,149 by taking a $40 six-hour return bus trip down to Wilmington, Delaware, one of four states with a 0% sales tax, in New York, the tax-included price of the iPhone is actually $1,249, thanks to the state’s 8.75% sales tax.
The joys of a trip almost paid for by the savings made on the most expensive iPhone Apple produces can be experienced if one wants to take a budget airline flight to New York with a one-hour layover in Reykjavik and then hops on a coach for six hours. One could enough from the difference – almost £400 – to pay for your accommodation and meals too if he is travelling to buy a new MacBook Pro meanwhile, such as the 13in model with 512GB of storage.
However, doing this the legal way eats up all the savings you make – and then some, while not doing it legally can land you in jail and this is the downside.
what one can and can’t bring into the country from outside the EU is explicitly stated by HMRC. Applicable import duties and taxes, for the cost of the whole amount are to be imposed on anyone bringing in any good worth more than £390, the personal allowance limit for each passenger. An iPhone bought overseas is legally due a 20% import VAT, pushing the savings to just £40 because contrary to popular belief, there’s no exception for personal use. And not subject to any import duty are at least phones and computers.
One could be identified as a smuggler even though one might not be stopped at the border by customs.
People from the Republic of Ireland don’t have to pay duty when they bring back phones they purchased in the UK where they save on price. For those near the Danish/German border, a similar thing applies. it’s actually still worth bringing one down south to Mexico even after you declare the phone at the border and pay import taxes, because the difference in prices from the US is still much higher.
But there is no luck if one wants to stay on the right side of the law and if one is from the UK or Europe and hoping for a “free” holiday to the US.
(Adapted from The Guardian)