BMS Battery, Customs duty?

Tinker

Pedelecer
Aug 20, 2010
116
2
SA39
When ordering from BMS how likely is it to be stung for duty?
I always get a shock when ordering anything from the USA, (must be our special relationship) but I'm quite tempted by the BMS Lipo's
 

NRG

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 6, 2009
2,593
10
Its a lottery as far as I can tell. I got away with it for quite some time but then started to get stung each and every time...however, I've not bought for quite a while, over 6 months, and just recently ordered some stuff from the USA and it came through OK...

Edit: to add that I would buy off HobbyKing if shopping for LiPos. They are are quite prepared to organize orders to attract the lowest shipping rate (multiple boxes) and duty. They also have a hub in Germany so may be able to ship within the EU.
 
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Tinker

Pedelecer
Aug 20, 2010
116
2
SA39
I was looking at Hobbyking but must admit I find it a bit confusing, not really sure what would be the best to give me 36v 10aH, or 12,15aH. The BMS LiPO4 36Volts.10aH, weighs in @ 4.5kg and has Lifecycle: 2000Cycles for £201 if not caught for taxes.
I know the Hobbyking gear is highly regarded by lots of people over on ES but I haven't been able to find anyone describing a build using their LiPos especially what one does regarding cell balancing/charging.
I really need a 'For Dummies' book of e-bike batteries :confused:
 

NRG

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 6, 2009
2,593
10
Ah theres the rub! The charging and balancing bit is where caution is required and head aches appear. You can bulk charge with a CC/CV PSU plus some sort of balancing mechanism or break the pack down and use an RC charger/balancer. For 37v 10Ah 4x packs of 5s / 5000mAH cells would do it, you'll need to cater for individual cell LVC as well.

I see D8 is now using a Headway pack or maybe do as Jerry has and go with A123 cells....I think both are easier to maintain than LiPos....

As an alternative Kudos sell a 36v 10Ah replacement battery plus rack system that would be more fit n forget at a very attractive price for a commercial battery...
 

smudger1956

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2012
519
3
West London
If....you want to go the lipo route, take a look at Robotbirds.com, their PolyPower Lipo are a Turnigy rebadged, a few quid more,but no problems with DOA Lipo's,customs, and having to wait weeks.
Bulk charging is the only way to go, all a bit fraught, you need a bulk BMS or Kelly charger and loads of balancers.
No BMS or LVC. You are the BMS and LVC.( you can use audible low voltage monitor's, but its so easy to drag the cells down to the point of no return)
IHMO unless you are going to very high voltage and capacity, I would be spending my money with Kudos, they have some excellent pricing, and you would be supporting British business.;)
 

Tinker

Pedelecer
Aug 20, 2010
116
2
SA39
Actually I know you are absolutely right about Kudos, in fact it's a bit of a no-brainer really. Their 36v 10ah as fitted to the Tourer & King model is actually a couple of quid cheaper than the BMS equivalent & I had a saddle from them and cannot fault the excellent customer service.
 

iwchris

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 10, 2012
24
6
Isle of Wight
I have a lot of Hobbyking Lipo's that I use in electric model aircraft, some of mine are close to 3yrs old and never had a problem with any, the brand that we all use our "Zippy" they really do get a hammering when used as aircraft batteries, we discharge in two minutes in some cases, as regards VAT I have never had a problem they just seem to come through vat free.
 

BrianSmithers

Pedelecer
Apr 21, 2011
56
1
DA1
You can't avoid paying VAT on imports from the USA - but depending on what trade tariff code is applied you can be exempt from duty - depending on what you import. The trick is to get the appropriate code marked on the customs declaration by the sender.

Here is the website :- UK Trade Tariff | Home
If you can find a code that properly describes your battery then the tariff is shown on the above website, and you will know that if quoted on the packaging, it is what you will pay.

- Brian
 
D

Deleted member 4366

Guest
I've necer had to pay more than £30 duty on a BMSBattery order. My last one was for two motoor/wheel kiits and a battery. I've had to pay every time I ordered a battery -- I think because they get pulled out for inspectioon at X--ray check. If yoou just order the motor/wheel kit, you normally don't have to ppay because it's marked as wheelchair pparts on the paperwork. You get caught every time from USA - no escape.
 

morphix

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 24, 2010
2,163
119
Worcestershire
www.cyclecharge.org.uk
When ordering from BMS how likely is it to be stung for duty?
I always get a shock when ordering anything from the USA, (must be our special relationship) but I'm quite tempted by the BMS Lipo's
If you use a courier like FedEx it's almost a certain you will get charged VAT. If you use EMS there's a chance you might not (on smaller packages) but not usually on heavier ones..

A couple of tips:

1) Ask the seller to put "replacement part - no commercial value" on the Customs declaration if they're willing...worth a try. Under declaring the value of goods rarely works on expensive items, because Customs will determine the value of things themselves.

2) If you use a courier like FedEx they will most likely add on a £15 "deferral fee" for paying the VAT for you and clearing it through customs. It's quite a racket and a way of making money, because it doesn't cost them anything like that and it's largely automated... In my experience, you can ignore that fee, and they won't pursue you for it (after sending a few auto-generated reminders and threats they just drop it) because legally speaking they have no leg to stand on, even if it were practical to try to legally claim such a small amount. You didn't contract them to provide that service or request it, so you're not obliged to pay it. I just pay the VAT and leave off that fee, and no courier has ever taken any action against me.

I've also had it confirmed directly from HMRC that anyone can pay the VAT and any Duty DIRECTLY to HMRC without needing to use a courier's deferral account. You can request that with your seller, have it put on the packet not to defer the VAT, and you'll get an invoice (generated using the HMRC system) from the courier for just the VAT, which you can pay before they deliver the goods.
 
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