Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Importing a laptop from USA into UK

  1. Jun 16, 2011 #1
    Hello there,

    I am considering to import a laptop from USA into UK. I understand that due to different regions the software may be different. Is it hard to alter this without reinstalling the software? In addition, I have read that by importing this product to UK I would need to pay custom duty tax on this lapotp. Anyone ever had experience with this?

    Thanks in advance,

    Kind regards,

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I don't see that the software would be different but if you're shipping this then yes, you will need to pay import tax: so, you will need to pay sales tax in the US, then VAT in the UK. After doing this, I doubt you'll save much (given the exchange rate at the minute).
  4. Jun 16, 2011 #3
    I purchased an Apple mac from USA and I live in the UK. It was sent from America using USPS and Parcel force once it touched down here. The laptop cost in the region of £550 I payed £120 import taxes. Up to £40 I think it is the charges are lower, you could probably declare it as something else but if it goes through customs then who knows whatl happen if they find out it's a laptop.

    If you can help it, its probably better to purchase here and avoid disappointment of added import charges.

    Speaking of customs, they can take in the region of one week (like me) to months to clear your item.
  5. Jun 16, 2011 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Software will be okay (unless you want to change the spelling of such things as labor to labour and units from inches to mm--this can be accomplished through the Control Panel or System Preference on a Mac). You can change the region code on most DVD-drives five or seven times (assuming any movie DVDs you have are actually region-encoded).

    The bigger issue may be the AC adapter--the mains voltage and standard connector are both different. However, most AC adapters can take 50/60 Hz and 110 to 250V (check the text on the adapter block): you just need the right cord end, which you can usually buy from most electronics shops.
  6. Jun 17, 2011 #5
    As above, I reinstalled the OS, for security reasons and changed the region to UK and all is well. The '£' key is the number '3' button, like our keyboards.
    Again as for the AC adapter, you can use any two pin lead to plug into the unit, like this one:

    Or purchase one of these, it was slightly cheaper when I got it:

    I prefer the two pin lead as it makes the charge cable extra long, about 2 meters.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  7. Jun 23, 2011 #6

    If you ordered something from Amazon.com and have it shipped to the UK, would you pay import tax on that, too?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook