Ha! I just went through import hell and can tell you from experience that there's import duty on everything (and I mean everything). It doesn't matter what it is, how old it is or how worn out it is, everything from vintage cheese to vintage lightweights and a million things you've never even thought of, U.S. Customs will want to tax it.
In my experience, you normally don't get hit with duty in the US unless you're getting a big crate/container shipped to you via a port. With air, I've never paid duty on anything, so air is the way to go. I don't think they have enough people to track all that air stuff, but big packages and crates that travel surface by boat that are worth anything (and they will find out what that value is) gets the full treatment these days including x-rayed and opened as needed.
I think the minimum duty is 2.5 percent. The worst is the brokerage and port fees though, not Customs per se. If your declared value is under $2,000, you can act as your own broker by filling out all the forms yourself, I think.
Greg Fletcher Foothill Ranch, CA
PS: If you live in the US and order from the US and you're paying VAT out of the UK, you're getting scammed by the merchant- I've had to have a little "talk" with a couple of businesses that tried to charge me on that before. They should know better, so don't fall for it.
> Is there a import duty for "USED" bike equipment? I do not think so,
> otherwise you would could be liable for the European VAT. It is my
> understanding that the VAT only applies to new items purchased in