Can you confirm whether the import duty payable on CIF basis is universal? I’m looking particularly at imports into China and Thailand. We are ordering parts from a supplier based in Hong Kong. We get these parts shipped to the UK from Hong Kong and we ship to our customer in Germany. To save time in transport, the sales team would like us to organise a drop shipment from the supplier in Hong Kong directly to Germany. However, we do not want the customer to see our cost price (eg we are buying at £80 and we are selling at £110).

Is it legal to ask the supplier in Hong Kong to enclose our proforma invoice with the value of the goods as we sell them to Germany on the despatch paperwork (instead of their Hong Kong invoice)? Would this be equivalent to making a false declaration to customs? If this is not acceptable, would you suggest another way to allow us to drop ship without the German customer knowing how much we are paying for the parts?

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