Don’t pay FedEx Direct Payment Processing Fee

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I recently had a crowdfunded item shipped to me from outside the EU and delivered to me by FedEx. Delivery went well, they kept me up to date with when it would arrive via text message.

I’d fully expected I’d have to pay some sort of tax and sure enough I soon received a text informing me an invoice needed settling. What surprised me was that along with the tax charge was a £12 charge for something called “Direct Payment Processing Fee“.

Tax has to be paid, no reason not to pay this, it’s due and should be expected when importing goods to the UK. I’d no idea what basis FedEx were charging this additional £12, after all I’ve no relationship with them, I’ve not agreed to pay such a charge, they’ve done nothing for me as they’re delivering on behalf of the company sending me the goods.

A quick google and I came across a blog by Adam Owen for a slightly different charge, for Customers Advancement Fees. He had published a useful template which I’ve modified and sent off to
ukinvoicequery@fedex.com. Within a couple of days they’d wiped the additional charge and all I had to pay was the original tax charge.

Here’s the email I sent, feel free to make use of it and let eveyone know in the comments below if it works for you.

Dear FedEx,

This is in reference to invoice #xxxxxxxx.

After having bought an item outside the EU I understood there would be the possibility of VAT due on receiving them.

I was however surprised to see an additional section for a ‘Direct Payment Processing Fee’ of £12.

Since my purchase was made outside of the EU, I of course will pay the VAT due.

However, I refuse to pay the ‘Direct Payment Processing Fee’ of £12, since
at no point was I made aware of, nor did I agree to, any terms and conditions which clearly stated that I would be liable for any such charges.

At no point in the transaction and subsequent delivery was any contract for a Direct Payment Processing Fee made between FedEx and myself.

I paid the supplier for delivery, and would expect that any international
fees be factored into the initial cost of such a shipment.

If you want to pursue further charges for delivery or administration or the terms upon which goods are shipped, I suggest that you take it up with the company who shipped the goods initially.

Therefore, I request that you update this invoice to reflect no admin fee,
and once that has been done I’ll make immediate payment.

Please let me know when this has been done.

Kind Regards,

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  1. yea sadly i tried but fedex refused to acknowledge the request and instead sent me this, threatening to send my parcel back.
    “”Please be advised that 12 GBP is fee for submitting Customs Declaration on your behalf. Unfortunately we are unable to waive that fee. If you do not want to pay 12 GBP as an alternative we can arrange FAS payment where you will have to pay customs charges directly. Cost of arranging such payment is 35 GBP. As an alternative we can return the package to the sender.

    Kind regards,
    FedEx Express
    Endeavour House, Coopers End Road
    Stansted Airport, CM24 1HA
    Phone: 03456 07 08 09

  2. Yeh tried this and got this reponse : Dear Sir or Madam,

    Thank you for your query regarding the charge on ********

    FedEx would like to inform you that the amount billed is an ancillary charge and these are raised on shipments that require a specialised clearance procedure through GB

    Under certain circumstances additional fees are payable to FedEx for the clearance of goods, for example to cover fees paid to external agencies for border inspections or for non-standard clearances. The charge may also cover all other services not covered by the standard conditions of FedEx.

    The charges raised for this additional service are specifically billed to the consignee / importer rather than the shipper. The charges remain the responsibility of the consignee / importer as they relate to the importation of the goods through GB

    FedEx trust this concludes the matter, however should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Yours Faithfully


    Any suggestions for a reply???

  3. There is a way round Fedex’s advancement fee or £12 – the best way is to open a “credit card account” via their website or by phoning, and ideally get the shipper to put your account number in the “bill custom charges” section. Then they charge VAT & duty to your account and don’t charge the advancement fee. You may have some luck even if the parcel has already arrived in the UK if you open the account retrospectively and ask them to charge just the VAT and duty to that account.

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