A Few Questions about Replacement Units

Hello there, just a few questions about how replacements under warranty work:

  1. Let’s say that someone is a resident of the UK after Brexit, and it is determined they will need to receive a full replacement unit. Do they need to pay VAT or other duties on the replacement unit? (I’d also like to know how this works in the EU.)

  2. I’ve been told that it is necessary to send a defective Librem laptop back to Purism before it is possible to receive a replacement unit. What would the process for sending the unit to Purism be, and what fees would one incur in the process?

  3. In a situation where it is difficult or impractical to ship a unit back to Purism due to the nature of the complication, how does one manage to get the laptop sent to Purism and have the issue resolved?

I’ve asked here because I think it’s fairly general and that perhaps quite a few people would benefit from the answers being posted here, I’m completely aware I’m not supposed to make specific support questions over this forum and that is not what this post is meant to be.

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In theory you shouldn’t have to pay import duties on an RMA item in the EU, but it has to be properly declared, and it doesn’t always work out that you can avoid the import duties. Purism says that it is a “gamble.”

The FAQ has some info: https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/community-wiki/-/wikis/Frequently-Asked-Questions#53-can-the-librem-5-be-shipped-anywhere-in-the-world-and-what-are-the-extra-fees


Would it be worth asking Her Majesty’s government? (since after all they are the ones that control this) They may be able to tell you the correct procedure they they direct that you must follow in order to avoid getting “double dipped”.

I really would raise that directly with Purism support@puri.sm unless it is covered on their actual web site (i.e. not the community forum - this - and not the community wiki - what the previous reply referenced).

It seems like you want to lock in a solid support process and that is not something that randoms on the internet, like myself, can arrange between you and Purism.

Can you elaborate / explain the question / situation?

Maybe the answer is that it would be handled on a case by case basis - which isn’t exactly a specific answer.

Let say that the computer is basically operational but a single component has failed and for some reason you are unwilling or unable to send the unit back to Purism for repair … maybe they are willing to send you out a replacement component for you to install - with the obvious caveats as to whether any specific customer has the confidence, knowledge and skills to do that - and who might be liable if the replacement process goes pear-shaped.

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My take on the post was that MrSenshi is hoping for an official reply from Purism support (i.e. not community members), but wants it to be publicly visible to community members so that others in similar situations can refer to it in the future

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Indeed. This was my intent.

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Here is info for avoiding paying import duties on RMA items in the UK:

There is no mention of this changing after Brexit.


Thank you for the very helpful link.

If, after export, the supplier decides to replace the faulty goods instead of repairing them, then VAT and Import Duty will be charged on the full value of all new replacements.

So you can only avoid taxation on goods being sent for repair and returned to you, and even then it’s a struggle. Replacement units are taxed at standard VAT. I’m assuming that the incidence of this tax falls on the consumer, so ultimately there’s no way of avoiding tax then. :frowning:

Brilliant, that’s 1/3 cleared up.
The other two questions are also rather important for anyone who wishes to understand the functioning of support and replacements, lets hope we can get those answered by a member of the Purism staff!

Yes, there is. Vote the b’stards out. :wink:

This is plainly unreasonable on the part of the government but that’s life.

Another way is for you to deliver the unit in person and then come back with a replaced unit. While that, in law, does not avoid the tax, I don’t believe that we are yet in a situation where the fascists at border control take down MAC addresses etc. for comparison with the returning unit.

This assumes that you plan to have a holiday / business trip in the US anyway.

Again :wink:

By definition it does.

By default it will. I don’t reckon you plan to buy enough units from Purism to negotiate otherwise. If you do then you should specify that. Many companies will make special arrangements for fleet buyers.

Without clarification of “the nature of the complication” I don’t know that anyone else can necessarily find themselves in similar situations.

If the OP is leaving shortly for a mission to the ISS then, yes, I get it, it will be difficult or impossible to send the unit in for repair. In that case, you buy two.

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As you’re aware, the Librem 13 line suffered hinge issues. Sometimes the hinge would get stuck or break entirely. How do you ship a laptop with a hinge that is stuck half open? You can’t really pack the laptop when it’s stuck in that position and it’s going to get destroyed in transit like that. Not to mention if you’re stuck in a situation where half of the display is literally detached from the chassis and it’s not possible to even close the back panel or something similarly insane.

It’s not difficult to imagine a variety of situations in which its very difficult to ship the laptop back to Purism, I’ve just given some examples that I’ve seen occur before.


officer at border control : “I see you are visiting the US for the first time. Business or pleasure ?”
me: can it be both ?
officer : NO. it must be one or the other …
:sweat_smile: :upside_down_face: :mask: