I know this is a big issue with some, including me. Many of us in UK now don't buy from USA because of the import charges levied on us.
I have no objection to paying the duty/VAT but the office charge is too much.
Anyway I have noticed on ebay a new service where you pay up front. I have tried this and parcel came through very quick. There was a note in the parcel from eBay about parcel checking, and this has made me think that the new service is run by ebay themselves. Also the actual cost is not much different to what it would cost to pay afterwards.
Now my mind has been thinking. This new service seems to have started soon after the privatisation of our own Royal Mail, and it also looks like an attempt by ebay not only to up sales from USA to UK, but also make a bit(quite a lot actually) on the side. The other thing is that I still don't think it right to have to pay a company to collect a tax, as the government is in really the customer and they as the customer should pay for the service. It might have been possible to justify this(
) when Royal Mail was publicly owned but as it is now a private company it is not so justified.
Actually wondering if this should be raised at an official level. It is a complex issue, tied to international trade agreements(again this was one reason for delays in post between USA and UK), but it is drifting towards yet more PRIVATE companies making more money from us the paying public.