Parcelforce will probably charge you £12.00 (approx) for sending you a letter telling you that you have an item on which you have to pay duty at a cost of x value per Customs and then (depending on cost) they will add Vat. to the total.
I have not bought anything new from abroad for a while because of the charges involved and because of the exchange rate, which is dire.
I have had the same issue, a well known WAF member sent me something on the 4th of Feb,USPS Priority Mail, just arrived today !!!!
On the Other direction, I have been having a horrendous time getting things out of Russia to the US of late. Packages are taking 2-3 Months and are sometimes never arriving even then. On rare occasions, they will Return to the sender who then has to Resend it to me and hope for the best. I am waiting on a package, for example, since November 8th. Tracking numbers duly record the various stops the package makes on it's way out of Russia, but once it leaves Russia itself, it seems to run into Something and there is the trouble. Once out of Russia, the tracking numbers cease to be of any use.
"Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."
The reason why the stalling/vat problem occurs so much at customs is because all goods coming in from all non EU countries has been set at just £18 which includes shipping however sometimes items do come through just over that amount without being stopped so maybe just bad luck.for me USPS has never taken longer than 10 days then the item is vat charged and passed to your nearest parcel force depot who then hold the item until they have recieved payment via there website or phone after having sent you the customs charge letter,there was a new shipping being tested in the US (there's a thread on here somewhere)where you pay import tax at the US and a third party collects it from a selected depot and full responsability lies with them however this has a good side and bad,the bad is the tax is worked out on the final ebay sales fee which means the more the item sells for the more the tax,so not good however if the final cost is reasonable because the import tax has already been paid then it is cleared through customs this end so arrival is much quicker and yes I had this back in november and it does work,m1 helmet 10 days from door to door total cost £22 thats shipping and import tax.....Jake.