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Member postings for Ketan Swali

Here is a list of all the postings Ketan Swali has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Message from ARC to our customers in the E.U.
21/12/2020 15:51:17
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 21/12/2020 14:40:14:
Posted by Ketan Swali on 21/12/2020 11:45:43:

[…] we are temporarily shipping all EU orders by the air courier services offered by DHL and Fedex […]


This may be irrelevant [and if it is, then I apologise], but : In the local Post Office, this morning, I was interested to see a lady trying to send a small parcel by Air Mail to Germany ... The Post Master declined, on the basis that the service is not currently available.


Hi Michael,

It is relevant.. The Post Master has a booking system which will probably be stopping him from booking anything to EU destinations - be it trough Royal Mail or Parcelforce for heavier items.

Ketan at ARC

21/12/2020 15:35:55

Today, as the options for movement from UK into EU and other countries around the world continue to get restricted, it feels a lot line a scene from the Holly Grail teeth 2:


Ketan at ARC.

21/12/2020 11:45:43

**SHIPPING UPDATE** 21 December 2020

As DPD and DHL road courier service into Europe has been suspended, we are temporarily shipping all EU orders by the air courier services offered by DHL and Fedex, for non-machine orders received by close of business on 23rd December 2020 (Please see opening post).

Ketan at ARC.

Edited By Ketan Swali on 21/12/2020 12:04:15

Edited By Ketan Swali on 21/12/2020 12:04:48

11/12/2020 15:51:38
Posted by blowlamp on 11/12/2020 14:19:47:

Once the EU and the UK Gov see the effect this has on small business like ARC, they'll remove all these new regulations. roseheart

They'd never risk their people losing all they'd worked for just so Gov's could spite one another over Brexit. rainbow

Lol... Yes there will be effects, but they are likely to be limited, as far as ARC is concerned, positive and negative. I wish negotiators on both sides well. My concern are only the couriers. I will be trying out different ones over the coming months.. DPD (French Post owned - crap at dealing with problems when parcels go walkabout in Europe), DHL (German Post owned, but more expensive - and pro-active on service when things go wrong), Parcelforce (maybe - but what service? when things go wrong).

I see that certain changes are necessary. I for one am FOR the changes to the VAT regulations, be they for import into the UK from 1st January, or for the EU from *1st July. They are long overdue.

If UK and EU traders are expected to obey the law, so should Amazon, eBay, Banggood, and all the Chinese traders who trade through them. Regardless of the outcome of Brexit talks, the next challenge will be how HMRC or their European counterparts are likely to enforce the changes... if they are able to. I know that such traders outside the UK and EU will already be looking at loopholes to beat the system. With an increasing number of such Chinese traders setting up shop in Hamburg port, I feel sad for the traditional German businesses similar to us, who already are suffering.

Ketan at ARC

* If ARC manages to still have customers left in EU after the first six months of next year, hopefully there will be an easy way for ARC to VAT register for the EU collective states by 1st July, rather than register in each state of the EU. Lets wait and see.


Edited By Ketan Swali on 11/12/2020 15:54:47

11/12/2020 11:55:27
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 11/12/2020 11:25:49:

Did voters have this sort of hoop jumping in mind 4 years ago?


The general public might not have, but businesses trading with Europe who did not wear rose tinted glasses did, or should have teeth 2

What I failed to take into account was the way the couriers would react. I could say many less than complementary things about them, I could join the conspiracy band wagon, but at the end of the day, businesses like us - on both sides of the channel - have to find a way to work with the system, whatever the outcome.

Ketan at ARC

11/12/2020 11:46:25
Posted by peak4 on 10/12/2020 22:33:05:

Ketan, I appreciate this might not affect you directly as it's concerned with EU>UK imports post Brexit, rather than vice versa, (and I think regardless of a deal.)
In a way, it seems to put UK buyers, from EU vendors, in a similar position to your EU customers.

Yes Bill, I am aware of this. I believe that Michael G brought up this issue with the government link back in mid October, on this thread.

As I understand it, EU will have the same policy from 1st July 2021, where exporters to EU will have to have some kind of EU VAT registration for exports from UK to EU from 1st July 2021. I guess the details will get clearer in the coming months.

Ketan at ARC

10/12/2020 20:39:28
Posted by Ignatz on 10/12/2020 17:55:04:


With regard to my remark about the customs charges, I would like to point out that the major difference for the purchaser of goods coming from the UK into Belgium is the so-called 'inspection charge' that the customs people here in Belgium levy on top of the tax upon the goods and shipping.

This 'inspection charge' - equal to about 20£ - is not levied upon shipments from within the EU.

Since the UK is leaving the EU, this means an additional cost for those here in Belgium who choose to purchase goods from the UK.

That extra charge can potentially make the difference in one's decision to purchase from a supplier in the UK or a supplier on the continent.

Just sayin'....

Yes Ignatz, I understand. Depending on which courier is used, they can call it import entry charge, administration charge, or even an inspection charge for anything which enters into the EU from outside.

In my opening post, I mentioned that the couriers we use 'will charge the importer between £11.50 to £13.00 to make an import entry in the country of destination.'

Whilst in your case the courier may have stated 'inspection charge', what they really mean is an admin fee of some kind. It is rare to be charged an actual 'inspection fee' - which is a thing, which someone may charge for physical inspection of goods - by customs - depending on 'which customs route' your consignment goes through. As far as I can recall, Customs route 1 is for documentary check, route 2 for physical examination of goods by customs, route 3 is for consignment to go through without any checks. Usually, this is a random process.

I also understand that the import administration/entry charge can potentially make the difference in one's decision to purchase from a supplier in the UK or a supplier on the continent.

Ketan at ARC.

Edited By Ketan Swali on 10/12/2020 20:50:19

10/12/2020 20:12:31
Posted by Meunier on 10/12/2020 17:42:25:

58.55 10% import duty (assuming no deal and WTO rules apply)

To the best of my knowledge, the import duty % will be based on country of origin (i.e. manufacture) of goods. Not sure at present, but unless EU decides to take the U.S. tarriff route/action against China, it could be less than or around 2%, rather than 10%. Also, to re-confirm, the duty element will only apply to goods value (inc. carriage) over 150 euros.

Ketan at ARC

10/12/2020 20:02:50
Posted by Sam Longley 1 on 10/12/2020 16:50:52:

If the percentage of Ketan's business overseas is significant then there is a solution. I would guess that just about 90% of what he sells is imported anyway. If he is not selling to the EU he is not importing . If he tells us he does not make much profit then he is not loosing much. The Uks imports are less.

But if it is a significant business, rent a wharehouse in Boulogne (or wherever) I am sure that other small businesses will get wise & shared arrangements can be set up., import the goods to there & send them from there to the EU customers. The bookwork can be handled from the Uk by computer. Profits can come back to Uk so that foriegn tax is limited. All you need in Boulogne is a manager and a couple of parcel packers.

Is it really so hard, once the initial problems are sorted & of course there has to be a will to develop a business opportunity. Ketan already has the supply chain to his business ,He knows how to handle the goods, he has experience of international trade. He has all the tools he needs. The hard bit is building the initial stocks & moving small quantities from the Uk to ensure he has the stock in the EU to start it up.Of course he will need additional capital to cope with the extra stock until it starts to move. He then needs to change the delivery address & learn to manage French company rules.

You are probably right Sam. Where there is a will, there is a way.

At present I am content with my lot. Lets see how things develop over time.

Ketan at ARC

10/12/2020 19:54:50
Posted by Martin Dowing on 10/12/2020 16:43:01:
Posted by Ketan Swali on 09/12/2020 21:02:22:

At present we are uncertain if a solution for reduction in courier costs and delays can be found. If and when this happens, we will provide our customers with an update.

For now, we can only apologise for the inconvenience. We are very much aware that this development will make ARC less competitive for consideration by our E.U. customers.

Ketan at ARC.

It seems to be a deliberate design to engineer business environment in such a way that only Chinese goods are competitive.

Large number of various engineering goods from Ali and Banggood are now distributed from Germany at the same price you can buy them from China, so Chinese and German businesses have certainly found their way around a taxman.

But Western manufacturing gone down the drain.

Hi Martin,

It is a case of swings and roundabouts. Examples:

  • When ARC started in this line of business, 98% of its revenue came from hobby customers. Today about 50% of ARCs custom comes from business customers, who are Western manufacturers - small, medium and large. Whilst orders from hobby customers go up and down, orders from business customers continue to grow at a steady pace.
  • ARC, along with most trading companies operating in this environment have lost many hobby customers to the likes of operators which you suggest. A certain percentage of that loss is due to the buyer having poor product knowledge, viewing YT videos and buying good or bad products through the sites you mention. Many such buyers are new to the hobby with zero engineering experience. Some loose interest quickly and move on, and some stay, happy with their purchase, or replace with products from reputable companies.
  • Many Chinese trading companies operating through fulfilment freight forwarders based in Southampton shut down, or went bust, or moved on to freight forwarder fulfilment centres in Hamburg for example. This took place after UK HMRC warned such UK freight forwarders to clean up their act or be held liable for certain practices. It would seem that the customs in Hamburg are more accommodating to such companies, turning a blind eye. We can only hope that sooner or later they too will/might see the light.
  • Things are not so rosy for German companies servicing the hobby/engineering sector. I am aware of well known companies (which I don't wish to name), who are suffering because of such Chinese companies setting up in Hamburg. In one case, to compete against the Chinese trader, the traditional German business changed from a good Chinese supplier to a cheaper bad Chinese source, resulting in poor quality. They are suffering.
  • As a wise 'Bandersnatch' (member on this forum) once told me, If we are unable to compete, it would be better to get out of the kitchen. Rather then compromise by failing to supply a consistent product, ARC has dropped sales of quite a few products.
  • Regardless of how big the Ali/Banggood/Ebay/Amazon platforms are, they still mainly serve the hobby market, which is far smaller than the business engineering market throughout UK and Europe.

Ketan at ARC

10/12/2020 13:57:06
Posted by Ady1 on 10/12/2020 13:37:49:
Posted by ChrisB on 10/12/2020 11:17:08:

UK traders will be at a disadvantage when compared to Chinese traders. I do not know how they manage to deliver at such low postage rates,

Mr Trump was trying to put a stop to that

The Chinese postal system is subsidised by western countries postal charges

And I believe that this was the outcome. We wait and see who will implement the outcome, and how.

Ketan at ARC.

10/12/2020 12:24:07
Posted by pgk pgk on 10/12/2020 12:15:01:

The reason chinese post is cheap is that it's considered a 'transitioning country'. An absurd situation when they have such a proportion of trade. That status allows outbound cheap post and under accepted rules leaves the incoming country's postal service the joy of delivering myriad packets at their loss. And explains why return post is so pricey in compsrison with china>here.



Agreed. Something to do with the arrangement they have with the 'Postal Union'. Don't know the full details. All I am aware of is that the U.S. recently held them to account. Without getting political, it would be interesting to see if the EU decide to do something similar in the coming months and years.

Ketan at ARC.

10/12/2020 12:15:06


With exception of a few countries like Israel (for low value personal imports), value of goods for the purpose of calculating VAT in most countries has always been based/calculated on the total of value of products ordered + carriage + duty.

Ketan at ARC.

10/12/2020 11:36:14
Posted by ChrisB on 10/12/2020 11:17:08:

I have one question for Ketan, if I were to have an order delivered to a UK address (such as a groupage hub as I mentioned before) would that be considered as a local purchase and consequently charged VAT?

Hi Chris B,

At present ARCs policy is to ship directly to overseas customers only. We do not supply to groupage hubs, or third party importer nominated freight forwarders as, based on past experience, they come with their own bag and range of problems. Again, yes, we do loose orders as a result of us failing to consider this idea.

But, the answer to your question is: YES it would be considered as a local purchase and U.K. VAT would be charged on such purchase, in accordance with U.K. law. The only time such a consignment is not subject to VAT is if the groupage hub is a recognised freight forwarder, and provided the freight forwarder is prepared to provide clear proof of shipment for the specific consignment, in a form which is suitable for U.K. HMRC. Usually, such freight forwarders may charge the shipper for such a document, and normally, such third party service providers are always too busy, and need to be chased regularly by the shipper to obtain such a document.

Ketan at ARC.

10/12/2020 11:04:27

Hi Chris B and Dave B,

You guys are on the right track. Here is a snippit from Parcelforces communication:

parcelforce snippit.jpg

  • At present it is difficult to say how many orders shipped out from ARC into E.U. will have a total value including carriage of below 22 euros. Although I am aware of Chinese traders practices, It would be wrong for reputable companies to abuse the system, and we know that we will loose custom as a result.
  • From 1st July 2021, it is suggested that the E.U. will remove the duty and VAT free for orders below 22 euros.

According to U.K. HMRC the low value duty and vat free incentive for orders below £15.00 entering into the U.K. will be abolished at the end of this year. You can read more here on GOV.UK website. This topic was discussed earlier on a different thread, and Michael Gilligan had provided this or similar link I believe.

Ketan at ARC.

09/12/2020 21:02:22

Some of our customers in Europe may be aware that there are transit delays for orders shipped from U.K. into Europe.

Keeping this in mind, we request our European customers to place their orders through or website by 23rd December 2020. All such orders will be processed and dispatched on 24th December 2020. This will hopefully allow our couriers - DHL to enter the European Union by road service, before the 31st of December 2020.

ARC will stop - suspend selling into Europe from close of business on 23rd December 2020. ARC will re-start taking orders for selling into Europe on or around 5th January 2021.

With effect from 1st January 2021, new customs rules will apply for goods entering into Europe.

The good news for our E.U. customers will be that they will not have to pay U.K. VAT with effect from 1st January 2021. That is the only good news. The bad news at present is as follows:

1. Our couriers will have to make an export entry to leave the U.K., and they will have to make an import entry in the destination country. At present, the couriers will charge us and all U.K. exporters a fee for making an export entry of between £2.50 to £4.50. They will charge the importer between £11.50 to £13.00 to make an import entry in the country of destination.

2. There will be a delay in export from the U.K. for around two to three days while the couriers prepare and lodge export entries with U.K. customs for all the consignments which are loaded in specific road trailers. After this procedure is completed the trailer will be allowed to enter the channel tunnel or get on a ferry into Europe.

3. From 5th January 2021, the shipping charges stated on our website for shipping into E.U. destinations will include U.K. export entry charges (between £2.50 to £4.50) in addition to the road freight charges.

4. Once the goods reach their destination, depending on the couriers administration system in the country of import, they will contact the importer to ask them to pay the import entry charge (between £11.50 to £13.00) and taxes - duty (for goods above a certain value) and local VAT in the destination E.U. state. Once this is paid, the goods will be delivered to the importer. So, once again, this will cause delay.

At ARC,we believe that these costs are too high for most small value orders. These costs will be on top of the courier road freight costs which will also be increasing by 4.9% across all courier which we currently use.

At present we are uncertain if a solution for reduction in courier costs and delays can be found. If and when this happens, we will provide our customers with an update.

For now, we can only apologise for the inconvenience. We are very much aware that this development will make ARC less competitive for consideration by our E.U. customers.

Ketan at ARC.

Thread: What collet chuck dimentions for s Sieg SX2?
21/11/2020 15:17:56


The SX2 spindle is usually MT3 or R8.

So, depending on which version you buy/get from, consider:

MT3 - ER25 chuck system or

R8 - ER25 chuck system

If you want to buy variable quality of such collet systems - consider the Banggood route. You will not get any links on here as this has been kept off discussion - read Code of Conduct link

Generally, for re-sell value, SX2s with R8 spindles are better, and also considered better for cnc conversions. To understand, read a book, or do some research.

Ketan at ARC.

21/11/2020 15:06:56
Posted by PETER ROACH on 21/11/2020 11:01:01:


seig do a large range, dealers don’t stock the entire range, but only a small offering. See or **LINK**

if you want a specific machine, find a good import agent and buy what you really want, rather than second best, cause the dealer has it. But echo as above , think before you hit the credit card.



Hi Peter,

Some clarification, and corrections are in order:

  • The SX2 or the SX2P are small mini-mills. It would be too costly for Martin to import by himself direct from China, even if SIEG were to supply him directly, probability of which are next to zero nowadays. He would be better off looking for supply of the machine from a reputable European dealer.
  • ARC introduced the X3* back in 2003, and promoted the SIEG brand, before SIEG understood the meaning of branding, and well before Axminster decided to to promote the SIEG brand. In the early 2000s, it was possibly for any individual to purchase directly from SIEG. Most such individuals saw the machine in our catalogue, as well as at the shows we attended, and then decided to buy direct. Originally, SIEG obliged, but as the dealer network grew, many dealers persuaded SIEG to re-consider their position on direct supply to individuals in areas where SIEG has dealers. In-turn, distributor loyalty with SIEG has grown to a certain extent.
  • Each dealer - distributor decides which machines they wish to sell, as well as the versions of the machine which they wish to sell - MT/R8. If the end user/buyer wishes to buy an alternative machine or alternative version, the dealer decides if they wish to supply the version the buyer wants. In most cases, SIEG will not interfere in this process.
  • ARC only sells models and versions of SIEG machines which it wants to sell. This is based on 18 years of ARCs sales and service experience in this industry. Requests for models and versions outside the range we sell are politely declined.
  • Earlier, with reference to collect chuck systems, you mentioned: 'they offered their own version of a collet system, which you have with 6,10,12 &16 mm collets.'. Yes they do. They look similar to ER collect systems, but are non-standard, with limited availability of collets, and generally expensive. In the early days we used to offer non-standard collet systems which were same as SIEG, but quickly dropped them after understanding limitations - especially for sales, and costs which are higher than ER. I believe that one or two competitors still sell the non-standard system.

* Although the X3 is still sold by SIEG in small numbers, it was discontinued by ARC in 2013, and replaced with SX3 - Brushless motor version.

It is important that Martin considers his direction based on current trends, and for this reason, the above clarification is made, without any disrespect to you Peter.

It would be better for Martin to consider Bazyls, Stuart Smith 5s, and Journeymans suggestions.

Ketan at ARC.

Edited By Ketan Swali on 21/11/2020 15:19:59

Thread: Sieg SC3 CLUNK and no go
13/11/2020 19:23:05

Lol. There are times when my team and I also get it wrong, and times when we disagree with a customer. The customers who feel we have done wrong have a different opinion of our customer service.

We are a small business. Companies on your side of the pond are around five times+ bigger than us, so experiences of customer service good and questionable will be more amplified.

My personal experiences have been related to retail stores during a visit to New York some twelve odd years ago, where I found the people working in stores - big and small to be very helpful. During my stay there I also visited Travers where the staff were very helpful and friendly. I also meet the then owner of Victor Machinery, who showed me a paper catalogue issued by his grandfather I think, back in 1940s. He showed me around his place and introduced me to his great team. I recall being amused watching them use gum paper tape to pack cartons and thinking it was old fashioned, or possibly the American way. ARC adopted the same idea some three years ago.

I also have a chat now and then with Chris Wood - LittleMachineShop. I find him and his team to be very helpful too.

I did learn a few good things from my visit, as I am sure we all do from new experiences. I am sure that there must be more good companies there too.

Ketan at ARC

13/11/2020 16:48:51
Posted by Meunier on 13/11/2020 16:33:37:
Posted by Ketan Swali on 12/11/2020 21:27:41:

DaveD keep the details of the solution confidential, ..........

Ketan at ARC.

Edited By Ketan Swali on 12/11/2020 21:28:03

That's OK Ketan, I won't tell anybody else. Thanks for the correction, even better support.


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