After importing jewellery into Ireland from USA, my items landed in the Irish Assay office - the Butcher Shop. Jewellery coming from outside the European Union must be tested and verified as genuine gold and silver. Downside is that the Assay office often ruin jewellery in the testing process. Often items are cut to test for gold content. This renders them unsaleable - except as scrap gold. Rings are often tested to the extent that the shank is rough and scratchy to the touch. This reduces the value of the ring. The importer must pay the Assay Office for their 'professional' services and pay 21% Irish rate of vat on top of that!
What looked like a good deal can work out expensive by the time you pay import duties, Assay charges plus more vat.
One of the downsides to importing from non-European Union countries for those of us living within the EU.
That's my gripe finished for the day. Thanks for listening.