I think it only matters how badly you want to participate in this beta… for me to was worth it to pay the extra shipping cost because I was looking forward to a speed increased cwx compatible module for quite some time. I’m still not sure why I didn’t have to pay any import duties to get the beta kit arriving in the UK. I remember on my last two direct orders from GHI which were shipped to France I didn’t have to pay any taxes either but these were both under $50 so I thought I’d be under the limit. I’m curious if anyone else here who ordered directly from GHI to Europe had to pay taxes upon delivery.
The main problem with the import duties is that you have to pay the postal service or courier company money just for collecting the import duty from you, with the fee usually being around £8 / €10 / $12. This is why it’s favorable to have the duty fees payed in advance as to avoid this extra charge which is quite extensive just for collecting money from you. Of course you pay the actual duty on top of that! The first time I ordered from the US (Sparkfun) it was quite a shock to me how expensive that is. Nowadays I try to order most of my stuff from China where they declare the items as gifts or educational (which for me they obviously are since I’m not a professional) with minimum value sent from an individual person so they don’t require additional import duty either.
The only things I nowadays pay duty for upon delivery are kickstarter projects but there I’m very careful to only support projects where I’m absolutely sure they will give me a long term value. All my other electronics I usually get from European retailers, Mouser or China/Asia.