But they seem to be catching less and less items. A couple of years ago they seemed to catch everything no matter the value but nowerdays they very rarely seem to pull anything that I have bought (including when I got the 200macro,85 1.4 and 28-70 for matsuiyastore last year) So I suppose you take your chances - ps VAT is only 17.5% and duty is only a couple of percent so I would only work on a 20% mark up if caught. My rule that I work on is if it is less than 70% of the cost in the UK it is probably worth risking.
Just an update on the duty/vat...
I got billed for the lens Bill sold me...the import duty + vat did indeed work out to be 30% almost exactly.
They work out the vat after they have added postage, insurance and the duty has been added, add to that the carriers clearance charge and you have your 30% on top...still was a good price for the lens but it's something to be wary off.
Gear List: A700+Grip, A100, Minolta 7000i./ Lenses Minolta-400mm F4.5 HS APO G, 80-200 f2.8 HSG, 100mm F2.8 macro, 500mm F8 reflex, 50mm F1.7, 70-210 F4 macro, 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 macro, 35-70mm F4 macro, 135 f2.8, Sony 18-70mm f3.5-5.6./ Jessops ext tubes, kood/cokin filters, grip, angle viewfinder.