Note: I'm not sure this belongs to this site, so feel free to point me to where I can investigate or migrate the question.
I live in Belgium, Europe. I often order items from outside the EU, because of wider choice. However, when the item is above 22 euro custom duties are due which I would understand if they did not take 20 euro (25$ or so) as "handling fee" (which to be honest I don't know how it justifies such a premium), plus obviously EU VAT (20-22%). As a whole this makes items under 100$ cost the double of the price, also given the shipping (for a reason I really can't understand) makes up part of the item value.
I know delivery companies can someway pay recipients' customs fees upfront, basically paying 0 as a handling fee and potentially (just guessing here) a lower VAT.
Is there a way to not pay the handling fee or get a reduction by paying upfront - on the recipient side, not sender - whatever is due to customs for a certain product shipped to EU from a non-EU country?