Online shopping to UK customers: do I have to pay VAT, import and handling costs?
Ordering items online from EU based retailers may leave you responsible for unexpected fees.
Due to Brexit, you will be charged VAT and custom duty by shipping providers!!
Unfortunately, we do not know the amount of the fees and therefore we cannot charge them. Fees will be calculated in the UK.
Upon delivery, the customer will be invoiced as customs duties and taxes. The customer will receive information about the final fees in advance as soon as they are evaluated. The final costs shall be determined by the customs authorities at the time of importation.
Some of the fees you can expect to pay are:
Customs and import duties
Custom duties are a fee placed on gifts or goods sent to the UK from outside the EU. This only becomes payable if your order is over £135. The courier will pay this to HMRC on your behalf but you will likely have to pay this back when receiving your purchase.
The fee can range from 0 - 25% depending on the goods you’ve bought. The rules for customs duties and the amount applied vary depending on the item, and finding out how much tariffs are can be time consuming.
Customs charges should not be applied to products of EU origin, due to the ‘rules of origin’ agreement between the UK and the EU. This means that orders are customs duty exempt if products have been largely produced and manufactured in the EU.
If you’re unsure, it’s a good idea to ask the retailer if the items you are ordering might attract any customs duties before you buy.
If you are hit with a customs duty that you think you shouldn’t have to pay, you can ask the retailer to send you an ‘origin declaration’ which sets out the proof of origin of the goods you’ve bought so you can prove that your order was made and manufactured in the EU.
Orders are customs duty exempt if products have been largely produced and manufactured in the EU.
Import VAT is a fee currently paid on goods sent to the UK from abroad, but instead of the normal VAT you would pay at the checkout for your items, you’ll pay ‘import VAT’ on the total cost of the item and shipping and handling costs accrued when the courier brings the purchase to the UK. The usual UK Import VAT rate is 20%.
As these charges are added up after purchase, the total cost of ordering your items will start to increase and could leave you with unexpected fees on items you’ve bought online.
Courier 'handling fees'
The new rules have also hit delivery firms and couriers have now brought in ‘handling fees’ which are used to cover the extra admin costs they’re having to deal with when taking items through customs. These fees vary depending on which delivery service you use. Most of "handling fees" we will pay for you.
Fishing tackle a £150 incl. shipping will incur a 3.7% customs duty (£5.55), an additional 20% ‘import VAT’ set at the UK rate (£30, tallying £35.55). The total cost you might have to pay will become £35.55 or more (some handling fees in destination).