- Feb 21, 2017
What i mean is, prior to now if we've managed to dodge customs by having an order marked $15 we've been clean and clear right? Well that option is gone now, so we can forget it.See I don’t understand the Royal Mail handling fee going forward. I’ve always had parcels marked between $15/ $18 and I’ve never had to pay it. Unless you mean because they would sort the 20% VAT their side when it arrives in the country that they will also charge a handling fee for doing so. If that’s the case they are such cheeky f**ks
And if that’s the case I’d be happy paying the 20% VAT upfront with the retailer. If it stops Royal Mail chucking in a handling fee anyway.
What i mean is, prior to now if we've managed to dodge customs by having an order marked $15 we've been clean and clear right? Well that option is gone now, so we can forget it.
If we haven't though, and say it's been marked as $20, it'd be over the £15 limit and you'll get a grey card from Royal mail. On that card would be a charge for about £3.50 to cover VAT and customs plus an approx £8 handling charge from Royal mail for their trouble of processing it. Ergo an £11odd charge due.
So basically if we buy from retailers or merchants who ship goods from outside the UK and they're UK VAT registered (think amazon, ebay etc..) we'll get charged a flat 20% VAT upfront on all orders £0-135. No customs duty due and no surprise charges upon receipt. There's roughly an additional 3.3% customs duty due on orders £135+, but that's it.
However, if that company or merchant is not UK VAT registered, then they shouldn't charge VAT upfront (as they can't pay it back to HMRC) and it'll be due upon receipt instead. Again it'll still be a flat 20% VAT (on orders up to £135), but I don't see why Royal mail wouldn't still charge the same handling fee for managing this process that they always have. I can't confirm this to be true, as I don't know anyone who's been caught by customs in the last few weeks, but it makes sense.
Safe bet is to factor in customs declared value × 20% + £8 for any overseas orders now, unless you're either A lucky, or B your package has been marked as docs or a gift instead of goods.
EU orders CAN be a little different, mainly because EU VAT is usually nearly 20% anyway. Since we're not in the EU anymore we're not technically liable for EU VAT if the company or merchant is UK VAT registered and are happy to deduct it.
So as an example, we're only going to be charged 1% more in upfront VAT than prices initially listed on amazon.de (DE VAT is 19%), on orders up to £135. £135+, an extra 3.3% is due.
Caviat to that being, EU companies who aren't UK VAT registered, or those who don't/can't deduct their EU VAT at checkout, we'll get shafted for 20% import VAT and handling upon receipt in addition to the EU VAT included within our order total. So essentially the same as anywhere else in the world.
Agreed, but unfortunately I can't see many companies based exclusively in Asia registering for UK VAT unless it's beneficial to them. i.e if they have a base of operations here or trade within the UK via a subsidiary etc..cheers
yeah I thought that’s what you meant with the handling fee. I’ve never been charged customs or handling fees from Premium orders so I’ve not had to pay it before and I just wondered if that was that same handling fee they would use for arranging the 20% VAT payment. It certainly feels like they wouldn’t scrap that anyway. I’ve paid it before on other things from the US though like vinyl
So really, it would be a good thing if these premium companies were VAT registered. As I said I’d rather pay a few quid extra upfront when pre ordering instead of £8 - to whatever you spend that the extra VAT adds up to when it arrives