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  • Can anyone explain how to work out final cost of buying items from EU ?
  • Premier Icon kaiser
    Free Member

    Apologies if already discussed but I can’t find definitive info regarding this although I know it’s early days.
    If I buy any item from the EU am I not going to know the final cost until it arrives or the courier/ post service contacts me regarding extra charges incl their own charge for charging me + possible vat / import charges and whatever else they can tack on! I don’t feel happy about ordering anything at the moment tbh if the cost is unsure. Anyone in the know ?

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Full Member

    Depends what it is and it’s country of origin. This isn’t necessarily where you are buying it from.

    Premier Icon bobgarrod
    Free Member

    Theres an article here-https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/dec/28/brexit-customs-duties-to-apply-to-eu-goods-worth-more-than-390. It looks like they are expecting the seller to collect the vat on behalf of the uk government – i’ve noticed this on some of the recent ebay listings.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    If you can could you let Boris know.

    Premier Icon ginsterdrz
    Free Member

    It is not currently possible to predict what you will be charged until you receive the delivery notification along with any fees that apply or have been levied.

    Premier Icon paton
    Free Member

    020 7925 0918

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Full Member

    I think it is possible…if importing from outside the EU you just need to look up the commodity code of whatever you are importing. Presumably the commodity codes have been updated for the EU. The question is that presumably the retailer needs to advise if it was predominantly made in the EU and therefore duty free, or if its imported and therefore liable for duty.

    I guess this is why some are not shipping to the UK as they haven’t finished (or don’t want to) going through their products and working out what should incur duty.

    Then add the VAT (I think the VAT also gets charged on the postage) and then, you need to estimate the handling charge that the courier will levy for paying your duty where it enters the country.

    The courier will give you the duty/vat/handling charge total and hold the item until you pay.

    Premier Icon roger_mellie
    Full Member

    you need to estimate the handling charge that the courier will levy for paying your duty where it enters the country.

    This annoys me. (The concept, not the poster). Your contract is with the company selling you the item. You have no direct contract with the shipping company. You have paid postage to the company selling you the item. The courier needs to reclaim any “admin” costs from the supplier, not you, otherwise it’s just a ransom. The supplier can factor in admin costs into the shipping costs they charge you.

    Pre-brexit, I successfully challenged a courier on these “handling” costs using the above reasoning and told them to do one. I did of course still have to pay the import charges (it was a jersey from NZ), but because I had no prior knowledge of what their handling charges would be, it wasn’t reasonable for them to try and reclaim them from me.

    Premier Icon kaiser
    Free Member

    Well it seems that the answer is no …you can’t buy anything and know the full cost until it arrives which is a joke. The item I wanted to buy was impossible to find in the categories or search facility of codes ..so a good start to the reality of Brexit.

    Premier Icon kaiser
    Free Member

    I can’t even found out if there’s a threshold below which you’re not charged but wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of couriers and postal services use the uncertainty to boost their profits by( as mentioned earlier) “holding you to ransom” and not releasing your item until they extort whatever they can get.Again ..it’s a ‘kin joke.

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Full Member

    Take pre-deal price and double it.

    Premier Icon torsoinalake
    Free Member

    ..it’s a ‘kin joke

    Will of the people.

    Who knew what they were voting for apparently.

    Premier Icon convert
    Full Member

    Will of the people.

    Who knew what they were voting for apparently.

    As much as I’d enjoy joining you in a bit of brexiter bashing (they are idiots after all) this will be one aspect of leaving that will completely pass them by. When did any leave voter do anything as la-dee-da as ‘import’ something from outside of the uk? Your average leave voter is currently bricking it from the threat of covid but still shuffling their built-for-CV19 gut around the supermarket (with his nose poking out from his mask obvs) because the concept of click and collect is completely beyond them. Online ordering something from another country is so far outside their life experiences as to be a non issue.

    Premier Icon sma_ll
    Free Member

    I ordered something from Ireland, paid without their VAT. Then had DPD collect the 20% VAT on the item, plus £1.50
    processing fee. Simple…

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Full Member

    Think of a number, double it, add the number you first though of, and add a bit extra for the Post Office as a handling fee, that ought to do it.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Simple…

    But variable. Just because your item was tariff free, doesn’t mean that the OP’s will be. And did you know in advance that their fee would be £1.50? And do you know whether your pay VAT on arrival method is acceptable for all values of goods from all EU countries, and whether it is just available for a short grace period, and if it is, when that period comes to an end?

    Premier Icon fisha
    Free Member

    Its a minefield at the moment isn’t it.

    (edited cause I think I got it wrong)

    Premier Icon oldmanmtb2
    Free Member

    Frank said double it, my multiple is 1.5 made up of vat, delivery, handing fee, mistakes (which you will have to pay for)

    Convert is correct the great unwashed dont import “stuff” not from Johnny Foreigner… they let Amazon deal with that.

    Premier Icon onehundredthidiot
    Free Member

    So my bikeinn has import fees paid and a picture of the package has a royal mail 48hr delivery ticket on it with a UK return address. Even though it has come via NLpost from spain. And GBP17.99 which google translate tells me is import fees.

    Do Bikeinn bundle packages into a larger consignement send to UK then forward from there?

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    So my bikeinn has import fees paid and a picture of the package has a royal mail 48hr delivery ticket on it with a UK return address. Even though it has come via NLpost from spain. And GBP17.99 which google translate tells me is import fees.

    Do Bikeinn bundle packages into a larger consignement send to UK then forward from there?

    Plausible. Also possible the postage is paid for via NL post but issued in the UK.

    It sounds very much like your item was shipped from within the UK though.

    If that item was posted in the UK they can’t charge you import fees on top, they can and should roll them into the price but there is no import fee to be paid on items sent within the UK (even NI, which requires customs declaration, doesn’t attract fees). You’re not the importer. Someone else up the line was and they have to have paid those amounts which are due.

    Should you be somehow entitled to a rebate of those duties, (for argument’s sake you simply post them straight out to the EU [which wouldn’t qualify for rebate but…]) if its shipped inside the UK you haven’t paid any duty so you can’t reclaim it so charging you duty is I’m pretty sure, a big no no. – bonded warehouses and other exceptions will apply but they’re technically not in the UK for tax and duty purposes.

    edit: you mention Spain sorry so ?possibly? it’s physically sent from Gibraltar, I’m not sure how that would work. Very much a guess but quite likely it’s liable for customs on leaving Gibraltar but not entering it.

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Full Member

    Three hundred thousand, and thirty four, nine hundred and seventy four thousand pence pounds

    Premier Icon jwildcard
    Free Member

    I am from the other thread started this morning regarding the import VAT due from Germany. I have looked back at the transaction and if the item was going to be charged VAT upon entering the UK then VAT should not have been take at checkout initially or if it is then it needs to be refunded back to me now. In effect it is being charged twice and with the hassle and extra expense incurred now from UPS putting the handling fee on.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    In effect it is being charged twice and with the hassle and extra expense incurred now from UPS putting the handling fee on.

    Does your invoice from Germany show UK VAT?

    It should be fairly simple to sort with the supplier but ups are unlikely to let you off the hook, if it’s been shipped as vat unpaid ups will want paying now its in country.

    Premier Icon simondbarnes
    Full Member

    They’ll just be pocketing the German “vat” portion to make more profit, rather like Planet X are doing for sales into Europe

    https://road.cc/content/news/planet-x-customers-continent-paying-uk-vat-280099

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    As much as I’d enjoy joining you in a bit of brexiter bashing (they are idiots after all) this will be one aspect of leaving that will completely pass them by.

    Along with every other aspect but at least there are now less foreigners in the country (well they assume there are but wouldn’t notice or know how to check) and the british fish are happier.

    Seriously though, I imagine a fair few Brexiters do actually buy stuff from EU online shops and I have to admit I didn’t think about VAT issues

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Full Member

    Something I hadn’t thought about until now, if I buy something from Europe ex VAT, then pay VAT on delivery, what do I do if I need the return the item for a refund?

    Tough shit or can/do I claim the VAT back (slightly less tough shit, but still shit)

    Premier Icon onehundredthidiot
    Free Member

    Bikeinn shows tracking via NLpost and package originates in Spain.

    Premier Icon jwildcard
    Free Member

    I noticed there is a commercial invoice on the reciept saying:
    Commercial Invoice
    The products of this shipment are of preferential European origins.
    The amount of tax charged is exactly 20% so I heard discussed the German rate for VAT is 19% so it does not match up with that. It just states Sales Tax and the amount paid at point of purchase is the exact amount UPS have invoiced me for

    Premier Icon Sui
    Free Member

    The products of this shipment are of preferential European origins

    that will show that there should be no, or minimal tariffs applied to the goods coming in which is a % based on the commercial value, bike parts fall under tariff heading 8714 – in this case 0% so no fee.

    The amount of tax charged is exactly 20% so I heard discussed the German rate for VAT is 19%

    this is the VAT. 19% is german – you should not have been charged this amount, however when it gets to the UK, the UK VAT (20%) is applied to the following;

    Commercial value of goods (i.e. what the seller is selling to the buyer at before taxes and shipping)
    +
    Value of tariff

    you will then have a handling fee which will also have VAT applied to it, this can ange anywhere from £1 – £250 depending on size and type of shipment.

    an example being;

    goods are €100
    Shipping is €10
    Tariff is 4%

    so €100 + €10 * 1.04 (4% tariff) *20% (UK VAT) =€137.28 before handling fees.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    ( ( (€100 + €10) * 1.04 [4% tariff] ) + X [handling fee] ) * 1.2 [20% UK VAT] = …

    And X, the handling fee, is the bit that has the potential to surprise and annoy people the most.

    Premier Icon mark88
    Free Member

    I’ve got a Propain on order – i mistakenly thought the trade agreement would save me from import taxes, but upon further reading it appears not.

    Despite it coming from Germany, the product origin is Taiwan so falls outside of trade agreement.

    At point of purchase I paid:
    20% UK VAT
    £175 shipping which I believe / hope (but unconfirmed) was recently increased to include handling fees.

    I now expect to see an invoice for 14% import duty on top of this.

    Premier Icon roger_mellie
    Full Member

    And X, the handling fee, is the bit that has the potential to surprise and annoy people the most.

    Indeed. But as I said earlier, no end consumer needs to be paying these after the point of sale. The supplier should be including these costs and the courier billing their client, not the consumer.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    I now expect to see an invoice for 14% import duty on top of this.

    You also need to pay vat on that 14%.

    I noticed there is a commercial invoice on the reciept saying:
    Commercial Invoice

    That will declare the value of the shipment. That value is ex vat and duty. It should not include the 20% you’ve paid. But…
    The difficulty is if its over £135 you should be paying vat (and duty at probably 0%) on entry so the shipping agent will bill you.

    I’m not sure how you go about declaring the VAT as paid in advance as a supplier – I’m not even sure you can declare it. I assume [German supplier] would need to be billed by the shipper at week or month end for payment of vat and duty.

    But as I said earlier, no end consumer needs to be paying these after the point of sale

    The difficulty there is every carrier will have a different charge. With the same carrier that charge will be depending on number of codes in your shipment etc, so buy a bike you might pay £8 for the privilege, but a tyre, a seat clamp, a brake lever and 4 spokes could be £32 as they’re [conceivably] 4 different codes.

    Also the handling charge is on the duty and vat. That’s yours, you might not get a choice in who is carrying the stuff but, by ordering from abroad, you sign up to paying that. Its the importers legal burden. Its not the senders, it’s not an up charge on the senders contract of shipping, its an up charge on the receivers contract [with HMRC] to pay duty and tax.

    This is something commercial companies have been doing for years whilst people bitch and moan t that it’s cheaper to buy d direct from x y or z. The reality is its very unlikely to stay cheaper or easier to avoid using UK wholesalers distributors etc for very long because the ball ache you could avoid but they can’t, it’s now also a problem for you.

    Premier Icon jwildcard
    Free Member

    Its almost comical now that i`ve got UPS visiting two days in a row to ask for these fees.
    Its a mess. I have emailed the German retailer and they have been very unhelpful so its not looking good right now. I was after some explanation/detail and got a very simple email just with a link forwarding me to my UPS tracking details saying I am responsible for them once imported. Very poor but they won`t be hearing the last of it or from me thats for sure.
    I rang UPS and explained that I had paid 20% VAT at point of purchase, they have asked me for the UK VAT registration details for the German retailer and said it may be possible to chase it up that way. In the short term the fees are going to have to be paid I think, as another poster mentioned once they are imported it is the importers responsibility. But regarding the money paid at point of purchase then that needs to be sorted out. I will have to contact the German retailer again. I think usually say when someone purchases from the US there is usually tax charged and no doubt they just say its not their problem. The problem in this case is they have a pull down option for NON EU countries and that puts the item in cart without adding the tax.
    To me it seems currently like they are not recognising the fact that all UK transactions are going to be subject to a further 20% VAT charge upon import so im not sure where it leaves them charging it upfront initially still. It will take some further sorting out im sure yet.

    Premier Icon mrmonkfinger
    Free Member

    It’ll be a lot.

    I did two US imports last year. No EU source at the time.

    a pair of special size ball bearings
    £67 all told
    of which £12 was customs and £12 parcelfarce handling
    and around £15 slow boat shipping

    a pair of special order hobby bits, $40 each w/o tax
    £108 all told
    of which £15 customs and £8 RoyalFail handling
    and again around £15 for slow boat shipping

    Premier Icon buenfoxa
    Free Member

    I ordered a £445 item from bike-discount (£599.99 cheapest in the UK but out of stock) on Sunday just gone. The price paid was ex VAT as it was being delivered the UK. The parcel was shipped by DHL Germany and then handed to ParcelForce once it landed in the UK.

    I fully expected to pay VAT, 4% duty as it wasn’t a EU manufactured part plus ParcelForce handling fee. Was watching out for an email from ParcelForce requesting payment before goods were released.

    The part has just been delivered and I’ve not been asked to pay anything further; seems like I’ve got away with one!

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Can anyone explain how to work out final cost of buying items from EU ?

    No

    Premier Icon Spud
    Full Member

    Well I’ve had an order cancelled from Sunglass Hut, who I’ve ordered from several times, I did wonder if they would as they have shipped from Italy in the past. Assume it just isn’t worth it anymore with the hassle.

    Premier Icon mattyfez
    Free Member

    I ordered a £445 item from bike-discount (£599.99 cheapest in the UK but out of stock) on Sunday just gone. The price paid was ex VAT as it was being delivered the UK. The parcel was shipped by DHL Germany and then handed to ParcelForce once it landed in the UK.

    I fully expected to pay VAT, 4% duty as it wasn’t a EU manufactured part plus ParcelForce handling fee. Was watching out for an email from ParcelForce requesting payment before goods were released.

    The part has just been delivered and I’ve not been asked to pay anything further; seems like I’ve got away with one!

    You might get a letter from parcelforce in a week or so asking you to pay thier fee for handling.

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Full Member

    It’s not so hard, is it?

    Almost any item will have VAT applied to it. There are some things like helmets, and items with a value (including shipping) less than £15 which are exempt, but in the main, there’ll be 20% VAT.

    If the item is above £135 there will also be duty to pay. The duty will vary dependent on the type of goods and their determined origin.

    For most bicycle related items (maybe not clothing) this will be <5%.

    Then add the handling fee. The most expensive of these are usually FedEx and RM, but both are less than £20.

    In the end, stuff from the EU, will be around 5% more expensive + the handling fee + the increased cost of shipping. It will also be substantially slower as it can take PF et al a good few days to sort out all the paperwork and finances.

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