Brexit - Customs, VAT on packages

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Moonraker
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:23 pm

Brexit - Customs, VAT on packages

Post by Moonraker »

I've just glanced at the regulations that will come into force on January regarding packages mailed from the UK (and into it) and VAT, Customs fees etc. Presumably these exclude letters and large letters, the categories most dealers and private sellers use - unless the contents exceed a certain value, which I've yet to discover. (For imports the thresholds are 0.01. to £15 No customs duty, No Import VAT; £15.01 to £135 No customs duty Import VAT due; £135.01 and greater Customs duty due; Import VAT due.")

I've been mailing postcards and stamps to EU countries in those ubiquitous cardboard-backed "Please do not bend" envelopes and am guessing that I can continue to do this without a Customs declaration. Seldom are the contents worth more than £10-12.

This seems to be the most appropriate guidance at the moment.

(Decades ago there was a problem when an American dealer sent me £60 or so of stamps and cards on approval and the Customs people charged me VAT or Excise Duty or something on them. Luckily I was out when the postman called and he just left the package.)

Old Postcards
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Re: Brexit - Customs, VAT on packages

Post by Old Postcards »

Everything seems to be very confusing, it depends what you read, where. The link you supplied on that early post was written before there was a Brexit deal agreed so things might have changed. Certainly the advice I am getting from the post office is that customs notes need to be affixed to all items being sent to Europe and Northern Ireland after 1 January. Like you, I send in the Do Not Bend small envelopes... and those labels are way too big to fix on the front of them. So therefore they would need to go on the back I guess. I also read somewhere that we had to affix invoices too but not sure about that!

If you are in business you also need an EORI number to sell goods (export) to Europe and N Ireland. For the latter apparently we need another EORI number beginning with XI... you can apply for these free though on the gov.uk site. Our postcards whilst not that valuable in the great scheme of things, still count as exports.

Then there is VAT - some sources say we have to register for VAT in each European country we post to (even if you're not registered here in the UK) and it has to be paid and reported somehow - some say that the post office add it on as a fee to the postage amount... I cannot find anyone who can advise on that matter officially.

It is all very confusing and I am hoping I do not have to stop sending items to Europe and N Ireland... the latter is included because the border will be down the Irish Sea so it is classed like sending goods to Europe.

However, if you just put a card in an envelope, board backed or stiffened, whatever... and put a stamp on and post it that way, maybe that is the way round it! I cannot recommend that though in case it is stopped at customs and we get into trouble!

What a nightmare. I would be interested to hear what other dealers are doing about all this.

PS I rang three post offices today to ask if we could now post items to Europe... two said no, one said yes no problem. Confusion reigns!

Moonraker
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:23 pm

Re: Brexit - Customs, VAT on packages

Post by Moonraker »

Others are expressing confusion on the eBay Community pages.

This seems to be aimed at Business vendors and is off-putting enough for them. Surely all that Red Tape won't apply to private sellers? Luckily I've already sold nearly all my high-value stuff and recent sales have been of £3-5 an item to two German collectors, and we've all been happy for me to accumulate their purchases and send several at once.

Note: "eBay reminds sellers that the EU €22 VAT exemption on parcel sales from outside the EU to EU consumers is being withdrawn".

For Christmas a Polish friend sent me a box of her national food and a bottle with an incomprehensible label, though I noted "rumu" and "30%"! (I've only just discovered that she wasn't meant to send through the post anything stronger than 25%. I shudder to think what it cost her in postage, and shudder even more about what duty or tax would be levied on it in 2021.

Without getting into the murky waters of trading agreements etc, I've hardly ever had problems occasionally receiving and sending packets and parcels from/to the States and Australia, with no need for documentation.

Moonraker
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:23 pm

Re: Brexit - Customs, VAT on packages

Post by Moonraker »

Royal Mail guidance

Yesterday I posted two low-value postcards to Sweden and the Czech Republic (£2 and £4.50) and sent messages to both purchasers advising of postal problems within the UK, mentioning the problem my friend had in posting a letter to me from Poland and asking for their indulgence should my letters be delayed. If the worst happens, I'm prepared to do refunds.

I suppose the closure of air traffic corridors just announced will also affect posting to some countries..

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