I will try not to turn this post into a total rant but I am pretty ticked off so it might end up that way, you have been warned!
The end of November I sent parcels back home, I always fill in the customs form (CN22) and put down what is in the parcel plus it's value (or there abouts, I tend to round it up). Anyway, I got a message from my best mate Di saying that she was being charged £25 for the pleasure of receiving my parcel. TWENTY FIVE QUID!!!!
This is what she got through…
Di was equally pissed off and made an enquiry, of course they reckon she still has to pay, here is some more general info that she received…
So I did some digging and looked up notice 143, click HERE for the full information about the notice. Looking through I have picked out what I think is the most important parts for those sending international mail, especially if you are outside the EU…
Do I have to pay import duties and/or import VAT on goods sent to me?
Most goods arriving in the UK from outside the EU are liable to any or all of the following taxes:
- customs duty
- excise duty
and must be paid whether:
- import VAT
- you purchase the goods or receive them as a gift
- the goods are new or used (including antiques)
- the goods are for your private use or for re-sale
I was most annoyed about it all because they are gift and not commercial, the postal system already charges a small fortune for the postage rates, I am disgusted that they charge for gifts!
Goods sent as a gift that are over £40* in value are liable to import VAT Customs duty also becomes payable if the value of the goods is over £135 but is waived if the amount of duty calculated is less than £9.
*Please note this limit will reduce to £36 with effect from 1 January 2013.
To qualify as a gift:
- the customs declaration must be completed correctly
- the gift must be sent from a private person outside the EU to a private person(s) in this country
- there is no commercial or trade element and the gift has not been paid for either directly or indirectly by anyone in the UK
Note: if you purchase something from outside the EU to give as a gift to a relative or friend, whether or not addressed to that person, it is treated as a ‘commercial consignment’ for which the import VAT relief threshold in paragraph 2.3 applies.
- the gift is of an occasional nature only, for example, for a birthday or anniversary
Now, there might be a way around this, as of writing I'm not sure if Di has paid the TWENTY FIVE QUID yet or not, I will update you if there is more info from her end. BUT, if there are multiple gifts in one package there might be hope for us…
2.7 Do multi-gift packages containing more than one gift qualify for the £40 customs duty waiver and import VAT relief?
Where a package contains gifts that are clearly intended for several people, for example, members of the same family, the £40* VAT relief applies to each individual person provided the goods are:
- individually wrapped, and
- specifically addressed to them, and
- declared separately on the customs declaration
If more than one individual package is addressed to a particular person the value of the goods will be added together. If the total value exceeds £40* import VAT will be charged, and if the value exceeds £135 customs duty may also be due.
- within the allowances specified
If a package contains a number of different types of goods intended for more than one person, and these are separately described and given a value on the customs declaration, the waiver of customs duty will apply to each item. For import VAT, only as many items that add up to the value of the import VAT threshold (£40*) will be granted relief; for example, if a package contains six items each with a value of £8, only five items will be entitled to relief (5 × £8 = £40*) with charges payable on the sixth item.
When one item is sent to two people and its value exceeds £40*, it is not possible to aggregate each person's gift relief, and the value of an individual item itself cannot be divided; for example one item with a value of £50 sent to two individuals cannot benefit from the gift relief.
Please share this post with anyone who might be sending packages to the UK this year, at no stage was I told about these charges but now I do know I am going to do my hardest to let others know so they don't have to pay too. Cheeky &%$#ing #%&$`&%$ !!!