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Thread: Buying small value items from EU

  1. #1
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Buying small value items from EU

    Just wondering if anyone can give me some advice on what to expect when buying a small value item from the EU. The item is an electronics connector block and wire. The quote from Germany I've got is value of goods: 3.50EUR. Because the item is under 25EUR, they've added on a "markup charge" of 4.20EUR and then shipping is 13EUR making the total 20.70EUR.

    I'm confused as to what I'd subsequently get billed for duty/VAT. Also, would I then need to expect a crazy 15 admin fee for the delivery company paying the duty/VAT and passing through customs? If so, I think this would be the final straw where I would say ot wasn't worth it for a 3 item!

  2. #2
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Items below 135 (I think) should have VAT added at source and no extra to pay into the UK. No idea what the seller's mark up charge is for in this instance.

  3. #3
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Items below 135 (I think) should have VAT added at source and no extra to pay into the UK. No idea what the seller's mark up charge is for in this instance.
    Ah, thanks. So hopefully nothing else to pay when it gets delivered? I think this is just seller specific because it is such a low value they add a premium.

    It's all very confusing...the sellers invoice says "- Customers from non-EU countries: All parts are liable for customs duty." and they don't look to have added any VAT unless it is not itemised out of the individual items on the invoice.
    Last edited by Christian; 16th May 2021 at 10:50.

  4. #4
    I've bought a few CDs from the EU all under 10 euro. A slight delay but no extra charges.

  5. #5
    Master
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    they will add 20% tax when you buy it.

    our government decided to go after tax dodgers, probably to try and recover some of the billions the morons lost to fraud in the welfare system

  6. #6
    Craftsman JayGee's Avatar
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    Below 135 it's the responsibility of the online selling platform (OSP in HMRC parlance) to collect the VAT, meaning eBay, Etsy , Alibaba, Amazon etc now add VAT to the purchase price.

    If not sold through an OSP, I think a customs declaration has to be made (possibly the admin fee) & the carrier will collect (+ their admin fee too) VAT before delivery.

    If your purchase is not through an OSP collecting the VAT, chances are other charges will apply. Some vendors may have a GB vat registration & could pay the VAT at source, maybe the reason for the non-eu lev, perhaps? It needs clarification.

    If the vendor is not explicit VAT has been paid, likely it hasn't.

    There really isn't any clear guidance, I've bought a couple of low value items from EU & non EU origins via an OSP; UK rate vat was applied at checkout, arrived without additional costs.

    Maybe the adapter is available through that route, unless the vendor is the manufacturer of course.

    Sent from my motorola one action using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xellos99 View Post
    they will add 20% tax when you buy it.

    our government decided to go after tax dodgers, probably to try and recover some of the billions the morons lost to fraud in the welfare system
    Who adds the VAT? The company (a Germany audio electronics company) has provided an invoice that doesn't appear to show VAT and has said "pay this amount by paypal".

    Ultimately, VAT of a couple of quid I'd be ok with but my fear is a DHL "minimum admin fee" of 11 on top if I needed to pay this to process through customs.

  8. #8
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayGee View Post
    Below 135 it's the responsibility of the online selling platform (OSP in HMRC parlance) to collect the VAT, meaning eBay, Etsy , Alibaba, Amazon etc now add VAT to the purchase price.

    If not sold through an OSP, I think a customs declaration has to be made (possibly the admin fee) & the carrier will collect (+ their admin fee too) VAT before delivery.

    If your purchase is not through an OSP collecting the VAT, chances are other charges will apply. Some vendors may have a GB vat registration & could pay the VAT at source, maybe the reason for the non-eu lev, perhaps? It needs clarification.

    If the vendor is not explicit VAT has been paid, likely it hasn't.

    There really isn't any clear guidance, I've bought a couple of low value items from EU & non EU origins via an OSP; UK rate vat was applied at checkout, arrived without additional costs.

    Maybe the adapter is available through that route, unless the vendor is the manufacturer of course.

    Sent from my motorola one action using Tapatalk
    Thanks....this is what I fear...I suspect it's not worth my risk as I'd be pretty annoyed if I ended paying 4x the price of the item as an admin fee.

  9. #9
    Craftsman JayGee's Avatar
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    You're welcome to PM the connector/wire spec to me, I work in consumer electronics (audio) & might be able to point you toward a solution, it might not be wholly proprietary & a work around possible.

    Sent from my motorola one action using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayGee View Post
    You're welcome to PM the connector/wire spec to me, I work in consumer electronics (audio) & might be able to point you toward a solution, it might not be wholly proprietary & a work around possible.

    Sent from my motorola one action using Tapatalk
    That would be really helpful...thanks!

  11. #11
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Just doing a translate on the terms on the back of the invoice, it suggests "The statutory sales tax is included in our prices" which may cover the VAT question.

  12. #12
    Master
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    I recently bought a bicycle part of Ebay Germany. It was 35 plus 12 shipping. The 35 Euro contained VAT. He shipped via DHL which was forwarded to Parcel Force. Item arrived , no excess duty or handling charge.

    Steve

  13. #13
    Craftsman JayGee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by higham5 View Post
    I recently bought a bicycle part of Ebay Germany. It was 35 plus 12 shipping. The 35 Euro contained VAT. He shipped via DHL which was forwarded to Parcel Force. Item arrived , no excess duty or handling charge.

    Steve
    Yes, eBay is an online selling platform (OSP) & legally obliged to collect the VAT for all goods not being sold from the UK below 135, all done.


    The transaction with the same German seller outside of the eBay umbrella, slightly different story.




    Sent from my motorola one action using Tapatalk

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