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Receiver’s Guide to Duties and Taxes

Learn the fundamentals about duties and taxes to understand who pays and why.
You don't have to be a business person to be an exporter or an importer.
As Internet shopping becomes more popular, what is often not understood is that as soon as you hit the return key to purchase a product from another country, then effectively you become an importer and become liable for Duty and VAT payments.

Customs Advice for Internet Shoppers External Link / New Window

What goods are subject to Duty and VAT?
All goods imported into the UK from outside the EU must be declared to HM Revenue & Customs and in most cases, are subject to Customs Duty and VAT. This includes goods bought over the Internet.

It's not always about the purchasing!

If someone sends you a gift from abroad that is over £39 in value, you will also be obliged to pay the Duty and VAT unless the person who sent it has agreed to pay it themselves. Likewise, if you are the person sending you need to remember that if you don't take the time to include the proper invoices then your shipment could be held in customs or the person you are sending to may be charged too much Duty and VAT.

The bottom line is:
If you are sending goods out of the European Union (EU) you will need to prepare a Customs InvoiceMore about Customs invoices and if you are receiving a shipment you need to know that there could be duties on top that may be billed after the shipment has been delivered.
The EU Commission has established an online dispute resolution platformExternal Link / New Window. Consumers may submit complaints relating to the online purchase of goods or service via that platform.