Purchasing from Europe - the VAT / Del Charge situation

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Purchasing from Europe - the VAT / Del Charge situation

Postby SJB » Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:19 pm

I almost ordered from Thomman - selected the UK Store.
The price quoted was not including VAT. Also the situation around having to pay the VAT to whoever delivers the item looks a bit confusing.

https://www.thomann.de/gb/faq_question_ ... tries.html

With this situation open to scams - I think we need to watch this one.

This morning we had a card put through the door - which looks like the Post Office official card. It's asking us to pay VAT duty before delivery.
We are not expecting anything - there is no clue. We suspect that a previous occupier of our house (lazy gits) have ordered something and so this is coming to us like a lot of mail for them.
We have been in this house over two years now.
So it looks like this may be a common situation where people that move don't sort their new address situation.

So is the Thomman UK store actually in the UK?
SJB

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Re: Purchasing from Europe - the VAT / Del Charge situation

Postby JimN » Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:35 pm

This package via the Post Office... surely if it was ordered by a previous occupant of your house, it will be addressed to them by name, the address notwithstanding?

Was the card addressed to you, or to them?
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Re: Purchasing from Europe - the VAT / Del Charge situation

Postby SJB » Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:57 pm

You do have a point there Jim - however we were wondering if the posty simply filled out the card (we had other mail with this) and put our name on it. The name is only our surname.
We have no idea what the item is - we have thought it may even be an Xmas card where someone has forgotten to put the stamp on the envelope - they say its an item - no help. The card defiantly indicates its Customs Duty.

My main point is that stores that seem to be in the UK may be in Europe - not a problem until we left the EU.
Also if you receive a miss addressed Item - you don't see the full address until you get it having paid.

Finally we have had mail with no addressee - and the previous owners are Croatian.

If we ever find out - I will re-post.
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Re: Purchasing from Europe - the VAT / Del Charge situation

Postby dave robinson » Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:02 pm

The only Thomann store is in Germany . :|
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Re: Purchasing from Europe - the VAT / Del Charge situation

Postby Iain Purdon » Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:12 pm

I see the problem when you don't know where the retailer is.

According to gov.uk, if the retailer is in an EU member state,
VAT where applicable is charged according to the rates in the country of origin (often 20%).
To find out what Import Duty is payable, you need a commodity code.
You can check here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/finding-commodity-codes-for-imports-or-exports
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Re: Purchasing from Europe - the VAT / Del Charge situation

Postby Gatwick1946 » Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:24 am

Some traders on Ebay are able, despite Ebay"s rules, to make it appear that they are UK based. Then when one places one's order it turns out that the goods are coming from (usually but not always) China. So far, we (the wife is the greater fan of Ebay) have not suffered loss of goods or money, but orders take much longer to arrive.
Only perhaps a problem if one has urgent need of the goods, aside from the perennial "I WANT it and I WANT it NOW". (mea culpa - let he who is without sin cast the first stone!).

Kindest regards,
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Re: Purchasing from Europe - the VAT / Del Charge situation

Postby JimN » Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:07 pm

Iain Purdon wrote:I see the problem when you don't know where the retailer is.

According to gov.uk, if the retailer is in an EU member state,
VAT where applicable is charged according to the rates in the country of origin (often 20%).
To find out what Import Duty is payable, you need a commodity code.
You can check here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/finding-commodity-codes-for-imports-or-exports


For retail buyers (such as us), VAT is payable (and was payable before anyway - Thomann charged it at the correct UK rate for UK buyers).

There should be no extra import duty - that's rather the point of the deal negotiated up until Christmas Eve. The URL quoted above is for entities in the business of importing, not retail buyers.

It should be added that for goods whose origin is outside the EU and in a country with which the EU (and the UK) have no trade agreement (the USA is a good example), import duty will have been incurred when the item was imported to the EU (or, as the case may be, the UK) in the first place. It therefore forms part of the basic retail price as advertised, just as it has ever since the Common Market was formed. That has not changed.
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Re: Purchasing from Europe - the VAT / Del Charge situation

Postby Stu's Dad » Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:45 pm

Thomann's prices dropped by around 20% on January 1st. There won't be import duty because of the trade deal that Jim mentioned, but the VAT is payable here.
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Re: Purchasing from Europe - the VAT / Del Charge situation

Postby Iain Purdon » Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:05 am

JimN wrote:The URL quoted above is for entities in the business of importing, not retail buyers.

That quote cut a long story short. Because I have time on my hands (!) I had a direct chat session with HMRC and put this question, specifying that I wanted to order retail goods online from Germany for personal delivery in the UK by post. I said I was a private buyer. The URL is what I was offered.
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Re: Purchasing from Europe - the VAT / Del Charge situation

Postby JimN » Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:42 am

As far as I can see - and this is being reported in several places - the only difference now as compared with pre-2021 is that Thomann now charge the UK's VAT rate on items up to a certain price (and presumably pay that VAT over to the Treasury) and do not charge it on items over that certain price (meaning that it is charged at this end, via the Post Office).

That latter action is something the Post Office have always done for personal imports. I have certainly paid duty (not much - circa 2% or 3%) and VAT at the contemporary rate for items imported from the USA over a certain price. The difference with the USA is that for items under a certain price, you don't get charged anything at all by the Post Office.
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