Goods sent from abroad

Posted on 13th September 2022 by Streets HMRC notices


Image to represent Goods sent from abroad

There are special rules to help ensure that goods sent from abroad are taxed appropriately and do not disadvantage UK businesses supplying goods in the UK. For example, by having to compete with VAT free imports. This includes goods that are new or used and bought online, bought abroad and shipped to the UK and goods received as gifts.

This means that in order to receive goods you may have to pay VAT, Customs Duty or Excise Duty if they were sent to:

  • Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) from outside the UK.
  • Northern Ireland from countries outside the UK and the European Union (EU).

VAT is charged on all goods (except for gifts worth £39 or less) sent from:

  • outside the UK to Great Britain; and
  • outside the UK and the EU to Northern Ireland.

Online marketplaces that engage in facilitating the sale of goods are usually responsible for collecting and accounting for the VAT. If the VAT has not been collected, VAT will have to be paid to the delivery company either before the goods are delivered or when goods are collected. If you have to pay VAT to the delivery company, it’s charged on the total package value which includes the value of the goods, postage, packing, insurance and any duty owed.

Generally, there are no Customs Duties payable on non-excise goods worth £135 or less. There are various rates payable above this level and on excise goods of any value.


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The content produced and presented by Streets is for general guidance and informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice. Furthermore, it should not be considered a recommendation or an offer to sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy any securities or other form of financial asset. The information provided by Streets is of a general nature and is not specific for any individual or entity. Appropriate and tailored advice or independent research should be obtained before making any such decisions. Streets does not accept any liability for any loss or damage which is incurred from you acting or not acting as a result of obtaining Streets' visual or audible content.

Information

The content used by Streets has been obtained from or is based on sources that we believe to be accurate and reliable. Although reasonable care has been taken in gathering the necessary information, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information we publish and we accept no liability for any errors or omissions in material. You should always seek specific advice prior to making any investment, legal or tax decisions.


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