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VAT nightmare incoming


Vlamgat9
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I don't know anything about this organisation, I don't endorse them and I'm not making any kind of political point by posting the link but it does seem that they are taking an interest in the problem we have been discussing in this thread.

 

Obviously it's up to individuals whether to take part in their survey but I assume that the more information they have the better they will be able to campaign for a change in the rules.

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For anyone waiting for parcels from abroad, here's my recent experience, all sent in Jan/Feb 2021:

 

2 x parcels from Lucky Model. Both have arrived. VAT was not paid at source and has not been levied by the courier.

 

1 x parcel from from Uprise, Russia. This is a small business. No VAT paid and not levied upon arrived. Parcel has arrived.

 

1 x parcel from Ebay, Russia. VAT *has* been paid via Ebay. However, this is not recorded *anywhere* on the parcel or inside the parcel, i.e. there's no way RM/HMRC know that VAT has been paid on it. This worries me as it means I may be paying VAT through Ebay but it's not displayed. Parcel has arrived.

 

1 x parcel from BAM models, France. This is a small business. No VAT paid and levied upon arrival. Parcel has arrived.

 

This situation has changed my buying habits (I bought the new HB MV-22B from a UK retailer rather than an Asian one), but for the stuff I cannot get in the UK, I will (cautiously) continue to source it overseas when the vendor is willing to sell it.

 

Jon

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I received a package from the USA  fairly recently and was very surprised that there wasnt a Customs charge.

I say this because several months back I had a parcel from the USA, (not the same seller) which ALSO contained model aircraft parts and I was hit with a whopping customs charge.

The first item mentioned cost $40+ whereas the items from several months back cost $50+ so perhaps something has changed ??

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On 2/9/2021 at 8:25 AM, Duncan B said:

An update on my little test import, as I said above I'm not VAT registered but do have an EORI number which might be the situation many of the smaller UK Traders are in.

 

I put in orders (valued at £500ish) with 2 different Suppliers in Germany, both already had my EORI number but I only reminded one of them about it and made it more obvious by altering my address to include it. The other I left as per my previous orders from last year. The one that I reminded sent their consignment ex VAT and it arrived within a few days. I had expected that I'd be asked to pay the VAT by the Courier but it came straight through (so I will declare the VAT to HMRC myself using the scheme set up for this purpose). The other Supplier charged me VAT at point of sale  as they did previously, although their website is not adding VAT to UK orders automatically. That order is yet to arrive so we shall see what happens when it is delivered, it shouldn't attract another VAT charge as it's already been paid but we shall see.

Reading through the Gov website yet again to try to understand how it's meant to work for non VAT registered businesses (which isn't helped by the fact that they still have out of date pages displayed that contradict each other) I think that both Suppliers have got it correct with the regards to the information that I supplied them. 

 

Duncan B

 

p.s. Later today I received an email forwarded from my Accountant to me with the information from HMRC which includes the latest information and this topic, links to Youtube videos and some other stuff. I will see if I can get the links posted on here shortly. 

An update to my update.

 

The package that I was charged VAT at point of sale in Germany arrived in East Midlands DHL facility early on Wednesday and sat there. Late yesterday I received a phonecall from DHL UK Imports asking for a copy of the Invoice (as they said they didn't have one which I find hard to believe but wonder if this is them checking the invoice value on the box to the value on my copy? ). I emailed them a copy and included my EORI number, the commodity code for reduced scale model kits (I have been charged import duty  previously by over zealous Customs officials so wasn't taking any chances) and the other pertinent details and 40 minutes later they had cleared it's Customs status. They haven't come back to me and requested any payment, and there shouldn't be any due as there is a 0% import tariff for reduced scale models and VAT was paid at point of sale. It's still making it's way through the DHL UK system so until it arrives I'll not take anything for granted but suspect they would have requested a payment before clearing it's Customs status.

 

Duncan B 

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Latest from Hannants:

Message; There are still problems with sending parcels to the EU. There has not been much progress this week sadly. We are sorry but we still cannot start accepting orders from the EU knowing so many delays and problems exist. We are going to have to wait longer before we can re-open for EU orders. If we send orders and a month later they are still not delivered it will cause too many problems.

We have started to send to Ireland again.

On Monday we are going to send a few trial parcels (to trade customers with shops) via DPD. Hopefully there will not be any problems.

40 of the parcels we sent via Parcelforce/GLS 3 weeks ago have still not been delivered. None have been delivered in Italy at all.

There are still big delays for goods coming in from the EU. Our Eduard order that should of been here by January 25th is still not here (this has all the new sets on). But the smaller order we sent to Eduard February 1st has arrived ok. No sign of our Special Hobby order. One supplier will not send our order because they are worried it will not arrive. Despatch of our ICM order has been delayed because off snow in Ukraine.


Our policy is to reply to all emails the day they arrive but we just can"t reply to the 100+ emails we are receiving a day asking us when we will open for EU orders. Please see the the Home page message which has the latest information. Currently we do not know when we will re-open the website to EU customers.

Message; Please see Limited Availability to view recently discontinued items from CMK/Czech Master Kits, Microscale, Armory, Hi Decal, Azur, RS Models, Special Hobby etc 500 items have gone from our shelves in the last 10 weeks. We are actively seeking out new ranges to replace these. Now on the way to us is this new range of masks from SX-Art https://www.hannants.co.uk/search/index.php?product_category_id=&product_division_id=&manufacturer_id=362993&code=&product_type_id=&scale_id=&keyword_search=&setPerPage=25¤cy_id=


Message, Please be aware though that the "guaranteed" delivery dates eg 24 hour or 48 hour are all still suspended. No delivery date guarantees are active from any carrier at this time. We still give priority to orders with 24 hour or 1st class but there is no guarantee they will be delivered quicker and we cannot refund for any that are not delivered "on time"

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  • 2 weeks later...

I see Hannants are still having problems.

 

Well, to test the waters a bit more, just had a decal sheet from Ukraine with no problems but it was under the old £15 threshold (guy sent wrong scale, so we are doing an exchange, lets see who gets it first)

I have another coming from Moscow, and some resin from USA (not via ebay). RM just notified me it is in the system but not yet in UK.

 

I'll let you know.

The spares I mailed to Krakow arrived OK.

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Piece in the Sunday Times today about the matter with some reports of parcels being in the system for up to two months to clear from Europe and what seems to be suggestions of some parcels in the system during December being returned to sender because of incomplete paperwork before said paperwork was required only to be delivered early January and getting hit for VAT and handling fees.

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I recently sent a guitar effect pedal to France. The value was £140. It arrived in less than a week and the recipient didn’t have to pay any fees or duties.

I’m not sure how long we’ll get away with  it, but the phase “make hay while the sun shines” springs to mind.

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On 14/02/2021 at 12:27, bentwaters81tfw said:

None have been delivered in Italy at all.

We've found out that Italy required our goods (metal ingots) to be declared 'free from ionsing radiation' since we found out all shipments have gone through no issues.

Funny that it's only Itly none of the other EU countries have the same requirement - where's the common in common market?

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Today l received a package from HLJ in Japan and delivered without any extra cost, and it was over £20. I assume that HLJ have registered with HMRC and therefore no extra cost was incurred. This could be rather expensive !

 

Regards

Robert

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On 3/2/2021 at 3:09 AM, Robert said:

Today l received a package from HLJ in Japan and delivered without any extra cost, and it was over £20. I assume that HLJ have registered with HMRC and therefore no extra cost was incurred. This could be rather expensive !

 

Regards

Robert

 

Was there any indication on the box or label regarding VAT number, a phrase like "VAT PAID" or the like?

I've found that despite having an entry row for a VAT number and any remarks for customs in the online label creator for Japan Post, it does NOT print onto the label. So far I've had to hand-write it onto the label...

J

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@JeffreyK There was no indication on the CN22 only the HS tariff number. The CN22 was not the normal green sticky label but a laser printed sheet in a clear plastic envelope stuck to the outside of the box.

 

Regards

Robert

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4 hours ago, Robert said:

@JeffreyK There was no indication on the CN22 only the HS tariff number. The CN22 was not the normal green sticky label but a laser printed sheet in a clear plastic envelope stuck to the outside of the box.

 

Regards

Robert

 

From this year, the green stickers are not to be used anymore in Japan. Japan Post has circulated messages that hand-written CN22 labels will cause delays or are refused by customs abroad altogether (like the USA). All international mail labels need to be created electronically through an online portal, you print out the label and stick it into the (far too large for my small boxes) pouch. Electronically, the info you put in is sent to customs of the destination country where they are supposed to be matched...

But no mention of VAT and VAT registration on the label at all? Sounds like UK customs are still ignoring the issue and just wave through the parcels...

J

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On 2/28/2021 at 5:43 PM, Des said:

parcels being in the system for up to two months to clear from Europe and what seems to be suggestions of some parcels in the system during December being returned to sender because of incomplete paperwork before said paperwork was required only to be delivered early January

Raises hand

But in my case the other way 'round, UK to NL.

To make it even more fun, the courier hadn't bothered to leave the required message so the default "if it isn't picked up in 5 days we return to sender" rule kicked in. 
On investigation and logging a complaint, I did get to see the never-posted information sheet. 
With the extra present of having to pay 20% Import duties* X VAT over that - yeah. On an eBay order.

 

*which for model kit & accessories being classed over here as "Toys" should be max 4.7% actually.

 

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On 2/13/2021 at 9:18 AM, Duncan B said:

An update to my update.

 

The package that I was charged VAT at point of sale in Germany arrived in East Midlands DHL facility early on Wednesday and sat there. Late yesterday I received a phonecall from DHL UK Imports asking for a copy of the Invoice (as they said they didn't have one which I find hard to believe but wonder if this is them checking the invoice value on the box to the value on my copy? ). I emailed them a copy and included my EORI number, the commodity code for reduced scale model kits (I have been charged import duty  previously by over zealous Customs officials so wasn't taking any chances) and the other pertinent details and 40 minutes later they had cleared it's Customs status. They haven't come back to me and requested any payment, and there shouldn't be any due as there is a 0% import tariff for reduced scale models and VAT was paid at point of sale. It's still making it's way through the DHL UK system so until it arrives I'll not take anything for granted but suspect they would have requested a payment before clearing it's Customs status.

 

Duncan B 

A final update to my updates!

 

The German supplier that charged me VAT at source has issued me a credit note for the VAT they originally charged and DHL, who are their delivery partners, have sent me an invoice for the UK VAT amount due plus a £11 handling charge. So going forward it looks like it will work as we expected with the EU purchase being VAT free and the UK VAT being collected by the Courier before delivery to me.

Hopefully this indicates that everyone is slowly getting to grips with how the system is supposed to work and things should start to settle down.

 

Duncan B

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Duncan B said:

plus a £11 handling charge.

I always think it is amusing that a company who you pay to handle something impose an additional 'handling charge'.

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2 hours ago, Pete F said:

I always think it is amusing that a company who you pay to handle something impose an additional 'handling charge'.

The alternatives are the exporter pays extra for clearance formalities upfront to the courier, or it's added in the UK if you get unlucky. Either way the cost should be factored into the overall cost.

Bear in mind, if it was all paid upfront, duty/VAT is calculated on a CIF basis. Cost, Insurance, Freight. Do you want to be paying extra duty/vat on your clearance fee, only to have to pay more VAT to the UK agent?

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On 2/28/2021 at 11:20 PM, Circloy said:

where's the common in common market?

Well, unless there will be comprehensive federation across the EU (when pigs fly and hell freezes over - but it would make things easier by far), each member state has the freedom to make certain sovereign decisions.

 

Like Spanish Customs demanding to get the ID/NIE number on incoming 3rd country packages.. which amounts to having your social security number plastered on your receipts for tax purposes.

Counter-intuitive, as you're mostly not encouraged to share that to reduce the risk of identity fraud :banghead:

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I was looking at AliExpress today for some bits for my Radio Control hobby.

 

I don't buy outside the UK that often and when I do it is for items costing less than £15 or where I think the risk of import taxes and courier admin fees is worth it.

 

So today I went to place an order that was less than £15 and was puzzled that the shopping cart came to more than I was expecting and then I noticed a line all 'TAX' with an information icon next to it. The icon explained that they are now required to collect UK VAT and pass it onto the UK government.

 

Now this is good and bad news.

 

Bad News

 

  1. For people like me with pur5chases less than £15.  There shouldn't be any import taxes on that because it is below the threshold but now there are.
  2. For people that have previously gambled that their purchase slips past the eyes of customs.

 

Good News

 

  1. You can now buy bigger items (greater than £15) safe in the knowledge that you will pay VAT (which I have never had a problem with) but that you shouldn't have to pay the nasty courier admin charges (which I do have a problem with)

 

Be interesting to see

 

  1. How widely this is rolled out
  2. Whether the couriers still find a way to charge you even though you have pre-paid all the taxes due.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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