More European Shipping News

As if we hadn’t already had enough, there’s yet another twist coming to the Brexit/VAT/shipping saga for our EU customers. However, for once it’s (mostly) good news – it has a painful initial effect, but in the long run it will make purchasing much easier for our EU customers.

First, the bad news – as of the end of this month (June 2021), the 22€ threshold for import VAT on packages into the EU will be abolished; from July 1st, all packages into the EU from outside will be subject to VAT at the local rate for the destination country, regardless of value, and most if not all postal services also charge a fee for this. Obviously this is not something we have control over, but we thought it fair to warn you – we wouldn’t want anyone to be surprised by this. This is likely to have the effect of making small orders from the UK to the EU uneconomical, since the fee alone can be in the order of 10-15€.

However, a new system called IOSS (Import One-Stop Shop) is coming into operation at the same time. Under this system, the seller (us) will charge the buyer (you) VAT at the time of purchase (just like we used to do, but at your national rate instead of the UK rate). We account for this on the customs label on your parcel, and it should go through your postal service without any further delays, checks or fees. This makes the process easier for you, since you won’t face any surprise fees when the goods are delivered, everything is paid up front. There are a couple of minor wrinkles in this (there’s a maximum order size of 150€) but nothing insurmountable.

Unfortunately, we received rather short notice of this, so we very much doubt that we will be able to get registered and and be in a position to implement these changes before July 1st – for starters the UK registration portal is, according to the government website, unlikely to be ready in time. We will also need to make changes to our shopping cart system and, more importantly, our accounts software to handle the additional taxes. But we will get it in place as soon as we possibly can.

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