Shopping on the internet
As we approach the Christmas shopping season, HMRC have published an informational notice entitled “Shopping on the Internet” to remind businesses and the general public to be aware of the full price of goods that are bought online especially from businesses outside the EU.
Shoppers should be aware that the sales price mentioned on some websites are unclear and that duties and VAT may be charged. This obviously will depend on the nature and price of the goods but can be a significant additional cost.
Some websites may also undervalue goods to avoid additional VAT and duties. HMRC want to make it clear that the importer of the goods is the person responsible for correctly declaring the value of goods and may be liable to financial penalties, prosecution and the goods in question being seized.
The Royal Mail and other couriers may also levy a separate charge for handling duties and VAT on your behalf.
Where goods are bought from outside the EU you should be aware of the following:-
– Customs duty is chargeable if the amount of duty is €10 (£7) or over
– Import VAT is chargeable if the value of the goods is €22 (£18) or over
– Excise duty is chargeable on alcohol or tobacco.