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Now that we have actually left the European Union, a lot of airsoft shops that we used to browse have stopped shipping to UK -- either permanently or temporarily, until they get their new VAT registration going.

 

Since the import tariffs are a bit confusing even for the people doing them, I wonder if anyone already had first hand experience importing things from Europe after January 01, 2021.

I ran some tests on some shops that show the estimated values, and for a £16 pound item, they are predicting £12 in import taxes -- essentially doubling the item's cost.

Anyone actually bought anything? Were you taxed? If so, how much?

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Ask me again in about a weeks time...   currently got a parcel of airsoft bits inbound from airsoft atlanta in the USA...   will post my experience here once it arrives

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17 minutes ago, EDcase said:

Duno if Bexit has affected imports from US

 
Imports from everywhere are affected. Pre-Brexit, the U.K. and the rest of the EU charged the same import duty, now the U.K. sets its own import tariffs, plus VAT, and then your carriers handling charge.

 

 

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So if buying from Gunfire for example...

They add VAT for UK customers automatically.  So if the value is above £135 (not including postage) then we still have to pay a customs handling fee?

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The only thing I’ve looked at, not from the EU, are 20% VAT added at check out but only if the price is below £135. 
Above £135, no VAT added at all

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51 minutes ago, EDcase said:

So if buying from Gunfire for example...

They add VAT for UK customers automatically.  So if the value is above £135 (not including postage) then we still have to pay a customs handling fee?

No VAT added at the basket/retailer stage for a £135+ order.  This allows them to avoid registering with HMRC and paying a subscription in order to repatriate the VAT.  £135+ order is treated just like a pre Brexit order from HK/US/Japan/non EU country.  You run the risk of customs getting their grubby hands on it and slapping you with VAT and a clearance charge from the courier.  Basically a way for EU shops to not get involved in any extra costs for them is what I gather.  I believe tariffs will come into play at some point too but things seem up in the air during the transitional stage.

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Up to £135 the overseas seller is to register for UK VAT, charge for it at point of sale and pay it to HMRC

 

Over £135 they do nothing extra, on arrival at customs you owe import VAT, import duty depending on item

category and extra handling fees.

 

The over £135 element is as per non EU sales in the past.

 

The under £135 requirement for overseas sellers to handle VAT coincides with Brexit but was coming anyway

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Still confusing 🤣

Gunfire checkout says "VAT included" even above £135.  I guess they haven't updated the website.

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So basically when buying from European Union shops, it seems as if:

  • If you buy something under £135, you get charged a 20% surplus when purchasing (so a £100 item would cost £120)
  • If you buy something over £135, you don't get charged a 20% surplus when purchasing BUT your shipment MIGHT be stopped at UK customs and charged a 40% import fee (so a £200 item would cost £280)

Is that correct? I know it's all theoretical now until we have more actual cases of people buying stuff from EU-based shops, so hopefully people will be able to update us with first-hand experiences soon. 🙂

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Been doing a bit of digging and this is what I've come up with so far (I may be wrong of course)

All this relates to Orders Totalling above £135 (Since Gunfire in particular require this for an order)

 

 

You can look up the Trade Tariff Commodity Code relating to Airsoft here:

https://www.gov.uk/trade-tariff

 

The code I found most relevant was 9304 (Other arms (for example, spring, air or gas guns and pistols, truncheons))...

This category brings up this info

Duty.JPG

Consignments valued at more than £135

Normal VAT and customs rules will apply on importation of the goods into Great Britain from outside the UK

From what I read HERE, the VAT can be applied at source by the seller in the originating country if they're registered to do so (which most European suppliers already are)

Or they may charge local TAX (which is higher than UK) (I don't think this is common for Airsoft though)

If not included in the sale then it will be applied by Customs upon entering the UK and passed on to the post service who will ask you for payment before delivering (plus a handling fee because they have to pay Customs)

So the VAT situation doesn't seem to have altered as most retailers add VAT to UK orders anyway.

 

Going by the info above, the new fee is the Duty at 2% of the order value. (Not sure if that includes delivery costs)

 

I've emailed Gunfire for their calculation of fees but not holding my breath for a clear answer.

 

....its a bloody mess...

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21 hours ago, hitmanNo2 said:

I was under the impression that for anything under £135, the retailers take the VAT and repays to HMRC so you shouldn't have to deal with any VAT or custom's handling fees unless you import something over £135.

The issue with this is that those retailers have to be registered with HMRC. Many can't be arsed so have simply said no to UK buyers. Maybe this will change in the long term but more likely there will be small places that will just decide the relatively tiny market of the UK isn't worth the paperwork.

 

I hope that the law changes because this level of friction will be enough that only large businesses (with structures in place to bother with another set of foreign paper work) will bother with direct to consumer UK trade. If you think that's a good thing then you're beyond help.

 

Edit: basically what EDCase said.

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My take on international sales now we have left the EU is there’s a price on the web page for the order , you then add the P&P which gives you the retailers final delivery price . You then bend over the kitchen table with a large jar of lube at hand and wait to see what the F*uk it’s going to cost you in the end and who’s going to buttf**k me first with ‘taxes/charges/handling fees/‘ or what ever other scam they can think off as I haven’t a scooby do what’s going on any more ?🤦‍♂️

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4 minutes ago, Druid799 said:

My take on international sales now we have left the EU is there’s a price on the web page for the order , you then add the P&P which gives you the retailers final delivery price . You then bend over the kitchen table with a large jar of lube at hand and wait to see what the F*uk it’s going to cost you in the end and who’s going to buttf**k me first with ‘taxes/charges/handling fees/‘ or what ever other scam they can think off as I haven’t a scooby do what’s going on any more ?🤦‍♂️

I’m not sure if that’s better or worse than the blanket “no, fuck you” that some EU sites seem to be using for UK orders...

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23 hours ago, hitmanNo2 said:

I was under the impression that for anything under £135, the retailers take the VAT and repays to HMRC so you shouldn't have to deal with any VAT or custom's handling fees unless you import something over £135.

 

I'm assuming this as well.  Just made a couple of 10USD Aliexpress orders and notice 20% UK VAT added to both.  Normally those items would sale through HMRC without any fees, now the UK gov guaranteed to get its 4USD .  I can't see HMRC adding duty and handling fees in the UK otherwise may as well kept the VAT parts - but who knows.  I'm sure they are gearing up for adding duty as well.  Chinese can't be happy about this..

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2 hours ago, ak2m4 said:

 

 

I'm assuming this as well.  Just made a couple of 10USD Aliexpress orders and notice 20% UK VAT added to both.  Normally those items would sale through HMRC without any fees, now the UK gov guaranteed to get its 4USD .  I can't see HMRC adding duty and handling fees in the UK otherwise may as well kept the VAT parts - but who knows.  I'm sure they are gearing up for adding duty as well.  Chinese can't be happy about this..

They are set by government, it’s not whether or not HMRC want to be bothered with doing it

 

https://www.gov.uk/goods-sent-from-abroad/tax-and-duty

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-and-overseas-goods-sold-directly-to-customers-in-the-uk

 

(Subject to specifics of whether it’s direct sale to a customer, commercial sales to a VAT registered business etc ....)
Up to £135 sales = VAT to be charged at point of sale, no duty due

Over £135 sales = Charges raised at the border. VAT applies, duty may apply depending on the item category and point of origin of the product / component parts 

 

 

 

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Consignments valued at more than £135

Normal VAT and customs rules will apply on importation of the goods into Great Britain from outside the UK

I guess this is why Gunfire will only take orders above £135

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2 hours ago, ak2m4 said:

 

What's this link for buddy?  Pretty sure the info is out of date.  Fully understand the new threshold limits, interested to understand how the payments work from the retailers perspective.  

The first link has a simpler explanation of pre change VAT, duty etc, and also directs to the second has the post change details, but has more spin offs to follow depending on circumstances 

 

For the retailer if it’s over £135 then the payments are not their concern. If up to £135 then they should register and handle payments to HMRC.  Exactly how they do that can depend on the circumstances of the nature of the goods and their registration with HMRC

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https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-143-a-guide-for-international-post-users/notice-143-a-guide-for-international-post-users

 

This makes interesting reading if your keen. Dated 22/12/2020. Not sure if it's been superseded.

 

If I'm reading it correctly for consignments up to £135 (in P&P) no duty is payable :-

image.thumb.png.b1131165743b304901198334cb109ab5.png

 

For consignments over £135 VAT (20%?) + Duty (2%?) + £8 Post Office handling charge is payable to the Post Office when they send you the bill.

 

I don't know why or how this has changed.

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On 10/01/2021 at 19:48, 38super said:

For consignments over £135 VAT (20%?) + Duty (2%?) + £8 Post Office handling charge is payable to the Post Office when they send you the bill.

 

I'm planning on making a purchase at Powair6 once they start shipping to the UK again, later this month by their own estimates. The UK already charges 20% for internal products anyway, so if it's just 2% + £8, it sounds reasonable.

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On 12/01/2021 at 01:51, The Commander said:

 

I'm planning on making a purchase at Powair6 once they start shipping to the UK again, later this month by their own estimates. The UK already charges 20% for internal products anyway, so if it's just 2% + £8, it sounds reasonable.

 

If your purchase is £135 or less (and the seller has registered for UK VAT) the VAT is paid at point of purchase and there will be no duty and Royal Mail won't charge.

 

If it's over £135 it'll be the same as it always was; cost of goods plus shipping and insurance for duty calculation, VAT calculated on that total, handling charge on top.

https://www.simplyduty.com/import-calculator/

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On 12/01/2021 at 01:51, The Commander said:

 

I'm planning on making a purchase at Powair6 once they start shipping to the UK again, later this month by their own estimates. The UK already charges 20% for internal products anyway, so if it's just 2% + £8, it sounds reasonable.

Be careful with the stated VAT on the purchase page.

 

I was going to make a purchase on Gunfire and basket stated "Including VAT"

Luckily I asked them and they said VAT was NOT included so I guess they didn't update their website.

So I would have been charged the extra 20% on entry to UK...

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Something I found out in the last couple of days is that if you buy something that is sub £135 and already in the UK at the point of sale, but sold by an overseas seller, you have to pay the VAT at point of sale.  Probably not a lot of situations where this applies but something to think about none the less. 

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