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Flat Figures Painters Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: BobLeighton on January 05, 2022, 12:29:04 PM

Title: Buying from Europe
Post by: BobLeighton on January 05, 2022, 12:29:04 PM
A cautionary tale?
Purchased at a very good price some figures from France (E15.50) on E Bay, at the beginning of December, they finally reached UK on the 30th December, New rules came into force 1st January 2022,  received today an assessment from HMRC asking for £68.11 in VAT and £12.00 handling charge., which on the current VAT rates means that the are assessing the value of the package at some 3/4 hundred pounds.
Looked at HMRC page and found out that you can query the amounts but only after you have paid them and then have to present various forms and originals of the declarations attached by the Sender, and there is no guarantee that they will accept your argument. One form missing or wrongly completed means you lose.
Sadly decision is to abandon the parcel and let it be returned to sender, rather than pay out more money far in excess of the value of the goods.
Simply means that no more buying from abroad.
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: Brian on January 05, 2022, 12:59:00 PM
 :o   Bob can I ask where you found the HMRC with the details, if what you say is the case then we're in trouble
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: Hannibal on January 05, 2022, 04:02:59 PM
I had exactly the same problem with a sending from the UK to Belgium in December, with some 35 euros extra VAT and custom clearance.  Being absent, my neighbour did not send me the data timely so the pack returned to the UK and sender.  I accepted a resending, still not arrived after two weeks.  I might expect to pay twice thee extra-charges.  I will never buy from the UK anymore= much too expensive, time consuming and complicated for the follow-up, payment, timing and risk of loss.

Congratulation Brexit!!!
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: Brian on January 06, 2022, 03:53:51 AM
This looks like a big problem!    I have not had any tax added to the figures from Europe, but Joerg and Benedikt had to pay to get figures I sent as a gift, cost more in tax then it did for the figures, most embarrassing   :-[
Got a parcel at the moment going out to Italy so will see what happens.
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: errant49 on January 06, 2022, 11:43:56 AM
It's a pity but thanks BREXIT
I do not know how it works from GB to EU, but from France to GB we have to fill new custom forms with the parcel value and I guess that taxes will be calculated from this value
It is certainly possible to calculate the taxes (VAT) before sending
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: BobLeighton on January 09, 2022, 10:38:00 AM
There is a HMRC notice  which gives all the details. go to and search for Notice 143. which clearly states that you areonly allowed goods to the value of £39.00 for individual but I believe that if you are a registered company this may be upped to £129.00  Read the notice and see what you think.
I also bought my Grand daughter a set of Electric fabric  Cutter's from Amazon USA, for USD17.55 which sailed through customs and she was not asked to pay any duty at all.
So it probably depends on the Customs office and what the Customs officer perceives as the resale  value of the items you have bought.
Or perhaps its just the reaction to Brexit and the current EU attitude.
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: Hannibal on January 09, 2022, 10:43:43 AM
My sister had also to pay several euros§above 10) for two New Years Cards sent from the USA to Belgium !!!
Let us buy local only, it spares fuel, transport cost, CO2 for the planet

It will be also a excellent action for the planet !  This is why Amazon is a total non sense.  They sell the idea that human has lost his two legs, and has no time to go and shop by himself locally, to maintin also local commerce! ... like plants !

I am already buyings flats from Benedikt regulalry, but I ask him to bring them at shows, quarterly = no transport cost, no hurry, just planning ahead!

We've to change our bad habits to survive a gew centuries more. We are so destructors on our planet and have no longer another animal to regulate us in the nature = we 've destroyed all others by ourselves or they are in zoos today, in jails...
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: Christian on January 27, 2022, 03:17:05 AM
Hi there,

A question for the English collector friends:
14 days ago I sold a figure to England on ebay, the shipment was made - since the buyer did not ask for it - without a tracking number.
A customs declaration was sent accordingly on the shipping label.

Are there approximate times how long the goods could be at customs?
Which address can the English buyer of the goods contact if she wants to investigate by herself.

Thanks for the support,

Kind regards Christian
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: Kulmbach on January 27, 2022, 07:57:34 AM
I don´t know what has happen, I am still awaiting my small parcel from UK. It´s  still in transit after 43 days but it hasn´t left Pitney Bowers yet!
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: Brian on January 27, 2022, 08:56:40 AM
Again I just don't see how the post is working

Parcel to Switzerland   3 days
Parcel  to Germany    8 days
Parcel to Italy   still pending in the post
Parcel to me from Germany 4 days and no charge

Two big parcels to France insured for £1,000  and they want me to pay over £250 for import duties???
What is it with the post, are they just making it up as they feel  :-[
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: Nicholas Ball on January 27, 2022, 05:50:26 PM
It currently takes about 4 weeks for items sent to Italy, as there appears to be problems in the Italian post offices. I sent a figure just before Christmas and it arrived at destination last week. No tax was added at the other end, also items in from Italy don't seem to get tax charges. Maybe it was due to the tax being paid in Italy, directly to the supplier or certain countries are being awkward!  I’m sure the editors will do very well at Kulmbach this year as we will all wait till then to buy😃
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: Christian on January 28, 2022, 01:03:45 PM
Thanks for the kind answers! The shipment reached Bedford today, the buyer is very happy. And me too. Let's see when I get feedback on my shipments from Mexico or Australia...
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: BobLeighton on January 29, 2022, 05:26:51 PM
The Customs people have no real idea of the value of figures, if you take E bay as a guide they are charging VAT at roughly 20% of the final bid price, so E Bay is already adding the equivalent of the UK Vat to the price of your purchase, HMC are then inspecting packages for which they charge you the buyer £12.00 then they add on VAT at 20% on their interpretation of the Value. So if you package is insured for £1000.00 they will add £200.00.  They will also look at their interpretation of the resale value of the figures and calculate their VAT value on that.
Really I know that we used to pay VAT on purchases  prior to joining the EU but they were always realistic prices, which I never minded paying.
I purchased a group  of figures for  15.50 Euro's when Customs got hold of it they charges £68.00 for VAT Plus £12.00 inspection fee. Sadly the total value of the Package was about £30.00,so the package is presumably sitting in some Customs officers desk waiting return to sender.
I assume that if you have a VAT number you could quote that, get the goods and then argue the value with Customs but, that is going to be a waste of time as they will not refund a over payment.
Really the changes on VAT were ill thought out and will effectively cripple some of the smaller figure importers and make the resale at a profit unachievable.
I also understand that the European Manufacturers are looking to increase their prices.., to reflect the increases in production costs, electricity etc. which again will place European production out of the market. Please remember when you go to Kulmbach and bring back figures, if you don't declare them to Customs, you face the possibility of them being seized and you fined for \ax evasion.
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: Brian on January 29, 2022, 06:29:19 PM
This is getting too hard,  the world has just been shut off to us >:(   
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: Hannibal on January 30, 2022, 02:18:35 AM
not really, it was rather a British decision to get out of Europe.
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: Joerg on January 30, 2022, 10:55:58 AM
not really, it was rather a British decision to get out of Europe.

I can see no use in blaming collector friends.

I guess, nobody has ever voted for the VAT nonsense in UK, as described here.
Title: Re: Buying from Europe
Post by: Brian on January 30, 2022, 11:17:48 AM
It's only the big boys in Europe we have problems with!!    the rest of the world is straght forward  :-\

But as Joerg no use in blaming anyone it's just how it is at the moment