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Buying from EU private sellers - 20% VAT from 1 Jan 2021


Al Krow

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On 16/01/2021 at 20:17, ambient said:

Someone mentioned the new rules affecting businesses. Keeping it music business related, a friend shared this on Facebook earlier. 
 

This is yet another of the things that makes me incredibly sad - both for the buyers of the records, and obviously the seller/artist. For these small labels it’s all about the music, they don’t have a massive turnover - probably consider themselves lucky if an album’s sales are in double figures, so losing even a handful of sales is bad news for them. This won’t be the only person that stops buying from them for this reason.

AB267C5B-36E6-4C01-B656-F0362391957E.jpeg

I've ordered some vinyl from UK stores and they arrived here in Ireland with no customs issues (albeit a tad late). But the whole situation is having me look further afield to other EU outlets. Which is a pity because the UK stores are fantastic and I know them. My default Amazon is now Amazon.de.    

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1 hour ago, Quilly said:

I've ordered some vinyl from UK stores and they arrived here in Ireland with no customs issues (albeit a tad late). But the whole situation is having me look further afield to other EU outlets. Which is a pity because the UK stores are fantastic and I know them. My default Amazon is now Amazon.de.    

Luck of the draw I guess. I’ve bought items from the USA expecting to pay import charges, and subsequently been shocked when they’ve arrived charge-free - despite them being well over the limit.

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Some interesting info in this article:  https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55734277 

"...

Under the new rules, anyone in the UK receiving a gift from the EU worth more than £39 may now face a bill for import VAT - with many items charged at 20%.

For goods costing more than £135, customs duties may also apply, which can range from 0% to 25% of the product you're buying if they have not been paid by the sender already.

The extra charges are usually collected by the courier on behalf of the government, with customers asked to pay before they can pick up their package."

..."

My purchase was under £135 so I escaped the additional customs duties; it was only VAT and handling charges. (Btw, the item that should have been delivered on 16th, after the payment, has been delayed and is planned to be delivered almost a week later on 22nd.) 

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1 hour ago, TorVic said:

Some interesting info in this article:  https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55734277 

"...

Under the new rules, anyone in the UK receiving a gift from the EU worth more than £39 may now face a bill for import VAT - with many items charged at 20%.

For goods costing more than £135, customs duties may also apply, which can range from 0% to 25% of the product you're buying if they have not been paid by the sender already.

The extra charges are usually collected by the courier on behalf of the government, with customers asked to pay before they can pick up their package."

..."

My purchase was under £135 so I escaped the additional customs duties; it was only VAT and handling charges. (Btw, the item that should have been delivered on 16th, after the payment, has been delayed and is planned to be delivered almost a week later on 22nd.) 

The Guardian has a similar article, I shared it in another post. Like you, I was unaware that you could potentially be charged for receiving a gift.

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  • 3 months later...

So, if I understand correctly, if I buy a bass from BC from a private seller in the UK, I have to pay import duties anyway? 

 

How do they know the value of the item? Does the seller have to declare it? 

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, J_Bass said:

So, if I understand correctly, if I buy a bass from BC from a private seller in the UK, I have to pay import duties anyway? 

 

How do they know the value of the item? Does the seller have to declare it? 

Yes, import duty and VAT are applied to every item bought, whether from a shop or a private sale. The Seller has to declare the value in the forms filled in for the dispatch.

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However If you buy new from a shop , you should only be charged Vat on one side . Either the shop will collect it from you or if not you then pay the export price and then generally the courier will collect it from you

All the best Mick 

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38 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

Yes, import duty and VAT are applied to every item bought, whether from a shop or a private sale. The Seller has to declare the value in the forms filled in for the dispatch.

 

31 minutes ago, Mickb1773 said:

However If you buy new from a shop , you should only be charged Vat on one side . Either the shop will collect it from you or if not you then pay the export price and then generally the courier will collect it from you

All the best Mick 

Thank you both. 

 

That's brutal. 20% on a private sale, it's insane. 

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19 minutes ago, J_Bass said:

...That's brutal. 20% on a private sale, it's insane. 

Buying from individuals inside the EU is the answer, as VAT and duty do not apply to such sales. BC has many such members, and there are other sources, too, such as Ebay, LeBonCoin and many more. B|

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1 hour ago, Dad3353 said:

Buying from individuals inside the EU is the answer, as VAT and duty do not apply to such sales. BC has many such members, and there are other sources, too, such as Ebay, LeBonCoin and many more. B|

Zikinf, Bassic.de ....

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It has ripped any fun out of the classifieds here. Annoyingly, both Reverb and ebay still include UK sales in 'European Union' based searches. The prospect of buying used gear from UK sellers is a big fat zero now.

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  • 2 months later...

Just bought a pedal from the US and now have to pay VAT and Clearance Fee. Always painful when it's an "extra"! 

I guess the key point to remember is the "Import VAT" at 20% is due on both the cost of the goods PLUS the shipping costs and there is £12 clearance fee on top.

I'm presuming there will be a direct read-across of the above for imports from the EU as well now.

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On 26/12/2020 at 09:40, ped said:

As mentioned elsewhere I am not going to publish any advice or guidelines that suggest I know the deal because I think private sales won’t be affected. Let’s wait and see. 

I think the position is now clear that Import VAT does apply to private sales from the EU, so maybe worth including a sticky in the sales forums?

I'm sure @Steve Browning, as our resident VAT expert, could come up with some suitable generic wording just to remind folk that there will be a further 20% VAT to pay on the cost of the good plus shipping on second hand private sales.

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Yes, it’s reasonably safe to assume the anything you buy from the EU and imported into the UK from a company or private seller will be subject to the same principles as those from, for example, the USA. Import duty on the cost of the goods, then VAT on top. I’m not 100% sure whether the negotiations resulted in a lower or zero rate of duty (it wasn’t zero when I bought a bass from Thomann in February - it was 3.7%), but you will definitely pay 20% VAT on the total instrument price plus shipping - and the exchange rate will doubtless benefit the UK government, so a rough guide is about 25% of whatever you paid for the instrument. Beware of some European music shops that do not understand this - there are some sellers on Reverb advertising the price “including VAT”, but that is not true as they’re not registered for UK VAT - it’s the local country VAT, because when you direct to their site, that’s what it says - and it some cases it doesn’t. This only became clear to me when I contacted them and was offered a “special” price, which was still more than the shop price minus local VAT! If not collecting UK VAT, they must sell deducting VAT or you will end up paying local VAT on purchase and then UK duty and VAT on entry.

I would still buy from retailer in the EU (bigger and better stock of the kinds of basses I’m interested in), but private sellers are a no-go, unfortunately.

Edited by FDC484950
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Another VAT rule came into force from July 1st, with the removal of the €22 VAT exemption for imports. This is affecting quite a few small labels and artists, selling CDs, vinyl, cassettes etc into the EU.

Whilst the VAT on its own isn’t a big deal, it also attracts a handling fee from the import country’s post office. I sold a cassette and a booklet last week to someone who was charged  an extra €20. Consequently he won’t be buying anything else. There’s a few people I know who have been similarly affected by this.

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