New Brexit-related fees for buying goods and receiving gifts from the EU

The Government, Royal Mail and Post Office are warning Britons that they face new fees or paperwork to send and receive certain goods and letters from overseas. Photo: PA

The public faces new taxes to receive certain goods and gifts from EU countries after the Brexit transition period expires at the end of the year.

The UK Government, Royal Mail and the Post Office have issued consumer advice on additional tax and administrative requirements for sending and receiving goods.

Anyone receiving a gift worth more than £39 ($52.61) may face import VAT and customs duties on goods or gifts worth more than £135 £ if they have not been paid by the sender.

The changes reflect Britain’s decision to leave the EU’s customs union, which sees member states charge no import tax on each other’s goods. The move allows more freedom to negotiate trade deals and protect UK industries in the future, at the cost of new barriers and taxes on trade with the EU, still Britain’s biggest trading partner.

“For gifts over £39 and goods over £135, Royal Mail may collect VAT and customs duty on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). of the consignee before delivery”, according to the Royal Mail website.

He said letters, postcards and documents are “generally” exempt.

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UK government guidelines released last week added: “Royal Mail will tell you how much you need to pay and the payment methods available. Once payment has been received, you can request delivery of your package or collect it from your local delivery office or depot.

In the meantime, people returning from the EU and carrying goods themselves face new customs duties on products worth £390 or more. The rate is charged at 2.5% of the total item value on goods up to £630, and at varying rates depending on the type of goods above £630.

Second-hand goods are subject to the same duty and VAT, although HMRC says this “may vary depending on age and condition”.

Currently, anyone arriving in the UK from the EU currently pays no tax on the goods they are transporting, as long as they are for personal use or as a gift and all applicable taxes have been in the country from which they come.

Meanwhile, Swiss Post is warning customers that they face new obstacles to sending goods and gifts within the EU.

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“Customers posting from England, Scotland and Wales will be required to attach customs declaration forms to all items containing gifts or goods being sent overseas, including to UK destinations. ‘EU’, according to its website. But the rules do not apply to customers posting from Northern Ireland.

Different customs labels must be completed for goods depending on whether they are worth £270 or more, either in advance by printing them or at postal agencies. Parcelforce also requires a different form available at postal agencies.

The post office notes that the sender is “legally responsible” for the information, so it urges customers to ensure it is accurate.

The extra red tape is one of many new administrative hurdles to trade with the EU as Britain moves away from the bloc.

“Customs, rules of origin and regulatory checks will require the proper documentation to be produced at the border, which will almost certainly cause disruption, particularly in early 2021,” Nomura analysts wrote in a note on Tuesday. .

“Duty-free and quota-free trade in goods may have been preserved, but frictionless trade has not.”

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