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Posted Tue, 30 Apr 2024 22:22:58 GMT by pn
My son was working in the French Alps for the winter. He is a teenage pianist and composer and was missing his piano so he asked us to send him a keyboard he has owned for several years. He organised the postage through Parcelforce in January of this year and paid around £40 in postage. He thought he had to pay tax when he collected it in France but none was requested when he went to the office. With the job finished at the end of the winter he was returning home on 21st April and posted his keyboard through the French post office. this time it cost him more - 92 euros but it's a different company, a bigger box with some of his clothes added in to provide protection so fair enough - bigger size, extra weight etc. The problem is that I have just had to pay £107.02 to have the keyboard released from Parcelforce - £95.02 of that is import VAT and a clearance fee of £12. I'm quite shocked - the keyboard is quite a few years old now and would only cost about £500 to buy new. Should he really be charged import VAT for something he already owned and just temporarily had with him (for less than 3 months!) in France? The fee I understand, the import VAT I don't.
Posted Fri, 03 May 2024 07:11:44 GMT by Customs oldtimer
Hi There are several threads already on this subject on the forum. Most people’s experience of customs is when they go on holiday so don’t realise how things work when sending goods by courier or post. The courier or post office must make a import declaration to HMRC. Anything being imported into the UK is subject to import VAT and goods over £135 in value possibly import duty as well. Only if the courier is advised that goods are being returned and are given proof of the previous export can they declare the goods as returned and relieved the VAT. Generally this needs to be done when the shipment is booked. You also need to bear in mind your package is one amongst thousands the courier is dealing with so even if you do this it may be missed as they have to deal with this sort of import differently . You should however be able to request a reclaim from HMRC
Posted Sun, 05 May 2024 17:27:11 GMT by pn
Thank you, it's much appreciated. I'll check out that link.
Posted Wed, 15 May 2024 08:29:45 GMT by HMRC Admin 20
Hi pn,
Goods received through post has different thresholds, you will not have to pay anything to the delivery company to receive goods worth less than £135 unless they’re gifts over £39 or excise goods (for example, alcohol and tobacco).
More information on this on below link:  Tax and customs for goods sent from abroad
You can get a relief if you’re re-importing goods into the UK that have previously been exported or transported from the UK. This is known as Returned Goods Relief. But this can only be done at the time when goods are sent from abroad and customs declaration has been filled by the postal company.
Customer can now look in to a reclaim on the charges by filling BOR286. You need to complete this form for parcels or packets received through Parcelforce or Royal Mail only, if you believe that Customs Duty or import VAT has been incorrectly calculated on your imported item.
Report incorrect Customs Duty or VAT on items imported by post (BOR286)
Thank you.

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