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Posted Thu, 02 Feb 2023 16:13:00 GMT by Hans van Steijn
Hello My wife is a self employed ceramic artist. She sells her art partly at ceramic markets in several EU countries. Normally we load up our van, drive to the market and hopefully sell some of her work and return with what is unsold. Before Brexit she also exhibited het work at UK markets. She would like to do so again but this seems to be very complicated due to customs regulations. We have been searching the web for information but it turns out to be very tricky to get reliable info. We have mailed and spoken to Dutch and UK customs officials but are getting contradicting advice. My wife's business is a very small one persons company more driven by passion than profit although she is offically registered in the Netherlands. The info available on the internet seems to be more directed to large companies and seems far to complicated and expensive for our situation. Registration for Portbase for instance requires costly software. The closest we have come to a relatively simple but also fairly expensive solution to import goods temporarily and reexport some of it a little later is an "ATA carnet" advised by one of your employees. The Dutch chamber of commerce, who issues these carnets (at a cost of roughly 200 pounds), however tells us this is not necessary because there are no duties due on self produced original art in Britain. They did advise us to make an inventory for Britsh customs when entering the country. When enquiring with Dutch customs, who have to validate the carnet, we were told that we cannot use this because all the goods listed on this have to be returned to the country of origin. It is, according to them not possible to sell items listed on the carnet. This document is meant for tools or equipment that will return after the work is done. Another possible option we found on your website is by way of an "oral declaration" at the border by way of form C108. The snag here seems to be that this can only be used for wares up to a value of 1500 pounds. The sale value of a van full of my wife work will be around three times that amount. So can you please advise us how to go about this. Of course if there are any duties or VAT (Rates of which differ from 5% to 20% on the internet) due on the sold articles we are willing to pay these. But it is also not clear to us how and where this can be done. At the border, before boarding the ferry? Do you have to be VAT registered? Not necessary for small companies in Britain but your site states somewhere that there is a 5% rate on all imported art. Furthermore there is documention required to be able to board the ferry on this side of the North Sea when carrying commercial goods. But the only thing the ferry company (Stena) could tell me that they were not sure what we exactly needed. The carnet was mentioned or to contact a shipping agent (telephone number provided but they also could not help us) but in the end the ferry employee advised us to book as tourists with "nothing to declare". So far the only thing we think we are going to need is an EORI number. Which we succesfully applied for. But what we need it for exactly remains unclear. Can you please give us advise us what the best course of action is for us? And if it is possible a step by step guide through the procedures? Thank you very much! Kind regards Hans van Steijn
Posted Tue, 07 Feb 2023 17:50:09 GMT by HMRC Admin 10
I would advise contacting the Customs and International trade helpline on 0300 322 9434.

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