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Posted Wed, 03 Jan 2024 14:39:56 GMT by
Hello My partner is looking to purchase some items from a small US based manufacturer of motorcycle parts. The total value, including shipping, is $51 so around £40. The manufacturer, who will ship the items, is not UK VAT registered to collect the VAT at source. I have asked him to check who the manufacturer uses to ship the items but I believe it is likely to be United States Postal Service with the local delivery being handled by Royal Mail. Having searched we could not see anything where USPS show an option to pay the VAT at point of shipping to show the package as duty paid? If my partner buys these items can the duty payable be dealt with by Royal Mail when the item is received in the UK? Please can you advise on how we can get these items as he doesn't want to complete the purchase only to find the package rejected and returned to the sender as the duty hasn't been paid. Thank you
Posted Mon, 08 Jan 2024 15:58:43 GMT by Customs oldtimer
I am not an HMRC official but involved in importing and exporting so can assist with my understanding. The £135 threshold means that there is a waiver of import duty for goods up to that value. I am assuming you are ordering directly from a US company and not via one of the sale’s platforms such as Amazon. If so Import VAT should be charged by the seller as they are supposed to register for VAT in the UK . There is a zero sales threshold applies. It sounds unreasonable but that is the requirement. If goods come via the postal system the sender would attach a CN 22 label then the Post Office can charge the applicable taxes ( import vat @ 20%) plus their admin fee . They usually get imports to pay on line. Hopefully one of the HMRC admins can advise
Posted Tue, 09 Jan 2024 23:12:36 GMT by
Thank you for the information. Having Googled the CN22 that appears to be a UK form for sending items from this country not for import? Can someone in the USA fix one to their package to then be correct for identifying the package contents and shipping costs for importing items to the UK? Obviously we recognise we've got to pay a handling fee in addition to the VAT that is due. Just wanting some surety that there is a way that will work and not end up with a package being rejected and returned to the sender. Thanks again for your help.
Posted Wed, 10 Jan 2024 16:54:11 GMT by HMRC Admin 20
Hi Angela Barnesc,
The parcel or courier company (for example, Royal Mail or Parcelforce) is responsible for taking goods through UK customs.
Any charges due will be paid to them by the importer although there is a threshold for postal imports where charges do not apply.
Please refer to below link as it covers all the information.
Tax and customs for goods sent from abroad
Thank you.
Posted Thu, 11 Jan 2024 11:43:34 GMT by
Thank you for the information. On this page from the link above: It states: "Goods worth £135 or less in total If you bought the goods yourself and they are not excise goods, the seller will have included VAT in the total you paid. You will need to pay VAT to the delivery company if the goods are: - gifts sent to you by someone else and worth more than £39 - excise goods" The problem we have is that the seller in the USA is not registered for VAT so won't have collected the VAT at source and items value, including postage, is less than £135. They do very little business with the UK so will not be registering. If VAT can be paid locally for gifts sent to someone worth more than £39 then I guess we will have to ask the seller to describe them as such. We will pay the seller and the VAT can then be collected locally. Why is it not possible to allow VAT to be collected locally where the cost is less than £135? The VAT for gifts valued over £39 and the VAT and duty for items valued above £135 can be collected locally. Seems overly complicated and working with two different approaches?
Posted Fri, 12 Jan 2024 12:52:21 GMT by Customs oldtimer
FYI . A CN 22 is an international postal customs declaration label.
Posted Mon, 15 Jan 2024 11:14:17 GMT by
OK, thank you for that information. The CN22 doesn't mention anything about any taxes being paid therefore we risk the package being returned based on the statements made in the HMRC guidance as the VAT won't have been collected by the seller. However, based on the information on the link provided by the HMRC admin items below £135 must have VAT collected at source by the seller. To do this the seller has to register with HMRC, and complete the collection and return of the VAT charged, and for the amount of trade they do with the UK they aren't prepared to do that. As I mentioned above our only option appears to be to ask the seller to identify the items as gifts, with a value greater than £39, and we pay the seller and then pay the duty locally once received in the UK. We don't see why the option to pay the VAT for any purchase where it is applicable can't happen locally?

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