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Posted Thu, 14 Mar 2024 11:53:23 GMT by Stevensondra
All of the available threads and comments and the are ambiguous about the criteria governing the application of import duty (as distinct from VAT or other tax or fees) to shipments where the goods value is below the £135 threshold. I have been asked to pay import duty on a shipment from japan where the goods value (includingVAT) paid by me is below £135 (specifically to avoid imposition of import duty which would make the goods uneconomical (and these are non-excise goods)). because the duty has been calculated on the goods value PLUS the cost of shipping. My understanding is that the intention is that duty is payable where the goods value including any taxes exceeds £135 but it isnt intended to be applied to the cost of shipping (as this is not "goods value"). it is clear from the site however that - i quote..."if you are charged Customs Duty, you'll need to pay it on both: the price paid for the goods, and postage packing and insurance". So if the actual value of goods is below £135 then customs duty should not apply, since shipping etc is not "goods" (it is "services") and the threshold for liability states that it is based on the value of the "goods". So i understand that if the "value of goods" is greater than £135 then duty will be payed on the combined value of both the goods AND shipping etc, but if not then duty should not be charged on either. The wording on the site is ambiguous and i can understand that people would be confused, as am I, but it does clearly distinguish between "goods" and "postage, packaging and insurance" and states that : "You'll be charged Customs Duty on all GOODS sent from outside the UK if they're either: EXCISE GOODS (which mine are not); or Worth more than £135 (the GOODS i have purchased - incvluding VAT - are below £135 (i have paid £133.05 for the GOODS, shipping was £26.43). Is someone able to either confim my interpretation or refute this with an unambiguous explanantion please?? many thanks.
Posted Thu, 14 Mar 2024 14:07:34 GMT by Customs oldtimer
The customs duty is relieved for goods that have an intrinsic value below £135. That applies to the goods only, excluding any UK VAT or postage/ shipping costs . Please bear in mind that If the goods are purchased in foreign currency then a monthly UK customs exchange rate is used to convert to GBP. If you have purchased in GBP then this is not applicable. The overseas seller should be registered for UK VAT and UK VAT should be charged by them on the total value of the not just the intrinsic value of the goods. At import special customs procedures should be applied for these low value goods meaning there should be no additional charges as the goods are relieved of duty and VAT has already been applied by the the seller. Goods with an intrinsic over £135 will be charged duty on the costs of goods plus costs of packing/ shipping etc ( this is the value for customs) .Import VAT is applied at import based on the value for customs plus the duty. The overseas seller has no requirement to add UK VAT to such consignments. Normal customs procedures apply to these. It sounds like whoever has made the customs declaration for you has either been provided with incorrect information on the goods, or value , or has declared the goods incorrectly so I suggest that you go back to them in the first instance. If you believe you have been overcharged then you can submit a duty reclaim on a C285 or ( BOR 286 if by post)
Posted Wed, 27 Mar 2024 10:36:37 GMT by HMRC Admin 19

You would need to contact our imports and exports team for advice.

Imports and exports: general enquiries

Thank you.

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