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Posted Wed, 29 Mar 2023 09:15:19 GMT by Chaos
My family in Spain just sent me a box with some kitchen equipment (cooking robot etc) using UPS, and I have been informed we have to pay customs for this. We declared a value of 450€ on the customs sheet. There's a few things I do not understand of what happened. - As far as it says on, we have a personal allowance of £390. Was this the reason I was taxed? 450€ are just barely over this allowance, depending on the day it would have been under. - According to, the fee should be 2.5%, including delivery costs. The bill says £12.2 on brokerage charges, which looks fine and I'd be happy with. However, there's another item called Government Charges for a whooping £86.04, which is really the one that hurts. And I cannot find any mention of this on Why was this charged? Can I claim back? Thanks.
Posted Wed, 29 Mar 2023 10:57:57 GMT by Customs oldtimer
The allowance you have referred to is only for travellers personally transporting the goods themselves. Gifts imported by post or courier is subject to a tax free allowance of £39. The amount you will have been charged is the import duty and import VAT. Customs duty is charged on the total goods value and shipping costs. Import VAT is charged on the goods value, shipping costs plus the customs duty . The £12.20 is likely the fee the courier has made to declare the goods and collect the charges.
Posted Wed, 29 Mar 2023 12:35:32 GMT by Chaos
Ah ok, thanks, so then it's: £12.2 seems to be the import duty being 2.5% on value+shipping. £86.04 must be VAT on value+shipping+duty. Is this the case? And is VAT payable in all cases? Tax was already paid for this item in Spain. 0 Value (added tax - VAT) here.
Posted Thu, 30 Mar 2023 08:53:14 GMT by Customs oldtimer
Each country has its own taxes and VAT. Payment of taxes or VAT in another country are not taken into account when importing into the UK. All imports ,apart from gifts between private individuals below £39 , are subject to VAT .
Posted Thu, 30 Mar 2023 10:13:13 GMT by Chaos
Ok, thanks.
Posted Thu, 30 Mar 2023 13:33:11 GMT by HMRC Admin 10
The correct guidance for gifts sent into the UK :
Import VAT and Customs Duty on gifts
Gifts over £39 are liable to Import VAT.
Customs Duty also becomes payable if the value of the goods is over £135.

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