After much research on the topic I was of the opinion that if I, as a consumer was to import goods from the EU and the value was under £135 then the VAT would be paid to the retailer and that there would be no more to pay on import. I was also under the impression that in this case the value declared on the customs declaration forms would not include the cost of postage so if I bought an item for £130 and the postage was £25 giving a total cost of £155 the UK VAT would still be collected by the EU retailer who should then declare a value of £130 on the customs forms?
I was also led to beleive that any company that wants to trade with UK consumers from the EU MUST register for UK VAT and collect the VAT due at point of sale for goods valued at under £135 and that this is mandatory and is not something companies can opt out of by choice?
I ask these questions as I recently purchased an item from Slovakia which had a value of £120 but the retailer declared the value including postage which came to a total of £137 which then triggered an unexpected charge from DHL. In the past when I have purchased from the EU and the value has been above £135 the retailer has reduced the price by their countries VAT amount which I then paid on arrival of the goods. This current company that I am dealing with did no such thing so it looks like I am paying double VAT plus collection charges for this item.
Can someone clarify if my understanding of the rules regarding consumer imports are correct please?