There are growing complaints from UK consumers about VAT and duties being charged for items bought online from the EU (Britons buying from EU websites hit with £100 customs bills, 21 January). The same applies in reverse for goods bought by EU customers from the UK. This begs the question – if VAT and duty is going to be charged by the receiving country, why are they not being sold at source VAT-free and duty-free to customers outside the respective local jurisdictions? Are the HMRC and similar organisations in other countries trying to have two bites of the same cherry?
County Cork, Ireland
• I purchased two British designed and assembled light fittings that turned out to be in a warehouse in Belgium. I have been charged £71.74 in import fees for having absolutely no idea. The website had a .co.uk domain name but, after digging, I realised that I had accidentally imported lights from Europe. I shan’t be doing that again.
• I live in Ireland and bought clothing from gap.eu for €53. I received a demand for €16 in import tax. As it turned out, the goods came from the UK. Well done, UK. People will think twice before ordering anything from you.
• There have been so many complaints from UK fishers that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has set up a £23m fund to help (Report, 19 January). The fishers could do worse than contact Sainsbury’s. While arranging our order, my wife wanted scallops. There were two possibilities: from Canada or Patagonia. We bought neither. Selling seafood from UK waters might provide a more convenient market and even help mitigate the climate crisis.
Source: Read Full Article