Britons urged to take care when shopping online this Christmas as woman hit with £70 fee

Rip Off Britain expert discusses hidden import fees on goods

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Many people could end up footing the bill for fees they weren’t expecting if items bought come from EU countries. On Rip-Off Britain last month, presenter Angela Rippon explained the importance of being mindful of extra charges when sending Christmas gifts this year.

She said: “Now that we’re out of the European Union, there’s all sorts of red tape associated with parcels that we send to Europe.”

With Britain having left the EU, people face being hit with a raft of new taxes and duties to pay on certain goods on products coming to the UK.

These extra costs seem to be catching people out, making them spend more than they ever intended to.

Allison from Swansea spoke to the Rip-Off Britain team about her experience with buying gifts based in other countries for Christmas.

She had purchased a £250 paddle board for her husband’s birthday, and to her surprise, the sellers were based in Denmark.

Allison thought it was a UK seller, but when the paddle board came, she was hit with a £70 fee for the import duties.

She said: “This information was not made clear on the UK website.

“If I’d realised it was coming from Denmark, I would have never ordered it.”

Technology expert David McClelland says buying online is “a mind field”.

When commenting on Allison’s case, he explained that there are many companies based in the EU that seem to be UK based, however people are only noticing now because of the fees.

Before the UK left the EU, the only difference with ordering from these companies is that the delivery time would be slightly longer.

He said: “There are now these extra charges that people aren’t expecting before you can get delivery of the product.

“It’s this bit here that’s so confusing.”

When buying things outside of the UK, Mr McClelland explained that there are four charges that people can be hit with.

  1. Import VAT
  2. Import Duty
  3. Excise Duty for alcohol
  4. Handling fees from the delivery company

For example, Mr McClelland explained that if a relative was sending Britons a present from Dublin, and the gift cost £40, they will now have to pay 20 percent VAT to receive this gift.

As the recipient of the gift, they would have to pay £8 for it.

For a gift more expensive that is £140, the VAT paid would be more.

The recipient of the gift would be liable to pay import duties also.

Additionally, he explained the “magic figures” people should be aware of.

Items under £39 will not be taxed.

If the item is more that £135, then people have to pay import duties.

“That’s when the cost really can start to rake up,” he said.

For alcohol there are other rules.
He said that if people buy a crate of alcohol from the EU for the Christmas tables, they may have to pay the excise fees, and this could add another £80.

Mr McClelland suggested that those people who are planning to receive goods this Christmas from any EU countries should visit to get more information of fees and extra charges that could be added.

Source: Read Full Article