Dec 11

Why you need to be careful buying gifts from outside the EU

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It’s always a nice feeling when you’re internet shopping and you find the perfect gift at a great price.

You can often find particularly good prices on sites in non-EU countries, but that shouldn’t be a problem right?


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Well, you may find the price starts to increase once charges are applied – when buying from outside the EU you may incur custom duty charges, VAT and a handling charge!

Most people are aware of custom charges, but less are aware of the fact that you can get charged VAT on anything over £36, so you’re going to be paying an extra 20% on the original price.



basketTo make sure you’re actually getting a bargain, and are not going to get charged a whole load on top, check the websites terms and conditions to see if the UK import duties and VAT are included in the price. If they are, then you’re safe.

If the price doesn’t include Custom Duty or import VAT then you’ll likely receive a bill from the Royal Mail or whoever is delivering your parcel, and this can also result in delays in getting the parcel to you as the costs are worked out.



Shop with your eyes open this Christmas and read terms and conditions thoroughly before making an order.


Let us know if you’ve ever been hit by an unexpected charge when you’ve bought something online.

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Not had an expected charge, but have had delays in receiving products. Example, have brought products from Wowhd (previously known as CDWow) as I believe they imported some stuff from Asia. Products were lost or delayed and I had to complain possibly due to delays in Customs.

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