What are Duties and Taxes?
Shipper’s Guide to Duties and Taxes
|Who is Responsible for Payment?|
|Taxation Across Borders|
Receiver’s Guide to Duties and Taxes
|What goods are subject to Duty and VAT?|
|Who is liable to pay Duty and VAT charges?|
The person receiving the shipment is legally obliged to pay Duty and VAT unless the sender has agreed to accept these charges in the contract of sale.
|Customs Duty, Excise Duty and VAT Explained|
|Goods Purchased Online for Personal Use|
Duties and taxes are most typically not included in the price of the goods you purchase online, and might not be included in the overall shipping costs you pay to the online retailer.
When purchasing goods online, any goods which do not originate in the UK or EU are subject to a customs duty,which is a tariff or tax imposed on goods when transported across international borders.
When goods are not shipped within the UK or EU, you are liable to pay any inbound duties and taxes which HMRC deems appropriate unless the sender has agreed to accept these charges.
To ensure the DHL courier can deliver your goods in shortest possible time after entering the UK, DHL pays the any duties and taxes that are due on the goods to HMRC on your behalf. DHL will apply an Advance Payment or Disbursement charge for this service.
Once the duties and taxes are fully repaid to DHL the goods will be delivered to you
What is payable, if anything, depends on where the goods are sent from, the type of goods, their value and the weight of the package
When buying goods online, you should always check whether they are either being sent to you from the UK, the EU or another country.
Note: Different rules apply when buying goods for commercial use.
|Gifts Bought Online|
Ordering and paying for goods that originate outside the UK or EU for shipping to a person other than the purchaser, does not satisfy the customs definition of being a gift.
You can also refer to Notice 143 Paragraph 2.4 on the HMRC website for further clarification on the criteria.
|Why doesn't DHL include Duty and VAT charges in its tariff?|
These charges are not included in our tariff because the Customs authorities in the destination country determine whether any duties and taxes are applicable when the shipment arrives.
|Why do I have to pay an Advance Payment or Disbursement charge?|
When DHL pays Duty and VAT on your behalf, an Advance Payment or Disbursement charge will be added to your Duty and VAT statement/invoice for clearing the shipment through customs.
The charge is currently £11.00 or 2.5% of the total Duty and/or VAT incurred, whichever is the greater.
If the total Duty and/or VAT incurred is less than £440 then a flat amount of £11.00 will be incurred as this is less than 2.5%
For example, if the total Duty and/or VAT amount equals £125.80, then £11.00 will apply.
The 2.5% will be incurred if the total Duty and/or VAT is greater than £440.00. For example, if the total Duty and/or VAT amount equals £490.00 then an amount of 2.5% will apply i.e. £12.25.
|Can I pay the Duty and VAT myself?|
If you are a regular importer, you can apply to HMRC for a duty deferment account for the payment of most customs charges, such as import VAT, customs duty and excise duty. A duty deferment account lets you make one monthly payment via Direct Debit instead of paying for individual shipments.
|Are there any reliefs from Duty and VAT?|
Yes, they include:
Goods with a value of £15 or less (excluding postage, packing and other miscellaneous costs). This does not include alcohol, tobacco products, perfume, eau de toilette or cologne.
Gifts from one private individual to another providing the value does not exceed £39. Exception: There is a very restricted gift allowance on excise goods, but we advise you to contact HMRC for further information.
Personal effects of people returning to the EU after residing abroad.
Goods found to be defective or damaged or not otherwise as ordered. Customs must be notified before qualifying goods can be returned overseas, otherwise duty relief may be lost.
Goods imported into the EU for processing and repair before re-export from the EU. Your local Customs office can provide you with further details.
Note: Any goods arriving in the UK on which Excise Duty in particular has not been paid will be liable to seizure by Customs.
|How is Duty and VAT calculated?|
Customs assess the amount of Duty to be paid based on the information provided on the DHL Waybill and customs paperwork, in particular where the goods where sent from, the type of contents, their value and the weight of the package.
The value for VAT is the declared value of the goods plus the transport costs to the country of destination plus the Customs Duty.
Example of Duty calculation
Value of goods £80 + transport to the UK £35 = £115
Total value for Duty £115 x 3.5% Duty = Total Duty payable £4.02
Example of VAT calculation
Value of goods £80 + transport to the UK £35 + Duty charges £4.02 = £119.02
Total value for VAT £119.02 x 20% = Total VAT payable £23.80
Total import Duty and VAT charges payable on import of these goods = £27.82