Less Duty Tax For Online Shoppers

Your heart may still skip a beat every time you walk through airport customs with a luggage full of booze and cigarettes from a 3rd world country. But a change in online customs duty law now means you can now do so with a bigger grin on your face.   Starting from December 2008, online shoppers will no longer have to pay customs duty on non-EU purchases up to £105. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will raise the threshold on duty for online purchases from non-EU countries up from £18 to £105 on December 1.

Imported goods from EU countries are free from import duty, but those outside the EU, such as the US, China, and Australia, carry customs duty, import VAT and, for alcohol and tobacco, and excise duty as well.    This comes as a welcome relief for Christmas shoppers.  This tax relief will make online shopping much easier for consumers who had previously avoided purchasing low value imports to avoid the tariffs.


1 comment

  • someone
    This is all well and good, but the fact is we still have to pay VAT. The import duty was waived for low value items before (ie currently) anyway. The biggest noticable effect will probably be clothing ordered online. This still means for a £100 item from the US, you will still attract 17.5% VAT, as well as the customs handling fee from Royal Mail or your preferred courier. What I'd like to see, is an increase in the threshold at which VAT is payable from the Channel islands, up from the current £18. This simply won't happen, as the loss of VAT income from the likes of play.com et al is already hitting UK government hard* *might be a lie

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