Importing electronics from UK - VAT question

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mpprh
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Importing electronics from UK - VAT question

Post by mpprh » Sun 21 Sep 2008 10:14

By email :
I have been asked me a question about imported goods from UK and VAT.

If he buys something for, say, €600 on Ebay from a private seller - what is the position regarding VAT when it arrives in France ?

I don't know the answer, but I'm sure someone out there does !

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john
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Post by john » Sun 21 Sep 2008 11:07

I don't know the answer to this either Peter,but does one pay VAT on second hand goods off Ebay in the UK? I'd have thought not.

So....under the Franco-UK double taxation rules,presumably if no tax is payable on said goods in UK,then it's not in France either.

Or is that too simplistic!?

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Roger O
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Post by Roger O » Sun 21 Sep 2008 12:36

I too am unaware of the answer, though my daughter often buys smallish costing items on UK ebay. Never had any VAT additions yet on those!

However, buying from the US is a different matter. In that case, recommend using Fedex rather than DHL.

Alizée has bought several higher costing items from the US ebay. Seems the Fedex ones are more liable to escape the French customs random package check than the DHL ones - maybe because DHL is faster and therefore more likely to contain items of higher value??

Her new camera (body only) Nikon D300 was bought in the US (ebay, though new and in original package with guarantee) and delivered by DHL who requested an on-the-spot customs payment of 251 euros - nice surprise!!

The zoom lens (much cheaper, but still 650 euros), bought separately from another US source was delivered by Fedex and (once again) no VAT demand on delivery!

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Kathy
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Post by Kathy » Sun 21 Sep 2008 12:47

There is a section to fill in on the form when you send abroad. If you don't tick that it is a gift then if it is picked up on then you can be charged taxes. My son was charged £98 because this box was not ticked. Our delivery guy said not all people get noticed but it is the luck of the draw.
This purchase was from America, not sure if it applies for everywhere.

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polremy
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Post by polremy » Sun 21 Sep 2008 19:05

i remember many many years ago my son, then aged about 15, had a penfriend in america and got him to send a pair of nike trainers (ooh - the latest thing in the days when you couldnt really get them in england).
when they arrived he was charged about the cost of the trainers in tax! couldnt believe it.
especially annoying since the same trainers were to be had in sports shops in cambridge about 6 months later.

fortunately, he went off to see the world a couple of years later and is still in the u.s. so it wont happen again.

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Chantal
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Importing electronics from UK - VAT question

Post by Chantal » Sun 21 Sep 2008 20:09

Link below about imports and VAT/

http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPort ... e=document


If you buy goods online from within the European Union (EU)
You will not be charged Customs duty or import VAT.

Alcohol and tobacco products from within the EU cannot be sent to the UK unless arrangements have been made to pay UK excise duty in advance. For more information on this please see the ‘Distance Selling’ procedures in Public Notice 203 Registered Excise Dealers and Shippers.

The 27 EU countries are the UK, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, The Irish Republic, Denmark, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Malta, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania.

Another VAT link below , but seems to be UK VAT based (I have only scan read it)

http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPort ... e=document

chantal

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Santiago
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Post by Santiago » Sun 21 Sep 2008 22:14

The ruling is that if you buy goods as a non-VAT-registered individual from another EU country you must pay the VAT in the country of origin.

You cannot buy excisable goods over the internet without, as Chantal has pointed out, a prior agreement with the customs in each country and you will end up having to pay the excise duty of the country where the goods are to be delivered.

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john
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Post by john » Mon 22 Sep 2008 09:59

I think Santiago his the nail on the head by raising the question as to where these good have been bought from.

We have been clobbered for tax when our daughter in Los Angeles has sent us stuff (she doesn't any more!),but as Santiago says this does not apply if things are sourced from the EU.

I'm still intersted to know if a UK resident buys stuff off Ebay from another UK resident,is VAT payable?. I suppose it depends on whether the seller or buyer is VAT registered (as Santiago says). If neither is,then no VAT would be payable in the UK,and QED none in France either.

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Santiago
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Post by Santiago » Mon 22 Sep 2008 10:17

As far as I know VAT is not payable between private buyers no matter what country within the EU the purchase is from.

As an aside, I've had two factures recently from suppliers who do not have TVA numbers but who have added TVA to the bill. There are certain organisations in Frnace - Micro Societies and Associations - who do not have TVA numbers and are therefore NOT ALLOWED to add TVA to the prices of their goods or services.

This is different from the UK where being non-VAT-registered means you neither pay nor claim VAT to/from the govt.

Something to watch out for.

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Tiffany
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Post by Tiffany » Mon 22 Sep 2008 12:02

VAT or TVA is a tax on the value added on an item through transformation. So is payable when a bunch of bits are put together to create something that is more valuable than it was when just a bunch of bits. In the case of an electronic item, the VAT will be paid already when bought new. So, in general it is not applicable to second hand stuff, as the tax was already paid when bought new. This is assuming that this chap has bought something second hand off Ebay.

Even so, the EU is treated as one country, even though there are differing rates of tax from country to country, so as long as the VAT is collected in the country of origin, it is deemed to be paid. It is the sellers responsibility to collect and pay the VAT on behalf of the tax authorities.

Micro-entreprises are not TVA registered and have no obligation to collect or pay TVA.

Hope this helps!

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