£42.91 Custom Charge?!! Why so expensive? Anyone know they how calculate the price?

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Found 9th Aug 2017Edited by:"MRR_ltd"
Just shocked it's so high..... I know there's a £8 handling fee, what about the £34.91
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If you buy goods online from outside the EU for delivery to the UK, you'll have to pay Customs Duty (if over £120 value) and Import VAT 20%(if over £18) on top of the purchase price (including duties), though Customs Duty is waived if the amount of the calculated duty payable is £7 or less.
How much was the item. Where did it come from. How much was postage.

If over £15 inclusive of postage you pay 20% on the entire amount (and Customs Duty as per the above post). The usual fee is £8.

Error corrected on amount.
Edited by: "windym" 9th Aug 2017
Original Poster
whatyadoinsucka9 m ago

If you buy goods online from outside the EU for delivery to the UK, you'll …If you buy goods online from outside the EU for delivery to the UK, you'll have to pay Customs Duty (if over £120 value) and Import VAT 20%(if over £18) on top of the purchase price (including duties), though Customs Duty is waived if the amount of the calculated duty payable is £7 or less.


Thank you for your response. The highest value item that I bought recently that I can think of costs $132.80 (£102.12). It's not over £120 so I shouldn't be having to pay custom? Bit confused - From America I think? Free postage
Edited by: "MRR_ltd" 9th Aug 2017
I always thought customs were implied on a purchase over £15 including postage...I always avoid customs when it's £15 or under. When it's £16.80, they certainly hit me
I'm confused by you saying the "highest value you bought recently". Is this the charge for a random item or one you know you have purchased?

Let's take your £102 item. The VAT on that would be £20.40. What was the postage price or customs declaration? If it was free the VAT plus charge should make it around £28/£29. If postage was visible or added to the customs declaration then that could be the difference.

Alternatively could it be the value was written as £132 (pounds not dollars)?
Its over £30 I think - but don't quote me .
caironjake10 m ago

I always thought customs were implied on a purchase over £15 including …I always thought customs were implied on a purchase over £15 including postage...I always avoid customs when it's £15 or under. When it's £16.80, they certainly hit me


Your figure is correct, £15 is the value (incl postage) for VAT. Customs is £120.
Original Poster
windym8 m ago

I'm confused by you saying the "highest value you bought recently". Is …I'm confused by you saying the "highest value you bought recently". Is this the charge for a random item or one you know you have purchased? Let's take your £102 item. The VAT on that would be £20.40. What was the postage price or customs declaration? If it was free the VAT plus charge should make it around £28/£29. If postage was visible or added to the customs declaration then that could be the difference. Alternatively could it be the value was written as £132 (pounds not dollars)?


I have purchased several items recently, so hard to pin point which one exactly. It could be that charges accounts for more than one item maybe? I'll need to find out. But if it's just the one, not sure why it's so high.... £28/29 I can understand. But that leaves me to question the £13/14.91 left... There was no delivery charge. Argh, I'll just find out the mystery tomorrow.
MRR_ltd21 m ago

I have purchased several items recently, so hard to pin point which one …I have purchased several items recently, so hard to pin point which one exactly. It could be that charges accounts for more than one item maybe? I'll need to find out. But if it's just the one, not sure why it's so high.... £28/29 I can understand. But that leaves me to question the £13/14.91 left... There was no delivery charge. Argh, I'll just find out the mystery tomorrow.


Couriers will typically charge a handling fee for dealing with import VAT and/or customs charges - this is probably what makes up the difference in your case.
Edited by: "Illusionary" 9th Aug 2017
Goods get classified with a commodity code and that's what dictates the rate of import duty, that along with the country of origin.

VAT is charged on the total amount of everything including import duty, basically every cost you incur including import duty will be added together and charged VAT.

You can go lookup the commodity code and calculate the import duty, but it's not a simple process, far easier just to suck it up
Vat 20% on purchased items over £15, or gifts over £39 then Customs duty 2.5% (but varies on type goods) above £135
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