Expired

How do I dispute a Royal Mail customs charge?

17
Found 14th Feb 2014
I recently ordered a couple of Blu Rays from Amazon.com, totalling $20 (roughly £12).
For some reason, the Royal Mail have left a leaflet saying I owe them £3.24 customs duty + £8 Royal Mail handling fee.

As this amount was under £15, it falls under the LVCR, so I'm not liable for any customs/import duty.

Does anyone know the best way of disputing this charge? I'm guessing I'd have to go to HMRC directly somehow, as the Royal Mail will says its not their problem.
Community Updates
17 Comments
Really, thanks for your input.

Is there a specific dept that deals with Customs (that would be the "HMRC" I mentioned in my post) disputes do you know? Do you have the email or phone number for this dept or specific URL?
£8 is pretty cheap for someone to handle your package on valentines day..
Did the $20 cost include the postage - the £15 low value limit includes any postal charges

If the $20 did include the postage then you will have to pay the Royal Mail fee and then try to claim it back. Should be easy since you have the Amazon invoice to prove what they actually cost......

If the total including the postage is over £15 then you are stuck with the charge

Either way you will have to pay the charge otherwise you will never see the Blu-rays.
sounds like the customs charge wasn't paid and neither was the postage not royal mails fault or Amazon sound like the company who u purchased item from should have paid both of these charges before sending it to you
I challenged a customs charge from some gifts sent from family in USA. I got it dropped.
CBEE2

£8 is pretty cheap for someone to handle your package on valentines day..


that made m chuckle lol
linkinprophets

sounds like the customs charge wasn't paid and neither was the postage … sounds like the customs charge wasn't paid and neither was the postage not royal mails fault or Amazon sound like the company who u purchased item from should have paid both of these charges before sending it to you




Erm....that company would be Amazon!
tintin7

Did the $20 cost include the postage - the £15 low value limit includes … Did the $20 cost include the postage - the £15 low value limit includes any postal chargesIf the $20 did include the postage then you will have to pay the Royal Mail fee and then try to claim it back. Should be easy since you have the Amazon invoice to prove what they actually cost......If the total including the postage is over £15 then you are stuck with the chargeEither way you will have to pay the charge otherwise you will never see the Blu-rays.



Incorrect. If the goods total under £15 before postage then no vat is paid. If the goods are over £15 THEN you pay vat on the total of the goods and postage.
cdm22

Incorrect. If the goods total under £15 before postage then no vat is … Incorrect. If the goods total under £15 before postage then no vat is paid. If the goods are over £15 THEN you pay vat on the total of the goods and postage.



Not incorrect since you appear to have been charged 20% VAT on £16.20 - the £3.24 "Customs Duty = VAT" plus the handling fee......

Sounds as if the declared value must have been around $27 or so

The £15 limit (and the £18 before that) has always included the cost of getting the item to the UK - shipping, postage, insurance etc...

see Customs value

So was the total cost nearer $27 ?????
...and now click on the link on the page you just posted...

http://www.dutycalculator.com/help_center/are-there-minimum-thresholds-below-which-import-duty-and-taxes-are-waived/

"Neither duty nor VAT is payable if the total value of the goods (not including shipping charges or insurance) does not exceed £15."


Yes he has been charge vat on the total inc postage but the OP should not have been charged (if the goods are indeed under £15 as he states)
It depends on the value that's been declared on the package rather than what you paid, so if the sender has written on something silly like $50 you'll charged by customs, Royal Mail is just the middle man who gets told by customs to collect X amount.

Looking at the UK Border Agency site it looks like you need to pick up the item (after paying of course, breaking into the delivery office tends to look bad when trying to get a refund), then fill out a BOR286 form (whatever that is) and then then send the receipt from the order and the label from the package with the declared value to the border agency.
I'm not sure what happens about the £8 handling fee though, I doubt Royal Mail will pay it back as they're just doing what HMRC say, and HMRC won't pay it because they'll probably its nothing to do with them.

A phone number I found lurking on the Gov.UK site - VAT, customs and excise helpline: 0300 200 3700

And the section from the above link
_____________________________________________________
Appeals

If you do not know why you have been charged tax and/or duty on an item, you can find information about charges in Notice 143 on the HMRC website .

If you believe charges have been wrongly applied to your item, you should use form BOR286 on the HMRC website. Please send the following documents with your completed form:

the original charge label and the customs declaration form from the parcel; and
supporting documents, such as an invoice or receipt for the goods.

Please send these documents to the address given on the charge label.

We will send you a letter containing our decision. If you are still unhappy with our decision, the letter will tell you how and where to appeal. You cannot appeal until you have received a decision letter from us.
_________________________________
Thanks for the help guys. Guess I'll be filling in a BOR286 form.

If anyone else has the same problem, here is the link:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/forms/bor286.pdf

Also, to reclaim the Royal Mail handling fee, you need to fill in a P58 form, which can be picked up in a Post Office or online here:
royalmailemailform.datasquirt.co.uk/



Edited by: "theyiddo" 15th Feb 2014
theyiddo

Thanks for the help guys. Guess I'll be filling in a BOR286 form.



It seems to be a grey area - the official HMRC guide to importing goods pdf is being updated and cannot be downloaded. The gov.uk site has details about the £15 exemption but states that if the value is below £15 no VAT is due. Further down they define value as including postage, shipping and insurance.

Was the total you paid including postage over the £15 limit ?
tintin7

It seems to be a grey area - the official HMRC guide to importing goods … It seems to be a grey area - the official HMRC guide to importing goods pdf is being updated and cannot be downloaded. The gov.uk site has details about the £15 exemption but states that if the value is below £15 no VAT is due. Further down they define value as including postage, shipping and insurance.Was the total you paid including postage over the £15 limit ?



Found the link here (it mentions the value of the goods is under £15...not the cost including shipping):
google.co.uk/url…5Ug
Happy days....I sent off the BOR286 form a month ago, and they finally sent me a reply yesterday.

Border Force agree they should not have charged me any VAT/Customs Duty, and will be sending me a full refund of £11.24, which includes the £8 Royal Mail fee.
Good news indeed - for the sake of anyone finding this in a search is there any chance you can share the price paid for the items and the postage charge......

If it is indeed a £15 limit (excluding postage charges) then that would be good to know !

Thanks
Its definitely a £15 limit excluding postage charges. If the cost of the goods is over £15, then VAT will be charged on the total including shipping
You need to check the HMRC monthly exchange rates if you paid in a foreign currency: http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageImport_RatesCodesTools&columns=1&id=EXRATES_2014

My order was for US$17.95 + $8.97 shipping fee
As my order was shipped in Feb, the Exchange rate was US$1.6584/£1.
HMRC incorrectly took the total US$ value of $26.92 rather than the goods value, and as this was over £15, that's why they charged me.

$26.92 @ 1.6584 = £16.23
20% VAT on this is the £3.24 they charged me, and then Royal Mail levied a £8 handling fee on top.

As mentioned before, fill in a BOR286 form. Mention the HMRC exchange rates if you need to. They said to send in the original customs form and invoice, but I sent copies. Make sure the copies are crystal clear.

Sorry, commenting is no longer available on this discussion.

Top Discussions

Top Merchants