VAT & Courier Fees on Goods From China

Posted 4th Dec 2022 (Posted 2 h, 49 m ago)
Has anyone any experience of buying items from China or from a website delivering items from China?  

I have bought lots of low value items without issue, except not arriving sometimes but I am unsure about a more expensive item. 

The government website isn’t exactly helpful. The item would be over the £39 gift threshold, even if the retailer detailed it as such but it’s below the customs amount of £135. But what about VAT it assumes VAT will be paid at time of purchase for items under £135 but I don’t think it will be.

As such does anyone know or have experience of VAT collection on goods purchased from China or outside EU, especially courier fees and delivery delays whilst paying any fees etc?
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  1. Avatar
    Royal Mail handling fee is £8.00, Parcel Force is £12.00.

    You get a grey card from Royal Mail with the fees due which you pay and they will then deliver.

    With Parcel Force they sent a letter outlining the fees to pay and once paid deliver the next working day.

    These are for goods over £135 but if lower value and the customs form doesn't show VAT has been paid then I assume you will get the same.
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    Which website?
  3. Avatar
    If you are talking about AliExpress, they will charge you UK VAT on items valued <£135

    Items greater than that value, they will not charge you UK VAT, but you will have to pay when they arrive at the UK border, plus the customs handling charge.

    Other websites, it depends on whether they follow UK rules or not. Generally, if they specifically charge UK VAT they probably are, but it all depends on their T&Cs


    and some companies offer the choice as to whether you pay more and the goods are sent with all the duties/VAT/handling charge included
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