Tales of shoppers having to pay huge extra costs to have goods delivered from the EU post-Brexit are proliferating.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t have free trade!
It means our own – Tory – government is charging us extra in taxes.
It seems possible that this was the intention all along.
So in the BBC story (link below), one shopper was lumbered with a £12 extra cost for a £50 item.
UK VAT accounts for £10 of the extra £12 that Sascha was asked to pay. Sellers may also be charging higher delivery fees to cover any extra paperwork or border delays they may face.
On items costing less than £135, the charge is applied at the point of sale.
Another buyer was asked to pay £123 on top of £600 (and £25 delivery) for two designer handbags from Paris – when they arrived. This was still UK VAT, the BBC reckons, but because the items cost more than £135, the charge was applied when the items reached their destination.
A woman who received earrings as a gift, posted by a friend, was charged £28.85 by parcel handler DHL, even though they were sent before Christmas. Deliveries ran late so they arrived after January 1 – and came with the added taxes.
Gifts worth less than £39 don’t attract any extra charges… But gifts over that, like gold earrings, are eligible for VAT and (if it’s over £135) customs duties. And it’s always the recipient who receives the bill.
Import VAT applies for second-hand items as well as gifts, even if bought from a private individual.
EBay already has its system set up to charge the extra VAT upfront. Amazon says VAT will always be charged at point of sale on its site too. But the system won’t be running smoothly yet everywhere
Oh – and it works in reverse, too. A person in France, buying a £150 pair of boots from the UK, was asked to pay 88 Euros in import duty, breaking down to 43 Euros VAT, 30 Euros customs tax and a 15 Euro handling fee.
She was able to reject the delivery – but many others may not have the option as firms are
changing their terms and conditions so that customers have to cover the extra charges, even when goods are returned.
The BBC explained:
Shoppers on the continent buying from UK firms face the same rules as UK shoppers do in reverse so Jemima would have had to pay VAT and customs charges, because the boots or the materials they were made from, originated from outside the EU.
The revelations received this response on the social media:
BBC NEWS – BREXIT NOT GOOD
In a surprise development, it turns out that Brexit is not good and is actually bad, as predicted pretty much universally by people who know about such things. And now Darren with the weather. pic.twitter.com/2xkp9sCTmm
— Gpoptosis (@Gpoptosis) January 26, 2021
“Goods shortages, much higher prices, but at least we’ve got blue passports eh? How many still think #Brexit was a good idea? Voluntarily kicking ourselves when we’re already down,” tweeted Sheridan Webb.
Pete Franklin added: “That normal, apparently successful, people are being surprised by this gives us a clue why we are in this mess – they simply haven’t been paying attention. ”
Perhaps Steve Feasey put it best: “When Project Fear turns out to be Project Hasn’t-Everything-Got-Dear.”
And some have added this to the list of disasters caused by Brexit since the EU referendum in 2016:
OK, but apart from this, what has leaving the EU ever done to us, eh? Destroyed the fishing industry Reg? BBC News – Brexit pic.twitter.com/bMsh8iWvWl
— jonnets 🇪🇺 #RejoinEU #FBPE 🇩🇪 🇫🇷 (@jonnets) January 26, 2021
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