Ireland’s minister of state for trade promotion Robert Troy has warned Irish consumers to “be alert” to additional costs when buying from the UK after Brexit.
Following the country’s official departure from the EU’s single market and customs union on January 1 consumers from the UK’s closest trading partners are adjusting to new rules and costs associated with buying UK goods.
Troy said that while he wanted “customers in Ireland to continue to enjoy the benefit from shopping online with the UK as one of our major trading partners”, he would “urge Irish customers to think ahead” before doing so.
“We are now operating under a new set of rules for online trading and I want to remind Irish consumers to be alert to potential additional costs and changed entitlements when buying from UK online retailers,” he said.
“The main concerns for consumers are the possibility of additional costs, by way of VAT and Customs charges that may apply depending on the value and origin of the goods in question.
“Some online retailers are alerting consumers to these charges and some are including these additional charges in their final price. Consumers though need to check out each retailer’s policies and also whether there may be additional charges from the delivery company in respect of fee collection, for example.”
New VAT rules mean that only goods of proven origin from the UK will be tariff free, while items bought from the UK which were made elsewhere over €150 may now be subject to customs duty.
VAT is now collected at the point of sale rather than the point of importation, meaning EU businesses exporting to the UK must register for UK VAT and account for it to the HMRC for all goods under (£135).
This essentially means that overseas retailers sending goods to the UK are expected to register for UK VAT and account for it to HMRC.
It comes as a number of EU businesses have prevented customers from the UK being able to purchase their goods due to increased costs.
Dutch Bike Bits, which has suspended sales to the UK, said: “For providing this service, (HMRC) intend to charge a fee to every company in the world in every country in the world which exports to the UK.
“Clearly this is ludicrous for one country, but imagine if every country in the world had the same idea.”