What does the post Brexit trade deal mean to customers & orders placed from outside of the UK

I thought it would be useful to put an article together explaining things regarding the post-Brexit trade deal and what effect it will have on any customers from Europe looking to place an order. Many of my customers are based across Europe and have built up a great relationship with many of you over the years, so do hope this info will help make things clearer in terms of costs. Truthfully, the the big mixture of info out there can be a bit confusing. I've spent some time double checking everything to make sure this will be correct and will hopefully help any of you from the EU looking to place an order know what to expect in regards to the costs involved now.

Transit Times
Companies across the UK and Europe have been experiencing delays in transit times for international packages. This is partly down to a huge increase in demand for mail order, but also in light of the post-brexit 'trade deal' and the additional customs clearance processing required for all imports and exports.

If you do decide to place an order, to give the order the best possible chance in travelling to you safely I would highly recommend opting for the UPS courier service over the Royal mail standard or perhaps even the tracked & signed post services too. I am doing everything I can in terms of declarations to help ensure there aren't any additional delays through customs. But there are also some extra details you can supply to me to help with clearances too, please see the info below for this.

I very much respect that the transit delays worldwide aren't ideal and I am doing everything I can my end in terms of correct documentation but we are sadly at the mercy of a very busy transit network and each countries customs clearance departments. So it is worth baring in mind that there may be delays in transit times of your shipment.

The Post-Brexit EU Trade deal and importing costs incurred

From January 1st 2021 we saw some changes implemented on export and import in the Brexit 'trade deal'. EU/UK trade though really isn’t business as usual I'm sad to say though and there will be some differences for you importing your order now.

I have made some changes that should help the loyal EU customer base I have been lucky enough to grow over the past few years. As of February 1st 2021, I am a UK VAT registered business (GB367 7916 42) which means if you are located in the EU and place an order to be shipped to your EU address, I won't charge the UK's 20% VAT on my invoice to you. For this to work for you, you will need to create a customer account and the shop will automatically take care of the rest due to your address details on account. Or if you don’t have an account yet, then when you proceed through the checkout, it will remove the UK VAT rate then. If you are at all concerned that the invoice value at the checkout is incorrect, and the cart shows a UK VAT charge, then please get in touch prior to checkout and I will either process the order manually or look into the site issue for you as quickly as possible.

What will it cost you to import?
So although I won't charge you the UK VAT rate on my invoice as of Feb 1st, You will however pay import VAT at your local rate to your country, as well as import duty where applicable and the courier's customs handling charges. None of these charges will be invoiced by James' Home of Tone, these fees are usually invoiced to you via the parcel handler/courier/broker and paid to them or your countries government revenue & customs. 
In advance, I highly recommend familiarising yourself with your countries VAT rate, Duty rates and be aware that there will be a handling/processing fee charged by the courier directly also as they act as your customs clearance broker, none of these costs are taken by myself and I won't ever request payment for these costs.

  • Items sent to the EU from England, Scotland and Wales are subject VAT and duties in the EU. The value of goods thresholds are detailed below  
  • Items valued at under €22 will remain part of the Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) Scheme for items sent to the EU and are not subject to VAT or duties until 1 July 2021 (subject to further extension date to be set by the EU).
  • Commercial items/goods (excluding personal correspondence) sent to the EU over €22 and below €150 may be taxed at the border and may incur a customs clearance/handling fee in the receiving country.
  • Commercial items/goods sent to the EU over €150 may attract VAT, customs duties and a clearance/handling fee
  • The customs authorities in the destination country and the customs thresholds in place determine if charges are due on imported goods.
  • The levels and thresholds of charges vary from country to country.

What I will be doing going forward - 
Each item has to be declared within the parcel and order and provide commercial invoice documents to confirm those too. Any additional time spent preparing international labels and customs documents for clearance will be done in my own time, there will be no extra charges for this. I will always ensure that any commercial invoices provided on exports will be completed correctly, with all the required information to help ensure a quick process through customs for you as well as the correct charges being applied by your local rates. Again, I have no control over their charges.

What you need to prepare for if planning on importing goods from the UK to yourself in the EU -
Best thing I can recommend is for you to research what your countries process is and how their charges are calculated. What the import duty rate and threshold is & what your local VAT rate is for example.

I would also highly recommend applying for an EORI number if you don’t have one already. These are essentially unique numbers or codes we have that can help with customs clearances. I applied for one when I started the Home of Tone and have had to use it for international imports ever since. Parcels can get delayed should customs request your number from you, so it is worth applying for one now should you not already have one, and it will certainly help in any clearances. If you do have one, it would be great if you could let me know what it is when you place your order and I can include it in the customs documents to help further.

Please rest assured that I am actively working on new ways of supporting our customers and trading within the EU. As we all continue to learn more about this transition, I appreciate your patience and do hope that from Feb 1st 2021, it will be more viable to order from myself again if you're based in the EU. I will keep this page updated should anything change.


07 January, 2021 by James P Gascoigne

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