There is a lot of confusion (both here in the UK and within the EU) for something that is nothing new, it's a disgrace that business (here in the UK and abroad) and governments (in the EU) didn't prepare themselves for our exit from the EU sooner.
They have had 4 years to prepare.
My one comment on Brexit (and this is for someone who voted to remain in the EU by the way - I didn't want to leave the EU, but quite frankly, it's been happening for 4 year, you've had plenty of time to figure things out and accept it), if your country is charging silly amounts of customs charges, blame them, not Brexit. Your countries customs fees is nothing to do with Brexit, they charge the same fees for importing anything form a non-EU country. Your customs department/government sets the customs import fees and if they wanted to, they could have waived fees on UK imports.
So here it is, from a UK business owner, a UK business owner that prepared for Brexit a long time ago...
Here is all you need to know, simplified and with no mention of Brexit (after this sentence), as we don't need to mention Brexit, as every single country in the World already operates with a post-Brexit UK import/export process.
The easiest way of looking at is (if you are based in the EU), the UK used to be classed as "EU" and the USA used to be classed as "Rest of the World". Since 01/01/2021 the UK is no longer classed as "EU" and is now classed as "Rest of the World", this means that importing good to and from the UK is exactly the same as importing goods to and from the USA.
If you are buying things from a UK based supplier:
- Before 01/01/2021 you paid UK VAT (currently at 20%) when buying the item (from the UK based supplier).
- After 01/01/2021 you do not pay UK VAT (currently at 20%) and a VAT registered UK business will no longer charge you the UK VAT (currently at 20%).
After 01/01/2021 you now pay (if your countries customs department check the parcels - people within this thread are saying every parcel is checked in some countries, so fair enough - you will have to pay your countries VAT) your countries VAT upon import (when the good arrive in your own country).
In some instances this is less than UK VAT and in other instances it is more than UK VAT. Either way, the VAT is irrelevant in this argument - it's not an additional cost that you didn't have to pay in the past, it might just be a little more (if your countries VAT rate is higher than the UK VAT 20% rate).
In addition to this and just like when you import something from any other non-EU country in the world (again, if your countries customs department check the parcels - people within this thread are saying every parcel is checked in some countries, so fair enough - you will have to pay your countries customs fees) you will also have to pay a customs fee.
This is the new thing, that will be very frustrating, as you didn't used to have to pay a customs fee, when the UK was part of the EU.
All paperwork will be completed by the company that export your goods, so you have nothing extra to worry about on that side of things with regards to paperwork.
You will receive notification from your customs department (if applicable), informing you that you have to pay the VAT (at your countries rate) and customs fees, upon import of the good.
If you are a consumer living outside of the UK, who wants to import something from the UK, the customs fee (in theory) is the only extra cost that you will need to pay for goods you import from the UK. I guess you will need to decide if the customs fee is worth it or not - I see some reports of high customs fees (upon import), so if this now means the same part becomes cheaper within your country, you will buy it from your country.
And you know what, that's actually brilliant - as you will be helping to contribute a little more to your own economy.
However, I imagine in most cases, this new customs fee, will still mean that Classic Mini parts are cheaper if imported from the UK. Plus, a vast majority of Classic Mini parts are not available outside of the UK, which is why you have always imported them from the UK in the first place.
In this instance, this is where it is very annoying though, if customs fees are so extortionate (upon import) and parts are not available from your country, it may mean that people outside of the UK can no longer afford to own Classic Minis.
And that, is extremely sad.
Anyway, I hope that help to simplify things and explain the process.
Out of all this gloom I'd like to end on a happy/uplifting note...
Here at Optimise, we haven't had a drop in sales from abroad (since 01/01/2021) and we've actually received emails from customers in both Holland and Portugal, informing us that the goods have been delivered without any additional fees (VAT or customs fees). The customer from Portugal was so delighted at saving so much money that he has subsequently placed another order, for a few extra items because he saved 20% on his initial order.
Edited by roberts, 27 January 2021 - 11:14 AM.