Forum home Road cycling forum Road buying advice

UK based and ordering from EU bike shops

Has anyone on here, based in the UK, ordered anything from EU bike shops as yet? IBK in Spain are a good bit cheaper for what I'm after. They remove all VAT at payment confirmation so that's good. I'll be liable for UK VAT (if customs check) but even then, its still significantly cheaper than buying in the UK.

I've heard mixed reports on this, with some folk having zero additional charges applied, and others having to pay VAT, customs charges and extra handling charges. Seems to come down to luck!

I guess customs are busy enough with bulk imports etc, than worry about a single small package bought by an individual!
Scott Addict RC
Scott Foil Premium
Trek Emonda Disc
Scott Solace 10
«134

Posts

  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 5,537
    Got some bits for the Soloist from Holland - no dramas at all.
  • MattFalle said:

    Got some bits for the Soloist from Holland - no dramas at all.

    No dramas as in nothing extra to pay, or just UK vat?
    Scott Addict RC
    Scott Foil Premium
    Trek Emonda Disc
    Scott Solace 10
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,480
    edited 13 February
    I think it is pot luck.

    I just ordered some kit from pro owned cycling who I have dealt with many times, they have kindly said they will refund any VAT added on if you send them a copy of the receipt.

    I also read somewhere that if the value of the goods is under £135 you should not be liable for anything?

    https://www.gov.uk/goods-sent-from-abroad/tax-and-duty

    So presumably that may help.

    I've just placed an order from an ebay seller in the Netherlands, but am now thinking as it's below £135 that I could get it sent here - otherwise it was going to go to Italy.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,480
    edited 13 February
    MattFalle said:

    Got some bits for the Soloist from Holland - no dramas at all.

    @MattFalle What was the value in gbp delivered?
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • In my case its 272 gbp, well over 135, hence my concern
    Scott Addict RC
    Scott Foil Premium
    Trek Emonda Disc
    Scott Solace 10
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 5,537

    MattFalle said:

    Got some bits for the Soloist from Holland - no dramas at all.

    No dramas as in nothing extra to pay, or just UK vat?
    nothing extra to pay, just what was on the screen when i pressed purchase on my basket.

  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,480
    Won a couple of auctions last night from the same seller, but they were based in the Netherlands.

    Order total, even with P&P would have been less than £135, but ebay decide to lump 20% on anyway - what is all that about?
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • flasherflasher Posts: 1,730
    edited 15 February
    HMRC:

    Up to £39 nothing to pay.
    Up to £135 20% VAT to pay.
    Over £135 20% VAT & Customs Duty to pay, (Booze and fags + Excise duty)

    Plus, depending on how it's shipped you'll also get a carrier handling charge, last one I got from the Royal Mail was £14. DHL etc. have their own rate, not sure on that cost.

    You may get lucky who knows, but I always assume that I'll pay the above and if not happy days!

    I should also add that the confusion with the £135 figure is based on the seller having to include the UK VAT in any sale up to £135 and then them paying the VAT direct to HMRC. Whereas if the sale is over £135 the seller deducts their own countries VAT, for then at the point of import UK VAT is added for the buyer to pay.

    The reason why many EU shops no longer want to sell to the UK is that they have to register and pay HMRC directly on all sales under £135, can you imagine the extra paperwork, I don't think any other country does this. Brexit the gift that keeps giving!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55530721
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    Yep, my "go to" component supplier, Bike24, no longer ship anything to the UK.
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 5,477
    flasher said:

    The reason why many EU shops no longer want to sell to the UK is that they have to register and pay HMRC directly on all sales under £135, can you imagine the extra paperwork, I don't think any other country does this. Brexit the gift that keeps giving!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55530721

    Apparently the VAT thing was the EU's idea:
    https://forum.bikeradar.com/discussion/comment/20730037/#Comment_20730037
  • I think Mantel are in a similar boat- no additional fees up to £135
  • flasherflasher Posts: 1,730
    thistle_ said:
    Not seen that information anywhere else.

  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 17,438
    flasher said:

    thistle_ said:
    Not seen that information anywhere else.

    I can't help that.

    Here's some details of the EU scheme that has been delayed until July this year because of Covid.
    https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/vat/modernising-vat-cross-border-ecommerce_en
  • flasherflasher Posts: 1,730
    Interesting, thanks for the link.

    So EU retailers complaining need to look closer to home!

  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 17,438
    The EU scheme will use a single portal for all cross border sales to EU countries - and then there's a separate one for the UK because we have left.

    But it was an EU wide response to a perceived problem, that the UK decided to replicate, and at the same time, eliminates the sub-£20/€22 allowance where small value consignments were totally exempt when entering the EU from outside (i.e. removes an advantage that small value shipments from China had over internal parcels).

    Not sure what the mechanism is for consignments valued over €150 for EU customers, whether that will all be done through seller VAT or through import VAT (like the UK). I guess we'll find out soon enough.

    The advantage should be that a company selling within the EU does not have to set up a VAT registration in each EU destination country that they are selling into over a threshold amount, and can just account for it through the central system.
  • IBK have confirmed they apply no UK Vat and shipping would be free with DHL (more expensive item).

    If I get lucky, and the shipment got through with no checks I'd be saving about £100. Worse case scenario, if I need to pay Vat, customs duty and handling charge I might only be saving £30-£40 which is still worthwhile.

    Its the customs duty which appears a bit of grey area.... its 2.5% on goods up to £135 but you have to call a helpline for goods worth more.
    Decisions, decisions!
    Scott Addict RC
    Scott Foil Premium
    Trek Emonda Disc
    Scott Solace 10
  • wongataawongataa Posts: 939


    Its the customs duty which appears a bit of grey area.... its 2.5% on goods up to £135 but you have to call a helpline for goods worth more.
    Decisions, decisions!

    All the UK import duty amounts can be found here: https://trade-tariff.service.gov.uk/sections

    Search for the item and it will tell you the import (and export) duty depending on the country the item is coming from.
  • wongataa said:


    Its the customs duty which appears a bit of grey area.... its 2.5% on goods up to £135 but you have to call a helpline for goods worth more.
    Decisions, decisions!

    All the UK import duty amounts can be found here: https://trade-tariff.service.gov.uk/sections

    Search for the item and it will tell you the import (and export) duty depending on the country the item is coming from.
    Cheers, will have a look
    Scott Addict RC
    Scott Foil Premium
    Trek Emonda Disc
    Scott Solace 10
  • Its shoes I'm looking to buy so after negotiating the numerous tariff pages, looks like duty would be 4%. Its utter nonsense, depends on what the footwear is made of, so a pair of slippers for instance is 2% but a shoe with a synthetic upper and a sole made of 'other' (in this case CF) its 4%. It would be 2% if the sole was made of cork!
    Scott Addict RC
    Scott Foil Premium
    Trek Emonda Disc
    Scott Solace 10
  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313
    flasher said:

    HMRC:

    Up to £39 nothing to pay.
    Up to £135 20% VAT to pay.
    Over £135 20% VAT & Customs Duty to pay, (Booze and fags + Excise duty)

    Plus, depending on how it's shipped you'll also get a carrier handling charge, last one I got from the Royal Mail was £14. DHL etc. have their own rate, not sure on that cost.

    You may get lucky who knows, but I always assume that I'll pay the above and if not happy days!

    I should also add that the confusion with the £135 figure is based on the seller having to include the UK VAT in any sale up to £135 and then them paying the VAT direct to HMRC. Whereas if the sale is over £135 the seller deducts their own countries VAT, for then at the point of import UK VAT is added for the buyer to pay.

    The reason why many EU shops no longer want to sell to the UK is that they have to register and pay HMRC directly on all sales under £135, can you imagine the extra paperwork, I don't think any other country does this. Brexit the gift that keeps giving!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55530721

    I don't understand the extra paperwork bit, set up your system, crack on as you were. Do a 1/4ly vat return simples. it really isn't that difficult, returns are all digital.

    Even I can manage to do that.

    account for sales in a different or more than one jurisdiction? Piece of pi ss

    perhaps internet stores in the EU do all their book keeping in a ledger old stool style.

    It will all work out.

  • flasherflasher Posts: 1,730
    david37 said:

    I don't understand the extra paperwork bit, set up your system, crack on as you were. Do a 1/4ly vat return simples. it really isn't that difficult, returns are all digital.

    Even I can manage to do that.

    account for sales in a different or more than one jurisdiction? Piece of pi ss

    perhaps internet stores in the EU do all their book keeping in a ledger old stool style.

    It will all work out.

    If you're an EU company selling outside of the EU you'll have to set up an individual account with every country that you sell to's VAT dept. and then pay them separately whether that be weekly/monthly/quarterly/yearly, depending on each Countries local VAT rules. Whereas previously if you sold outside of your own VAT jurisdiction you removed the VAT at point of sale and let the receiving country deal with it on import.

  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 17,438
    flasher said:

    david37 said:

    I don't understand the extra paperwork bit, set up your system, crack on as you were. Do a 1/4ly vat return simples. it really isn't that difficult, returns are all digital.

    Even I can manage to do that.

    account for sales in a different or more than one jurisdiction? Piece of pi ss

    perhaps internet stores in the EU do all their book keeping in a ledger old stool style.

    It will all work out.

    If you're an EU company selling outside of the EU you'll have to set up an individual account with every country that you sell to's VAT dept. and then pay them separately whether that be weekly/monthly/quarterly/yearly, depending on each Countries local VAT rules. Whereas previously if you sold outside of your own VAT jurisdiction you removed the VAT at point of sale and let the receiving country deal with it on import.

    Only every country (or state within a country) that decides to do something like that.

    Can anyone explain why the UK version is only for low value deliveries?
  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313
    flasher said:

    david37 said:

    I don't understand the extra paperwork bit, set up your system, crack on as you were. Do a 1/4ly vat return simples. it really isn't that difficult, returns are all digital.

    Even I can manage to do that.

    account for sales in a different or more than one jurisdiction? Piece of pi ss

    perhaps internet stores in the EU do all their book keeping in a ledger old stool style.

    It will all work out.

    If you're an EU company selling outside of the EU you'll have to set up an individual account with every country that you sell to's VAT dept. and then pay them separately whether that be weekly/monthly/quarterly/yearly, depending on each Countries local VAT rules. Whereas previously if you sold outside of your own VAT jurisdiction you removed the VAT at point of sale and let the receiving country deal with it on import.

    well the only difference for the EU countries is that the UK is now a separate country. no big deal.

    I do vat in the UK and separately have a business that trades extensively with the US and delivers services for the US client all over the world. we have all sorts of reporting requirements and its not a major issue. I wouldn't deal with some countries like India or Russia because the government there has a different view than I do to setting a fair playing field. but the difficulties of registering for and reporting / paying VAT in the UK is a minor one.

    Fair enough if you only sell a few bits you might not think it worth the inconvenience but for everyone else its a hurdle they will soon learn how to hurdle.

  • flasherflasher Posts: 1,730


    Can anyone explain why the UK version is only for low value deliveries?

    No, but looking at the document that's linked to the page you posted yesterday it's the UK's interpretation of the EU Commissions €150 low value goods limit, why who knows!
    david37 said:


    Fair enough if you only sell a few bits you might not think it worth the inconvenience but for everyone else its a hurdle they will soon learn how to hurdle.

    Well sadly it looks like enough companies can't be bothered maybe that'll change, I hope so.

  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 5,477
    flasher said:


    Well sadly it looks like enough companies can't be bothered maybe that'll change, I hope so.

    I expect it will go along the lines of:
    * All companies in the EU refuse to ship to the UK because of the extra hassle
    * One EU company decides to undercut UK retailers, figures out an efficient way to do the paperwork and starts shipping to the UK and make some €€€€
    * Other companies decide they want to some of that so change their mind

  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 17,438
    thistle_ said:

    flasher said:


    Well sadly it looks like enough companies can't be bothered maybe that'll change, I hope so.

    I expect it will go along the lines of:
    * All companies in the EU refuse to ship to the UK because of the extra hassle
    * One EU company decides to undercut UK retailers, figures out an efficient way to do the paperwork and starts shipping to the UK and make some €€€€
    * Other companies decide they want to some of that so change their mind

    If they can get a way round the rules about country of origin, that might happen. I don't see it for a lot of cycling gear. More likely there will be a less efficient route to market and the low prices disappear.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,383
    This is all about as clear as mud...

    I'm wanting to order something from TrekInn (Spanish company) for £120. The Government website says...
    "You will not have to pay anything to the delivery company to receive goods worth less than £135 unless they’re gifts over £39 or excise goods (for example, alcohol and tobacco)."

    Which sounds fairly clear. But then further down the page...
    "Goods worth £135 or less in total

    If you bought the goods yourself and they are not excise goods, the seller will have included VAT in the total you paid."

    I have contacted the company who say that they don't include any VAT in the price.

    So sounds like I could still be stung for VAT...


  • flasherflasher Posts: 1,730
    edited 17 February
    mrb123 said:



    So sounds like I could still be stung for VAT...

    You should pay VAT whatever, as you do when you buy something from a UK shop, whether it's included in the price at point of sale (for sales of £135 and under, the new rules) or added at point of import, is another matter.

  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 17,438
    mrb123 said:

    This is all about as clear as mud...

    I'm wanting to order something from TrekInn (Spanish company) for £120. The Government website says...
    "You will not have to pay anything to the delivery company to receive goods worth less than £135 unless they’re gifts over £39 or excise goods (for example, alcohol and tobacco)."

    Which sounds fairly clear. But then further down the page...
    "Goods worth £135 or less in total

    If you bought the goods yourself and they are not excise goods, the seller will have included VAT in the total you paid."

    I have contacted the company who say that they don't include any VAT in the price.

    So sounds like I could still be stung for VAT...


    Is the price lower than you would have paid for delivery to Spain?
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,383

    mrb123 said:

    This is all about as clear as mud...

    I'm wanting to order something from TrekInn (Spanish company) for £120. The Government website says...
    "You will not have to pay anything to the delivery company to receive goods worth less than £135 unless they’re gifts over £39 or excise goods (for example, alcohol and tobacco)."

    Which sounds fairly clear. But then further down the page...
    "Goods worth £135 or less in total

    If you bought the goods yourself and they are not excise goods, the seller will have included VAT in the total you paid."

    I have contacted the company who say that they don't include any VAT in the price.

    So sounds like I could still be stung for VAT...


    Is the price lower than you would have paid for delivery to Spain?
    The price is a lot better than any UK retailers are offering.

    My concern is that if I have to make a return (it's an item of clothing so might not fit) I'll be down the cost of postage both ways plus possibly the VAT and courier's admin charge which I guess I'd never get back.

    Can get the same item from Alpinetrek for about 30 quid more, but they state on their website that VAT is included so should be nothing further to pay hopefully.
Sign In or Register to comment.