An Post – UK e-commerce firms need to remember customs charges

Irish An Post is reminding its customers and UK e-commerce merchants that there may be charges applied to parcels entering the country from non-EU countries. UK merchants have to file electronic customs information on parcels sent to EU countries, and VAT must be paid before the item is delivered.

Though the new system came into force in July, many e-commerce merchants sending parcels to Ireland may not be aware of this as they may not have had orders from the country in this time. With the peak e-commerce season approaching there may be firms that export their goods to the EU including Ireland for the first time since the regulations kicked in.

Many of the larger e-commerce firms, including Marks & Spencer and Boots already have a process to pay VAT and other customs charges in place on their websites for Irish and other EU customers going through the An Post network.

But An Post warned: “More problematic are parcels which come in via other postal services such as Royal Mail because the senders, typically a small business or individual personal customers, are unaware of the new complex data and tax requirements.”

“Despite these issues not being of our making or within our direct control, An Post is making every effort to communicate directly with non-EU customers, trade organisations and SME representatives in order to get the message out, particularly in Britain,” An Post said.