Parcels from Britain? You will have to pay, unless it is a small gift


Dozens of readers have been in contact with Dutch News concerning the issues they’ve been experiencing with the supply of parcels from the UK since Brexit.

Gifts value lower than €45 usually are not supposed to draw worth added tax or duties however a number of readers say they’ve been pressured to pay. Others report being charged excessive charges with out correct clarification – in a single case a money cost as a result of the supply firm, a big worldwide agency, didn’t settle for on-line transfers.

‘I’ve truly given up sending parcels to my household within the Netherlands,’ one grandmother mentioned. ‘Last time my daughter had to pay UPS €40 so she could pick up her birthday present that was worth less than €100. It was pay up or it would be sent back.’

Reader G was informed by PostNL’s helpdesk that his lacking parcel had been despatched again to the UK as a result of it didn’t have an handle on it – a declare that turned out to be false when the package deal turned up a month later.

He then needed to pay over €12 in import duties and supply fees to choose up the package deal, which contained previous garments he left at a relative’s house throughout a go to. The relative had marked the package deal ‘other’ relatively than reward.

Reader Laura mentioned she was despatched an bill for a birthday current from her mom. ‘She insists she wrote that it was a gift on the envelope, and value under €45, but I have had to pay €8.42 before they will release my package. Worse still, it has been bouncing around in their system for over a month. These are not big sums of money but it adds up when you have to do it multiple times.’

Reader L, who lives in Eindhoven, mentioned she had paid obligation on 4 separate presents she had been despatched from the UK however the obligation appeared to differ significantly. On one reward, valued at €11, she was charged €6.75, on one other, value €24, she was charged €6.60. Prices additionally went up if she opted to gather the package deal relatively than have it delivered.

‘There is no indication of how those costs are calculated,’ she mentioned. ‘When trying to get our money back, I filled in information to a robot on the PostNL website and finally spoke to someone who was very unconcerned, and said it was the UK customs fault! He sent me an email on getting refunds for items charged the wrong amount.’


PostNL has an internet web page the place folks can attempt to declare again cash they suppose they’ve wrongly paid in worth added tax and duties. For presents, the web site states: ‘you do not have to pay VAT for gifts with a value of up to €45. Please note: this only applies if the parcel is from a private sender.’

L from Eindhoven informed Dutch News she had ultimately obtained again the €6.75 and the €6.60 she had wrongly been charged after utilizing the declare kind. ‘However the other two parcels charged at over €9 apparently require more time – up to four months.’

People who’ve needed to pay additional for items ordered from an internet store outdoors the EU face particular difficulties in attempting to make a declare – partly due to the dearth of transparency about how the charges are calculated.

Tax included

The scenario is additional sophisticated as a result of net outlets could promote that tax and import duties are included. Since July 2021, items with a price as much as €22 are now not exempt from tax and likewise require formal customs clearance, together with dearer gadgets.

American reader Cary G purchased a ebook from Britain which was despatched through Royal Mail. ‘The book and postage were €23.83 but I was charged €9.15 by customs,’ he mentioned. ‘The value added tax was €2.15 but the handing fee was €7. That is nearly half the price of the book.’

Reader S mentioned she had ordered a number of issues from multi model retailers which mentioned they are going to cowl the taxes and duties. ‘However, before the orders were delivered I received a big bill from the shipping company,’ she mentioned.

While Fedex and UPS did refund the cash after S queried the costs, PostNL failed to take action.

Data change

A spokeswoman for PostNL informed Dutch News that many of the issues regarding worth added tax have now been solved. ‘Sometimes things go wrong in the data exchange between the webshop, the e-commerce platform, the postal company abroad and PostNL,’ she mentioned. 

‘PostNL depends on the data provided by the sender and if the data is not provided correctly, shipments will unfortunately be delayed. This is because many of them need to be investigated before they can be released by customs.’

Nevertheless, the PostNL web site states that objecting is ineffective should you suppose the clearance prices are too excessive. ‘With goods of a low value, the clearance costs are relatively high. Not nice of course, but also no reason to object. That is just how the rules are.’

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