HM Revenue and Customs, as it’s officially known, takes the time to warn buyers of unforeseen charges that could affect their experience. As Black Friday has now passed, millions of pounds will be spent by Christmas. However, Brits could find themselves caught off guard if they don’t pay attention to specific post-Brexit rules on shopping for items, especially online.

The changes first introduced on January 1, 2021 mean consumers may have to pay fees when purchasing goods from the EU.

This is potentially the same as what the British had to deal with when buying from non-European sellers.

This could mean that the items end up being more expensive, sometimes significantly, than what a person initially expected.

Therefore, it will be important to think carefully about the price, as well as the rules, before acting.

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It should be noted that buyers based in Northern Ireland will not be affected by the rule change due to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

However, people based in Britain should be aware of the charges that could be brought against them.

The HMRC has also published other ‘useful tips’ aimed at helping Britons identify the charges and therefore avoid them if possible.

First, people should check if their order contains any excise duty goods, which may include alcohol or perfume, for example.

In the case of excise goods such as these, charges will be due regardless of the value or origin of the item.

However, buyers will also have to pay import VAT and excise duties, and possibly customs duties, which could add up quite quickly.

Those who buy items worth less than £ 135, with the exception of excisable goods, shouldn’t have to worry about the extra charges.

This is because UK VAT is collected by the seller on behalf of HMRC at the point of sale.

Expensive products, those over £ 135, will have to pay import VAT and may also have to pay customs duties.

It is difficult to say how much this amount will be as it depends on many factors including shipping and insurance.

Accordingly, HMRC urges people to speak to the seller of the product for details and costs.

Those responsible for paying customs charges will usually be contacted by the courier.

The seller can also arrange to pay all costs up front on behalf of a person, but this should not be assumed.

HMRC indicates if any customs duties are due, the rate of each item can also be cross-checked with the online commercial pricing tool.


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