Customs and VAT When Buying From Amazon UK [Ireland]

  • By: Walter Dunphy ACCA
  • Date: April 11, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Amazon is probably one of the first places you go when shopping online. The most common Amazon marketplace that is used by Irish people is the UK marketplace. But what added costs do you face since the UK left the European Union when using this marketplace?

That is what we will have a look at in this blog post, we will give you some examples of what the costs are at various different spent levels.

What are the additional costs you may face?

Some costs you may face when you buy personal goods from outside the European Union:

  • VAT
  • Customs Duties
  • Excise Duty (charged on the likes of alcohol and tobacco)

Firstly, there is no need to worry if you are thinking you will have to fill out forms and have a lot of hassle when buying from the Amazon UK Marketplace. Amazon will actually look after all of this side of things for you. They will hand over any VAT and customs duties due to the Revenue Commissioner in Ireland on your behalf.

When you go to check out your goods you will notice in your order summary the ‘Import Fees Deposit’ (as highlighted in the above screenshot).

What basically happens is that Amazon estimates the total taxes that will be due to be paid to the Irish Revenue Commissioner at this stage. Amazon will then use this deposit to settle any taxes you are due to pay on those goods.

“This deposit will be used, on your behalf, to reimburse the Designated Carriers for the import fees that they have paid on your behalf to the appropriate authorities of the destination country or region.”

In the situation where the Import Fees Deposit you have paid is actually more than Amazon actually had to pay to the Irish Revenue Commissioner, then Amazon will refund you the difference.

This very good for the customer as it can take a lot of hassle out of their hands and you won’t be receiving and additional bills a week later for customs duties.

If you want to get an idea of how the VAT and Fees are calculated then let’s have a look at some basic examples that were laid out by the Revenue Commissioner.

Goods with an intrinsic value of €150 or less

DetailValue
Adult Football Jersey €55
Handling, Transport and Insurance €10
Value for Customs purposes €65
Customs Duty (12%) €0
Value for VAT purposes €65
VAT @ 23% €15
Postage fees €10
Total Taxes and Fees €25
Total Cost €90

Goods with an intrinsic value of over €150

DetailValue
Digital Camera €301
Handling, Transport and Insurance €33
Value for Customs purposes €334
Customs Duty (0%) €0
Value for VAT purposes €334
VAT @ 23% €77
Postage fees €10
Total Taxes and Fees €87
Total Cost €421

In summary, the main change you are likely to see from pre-brexit times will be customs charges on goods over €150. The customs rates will differ depending on the product type and where the goods originated.

Customs rates are standard across the EU and you can find them on the European Commissions Website.

What is the main difference between buying from the German Amazon Marketplaces [to Amazon UK]?

Alternatively, if you are not happy having to pay customs duties on products with a value of greater than €150 then you can try some of Amazon’s marketplaces which are inside the EU’s customs union. The German marketplace is the next most popular option for Irish customers.

The delivery times and costs however can vary, its worth checking out this at the time of purchase if you are buying something in a hurry.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial advice.

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