We all love to shop online, don’t we? Shopping online after July 1st could cost you more than you think!
Online sales are booming! Even the most reluctant of online shoppers have been converted over this past year. While some may have been reluctant to make the move online, now that they have discovered the ease and convenience of ordering from the couch, there is no going back.
Of course, like anything, online shopping can have its pitfalls and keeping yourself informed and knowing how to navigate the minefield of information out there will help you continue to enjoy the pleasures of browsing the shops from the comfort of your couch.
What do I need to know?
There are new EU laws coming in on July 1st that will hit your pocket directly if buying from overseas. Add these to Brexit complications and Covid related postal delays and there are certainly some new challenges to watch out for in 2021.
Where is the item coming from?
In Ireland we have a great love affair for the big box British stores and while your local town may have one of these stores and their website is a .ie site you must be aware that usually when ordering from an international store that the item is not being sent from the store local to you, it is coming from a large warehouse distribution center which may be in the UK.
.ie website addresses? Many international companies have .ie website addresses, it does not mean the site is based in Ireland unfortunately. It can be upsetting when you order from a .ie website and later find out that you bought something from Germany or further afield and you are left waiting weeks for the item to arrive. International postage has been affected by the reduction in flights in general and therefore wait times for international postage have been quite lengthy, especially at busy times like Christmas.
What is happening on July 1st, 2021, and how will it affect me?
When you buy something from a country outside the EU, you have previously only had to pay Vat if the value of the item was over €22, from July 1st this €22 VAT Free limit will be taken away and VAT must be paid on all items ordered from non-EU countries. Of course, since Brexit, this now includes the UK, who we do most of our shopping with!
Be warned that if you order something before July 1st but it is delivered after July 1st, you may still be liable for this VAT payment. Vat will be charged at the Irish rate of VAT i.e. 23% for most goods.
So what are Customs duties, do they apply to me too?
If you are ordering from a non-EU country and your total order value is over €150 you will also be liable for customs duties. The amount of duty payable depends on the product you are buying but most are around 12%. Please see the link below to the Revenue website for more details on VAT charges and customs duties.
This example from Revenue.ie shows how these charges can really impact what you end up paying.
While many of the big international brands will offer ‘Vat paid’ pricing, make sure you are fully informed before ordering from overseas websites.
Partly because of these uncertainties and also to help support local businesses, Ireland has seen a huge shift towards ordering from Irish based businesses when shopping online. At the forefront of this movement is the website www.shopinireland.ie , with 1000 small Irish businesses selling through it, it has quickly become the place to shop online in Ireland, knowing you are supporting your local shops and craft makers. With all businesses guaranteed to be based on the island of Ireland, there is no worries about Vat and surprise customs charges.
How can they get the payment from me?
You will be contacted by An Post or the courier who is due to deliver your package and you must make the payment to them. Your goods will not be delivered to you until you have paid these VAT or customs charges.
For more details on VAT and customs charges when buying from a non-EU country please see Revenue.ie website.