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Tax Free Purchases from the EU?

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  • Tax Free Purchases from the EU?

    If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, then EU traders will be able to treat us in the same way as Americans, Japanese, etc and sell us goods tax free.

    Now if we're buying over the internet, all our purchases will be entering the country via the Post Office or other mail carriers. So presumably they will be expected to examine every item and collect whatever import duties are being levied.

    But if we make a day trip to Dublin, Paris or Amsterdam, who is to say whether our camera body and lenses were all taken out with us as tax-paid items or bought over there tax-free? Will we need to carry receipts for camera gear, watches, jewellery, clothes etc?? And since anything you buy over the internet tends to come with an emailed pdf receipt, who can tell if it's genuine or not??

    It will either be a smuggler's paradise with Christmas shopping trips becoming very popular, or there will be massive delays at the borders as we re-enter the country!

    Chris
    Chris

    Black OM-D E-M1 MkII, Silver PEN-F, Black Lumix GX7, and too many lenses!

  • #2
    Re: Tax Free Purchases from the EU?

    I think if Customs are going to stop everyone to check their bags, then the whole country will grind to a halt. Have to say (touching wood) its been years since Customs were "active" in the arrivals lounge. I think (occasionally) Customs act on "Intelligence" rather than random checks.

    The only time in the last few years I have seen Customs working, was some Chinese lady was having her large suitcase unpacked, and foodstuffs seemed to be emerging...

    I was also stopped in Oz, when the lovely Springer Spaniel came and sat beside me in the entry queue. When asked what I was carrying, I discovered that the apple that I had eaten in Hong Kong was still "smelling" on my bags. I was told that the smell would last for two weeks...

    Back to the subject, I have come back from America (Hawaii) twice now, and many times from Oz over the last few years, and have never been stopped at Customs. Mind, I have never bought anything of consequence abroad for years.

    Last time I bought kit was in the 70's returning from Singapore/Hong Kong. I was a little nervous at the time, but never had any problems. I think world trade is here to stay, whether Customs are going to bother with "small items" rather than drugs and firearms etc, who can tell. Bit like Brexit, oh sugar I should not have mentioned that...ÖÖ..
    Mark Johnson

    My Sailing Page

    My Flickr

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    • #3
      Re: Tax Free Purchases from the EU?

      Originally posted by MJ224 View Post

      Bit like Brexit, oh sugar I should not have mentioned that...
      So itís all forgotten now and letís hear no more about it. So thatís two eggs mayonnaise, a prawn Goebbels, a Hermann Goering and four Colditz salads...no, wait a moment, I got a bit confused here, sorry.
      John

      "A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there ó even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity." ~ Robert Doisneau

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      • #4
        Re: Tax Free Purchases from the EU?

        The rules will likely be the same as they are for the rest of the world now i.e. anything worth more than £28 (iirc) may attract duty and VAT. If you take kit bought in the UK out of the country be sure to take proof with else you may be stopped on your return and charged accordingly. It'll be just like the good old days before the Customs Union!
        Regards
        Richard

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        • #5
          Re: Tax Free Purchases from the EU?

          I can't remember which country it was (obviously non-EU), but on one of our Explore holiday trips, I was required to list the serial numbers of all cameras, lenses and electronic goods.
          I presented the list at customs, which was then stamped.
          This was examined on the way in, and again on the way out at departure customs.
          It was more or less a cursory glance, just counting the quantity, and make, of each type/class of item.
          Had the numbers not tallied, I presume they would then have checked serial numbers; I'd have been expected to pay the local import duty on anything missing.
          Best Regards
          Bill

          The nearest I have to a home page.
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/peak4/
          They're Watching You!

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          • #6
            Re: Tax Free Purchases from the EU?

            Interesting, I am soon heading away with Explore. Good to know they give so much attention to detail.
            Regards
            Richard

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            • #7
              Re: Tax Free Purchases from the EU?

              Originally posted by Otto View Post
              Interesting, I am soon heading away with Explore. Good to know they give so much attention to detail.
              Sorry Otto, I wasn't clear enough in my post, I think Explore mentioned it in the trip notes, which made me aware, but the form either came from the visa application, or the landing card handed out on the plane.
              I've a vague recollection of having a printed list, as I knew in advance, but having to hand write it all out on their official form.

              Which trip are you doing? I do recommend Explore if you're not familiar with them.

              p.s. just found a copy of the blank form on my hard drive, it was Uzbekistan.
              Best Regards
              Bill

              The nearest I have to a home page.
              http://www.flickr.com/photos/peak4/
              They're Watching You!

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              • #8
                Re: Tax Free Purchases from the EU?

                Originally posted by Otto View Post
                The rules will likely be the same as they are for the rest of the world now i.e. anything worth more than £28 (iirc) may attract duty and VAT. If you take kit bought in the UK out of the country be sure to take proof with else you may be stopped on your return and charged accordingly. It'll be just like the good old days before the Customs Union!
                You have reminded me of a time when I was tasked with taking our firm's exhibition caravan over to Dublin for a boat show. The journey from Southampton to Liverpool was bad enough, as the rather large caravan tended to wag the tail of a Mk IV Cortina quite violently at anything above about 38 MPH. Indeed, there were several occasions when I had all three lanes of the M6 to myself, and by the time I reached Liverpool there was a strong smell of hot Hypoid oil from the gearbox too!

                The overnight voyage to Dublin was pleasant enough and a great relief after the long and very tense drive. A pint or three of Guinness with my evening meal helped the relaxation process no end, ready for battle with Customs the next morning.

                I visited the ship's duty free shop after breakfast in the morning and was approached by an Irishman who had bought a dozen or more bottle of whiskey before he remembered that he would have to take them through Customs. Whether or not he found any 'mules' to carry his bottles I don't know, but I soon had more than enough problems of my own.

                I had reams of paperwork and receipts for the exhibition caravan and contents but these didn't seem to cut any ice with the Customs officer who was clearly drunk, and could barely stand without help. He couldn't understand why there were boxes of leaflets, colour cards and other propaganda and wanted to know whether these would stay in Ireland or returned to the UK after the show. Then he spotted the television set and Betamax video recorder used to play promotional videos on a loop. Personally I would have been only too pleased for Customs to have taken them away but there was no such luck. Eventually I was allowed to go on payment of about £250 in cash to cover the alleged import duties on the promotional propaganda and the TV and video. We never got it back. Thankfully he didn't find the bottles of Blue Nun and Concorde stashed away under the seats.

                The show over I had to tow the caravan all the way down to Exeter, but suffered two blowouts on the caravan whilst scorching down the M6 and then the M5 at 38 MPH, thankfully with an overnight break. I handed the caravan over to one of the sales team who was due to take it to an exhibition somewhere in Cornwall, but it never made it. The Drive back to Southampton without the caravan on a Friday afternoon was surprisingly pleasant, but listening to the traffic news there was a warning that the 'Taymar Bridge was blocked in both directions by an overturned caravan'........

                Reps may drive Audi's and BMW's these days but nothing changes does it?
                ---------------

                Naughty Nigel


                Difficult is worth doing

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                • #9
                  Re: Tax Free Purchases from the EU?

                  Hi I live in Portugal, and Portugal has had good relationships with the UK, if no Brexit, you will have to have proof of purchase, in and out purchases going out of thee EU to a non EU country and without a trade deal will be subject to 23% vat plus 22% tax export duty.
                  My Published Book: http://www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/2771168

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                  • #10
                    Re: Tax Free Purchases from the EU?

                    Originally posted by peak4 View Post
                    Sorry Otto, I wasn't clear enough in my post, I think Explore mentioned it in the trip notes, which made me aware, but the form either came from the visa application, or the landing card handed out on the plane.
                    I've a vague recollection of having a printed list, as I knew in advance, but having to hand write it all out on their official form.

                    Which trip are you doing? I do recommend Explore if you're not familiar with them.

                    p.s. just found a copy of the blank form on my hard drive, it was Uzbekistan.

                    No problem Bill, and thanks for the thumbs-up re: Explore. I've not been with them before but a friend has and also recommends them, and thus far their service has been very good. We're doing the "Inside the Hidden Kingdoms" trip to India, Nepal and Bhutan, and I'm hoping to be fit enough to hike up to the Paro Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery. If the weather here ever settles down into hike-friendly mode I'll get out on the hills - recently it's been either too hot, too wet or too windy (or any combination of those three). I'm a fair-weather walker these days I'm afraid! Deciding which camera and lens(es) to take is another matter sharpening my mind but at least I don't need to carry a Canikon bazooka . It will most likely be my E-M1i with the tiny Lumix 12-32, plus something longer - maybe the 40-140 f/5.6. I will take some sort of customs list anyway. We fly out on November 1st which could be fun !! Maybe we won't be let back into the UK .
                    Regards
                    Richard

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                    • #11
                      Re: Tax Free Purchases from the EU?

                      Originally posted by Otto View Post
                      No problem Bill, and thanks for the thumbs-up re: Explore. I've not been with them before but a friend has and also recommends them, and thus far their service has been very good. We're doing the "Inside the Hidden Kingdoms" trip to India, Nepal and Bhutan, and I'm hoping to be fit enough to hike up to the Paro Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery. If the weather here ever settles down into hike-friendly mode I'll get out on the hills - recently it's been either too hot, too wet or too windy (or any combination of those three). I'm a fair-weather walker these days I'm afraid! Deciding which camera and lens(es) to take is another matter sharpening my mind but at least I don't need to carry a Canikon bazooka . It will most likely be my E-M1i with the tiny Lumix 12-32, plus something longer - maybe the 40-140 f/5.6. I will take some sort of customs list anyway. We fly out on November 1st which could be fun !! Maybe we won't be let back into the UK .
                      Looks a good trip, I hope you enjoy it.
                      I've taken the Panasonic 14-140 + 100-300mm on a few trips, which seems to cover most things apart from weatherproofing, slipping in the tiny 14 + 20mm pancakes to take out in a pocket in the evening instead of the bigger ones.
                      A couple of thoughts, Indian flights seem very particular about gas cigarette lighters; it seems the little springs under the flints show up well. Also, if you need insect repellent, make sure you keep the DEET away from the cameras, as it softens the paint quite well.
                      Best Regards
                      Bill

                      The nearest I have to a home page.
                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/peak4/
                      They're Watching You!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Tax Free Purchases from the EU?

                        Thanks Bill. I don't smoke so there's no danger of me having a lighter with me! I gather DEET is nasty stuff in many respects. We've been recommended to take some though.
                        Many years ago I bought some high-factor sun cream which claimed to be insect repellant. I squirted some into the palm of my hand whereupon a large fly instantly landed in the middle of the cream .
                        Regards
                        Richard

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                        • #13
                          Re: Tax Free Purchases from the EU?

                          Originally posted by Otto View Post
                          Thanks Bill. I don't smoke so there's no danger of me having a lighter with me! I gather DEET is nasty stuff in many respects. We've been recommended to take some though.
                          Many years ago I bought some high-factor sun cream which claimed to be insect repellant. I squirted some into the palm of my hand whereupon a large fly instantly landed in the middle of the cream .
                          Sorry for taking even further off topic, but Mosquito Milk works quite well for me, and is made from geranium extract, with only 20% DEET.
                          The Lidl non-DEET one works OK as well, but too late in the year to find it.

                          The former comes in a glass roll-on bottle, which weighs quite a lot, so I decant it into an empty roll-on deodorant container. I actually do the same with a stronger DEET based one as well, to save the little pump sprays getting it everywhere.
                          Best Regards
                          Bill

                          The nearest I have to a home page.
                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/peak4/
                          They're Watching You!

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