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New Customs Rules Bite - Don't Get Stitched Up With Import Costs

July 2022 saw a ratcheting up of the new import arrangements for goods entering the UK from the EU. 

What does this mean, if you are looking to buy ice grips..?

UK EU trading arrangements explained by ICEGRIPPER

Essentially, it means that if you buy products from an EU country it will be subject to VAT and Import Tax. The EU now classify the UK as a 'third country', which means we have the same trading relationship with them as, for example, USA or Japan. Since ICEGRIPPER highlighted the issue in September 2021, we have been contacted by several customers, who have encountered problems, especially when buying through major shopping 'platforms'.


IOSS explanation by ICEGRIPPER

Although there is a process in place called IOSS, which allows low value items to be sent with the duty paid, many retailers, both sending EU to UK and UK to EU don't understand it (and neither do their customers). This sytem was introduced by the EU (and UK) to continue to facilitate smooth cross border e-commerce business, but the main reason was simply the collection of tax! It's a complicated system for retailers to implement and has a considerable cost too - typically several thousand pounds. So it's no surprise lots of retailers have not engaged with it.


Frustrated with major platforms - buy DIRECT, buy UK, buy ICEGRIPPER

The major platforms are not helping to reduce confusion and inconvenience either. Despite knowing the rules, they are allowing goods to be ordered over and above the value thresholds covered by the new IOSS protocols, resulting in customers being asked to pay VAT and Import charges, often 20% or more of the original order value. Despite having the capability to stop these orders, or implement a warning system, they have not addressed the issue. It comes as a shock to customers to receive an email from a postal company, or customs department, demanding payment before their goods are 'released' and delivered.

So what to do about it all?

One of the simplest actions customers can take is to order their products from a UK based company. This should be simple, right..? Well, not if ordering from one of the major platforms (e.g. Amazoon, or FleaBay 😁) because it's not clear where the goods are coming from, with many of their retailers based in the EU and Asia and sending from EU based or Asia based warehouses.


BUY DIRECT from the retailer, not through a platform and ensure they are UK based, sending your products from a UK warehouse.

For example ICEGRIPPER is based in East London and has been proud to serve UK customers DIRECTLY since 2007. We publish our UK VAT number and UK Company Registration number, in our CONTACT US page. We also publish details of who we are, where we are, what we do and how we do it on our ABOUT US page.

You might be reading this and saying 'But big platforms like Amazon, have one click ordering and remember all my details'. But ask yourself..? Why do they do this? Is it because they value you as an individual customer? When they make a mistake (which they often do), can you quickly and easily email, speak, or chat with someone to sort it out?

Modern e-commerce is a wonderful service, but it should still attempt to mirror the experience of shopping on the High Street, with its familiarity and levels of service. Perhaps the large platforms, in their endless pursuit of ever increasing profits, have taken their automation too far?

So, you pay your money and you make your choice...Caveat emptor!

You can easily email us through our contact us page, chat with us using the chat button, bottom right of every page, or even better, call us  - our number is at the top of every page...yep, that's it up there on the right...😊

Walk, work, run and play on winter ice and snow with ICEGRIPPER


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