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News & Events

Minister alerts consumers to changes for online shopping with the UK

The Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Robert Troy TD, has today (Wednesday, 6 January) issued a reminder to Irish consumers about the new arrangements now in place for online retail under the recently concluded Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK.

Minister Troy said: “We are now operating under a new set of rules for online trading and I want to remind Irish consumers to be alert to potential additional costs and changed entitlements when buying from UK online retailers.”

“The main concerns for consumers are the possibility of additional costs, by way of VAT and Customs charges that may apply depending on the value and origin of the goods in question.  Some online retailers are alerting consumers to these charges and some are including these additional charges in their final price. Consumers though need to check out each retailer’s policies and also whether there may be additional charges from the delivery company in respect of fee collection, for example”, the Minister added.

The Minister said that Irish consumers should be aware that:

  • only goods of proven UK origin are tariff free
  • goods bought from the UK but not of UK origin that cost more than €150 may be subject to customs duty
  • Irish VAT will apply on goods bought in the UK that cost more than €22
  • where UK VAT has been charged on the purchase of goods, Irish VAT will still apply when the good(s) is imported into Ireland.
  • If an Irish consumer is charged UK VAT, a refund of such VAT should be sought by the consumer from the supplier.

 Therefore, the Minister reiterated that consumers in Ireland need to be aware:

  • that the convenience and protections that we had enjoyed as EU consumers no longer automatically apply when buying from UK online retailers (as the UK formally exited the EU Single Market on 1 January 2021) and;
  • that EU consumer protection legislation that applies to goods bought in the EU Single Market do not apply to purchases made in the UK.  Instead consumers will rely on UK consumer protection legislation, if something goes wrong with a purchase.

Minister Troy added: “We want consumers in Ireland to continue to enjoy the benefit from shopping on line with the UK as one of our major trading partners, but I would urge Irish consumers to think ahead when buying from online retailers outside the EU and to visit the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s website (ccpc.ie) which has lots of clear and useful information on charges and consumer rights. It also has helpful links to Revenue’s website (revenue.ie) which also provides essential information for Irish consumers who intend to purchase goods online outside the EU single market”.

For more information visit:

revenue.ie/en/customs-traders-and-agents/brexit/brexit-for-individuals/buying-goods-online.aspx

Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

Note to Editors:

All goods imported from a non-EU country, this includes the UK (excl NI) from January 1st, are subject to customs formalities and are assessed for Customs Duty and VAT. Depending on the type of goods and their value, they may be subject to charges, including customs duties, VAT and excise duties. Excise Duty is payable on alcohol and tobacco products and is separate from Customs Duty.

The general rules and associated values are:

  1. No additional charges when buying something for €22 or less From January 1st consumers pay neither Customs Duty nor VAT if the value of goods (including shipping, delivery, insurance and handling charges) is €22 or less; From July 1st however, consumers will have to pay VAT on all items, irrespective of the value as changes in EU VAT rules around e-Commerce will come into force then.
  2. VAT is payable when buying something for more than €22 Co  Consumers have to pay VAT if the value of goods (including shipping, delivery, insurance and handling charges) is more than €22;
  3. Customs and VAT are payable when buying something for more than €150 Consumers have to pay Customs Duty and VAT if the value of goods (excluding shipping, delivery, insurance and handling charges) is more than €150