We promised at the end of last year to implement a new system to handle the problems that EU customers are having with import VAT, and some quite eye-watering charges from courier companies to collect this tax. It’s taken longer than expected, but we think we’re ready to go at last. The website needed quite a few changes to handle the new system but hopefully we’re there (we still need to fathom out how we’re going to handle the EU VAT separately in our accounts software, but that’s a whole other problem!).
EU shipping will now be different to other regions; instead of percentage charges based on order value, EU orders will now be charged a fixed amount depending on the destination country, regardless of order size. Although these charges are higher then we previously charged for EU shipping, they include full tracking and (more importantly) they include any customs handling fees, which we know have been a big issue in some countries. Orders will be charged VAT at 21%, which we then pay on your behalf when the package reaches the EU.
The way it works is that we ship all EU parcels to a shipping hub at Heathrow; they are then flown to Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands, where they are assessed for tax (hence the same rate for everyone, rather than different rates for each country). At this point we pay the VAT that we previously collected from you over to the Dutch customs authorities. They are then sent straight to your address via the DHL courier network, but because they are now inside the EU there are no further fees, charges, taxes or duties. We’ll attach the DHL tracking ID to the PayPal transaction so you should be able to track it from there – if not, please email us and we’ll send you a link.
Because we have to box up all EU orders and post them off to the Heathrow hub, there may be a slight delay in despatching orders; we have to wait until we have enough to make it worth sending them. But we should ship them out weekly at worst.
Shipping charges for each country are shown below. We appreciate that they are a steep increase, especially for smaller orders, but it’s clear that many potential customers were being put off by the prospect of being hit by a big import bill before they could receive their order, so we’re hoping that this should go some way to alleviating the issue.
France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland – £11.50
Austria, Belgium, Czech Rep., Luxembourg – £13.00
Hungary, Eire, Slovenia, Spain – £14.50
Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Sweden – £16.00
Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia – £17.50
When checking out, please include a phone number (a mobile phone is best) so that the courier company can contact you if necessary regarding estimated delivery times.
As previously mentioned, we’ve had to make some substantial changes to our website and re-upload pretty much all of it to get this to work, but hopefully it’ll all go OK (crossing all fingers and touching every piece of available piece of wood…). Please let us know if you come across any anomalies, and we’ll keep a close eye on all incoming orders to ensure that it’s all functioning as expected.