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Ordering goods from the United Kingdom? Your goods must undergo customs clearance as of 1 January

29.12.2020 12.00
Press release

Update, 31 December 2020: specifications to the first and the second paragraph and to examples 1 and 2 in the press release.

At the turn of the year, the United Kingdom will be a non-EU country in the same way the United States and China. If you order goods from the UK, parcels sent to you from there must be declared as of 1 January 2021, and possible taxes and customs duties must be paid for them.

Customers of online shops are advised to not decide on purchases merely on the basis of prices given by the shops. The final price comprises the purchase price of the product, transport costs, as well as any customs duty and VAT. 

If the value of your consignment exceeds 22 euros, it must undergo customs clearance and is subject to value added tax. Exceptions to this rule are alcohol, alcoholic beverages, perfumes and eau de toilette products, which must always be cleared through Customs. In addition to VAT, possible import duties will be levied usually when the value of a consignment exceeds 150 euros. It is worth noting that customs duty and tax are determined according to the country from where the goods are delivered. Imposition of customs duty and tax also depend on whether or not the goods are delivered to you as undeclared. The country of location of the online shop is not significant. 

If your goods are delivered from an EU member state and have been manufactured or declared in the EU, then your goods do not undergo customs clearance, and you do not pay customs duty or VAT to Finnish Customs. As a special case, the EU customs legislation applies to Northern Ireland, meaning that Northern Ireland is treated as any other EU country. If your goods are delivered from Northern Ireland, they do not undergo customs clearance.

If you order goods on the web, it is good to note already that, after 1 July 2021, all goods with a value of under 22 euros arriving from outside the EU need to be declared and are subject to VAT.


What if I order goods from the UK during 2020, but they are not delivered until 2021?

If the transport of the goods begins in 2020, the goods will be treated as Union goods when they arrive in Finland and no customs clearance is needed. However, if the transport of the goods does not start until 2021, the consignment must be cleared through Customs and the import duties must be paid even if you ordered the goods before the UK’s exit date.


1. Example of the amount of tax when goods manufactured outside the UK are delivered from the UK in 2021

If in 2021 you order sports footwear worth 200 euros from the UK, and the shoes have been manufactured for example in India, that is, outside the UK, and the transport costs amount to 20 euros, the amounts of customs duty and VAT to be levied on the consignment are determined as follows:

  • The amount of customs duty is determined based on the purchase price and transport costs, i.e. the total amount of 220 euros. The amount of customs duty for the footwear is 37.18 euros, i.e. 16.9 % * (purchase price + transport costs).
  • The amount of VAT is 61.72 euros, i.e. 24 % * (purchase price + transport costs + customs duty).
  • The total price of the footwear is 318.90 euros (purchase price + transport costs + customs duty + VAT).

 
If the consignment to be declared is transported by Posti, VAT is to be paid also on the Posti processing fee.


2. Example of the amount of tax when British goods are delivered from the UK in 2021

Consignments from the UK must be declared and are subject to VAT when their value exceeds 22 euros. If your goods originate in the UK, you do not need to pay customs duty for them when you have an invoice from the seller containing a specific-form statement on the British origin of the goods.

If in 2021 you order a suit worth 200 euros from the UK and the suit was verifiably manufactured there, and the transport costs amount to 20 euros, the amount of VAT to be levied on the consignment is determined as follows:

  • Customs duty is not required.
  • The amount of VAT is 52.80 euros, i.e. 24 % * (purchase price + transport costs + customs duty).
  • The total price of the suit is 272.80 euros (purchase price + transport costs + customs duty + VAT).

The EU and the UK concluded the negotiations on their future relationship on 24 December 2020.The agreement approval process started immediately in Finland and in the other EU member states. The EU and the UK are aiming to implement the agreement starting on 1 January 2021.

More information on how Brexit affects online shoppers

Press Release