Tax and Customs Board: Rules for ordering goods from UK to change

Omniva parcel machine.
Omniva parcel machine. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The Tax and Customs Board is reminding that, from January 1, parcels ordered from the United Kingdom costing over €22 will be subject to VAT and parcels over €150 will be subject to customs duties.

Due to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, new rules must be taken into account when ordering parcels next year. This means that if the total value of the goods ordered by post is more than €22, the customer must declare the consignment to customs and pay 20 percent VAT. If the value of the ordered goods exceeds €150, in addition to VAT, a customs duty must be paid, the tax rate of which depends on the specific goods.

It is most convenient to declare shipments electronically in the web environment of the Tax and Customs Board and to submit a customs declaration, a notice sent by a courier company or the state-owned postal company Eesti Post and a document certifying the value of the goods, such as an invoice, payment order or order, are required.

"British online stores are very popular among Estonian shoppers and there are often big discount campaigns after the holidays, but this year people should be extremely careful when ordering goods and not leave the order until the end of the year," Kulli Kurvits, head of customs formalities at the customs department of the Tax and Customs Board, said.

It must be borne in mind that, if the order is placed within the year 2020, but the consignment from the United Kingdom is dispatched in 2021, customs duties and VAT may be added to the consignment. "For example, if a €30 parcel ordered on December 31 is shipped from the United Kingdom on January 2, 2021, VAT will be added. Therefore, we recommend that you make purchases early," Kurvits added.

There are restrictions or special permit requirements for sending or ordering certain goods, therefore people should read the rules on the Tax and Customs Board website before ordering. For example, ordering medicines from online stores is prohibited. Care should also be taken when ordering food supplements, because before ordering, it must be determined whether something sold as food supplement in another country is not classified as a medicine in Estonia.

As in the case of all countries outside the European Union, as of January 1, gifts with a value exceeding €45 sent from a private individual living in the United Kingdom to a private individual living in Estonia must be declared to customs.

When sending goods from Estonia to the United Kingdom, the goods must be declared to customs if their value exceeds €1,000.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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