Declaring parcels from outside EU becomes much easier

Omniva delivery trucks.
Omniva delivery trucks. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

Estonian state-owned postal service and logistics company Omniva has opened an automatic e-declaration solution where the customs data of the shipment is filled in automatically on the smart device of the customer and the shipment is declared with a few clicks for a service fee of €2.35.

At the beginning of July, recipients of parcels from third countries had the opportunity to either declare their shipment themselves in the e-environment of the Tax and Customs Board or to authorize Omniva to do so manually. Now, they have the possibility to declare non-European shipments of up to €150 from any computer or smart device with the automatic e-declaration solution, Omniva said.

Marita Magi, head of Omniva's international segment, said the automatic e-declaration solution allows the customer to save a lot of time.

"If the customer receives a notification from Omniva that they have received a shipment that needs to be declared, they can check the shipment data, authorize Omniva to declare it, and pay import taxes all in one environment," Magi said. "The biggest advantage is that if the electronic information of the shipment is correct, then all the necessary customs data is filled in automatically for the customer.'"

Magi noted that the declaration environment has been developed to be as simple and understandable as possible and is also equipped with clear instructions hidden behind question mark icons.

"In addition, we recommend that you watch the video guide, where it is possible to see how the automatic e-declaration is filled," she added.

The automatic e-declaration solution only applies to shipments up to €150 and the service fee is €2.35. For shipments over €150, Omniva can be authorized to declare the shipment in the same environment, but these shipments will continue to be declared manually on the basis of a separate price list. In the case of these shipments, the final tax amount will be determined after the declaration has been made. The customer will be notified by text message and the tax and service fee can be paid in the same environment. Customers can still declare all shipments in the e-environment of the Tax and Customs Board.

Magi also recommends people to register as a customer in the environment.

"Firstly, it speeds up the shipment declaration process once the shipment has arrived. Secondly, it helps Omniva to identify the correct address or contact telephone of the customer if it is incomplete in the shipment data," she said. If the address data is incomplete, the customer may not receive the notification for a shipment that needs to be declared. Registering in the environment helps to prevent this.

From July 1, the taxation of small shipments ordered from outside the European Union changed, and VAT will now have to be paid on all commercial shipments, regardless of their value. This means that the lodging of a customs declaration became mandatory when ordering goods of any value from outside the European Union, and all shipments ordered are subject to VAT. Previously, only shipments with a value exceeding €22 were subject to VAT.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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