Frequently asked questions
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How much is UK import tax?
UK import tax will vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of item sent, the value, country of origin and the intended use (personal or commercial).
Because of these varying factors, it can be quite difficult to accurately calculate the cost of UK import fees, but we’ve put together some useful information which may help.
UK customs charges
When you send a package to the UK, depending on the value of the item you’ve sent, the recipient may be required to pay UK import tax (VAT) and customs duty.
Import tax UK
Import VAT is charged on all goods sent to the UK from overseas. The only items which will not incur VAT are gifts worth £39 or less.
VAT is charged on:
The value of the item itself
Postage, packaging, insurance
Any customs duty owed
The standard VAT rate for the UK is 20%.
What qualifies as a gift?
The UK has a duty-free gift allowance of up to £39. To qualify as a gift, items must be:
Described as gifts on the customs declaration
For a birthday, anniversary or another occasion
Bought and sent between individuals (not companies)
Intended for personal use
UK customs duty
In addition to import VAT, UK import duty may also be charged on:
Goods and gifts over £135
Excise goods e.g. alcohol, tobacco and fragrances (perfume, eau de toilette and cologne)
How much customs duty will need to be paid?
This is the tricky bit. The rate of duty varies depending on the goods being sent, so it’s difficult to calculate an exact fee. Gifts above £135 and up to £630 may be charged at 2.5%, although rates are lower for some goods.
Customs duty is charged on the value of the item, plus the shipping, packaging and insurance.
All items sent via Parcel Monkey are sent DDU, which means the duty is unpaid. Any customs fees will need to be paid by the recipient before they can receive their package, so always ensure you include up to date contact information for the recipient on the customs form.
Read more customs advice.