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Ordering from Spain   You are logged in as Guest
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mark indigo

 

Posts: 3308
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

Ordering from Spain 

I just tried to order some stuff (CD's) from Spain and the seller is now asking for a "VAT/TAX number". On looking this up you have to be a company with a turnover of £85,000 or more to register for VAT in the UK and get a VAT number.

Apparently if the order is under £135 the seller is supposed to register with the UK government/tax office, collect the VAT and pass it on, but I can't see any flamenco shops doing that, and I don't see why they should have to. The whole situation is absurd and ridiculous.

Has anyone in the UK ordered from Spain this year (since Brexshit)?

Found this on a forum, I think it's more about businesses buying from the EU than private individuals, but aptly sums up the situation:

"The more I think about it, the more weird this whole new VAT regulation seems.

Let's just say, for the sake of this example, that you browse the internet and find a seller of hand made boutique t-shirts. The shop is in Netherlands. T-shirts are 20 euro each incl. Dutch VAT. You buy five of them, click on shopping cart, shipping is added, you pay via paypal and off you go.

Meanwhile in Netherlands some shop owner just received their first order in 2021 from UK. And after packing the t-shirts into box and ordering delivery via pakket2gaan our Dutch entrepreneur discovers that in order to get it collected by the courier he has to fill out a new mandatory form to go with the shipping. But this time, unlike shipping to US or any other country outside of EU - it's not a customs form, it's an additional VAT declaration. And on that declaration he's required to write down things he never ever had to put on any customs form or shipping manifest to any country on the planet ever - a VAT number that doesn't belong to his national tax office and EORI number issued by foreign tax office that's no longer part of the "E" in EORI.

Confused and perplexed Dutch seller gets on the phone to his accountant and discovers that a foreign government of an island just outside of Europe since last Friday usurp a right to profit off his hard Dutch handy work and requires him to hand over his bank details for direct debits and register for VAT.

What's even more bizarre, the Customary Revenues of Majestical Heirs, or some such thing from a far away land, demands of him to become tax a collector in-situ on behalf of the Head Tightwad of Borissian Isles' treasury. His first task is to call his British customer and retrospectively demand additional levy of 4 euros on each T-shirt, only for the purpose of transferring it back to the Kingdom of Uniteds coffers via swift. "Because this individual on your server belongs to us, so we'll need you to kindly Dick Turpin his four letters on our behalf and then send us sack of his money. Thank you for your honesty, cooperation and respect" reads the short version of the legislation on the web.

And his second task of 2021 is to rebuild his website, shopping cart and merchant backend in such a manner that it automatically adds 20% impost on his Dutch products if any of them get ordered by someone living up to 500km east of Ireland.

The way I see it, there are three reactions/options.

One option is to say "**** it, that's just mad", cancel the order and never make a mistake of letting UK customer onto your websites and servers ever again.

Second option is to follow the procedure to the letter.

Third option is to realise that any opportunistic backwater country brave enough to ask a stranger like YOU to do their tax collecting must be disorganised and really short on resources plus - they have absolutely no jurisdiction over your EU business and they literally just resigned from participation in European courts.
So you grab that form, stick it on 100 euro worth of packed t-shirts and write:

Net value of product: 10 cents
UK VAT: 2 cents
Delivery: 99.90 euros
Contents: Biological waste for testing
UK VAT number: GB11223344
EORI: yomama

And ship it out with tracking number. It's not your problem, let the customer track it and enquire to border control about it. HMRC doesn't own you abroad, you just bin their letters if they ever arrive.

But I guess the main question is - what would YOU do, if you were selling stuff over the internet and some Principality of World's End wanted you to register for their irrelevant local taxes and levies if you shipped your product to their country?"

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 13:48:38
 
Escribano

Posts: 6253
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: Ordering from Spain (in reply to mark indigo

It's option one, I am afraid. The UK is a 3rd country now and import/exports are way down.

I have been asked for more in import duties and handling from the UK than the goods were priced, so I don't buy from the UK any more.


Boris didn't actually read the agreement he signed "wiffle, waffle, bish-bosh, job done"

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Foro Flamenco founder and Admin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 18:33:51
 
Estevan

Posts: 1888
Joined: Dec. 20 2006
From: Torontolucía

RE: Ordering from Spain (in reply to Escribano

quote:

Boris didn't actually read the agreement he signed "wiffle, waffle, bish-bosh, job done"

But he drove a forklift through a styrofoam wall!

_____________________________

Me da igual. La música es música.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 18:37:53
 
agujetas

 

Posts: 60
Joined: Mar. 9 2021
 

RE: Ordering from Spain (in reply to mark indigo

I’m going to stock up on flamenco books/cds next time I’m in Spain. Too expensive to import them into the U.K. now. As far as I can tell, everyone loses out. Brexit is the gift that keeps on giving.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 19:03:38
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3308
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Ordering from Spain (in reply to Escribano

quote:

It's option one, I am afraid. The UK is a 3rd country now and import/exports are way down.

I have been asked for more in import duties and handling from the UK than the goods were priced, so I don't buy from the UK any more.


Boris didn't actually read the agreement he signed "wiffle, waffle, bish-bosh, job done"


I have bought stuff from Strings by Mail and Flamenco Connection in the USA before, and there is an import VAT charge to pay plus Post Office handling charge. If the same deal kind of deal was in place with the EU it would at least be predictable what the extra charges would be, but the current situation is a total mess.

Just for kicks I emailed HMRC (tax office) to ask about a "VAT/Tax number" and got a response already asking me to detail exactly what I'm trying to do, so I replied, explaining it all in some detail... I also emailed my local MP, who happens to be the Minister for International Trade, so I emailed her at the trade office too... every little helps...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 21:55:32
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Ordering from Spain (in reply to mark indigo

It’s sad, I knew it would come down to this. Trade tariff only hurts people, free economic trade zones are so important to regional economic health. The stubborn blind nationalism that leads to neighboring countries over charging on goods traveling a few hundred miles is the ultimate in stupid governance.

Looking at you Boris...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 13 2021 2:11:26
 
Piwin

Posts: 3298
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Ordering from Spain (in reply to mark indigo



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"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 13 2021 4:36:20
 
edguerin

Posts: 1558
Joined: Dec. 24 2007
From: Siegburg, Alemania

RE: Ordering from Spain (in reply to mark indigo



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Ed

El aficionado solitario
Alemania
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 13 2021 15:17:45
 
mrstwinkle

 

Posts: 444
Joined: May 14 2017
 

RE: Ordering from Spain (in reply to mark indigo

Bought some brandy from Barcelona last month. Approx 110 euros of brandy and 25 euros shpping.

Got stopped. Charge of about £7.00 import duty and a whopping £35 UPS admin fee.

Sender had tried to be helpful and put wine sample 20 euros value on the front. Suspect that made it worse not better.

To me profiteering couriers are a big part of the problem.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 13 2021 19:27:26
 
Escribano

Posts: 6253
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: Ordering from Spain (in reply to mrstwinkle

quote:

To me profiteering couriers are a big part of the problem.


Maybe so, but they have way more admin work and fee collections to consider now. It's the same with the post.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 13 2021 19:38:37
 
agujetas

 

Posts: 60
Joined: Mar. 9 2021
 

RE: Ordering from Spain (in reply to mrstwinkle

quote:

ORIGINAL: mrstwinkle

Bought some brandy from Barcelona last month. Approx 110 euros of brandy and 25 euros shpping.

Got stopped. Charge of about £7.00 import duty and a whopping £35 UPS admin fee.

Sender had tried to be helpful and put wine sample 20 euros value on the front. Suspect that made it worse not better.

To me profiteering couriers are a big part of the problem.


The point is, before Brexit that wouldn’t have happened. You would have just been charged shipping. I don’t think couriers can be blamed.

All Brexit has done is to put up barriers. And not just in terms of importing goods. It’s like society has started going backwards - more intolerance, more insularity, more selfishness.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 13 2021 19:55:28
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3244
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Ordering from Spain (in reply to agujetas

quote:

The point is, before Brexit that wouldn’t have happened. You would have just been charged shipping. I don’t think couriers can be blamed. All Brexit has done is to put up barriers.


Politicians who advocate trade barriers and protectionism always pose as populists working on behalf of the "common man," while their policies work against his interests. We had such a dolt in Trump who refused to enter the US into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which would have lowered tariff barriers for the original 12 members. Instead we are ceding the leadership of Asian trade (and other elements in Asia) to China.

To be fair, our Democratic Party colleagues can be as short-sighted as Trump. People like Bernie Sanders and the left-wing of the party did not like the TPP either. What Trump, Sanders, and many other people don't understand is import tariffs and duties are paid by the importer. Many, including Trump, kept repeating the falsehood that China (or other countries we slapped with import duties) paid the tariffs. In spite of economists advising otherwise, they continue to believe it.

The beauty of free trade agreements and lowering of tariffs is that everyone benefits. That is a bridge too far for our ignorant populists to understand.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 13 2021 21:28:25
 
agujetas

 

Posts: 60
Joined: Mar. 9 2021
 

RE: Ordering from Spain (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:


The beauty of free trade agreements and lowering of tariffs is that everyone benefits. That is a bridge too far for our ignorant populists to understand.


Absolutely. Although I think populists like Trump and Boris know it too but they pretend not to for political gain.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 13 2021 21:48:02
 
Piwin

 

Posts: 3298
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

[Deleted] 

Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at May 13 2021 22:27:28
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 13 2021 22:19:59
 
mrstwinkle

 

Posts: 444
Joined: May 14 2017
 

RE: Ordering from Spain (in reply to mark indigo

Or just scrap VAT / sales taxes. Everywhere. Getting rid of the tax on foreign imports puts local taxpayers at a disadvantage. So you get the Amazon effect.

One of the least justifiable taxes.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 14 2021 14:33:10
 
Escribano

Posts: 6253
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: Ordering from Spain (in reply to mrstwinkle

quote:

Getting rid of the tax on foreign imports puts local taxpayers at a disadvantage. So you get the Amazon effect.


Fair enough, but it's not about VAT, it's about who collects it, for whom and where and the extra administration in exporting/importing since Brexit.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 14 2021 17:29:28
 
mrstwinkle

 

Posts: 444
Joined: May 14 2017
 

RE: Ordering from Spain (in reply to mark indigo

Technical consideration - I wonder if brokers will spring up to handle it sender-side? For example, if I bought a CD from a Spanish seller via Amazon.es and paid by Amazon.es, is that technically handled by Amazon so avoiding the issue?

I know it isn't a -good- solution, just looking for options.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 14 2021 22:50:45
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