How is import duty and/or VAT calculated?

The steps below are a guideline on calculating basic import duty and/or VAT.

1. CONVERT THE VALUE OF YOUR GOODS INTO GB POUNDS
This sounds easy, but you must ensure that the correct rate of exchange is used.  Each month UK Customs issue exchange rates which they will use to convert currencies.  Therefore, these are the rates that you must also use. (Visit the UK Customs website by clicking here).

2. SHIPPING COSTS (DOOR TO DOOR)
A common mistake when calculating Import Duty and/or VAT is to forget to add ALL the shipping costs connected with you getting your goods.  Again, using the same exchange rates on the Customs website, you need to add any and/or all of the following:
-Collection/Delivery costs from the shipper to the port of export
-The cost of any specialised packaging
-Any additional Insurance taken out to cover your goods during transit.

3. CALCULATING BASIC IMPORT DUTY (if applicable)
Now that you have got your total value of goods (including all the associated shipping costs) in GB pounds, you next need to know what percentage of Duty has been allocated by UK Customs for your particular goods.  To do this you need to:
-visit the European TARIC website
-Once there, search for your goods under 'description' and enter the 'country of origin'.  This should then allow you to find the commodity code (keep this code as you will need to ensure that your clearing agent uses this on the Customs entry) and the rate of Import Duty that's applicable to your goods.
-Multiply your total value of goods by the Customs Duty rate.  This is the approximate amount of Import Duty that you would have to pay to UK Customs.

4. CALCULATING THE VAT (if applicable)
The rate of VAT in the UK currently stands at 20%.  So to calculate the VAT, you need to do the following:
-Add the amount of Duty (that you have just calculated) to the total value of your goods (including the shipping costs)
-Add all the UK charges, such as Customs clearance and delivery costs (from port of arrival/Bonded Warehouse through to your door).
-Multiply this total amount by 20% to give an approximate amount of VAT that you would have to pay to UK Customs.

 

FAQs

Got some questions?  
Go to the FAQ page for all frequently asked questions and links to all relevant documentation.

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ALL ENQUIRIES  T: 01634 731632 E:imports@osborncustoms.com
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