UK value allowance raised

By Administrator |

The UK's HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) office has confirmed that from January 1 2010 the 'duty free and VAT free' ceiling for goods bought for personal use by those arriving by air or sea

from non-EU countries has been raised from ?340 to ?390 (from $544 to $624), while those arriving by other means – train, private plane or boat for pleasure purposes – can bring in goods up to the value of ?270 ($432).

This 'value allowance' as it is known does not include alcohol, tobacco or fuel where the previous restrictions and allowances remain the same.

At the same time, individuals who buy goods over the internet or by mail order from outside the EU will now only be charged customs duty if the value of the package is above ?135 ($216), and the actual amount of duty due is over ?9 ($14). The previous allowance was ?120 ($191).

Although the duty limits have changed, import VAT is still due on packages valued at over ?18 ($29). However, if a package is received as a 'gift', VAT will only now be charged if its value exceeds ?40 ($64).

In relation to tobacco products, the quantitative restrictions on personal imports of cigarettes from Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania and Estonia (and smoking tobacco from Estonia) have also been lifted.

This means that from January 1, 2010 private individuals travelling from these Member States can now bring back unlimited amounts of these goods for their own use, thereby enjoying the same benefits as those travelling back from other Member States.

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