.. Selling Parts to the EU .. ??

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Offline Geoff and Vanessa

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.. Selling Parts to the EU .. ??
- Feb 08, 2021 - 12:23

Hi I wonder if anyone has any useful experience of selling vehicle parts from the UK and into the EU in these Post Brexit times ???

I'll likely be putting a few things on eBay again in the near future and as I seem to get overseas buyers at a proportion of 30% to 70% UK you can see my interest.

With all this " chatter " on the news about goods being returned to sender and hit with various fees as a consequence I'm keen to avoid getting lumbered.

This will be done on a casual hobbyist basis I am not a trader.

 Thanks,

 Geoff  :tiphat 

 P.S. I normally use agents such as Interparcel and Parcelforce

Offline midlandoak

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Re: .. Selling Parts to the EU .. ??
Reply #1 - Feb 08, 2021 - 15:01
You will have fill an customs declaration describing the parts and the value paid.
The goods should not be subject to  uk vat but your buyer may incur import tax and his countries  vat rate
Even more problematic will be the lads from Belgium and the EU that used to come to Newbury and Beaulieu whether the will be seen on our shores again is questionable .

They know not what they’ve done !!!


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Offline Geoff and Vanessa

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Re: .. Selling Parts to the EU .. ??
Reply #2 - Feb 08, 2021 - 15:22

Thank you midland oak, I've often sent to non EU countries so from what you say it should be as simple as completing a CN22 form with any import and vat fees paid by the buyer.

I suppose the real hassle comes when an eBay buyer changes his mind when the parcel arrives and instigates a dispute / refund procedure with eBay where presumably the ( eBay ) seller would then become liable for British import and vat.

Thanks  :tiphat:

Offline daleradford Trade (Legend Advertiser)

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Re: .. Selling Parts to the EU .. ??
Reply #3 - Feb 08, 2021 - 15:47
Maybe easy for small bits sent by Royal mail, but larger parcels sent by couriers, you need to put your national insurance number on the customs form and the HS six digit number.
Also a H marked in tape ,where the box can be opened.

Online GunnarTM

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Re: .. Selling Parts to the EU .. ??
Reply #4 - Feb 08, 2021 - 16:19
I've sent and received some EBay bits and bobs between the UK and Germany in recent weeks, and since they were under any customs allowances, they seemed to go through at close to normal speed.  I'm led to understand that any minor delays were post-related.  That said, I had to budget an extra 15 minutes at the post office to fill out customs forms before sending ... the same ones I have to use to and from the US.  There's now also the chance that if the German customs authorities want to inspect a package to verify the stated value and/or ensure the proper customs were applied (which may include language translation delays, so it's perhaps an advantage to use Google Translate and fill out the forms bi-lingually), it will pile up in a stack and we'll have to go there in person to pick up up and pay any short-and-under ... before, it would've just sailed through straight to our door no questions asked.  There were clearly reduced friction costs  to both being members of the trading block.

My wife and kids ordered some tweed clothing and other hunting gear from the UK that included an unexpected VAT/customs charge upon delivery, though, which as others have said is likely to be the case for higher-ticket freight items.  We now keep a little cash reserve around the house just in case.  I must say we definitely now check twice to see if the same item can be purchased from an EU vendor who's already dealt with the admin aggro before ordering direct from the UK.  I also think the credit card companies are also lining up to soak UK buyers now that the latter no longer enjoy the cap on "interchange fees" https://on.ft.com/2YTyclO .


Offline midlandoak

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Re: .. Selling Parts to the EU .. ??
Reply #5 - Feb 08, 2021 - 16:52
With regard to selling on EBay ? My understanding is that under their Global Shipping Programme the purchaser has already paid shipping costs and I assume that eBay provides customs details as it is responsible for transshipment and it has the items value recorded.
With regards to disputes correct description together with photos and suitable packaging should minimise that risk ?



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Online GunnarTM

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Re: .. Selling Parts to the EU .. ??
Reply #6 - Feb 08, 2021 - 17:14
With regard to selling on EBay ? My understanding is that under their Global Shipping Programme the purchaser has already paid shipping costs and I assume that eBay provides customs details as it is responsible for transshipment and it has the items value recorded.
With regards to disputes correct description together with photos and suitable packaging should minimise that risk ?

I think you're absolutely correct on the shipping costs, but the price one pays may be second-guessed by the customs authorities on the other side.  I once bought an article of vintage clothing off of EBay.com in the US, and they ended up dinging me for a higher customs rate (unsurprisingly, they have a super-complicated formula they use that can even go down to the thread count of textiles).

Think about it:  One could set up an operation to "smurf" items in at low stated price in an auction on EBay for later re-sale to duck customs/VAT; let's say it was a box of a dozen brand-new t-shirts in plastic wrap for a stated value of £5.  A sham buyer on the other side could hit it immediately via "buy now" and it's sent on its merry way.  It arrives in Germany, and customs says "wait a minute" ... and re-assesses the contents.  They're especially attuned to online auction shipments for that very reason.

As I understand it, EBay's terms and conditions leave it to the seller and buyer to mop up any short-and-under ... they've already taken their cut on the transaction and couldn't give a monkey's.

I'm not a lawyer, so take it for what's worth ... perhaps having to think nefariously is perhaps why lawyers have such high stress levels ;-)

Offline Rick O Shea Trade (legend Advertiser)Moderator

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Re: .. Selling Parts to the EU .. ??
Reply #7 - Feb 08, 2021 - 17:57
Personal experience we have been having problems with stuff coming to the UK for repair, Border Force seem to open random boxes which is fine but then put on a VAT charge which is just made up, then the Post office  charge a handling charge.

We are now 'forced' to use a courier (DHL, who to be honest are very good),  for all returns (after repair) to Europe and can no longer easily send via royal mail. There is supposed to be a code  supplied by HMRC for goods being repaired but no one seems to know what it is, help lines are blocked up.

Sending speedometer back to USA is equally fraught, again DHL seem to have it sorted but the cost is much greater than before. Do I pass this cost on or absorb it?

This is not just me but I was speaking to another repairer who is suffering similar problems.

My wife spent 3 hours trying to get the right form to retrieve a speedo from Heathrow, which has been held by Border Force for an unspecified reason , the help line suggested it was easier to have the speedometer sent back to USA and then get the client to use a courier, to send it back to UK as they did not know the correct  code or form, you could not make it up. I doubt that Amazon has these problems.

Rant over.   
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Online GunnarTM

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Re: .. Selling Parts to the EU .. ??
Reply #8 - Feb 08, 2021 - 18:05
Personal experience we have been having problems with stuff coming to the UK for repair, Border Force seem to open random boxes which is fine but then put on a VAT charge which is just made up, then the Post office  charge a handling charge.

That's exactly the same on this end.  We've had stuff that slipped through the cracks (notably a huge load of expensive amateur radio gear that I'd shipped US Mail that arrived the same day I touched back down in the US on the returning from the same trip during which I'd sent it with zero charges), and years ago a kids chemistry set that my father had sent over for my son that tuned out to contain some random substance not passing muster that hung it up for months and arrived with a customs balance due.  I once flew back with a roof rack for a hunting acquaintance's Jeep as part of my checked baggage allowance and was never pulled over.  It feels completely random.

The only reliable method I've found so far to reduce customs hassle  is to order stuff in the US (on which I've already paid sales tax) to my parents', have them completely de-package it, and then send it over shoved into my usual mail load marked "used stuff of little value", which works until it doesn't ... and is certainly an unworkable solution for commercial enterprises.

Online GunnarTM

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Re: .. Selling Parts to the EU .. ??
Reply #9 - Feb 08, 2021 - 18:26
"... touched back down in Germany returning from the same trip ..."

Offline Geoff and Vanessa

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Re: .. Selling Parts to the EU .. ??
Reply #10 - Feb 09, 2021 - 08:14

Thanks all some interesting experiences and advice, will probably give it a go with a couple of smaller value parcels first and see how it goes.

Offline Graeme Trade Advertiser

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Re: .. Selling Parts to the EU .. ??
Reply #11 - Feb 09, 2021 - 11:46
What isn't clear to me is the VAT situation when sending business items — until a couple of years ago I was UK VAT-registered, but when I started to wind down my commercial filming activities I de-registered.  Now I still send my DVDs worldwide, and account for them for income tax as a business enterprise.  I stick CN22 forms on, and up to now have never had any queries.

But the various Government (and other) 'help' pages seem to imply that I may now need to declare some VAT element, even though it's not part of my business transaction.  Anyone any thoughts on this?


Offline vardjewell Home Trader

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Re: .. Selling Parts to the EU .. ??
Reply #12 - Feb 10, 2021 - 16:33
There’s an interesting article in the “Hagerty news letter” I received and read today covering this subject now we’re out of Europe. It looks currently that import/export of classic cars and parts involves copious amounts of form filling. Sorry that I’m unable to attach the article.
       Vardon

Online GunnarTM

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Re: .. Selling Parts to the EU .. ??
Reply #13 - Feb 10, 2021 - 18:12
I signed up for the Hagerty Newsletter (thanks for the tip), and will try to find a link to post here later.

This is precisely why when I decided to import the '53 Series 1 80" I drive from the UK, I hurried up and had it delivered in September 2018, because the Brexit was still in flux with tons of uncertainty and I wanted to take advantage of a closing window on hassle-free importation of a classic vehicle before the proverbial door slammed shut.  I bought the truck from a dealer in Wales, and arranged to have it shipped over via enclosed lorry (the other half was reportedly filled with F1 parts!), and it sailed through with no customs/VAT nor any other paperwork issues or added costs.  After it arrived, I parked it in my garage and after some back-and-forth with the TÜV and some minor modifications https://www.lrsoc.com/forum/index.php?topic=39933.msg313034#msg313034 , I eventually received full mechanical clearance for German compliance; I've described ad nauseum the story with getting it inspected, appraised, and approved for an "H(istoric)-plate" on this forum, but that's a completely different kettle of fish from the initial importation itself ... and all was well that ended well.  Even had I opted to simply obtain a "red plate" (shows only, restricted usage), I wouldn't have had to make any modifications at all, and had I decided to go below the radar a bit and keep it licensed to a UK address in my name, I could've kept driving it as-is indefinitely (something I was loathe to do as I'm a squeaky-clean type :-) )

After I had all the aforementioned in hand, I simply drove it down to the county authorities as a bona fide UK-registered vehicle on its white-on-black plates and full EU legal status (admittedly, I had to obtain short-term insurance coverage to cover me in the event of a mishap, and attach a magnetic-mount "GB" oval to the back bumper), but when I presented them with the UK V5C they knew exactly what to do and issued me the appropriate ownership documents and a set of German plates.  Funny aside:  They wanted me to unscrew the UK plates in the parking garage, but I sweet-talked them into letting me keep them screw-attached, and just use duck tape (later replaced with black velcro adhesive discs) to attach the German plates, which was win-win as I can still display HG-UE 53H as 409 YUE on show grounds ... plus I didn't have to drill any holes to attach the German plates (the 300 mm x 200 mm plates were framed perfectly by the edges of the black 409 YUE UK plates).

I subsequently bought a lot of parts to continue the restoration (canvas parts, original carburetor, relays and other electricals, manuals, and other miscellaneous bits and bobs) via eBay or directly, and those all came through no sweat.

Had the open borders not been in place, this all would've been an  order of magnitude more difficult.  Just the allowance that let me import a hunk of metal from a member nation within the trading block free of hassle was a huge advantage.  I honestly don't have a dog in this hunt re: Brexit (it was a sovereign decision after all ... and somewhat ironically I now have a faster UK Border line at the airports with my US passport than my do European citizen friends presently), but one undeniable commercial consequence is the the English Channel is once again a moat rather than just another body of water that needs to be crossed.  I sincerely hope that good sense prevails on both sides over time.

I wonder about the longer-term impacts, negative (for most of you, UK sellers now have an impaired EU market, offset by perhaps knocking out non-UK bidders with deeper pockets), and positive (for us, increased scarcity value due to increased friction costs, offset by increased hassle obtaining parts) ... it feels as though on balance there's more downside than upside.

 

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