Your Guide To Shopping Online Post Brexit
Because we're all confused af
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It’s been a long time coming, but a Brexit deal has been agreed upon between the EU and the UK. While much remains the same for us here in Ireland, with little to no effect on our day-to-day lives, one area of our lives that this does affect is online shopping.
A habit many of us have grown accustomed to while spending so much time indoors, it’s important to be aware that prices of packages arriving from the UK are now set to increase, so as to avoid any shocks from import charges.
What should consumers be aware of?
As outlined on citizensinformation.ie, online consumers should be aware of the following:
- Additional import charges and Value Added Tax (VAT) apply when you buy from websites in the UK (depending on the value of the items and where the product is manufactured)
- EU consumer protection legislation may no longer apply, instead your consumer rights will be set down in UK law
- It may be more difficult to resolve a dispute with a UK business
The above applies to all orders received from the UK, however, Northern Ireland is not included in that.
How much can I be charged?
VAT and customs charges are dependent on the value and type of products you have ordered. If packages are valued at less than €22, then you do not have to pay additional import charges. If a parcel is over the value of €22 then a VAT that is at the same rate that applies to products bought in Ireland (currently 21%).
It has also been outlined that no import duty will be charged on orders from the UK under €150. But those over €150 may be liable for charges, this is dependant on whether the product has been inside the UK or not. Products manufactured outside of the UK will be liable for customs duty. The cost of this depends on the category of the product, which can be calculated on Revenue here.
How do refunds work?
In order to be prepared for any nasty surprises that may be coming your way, it’s best practice to check the small print when shopping online. When it comes to returning products, the usual sytem may be a little different.
If you have paid Customs Duty of VAT on the product, you may be entitled to a refund for that too. How you go about getting that refund depends on how you paid. If you paid both VAT and Customs Charges to the retailer at the point of sale, then you should receive a refund on them within your overall refund from the retailer. If you paid VAT and Customs Charges to the postal service of courier company on delivery, then you must apply for a refund on additional charges from the postal service or courier company.
When reading through the T&C’s on a site, keep the following questions in mind:
· Can you return an item if you change your mind and within what timeframe?
· Can you cancel an order before it is sent to you?
· Who pays for the cost of returning it – you, or the business?
Where can I shop normally?
All of the above can be a lot to get your head around, particularly in these early stages of navigating a post-Brexit world. If you would rather play it safe, while continuing to treat yourself to nice bits online, check out the list of fashion and beauty brands unaffected by Brexit below, as shared by 98fm.
- Beauty Bay
- LookFantastic* (some products will be shipped from the UK and will incur a charge)
- Pretty Little Thing
- Pull & Bear
- River Island
- New Look
Images via Unsplash
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