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Minister warns public about potential extra charges when online shopping on UK websites

The main concerns for consumers are the possibility of additional costs.

Image: Shutterstock/Rawpixel.com

TRADE MINISTER ROBERT Troy has reminded consumers about new arrangements now in place for online retail under the recently concluded agreement between the EU and the UK.

Following Britain’s leaving of the Customs Union on New Year’s Day, a new set of rules for online trading came into effect. 

Troy said the main concerns for consumers are the possibility of additional costs, by way of VAT and Customs charges that may apply depending on the value and origin of the goods in question. 

“Some online retailers are alerting consumers to these charges and some are including these additional charges in their final price. Consumers though need to check out each retailer’s policies and also whether there may be additional charges from the delivery company in respect of fee collection, for example”, he added.

The minister said that Irish consumers should be aware of the following:

  • Only goods of proven UK origin are tariff-free
  • Goods bought from the UK but not of UK origin that cost more than €150 may be subject to customs duty
  • Irish VAT will apply on goods bought in the UK that cost more than €22
  • Where UK VAT has been charged on the purchase of goods, Irish VAT will still apply when the good(s) is imported into Ireland.
  • If an Irish consumer is charged UK VAT, a refund of such VAT should be sought by the consumer from the supplier.

Troy added: “We want consumers in Ireland to continue to enjoy the benefit from shopping on line with the UK as one of our major trading partners, but I would urge Irish consumers to think ahead when buying from online retailers outside the EU and to visit the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s website (ccpc.ie) which has lots of clear and useful information on charges and consumer rights.”

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