How are import costs calculated?
The costs to import goods from outside the EU consist of 3 parts:
For all goods coming from outside the EU, a percentage of VAT on the value of the goods must be paid. This percentage varies between 6% (books) and 21% (electronic products). Please note: you also pay VAT on the services provided by bpost (administrative costs).
- Custom duties
For certain categories of goods you have to pay customs duties. These are also represented by a percentage. For some goods (e.g. jeans), you pay up to 12% duty. For other goods you do not pay duty (e.g. books).
- Customs formalities or administrative fees
The bpost customs clearance service charges administrative fees for the costs incurred during the import procedure if:
- the VAT was not paid in advance in a registered online shop (Import One-Stop Shop or IOSS)
- the value of the goods is more than €150
These costs include:
- the calculation of import taxes
- transferring the taxes to the government
- requesting additional missing information (e.g. licenses or invoices)
- storage costs
From 1 July 2021, bpost will charge the following fees for customs formalities:
for private shipments with a value of up to €45. In this case, the sender has to prove that the shipment is a gift. (Please note: alcoholic products, perfume, toilet water, tobacco and tobacco products are subject to fees, even if they are gifts).
for customs formalities regarding non-exempted items with a maximum value of 150 euros.
for customs formalities regarding non-exempted items with a value over 150 euros.
More information on the applicable tax rates and on how to calculate the import costs.
TIP! Are you shopping in a non-EU webshop and want to avoid extra costs? If your shopping basket states that VAT is included, then you’re safe! You won’t have to pay any costs later.
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