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Buying goods online coming from within the European Union

Countries

  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark (except the Faroe Islands and Greenland)
  • Germany
  • Estonia
  • Ireland
  • Greece (except Mount Athos)
  • Spain (except the Canary Islands)
  • France (except French overseas departments, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, and Mayotte)
  • Italy 
  • Cyprus
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Hungary
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Finland (except the Åland Islands)
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom (except the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man)

Customs duties

There are no customs duties to be paid when buying goods coming from within the European Union.

VAT

VAT is calculated as a percentage (VAT rate) of the price of the goods.

The seller will calculate VAT based on either VAT rate of the Member State from which the goods are shipped to the buyer (which is usually the Member State from which the goods are bought) or VAT rate of the Member State into which the goods are shipped.

You can check the VAT rates applied in each countrypdf Choose translations of the previous link  .

There will be many cases when the seller will not inform you of the applicable VAT rate.

If the seller is required by the national regulation to issue an invoice, you will have the information about the VAT rate that has been applied.

Excise Duty

Excise duty is due when buying online alcoholic beveragespdf Choose translations of the previous link  such as beer, wines and spirits or tobacco products from a European Union country.

It is the responsibility of the seller to ensure that Excise Duty is paid before he sends the goods.

The seller must have paid the Excise Duty due in the country where the goods are being sent to. For that purpose, he has to be registered, as far as Excise Duty is concerned, in your country.

You should check that the seller is registered in your country.

Excise Duty must have been paid regardless of the quantity and even if the goods are a gift.

You should therefore expect the price you pay to reflect the payment of duty. If the price is very low, duty has probably not been paid.

If the seller does not pay the Excise Duty before he sends the goods, they can be seized by customs on arrival.

In addition, cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco must bear health warnings and fiscal marks, and containers of spirits that are larger than 35cl must bear a duty stamp. This is an additional way to check that Excise duty has been paid.

Rates of excise duty are set by each individual Member State.

You should check with your national tax administration (national links/websites), which has the competence in this matter.