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VAT, Imports and handling costs?

Ordering items online on, an EU-based company, from the UK, requires some clear information about extra charges you may face since the UK left the EU.


Case #1: No extra fees on orders of £135 or less.

Import VAT is paid by you to CIMALP when placing the order. There are no customs duties or handling fees for such orders. The only extra cost at this point is postage if applicable (shipping costs are free for orders over £100).

If your order costs £135 or less when you buy online at, you don’t have to face any additional fees on top of the order price. VAT charges at this point are clearly listed when checking out and entering your postal address, and on the invoice, at the current UK VAT rate, which is 20%.

Customs duties, import VAT and courier ‘handling fees’ CANNOT be claimed by British Customs or Royal Mail when the parcel is delivered to the UK.

Since the UK is no longer part of the EU’s VAT regime, the new rules require EU sellers to register with HMRC to account for VAT in order to sell to the UK.

CIMALP HMRC VAT number is 372707095. And CIMALP HMRC EORI number is GB077607780000


Case #2: Import VAT, customs duty and handling fees for orders over £135

If your order is over £135, Import VAT is no longer paid when ordering. Prices listed when checking out and on the invoice are VAT excluded

VAT on goods is not payable to CIMALP, but to the British Customs or to Royal Mail when receiving the goods, together with some extra customs and delivery costs.

Here are some of the fees you can expect to pay:

# VAT: 20%

Royal Mail, our partner for orders shipped to the UK, will collect the VAT on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) from you prior to delivery.

# Customs and import duties

Customs duties are a fee placed on goods sent to the UK if your order is over £135. The courier will pay this to HMRC on your behalf but you will have to pay this back when receiving your purchase. So that Royal Mail, our partner for orders shipped to the UK, will collect customs duties on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) from you prior to delivery. The fee is approximately 12%.

# Courier 'handling fees'

The new rules have also hit delivery firms and couriers who have now brought in ‘handling fees’ which are used to cover the extra admin costs they’re having to deal with when taking items through customs. Royal Mail, our partner for orders shipped to the UK, may collect handling fees from you prior to delivery. The fee is £8.

You can refuse to pay these extra charges but you WILL NOT be able to collect the items. You’ll then need the parcel to come back to CIMALP to be entitled to a refund for the products. If the item(s) isn’t/aren’t returned you won’t be entitled to a refund.

If would you like to make a return once having received the goods, we’ll provide you with a prepaid return label so that you don’t have any shipping charges or customs fees to pay. The customs charges and the shipping costs are paid for by us upon delivery. You’ll then be refunded by CIMALP for the products you sent back, but not for the VAT, customs duties and handling fees you paid to Royal Mail. You’ll need to fill out and submit the relevant customs form, in this case, C1179, to reclaim customs charges and import VAT from the British Administration.