Buying goods online for personal use

Buying goods from outside the European Union (EU) including the UK

If you buy goods for personal use from outside the European Union (EU), you may have to pay:

  • Customs Duty
  • Excise Duty
  • Anti-Dumping Duty
  • Countervailing Duty
  • Value-Added Tax (VAT).


From 1 January The United Kingdom (UK) is no longer a member of the European Union (EU). If you buy goods from the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) from 1 January you may incur charges that are outlined in this page.

If your goods have:

  • a customs value (including cost, transport, insurance and handling charges) of €22 or less you will not have to pay Customs Duty or VAT
  • a customs value of more than €22 you will have to pay VAT
  • an intrinsic value (the value of the goods alone excluding transport, insurance and handling charges) of more than €150 you will have to pay Customs Duty.

These limits are for the whole delivery, not just one item. You must pay the above duties where applicable, and VAT on alcohol or tobacco products, perfumes or toilet waters, regardless of their value.


From 1 July 2021 import VAT will:

  • be payable on all goods entering the EU, irrespective of their value
  • and
  • always be collected, irrespective of the amount due.

How to calculate what you owe when buying goods online from outside the EU

Customs Duty

The customs value on which Customs Duty is calculated is the cost of the goods plus:

  • transport (including postage)
  • any insurance
  • and
  • any handling charges

to deliver the goods to the EU.

The rate of Customs Duty that applies depends on the goods you import. You can find all the rates in the TARIC database.

Excise Duty

Excise Duty is payable on alcohol and tobacco products and is separate from Customs Duty. Different rates of Excise Duty apply to different goods. You must pay any Excise Duty due at your Revenue office before the goods are despatched to you. Please see alcohol products tax and tobacco products tax for further information.

Anti-Dumping Duty and Countervailing Duty

These are extra import duties imposed on goods in addition to the normal duties that apply. The purpose of these charges is to prevent cheap imports from countries with lower material and labour costs damaging EU industry. You can check if your goods are affected by Anti-Dumping or Countervailing duties in the TARIC database.


VAT is payable on goods at the rate that would apply if they were bought in Ireland. The value of the goods for calculating the VAT is the customs value (described above) plus:

  • any duty or other tax (excluding VAT) payable
  • and
  • any transport, insurance or handling costs after the goods arrive in the EU.

The following examples show how to calculate what you owe on goods when you buy online from outside of the EU. These examples are not exhaustive. However, they provide a range of goods and duty rates. The method of calculation can be applied to any goods.

Next: Buying goods from a European Union (EU) country