Buying goods online for personal use

Buying goods from outside the European Union (EU)

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

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

If your goods have:

  • a customs value (including cost, transport, insurance and handling charges) of €22 or less you do 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.

If the VAT payable is €6 or less it will not be collected.

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 charges apply to certain goods from time to time 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

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. 

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