New VAT rules for goods bought from non-EU countries come into effect
Last month, Revenue reminded online shoppers of new VAT rules that come into effect on 1 July 2021 for goods arriving into Ireland from non-European Union (EU) countries.
Today (30/6/2021), Ms Maureen Dalton, Principal Officer in Revenue’s Customs Division, confirmed that, from tomorrow, all goods arriving into Ireland from non-EU countries, regardless of their value, will be subject to VAT:
“Consumers need to be aware that as of midnight tonight the current VAT exemption for imported goods with a value of €22 or less will end. This means that goods purchased from a non-EU country that arrive into Ireland for delivery any time after midnight tonight will be subject to VAT, regardless of their value and regardless of when they were purchased. The applicable VAT rate to these goods will be the relevant rate that would apply if the goods were purchased in Ireland.”
Ms Dalton reminded shoppers that these changes may mean that additional charges can apply once the purchased goods arrive in Ireland for delivery:
“With the introduction of the new VAT rules for imported goods, Revenue is renewing its advice to consumers to check whether the advertised price of goods includes all tax and duty costs due before making a decision to buy. Some suppliers operate what is referred to as a duty paid model meaning the total price paid for the goods at the time of purchase will generally include Irish VAT and any other duties due. Where this is the case no further Revenue charges will arise on delivery. However, where this is not the case, the amount of VAT and any duties due must be paid to the postal service or parcel operator before the goods are delivered.”
Further information for consumers, including specific examples on the impact the new VAT rules will have on goods purchased online from outside the EU, is available on the Revenue website.
In recognition of the VAT rule changes, a special scheme called the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) will also come into operation tomorrow which allows suppliers to pay the VAT on behalf of consumers. The use of IOSS is not mandatory, however, it provides suppliers with a significantly simplified method for declaring and paying import VAT on low value consignments. If the supplier is operating under the IOSS this will be reflected in the ‘terms and conditions’ at the time of checkout and the total price paid for the goods at the time of purchase will include any Irish VAT due. Further information on IOSS is available on the Revenue website.
Ms Dalton concluded her advice to consumers by saying:
“Make sure you are clear on the full cost of a product before you order it online. This will ensure you are not faced with any additional unanticipated charges when you take delivery.”