Learn how to keep away from taxes and charges being levied on presents despatched UK to France

How to avoid taxes and fees being levied on gifts sent UK to France

Folks sending parcels from the UK and different non-EU international locations to France should now take specific care to fill in customs varieties accurately to keep away from issues with supply.

A key level, notably for these sending presents to France, is to make sure that they full the proper varieties to point the character of the parcel however The Connexion has additionally recognized a possible challenge concerning the form of varieties getting used.

Issues with surprising taxes and charges on parcels from overseas, particularly the UK, proceed to be reported and whereas some reviews recommend that errors are typically made by postal workers in France, it’s vital that senders perform the proper formalities on their aspect.

The French Douanes (customs) service says issues have escalated within the second half of this yr linked to a mix of things. These are notably the tip of a VAT exemption for low-valued gadgets (underneath €20) from exterior the EU, that means every part now has to undergo extra sorting on the border, plus Brexit, which implies certainly one of France’s largest and nearest neighbours is now involved by the non-EU guidelines.

Learn extra: ‘Customs’ costs on presents acquired in France resulting from postal errors, say French Douanes

What varieties must be used?

The customs varieties for sending gadgets between the EU and non-EU international locations are standardised around the globe, and the primary kind is the CN23.

This kind permits for a full description of the merchandise, its worth and full sender’s and recipient’s particulars.

Within the UK, Royal Mail states that this should be used if sending parcels value greater than £270, whereas a simplified model can be utilized as an possibility for lower-value gadgets, known as CN22.

Presents posted from the UK with a declared worth of lower than €45 (this needs to be a practical valuation as blatantly unbelievable values will be questioned by the Douanes in the event that they examine the parcel), mustn’t entice any import VAT or customs duties

Nor ought to La Poste cost additional charges (frais de gestion) for delivering them, which can be levied associated to finishing up customs formalities and advancing tax for the recipient the place related.

Key factors to recollect

Crucial level is to at all times use a customs kind when sending parcels to France, to declare a present as a present, and embody the worth and weight. Extra on customs varieties and sending from the UK is accessible at this hyperlink.

You also needs to describe the contents, giving as a lot element as doable.

One reader, Sue Hailwood, has emailed to report receiving two low-value reward parcels with nothing to pay after having needed to pay for 2 others a number of weeks in the past. “This time the ‘reward’ field on the customs label had been ticked by the sender and their worth was underneath €45,” she mentioned.

Having mentioned this, we now have heard from one other reader who has needed to contest VAT and frais de gestion charged on an merchandise regardless of it being accurately marked as a £20 reward, so it seems the issue has not been resolved in all circumstances on the French aspect.

One other, Chris Brown, reviews being inexplicably charged €37.80 for a supply of socks labelled as a present value £20, which he mentioned he refused. We now have requested La Poste if the sender will be billed if a parcel is refused.

Declaring the recipient’s particulars

We be aware that La Poste lately suggested The Connexion that senders from exterior the EU ought to full full recipient particulars, together with electronic mail, so La Poste can contact the recipient rapidly in case of any tax and charges to be paid, because the frais de gestion are lowered in the event that they pay upfront on-line relatively than being requested to pay on receipt.

Nevertheless, there isn’t any house to enter this on the simplified CN22; we due to this fact recommend taking the choice as a substitute of utilizing the CN23 for gadgets over €45 the place some stage of tax and charges could be traditional (depending on worth and whether or not or not customs duties might apply as a result of the merchandise shouldn’t be proven to be made within the UK or EU).

We additional be aware that the Douanes companies states on its web site concerning posting parcels within the different route (France to non-EU international locations): ‘NOTE: As it’s the solely postal doc recognised by the [French] tax companies, using a CN23 is advisable as a substitute of and rather than a CN22’. 

Royal Mail confirmed to us that utilizing the CN23 is an possibility for parcels of all values, although it doesn’t advise towards use of the CN22. It confirmed additionally that its specialised Parcelforce parcels service (separate from extraordinary Royal Mail put up) solely makes use of the CN23 “as a result of nature of the operation, which primarily delivers bigger, higher-value gadgets, and the logistics concerned”.

French parcel put up entails a number of varieties

In France when printing off labels at residence with the usual parcel service, Colissimo, the CN23 is at all times generated, in 4 copies (one so that you can preserve), plus a ‘pro-forma bill’ (exhibiting sender and recipient’s particulars plus the declared worth of the merchandise) for the merchandise (the identical applies if utilizing machines at put up places of work). In France all parcels should be despatched from a put up workplace for sending to the UK (versus eg. posting it your self in a postbox), and a number of other copies of the CN23 plus the bill are connected with a plastic pouch.

The web site of the big industrial supply service DHL within the UK states that you simply at all times want to incorporate an bill with parcels despatched from the UK to locations exterior the UK to assist customs officers within the different nation. Regardless of the title, a ‘pro-forma bill’ is a doc used for non-commercial functions (a industrial bill is required for industrial parcels).

Nevertheless sources at Royal Mail mentioned Royal Mail’s requirement is just for the CN22 or CN23 and didn’t verify that a number of copies or an bill are required on its aspect.

Royal Mail has a number of choices for parcel put up

Royal Mail recommends use of a particular web page on its web site which “will assist you to purchase and print compliant handle and customs labels”, in accordance with the location.

There are a number of choices for sending from the UK by Royal Mail, together with having the parcel collected, dropping it in a postbox or specialised parcel postbox, taking it to a put up workplace or a Royal Mail supply workplace.

Observe that parcels ought to have a barcode on their labels and each Royal Mail and Parcelforce merchandise include one (as French Colissimo labels do when sending to the UK). Digital knowledge is a compulsory requirement and is captured through their transport options on the time the CN22/23 kind is generated. 

In sure circumstances, Royal Mail says different varieties to the usual CN22 or CN23 are used, together with:

  • CN22B, obtainable in Publish Workplace branches, if sending with Royal Mail Worldwide Financial system and Worldwide Normal
  • CN22A, obtainable in-branch or to finish on-line or obtain, if sending Royal Mail Worldwide Monitoring and Signature companies.

Associated articles

Excessive tax and customs charges on presents despatched to France from exterior the EU

Publish-Brexit tax recap: Learn how to ship presents between the UK and France

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