When do I have to pay customs on online orders?

When do I have to pay customs on online orders?

When purchases outside the European Union you risk having to pay customs. But when do I have to pay customs on online orders? Always? Just sometimes?

If you are thinking about buying something in other countries, but you are afraid that this "deal" will not be so good if they force you to pay customs, then what we are going to tell you will come in handy. Shall we start?

What is customs?

crane with customs containers

The first thing you should keep in mind is that customs is an agency in charge of monitoring the entry of goods into a country, and ensuring that the corresponding taxes are paid. And what we are trying to do is promote the local industry, and not buy from outside.

Therefore, Any merchandise that enters from another country that is not a member of the European Union is considered an import and, therefore, you have to pay for that order. As? Through tariffs or through customs duties.

What do you have to pay at customs?

wallet to pay

When a product is purchased outside the European Union or in Ceuta and Melilla, it has to bear a series of "taxes." On the one hand, it is subject to VAT. That is, you have to buy the product with VAT. This money must be deposited by the company where you buy.

Now, on the other hand, there are customs duties or taxes. This is where you have to take into account the type of company or individual, or the value of the shipment. To make it clearer:

  • If the sender (that is, the person who is going to send the order) is a company:
    • If the value of the shipment is less than 150 euros, you will only have to pay 21% VAT. Nothing else.
    • If the value of the shipment is greater than 150 euros then, in addition to the 21% VAT, you will have to pay tariffs of 2,5%.
  • If the sender is an individual:
    • When the value of the shipment is less than 45 euros, you will not have to pay VAT or tariffs.
    • But if the value of the shipment is greater than 45 euros, then you will have to pay 21% VAT and 2,5% tariffs.

When do I have to pay customs on online orders?

buy online in the united states

When placing an order online, as we have told you before, you should pay VAT. However, it may happen that the company you buy from or takes care of and sells it to you with 0 VAT. That does not mean that you are exempt from paying. Actually, you're going to do it.

There are two forms of VAT payment when the product is less than 150 euros. These apply when they are to countries that are not in the European Union, in the Canary Islands, Ceuta or Melilla.

The first way is to pay VAT when the merchandise arrives. The second, that you pay the VAT at the time you make the online purchase.

What if the shipping value exceeds 150 euros? In that case, Correos can contact you so that you can choose if you want to pay through the procedures before Customs or if you are going to do it through other means.

What is clear is that VAT payment will be made at the time of making the purchase, or when you receive it.. And as for customs, these will always be at the time the merchandise passes through them (either online or through the Post Office when you receive the order).

How to clear customs

When purchasing an order online that comes from countries outside the European Union, from the Canary Islands, Ceuta or Melilla, to clear customs correctly, it is necessary to have the necessary documentation. Otherwise, two situations may occur:

  • Let the order stay in customs and not move from there.
  • That they ask you for the information to release the order and for it to arrive to you (normally with what you have to pay to receive it).

In any case, The documents necessary to clear customs correctly are the following:

  • Commercial or import invoice. That is, the invoice that you have purchased a product (or several) in the country and it is reflected in the document, with the quantity of the product, the unit cost, the total and the currency.
  • Customs agent invoice. When you have a customs agent working on your behalf, so that there are no problems at this agency, you must attach that invoice with the cost of the services you are paying for and the tariffs to which that product is subject.
  • DUA. Finally, the DUA is the Single Administrative Document (for all countries in the European Union) and represents a tax declaration of the shipment. It reflects who imports and exports, the objective, what means of transport are used, what merchandise they are, the taxes and tariffs to be paid.

Depending on where the products come from, they may ask you for more documents related to the above. If you have everything in order, there should be no problem clearing customs easily.

Is it worth buying online from other countries now?

From everything we have told you so far, the truth is that The bargains that were previously available to buy cheap from other countries are now not so cheap.

For example, imagine that you want to buy a latest model mobile phone. But you don't want to spend the money it costs in your country (about 800 euros). So you find a store in another country that sells it for 600.

Now, to that amount, because it has a value greater than 150 euros, we must add VAT of 600, which is 126 euros. That is, it will cost you 726 euros. But it does not finish here. Because you also have to bear the tariffs, which are 2.5% of those 600 euros, that is, fifteen euros. Thus, the final price of the product is 741 euros.

It depends on each person to think whether it is still worth it or not.

Has the question become clear to you when do I have to pay customs on online orders? If you have questions, leave them in the comments and we will try to help you.

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