As referendum day looms (although many of you will have already cast your EU referendum ballot by post), it seems apt to consider some of the issues that leaving the EU could mean for online traders, ecommerce SMES and web retailers. One of those key concerns must be the free movement of goods within the EU.
So this post from Currencies Direct, who specialise in lubricating international trade, is germane. Here’s an extract:
“BREXIT means losing freedom of movement across Europe, for products and for people, and it would impact the shipping of goods across borders – at least until new trading agreements have been negotiated, possibly on a country by country basis.
Currently if we buy goods and services from countries within the EU we do not pay import duty or VAT. Import tariffs would have to be introduced and renegotiated post-BREXIT.
By way of example as to what these charges could be, currently if we shop on websites outside the EU we have to pay import duty on anything with a value higher than £135 (including shipping and packaging costs). If the item is a gift then 2.5% is charged where the value falls between £135 and £630. For goods costing more than GBP £630, import duty is charged according to the product’s trade tariff commodity code. Goods are classified depending on eg, what they are made of and what they are used for, then import duty is applied to each product as a percentage of value.
Standard UK VAT rates (20%) would also be applied to purchases if they are worth over £15 (over £34 in the case of gifts).
Then if you want to sell products back into the EU – you could also be hit with a ‘reintroduction tax’.”