Last week the Post Office assured marketplace sellers that they were ready to support EU IOSS shipments, despite this Amazon are now saying that Royal Mail told them sellers should avoid the post office for EU IOSS shipments. So what gives?
Just last week the post office were telling Amazon, eBay, Etsy and NotOnTheHighStreet sellers that they could continue to visit their local Post Office and the Postmaster or their staff will capture the necessary information now required following the post Brexit change to the VAT rules. However, this statement from Amazon suggests that Royal Mail aren’t too confident with the post office’s proposal, suggesting that if a good customer experience is desired, one might like to use Royal Mails Click & Drop service or another logistics partner instead.
“Shipments sent to customers through over the counter services at Post Offices in the UK may not be correctly declared under Import OSS. This may lead to delays in delivery to your customers and customers may be required to pay additional taxes and fees to receive their goods.
In order to provide a good customer experience, Royal Mail recommends that you use their “Click & Drop” service (https://parcel.royalmail.com/ 2) for shipments under Import OSS. Alternatively, you may wish to consider shipping with another logistics partner.”
– Amazon statement in Seller Central
It looks like Royal Mail want to ensure the new VAT changes create as few obstacles as possible for sellers shipping to the EU and telling them to avoid using the Post Office was clearly an important part of that.
However, the Post Office say they are ready with Mark Siviter saying the following:
“Whilst these changes don’t impact customers sending gifts to the EU, we’re concerned that thousands of marketplace sellers, particularly smaller ones could get a shock on 1 July when having to deal with these new VAT arrangements. We have put new checks in place to ensure marketplace sellers can continue to come to their local Post Office to send their goods with confidence. Crucially they can also receive advice and specialist knowledge from their Postmaster if they need it.”
– Mark Siviter, Mails Product Portfolio Director, Post Office
Major changes to the way we ship to the EU can cause confusion and challenges for sellers, and so they need to be confident in the services that logistics providers offer. Although the Post Office did say sellers could use them to send their goods with confidence, Amazon have been quick to highlight that this might not be the case and that incorrect declaration under Import OSS might happen if sellers are not careful about which carrier they choose to ship their parcels to the EU.
Disobeying Amazon won’t help if a customer complains they were charged VAT after Amazon already collected it. Regardless of how great the Post Office service is, consider if your business can afford not to follow Amazon’s guidance.