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Hi everyone:

I just got nailed on vitamins I had shipped from America (IHERBS). They charged me 50 per cent of what I paid!! Grrrrr.... I never had this issue whenI lived in Spain or France. Portugal seems to be a bureaucratic nightmare, as I recently found out with my car and what is required by bringing it in from France! I am wondering if you buy something in the UK or France does the package get through without these issues? You would ink being part of the EU there would be no customs or surcharges between member states. Thanking you in advance.
 

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Kent

I can sympathise with you....... I sometimes have to import car spares from the US and have to pay the import tax on the item plus the cost of postage plus the cost of the packaging and then a further 23% VAT on the total cost of that.

Some orders have resulted in my paying more in tax than the total cost of the spares........ which in my opinion is daylight bloody robbery!

As for VAT between member states, I think you'll find they have usually the right to charge you the difference between what's charged in the two countries......... for example, if you order something in the UK and have to pay 19% VAT they can charge you the extra 4% because PT charges 23%.

That said, it appears to vary sometimes. For example, we had to import a large crate of personal belongings from South Africa and we were advised to import through Denmark (where VAT is 5%) and then send it the rest of the way by road and by doing so, we wouldn't be charged the difference so that's what we did.
 

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Hi everyone:

I just got nailed on vitamins I had shipped from America (IHERBS). They charged me 50 per cent of what I paid!! Grrrrr.... I never had this issue when I lived in Spain or France. Portugal seems to be a bureaucratic nightmare...! I am wondering if you buy something in the UK or France does the package get through without these issues? You would ink being part of the EU there would be no customs or surcharges between member states. Thanking you in advance.
I still spend a lot of time in the UK, I often purchase materials for work from outside of the EU.

I am always having to pay customs, I recently bought something from the US, it cost me $45 for the item but by the time that it was in the UK I had spent about £69. Added to the cost of the item was the carriage, the importation tariff , the VAT element on both of those items and a further £8 handling fee to the Royal Mail for them holding my item until I paid the outstanding duty.!

It is just life and one of the costs involved with international transactions from outside of the UK, so no Portugal is not unique in doing that. I now try to source as much as possible from within the EU to any avoid additional charges.
 

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Kent

I can sympathise with you....... I sometimes have to import car spares from the US and have to pay the import tax on the item plus the cost of postage plus the cost of the packaging and then a further 23% VAT on the total cost of that.

Some orders have resulted in my paying more in tax than the total cost of the spares........ which in my opinion is daylight bloody robbery!

As for VAT between member states, I think you'll find they have usually the right to charge you the difference between what's charged in the two countries......... for example, if you order something in the UK and have to pay 19% VAT they can charge you the extra 4% because PT charges 23%.

That said, it appears to vary sometimes. For example, we had to import a large crate of personal belongings from South Africa and we were advised to import through Denmark (where VAT is 5%) and then send it the rest of the way by road and by doing so, we wouldn't be charged the difference so that's what we did.

The rest of us have to pay 20% VAT in the UK so consider yourself lucky that they only charge you 19%.
 

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Kent

That said, it appears to vary sometimes. For example, we had to import a large crate of personal belongings from South Africa and we were advised to import through Denmark (where VAT is 5%) and then send it the rest of the way by road and by doing so, we wouldn't be charged the difference so that's what we did.
Personal belongings are not subject to vat or import duties - what is often missed is the shipping manifest has to be endorsed at a Portuguese Consulate.
 

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Kent

As for VAT between member states, I think you'll find they have usually the right to charge you the difference between what's charged in the two countries......... for example, if you order something in the UK and have to pay 19% VAT they can charge you the extra 4% because PT charges 23%.
In terms of the VAT rules (these are fairly standard across the EU with slight differences between countries), Portugal is entitled to charge the full local VAT rate if the address of the consumer is a Portuguese address. i.e. it is delivered locally. If you transport it yourself then the VAT charged is the ruling rate at the sales point. (there are different rules for alcohol, tobacco, motor cars and some other items).

If you bought in the UK and paid 19%, Portugal in not entitled to charge an extra 4%. If you order an item through say amazon, whether UK, Luxembourg, etc - they should charge Portuguese rates and send the funds to the Portuguese state.
 

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Personal belongings are not subject to vat or import duties - what is often missed is the shipping manifest has to be endorsed at a Portuguese Consulate.
I think you'll find that personal belongings are not subject to vat or import duties IF (note the big IF) they are coming in as possessions of a new immigrant in the first six months of arrival and if listed on the immigrants baggage document (can't remember it's proper name right now).

In my case, the consignment didn't fit that criteria because the import was happening 2 years after my migration and also for nature of goods.
 
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