Shipping to UK and VAT registration
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Pete Matthews 9 months ago
New customs rules in the UK have made life difficult for some people - I've been trying to work out how they affect my use of JLCPCB/LCSC, so some of the following may be incorrect, but it's a clear as I can work it out. Previously, any items worth less than £15 weren't charged sales tax on import. This has now changed, and all imports will be charged UK VAT (+20%). Annoyingly, this needs to be paid at point of sale - The merchant needs to be registered with the UK HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs). For instance, AliExpress are registered, and now add a 20% surcharge to orders shipped to the UK. The package needs to be shipped with the UK VAT Registration number on the packaging. It's currently unclear what happens if incoming parcels have a customs declaration but no VAT registration number. The best reference I can find says parcels will be returned to their sender. The UK Royal Mail used to collect the customs and VAT charges for incoming parcels (for a surcharge), but that's apparently not happening any more. I don't really want to place an order using regular airmail delivery at the moment, as I have no confidence it will actually arrive. The only option which seems to take care of this is the DHL pre-paid option, which often costs 2-3 times as much as my whole order - I don't mind paying the VAT, but adding £30+ to any order will effectively kill my hobbyist usage of your services. I know that the situation is difficult, and the explanation above may not be clear. Please let me know if you have any questions, and I'll do my best to find the answers. So - Are you folks currently VAT registered, or do you have any plans for this in the future? Thanks, Pete
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MikeDB 9 months ago
There used to be the Europacket prepaid option which was run by DHL but delivered by Royal Mail.  I always used that as it was cheaper than paying the Royal Mail fee as I always ordered more than £15 worth.  But that option seems to have disappeared for some reason.
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Pete Matthews 9 months ago
Yeah, I did see your post about that while desperately trying to get info together, and it's annoying that it's gone... I was just working up a project that would have cost ~£38 for a bunch of panelised assembled boards, only to discover that if I ship them via RM (£3.90 something), there's a good chance they'll get binned, and the DHL option literally doubles the cost (and I need extra components from LCSC, which presumably would be another £30+ to DHL) For dumb hobby project (which might turn into something niche commercially useful), it's not something I can justify - especially when this is spin 1 of the board and I have very little faith I've got it right first time. Why they're not having RM run the collection as before I don't know - I could (just about) deal with periodic £8 surcharge.
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david.knell 9 months ago
I suspect EuroPacket's gone because the UK's no longer in the EU - I oscillate between the UK and Greece, and I can use it when shipping to Greece but not to the UK.
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andyfierman 9 months ago
Ahhh. Brexit. It's not just for Christmas...
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MikeDB 9 months ago
@david.knell \> I oscillate between the UK and Greece How big is your luggage when you 'oscillate' .   Any room for some extra PCBs ?  :-)
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Pete Matthews 9 months ago
For what it's worth, I emailed [email protected] directly, and got this answer (extremely quickly - thanks) ``` Hi Pete, Thanks for your email. It's indeed a hard time for the world, and all costs are increasing now, due to epidemic is serious and chinese new year is coming. 1.Very sorry that we may cannot register with the UK HMRC, since we have no office in there, please kindly understand. 2.If RoyalMail parcel are charged customs duty now, maybe DHL will be better. But due to DHL adjust all shipping cost in 2021, then DHL cost will be increased 4% accordingly; and if you choose prepaid customs duty, the DHL(DDP) shipping cost will be more expensive, hope for your understand. Thanks and have a nice day, ``` While I think they actually could register with HMRC (that's what the government here are expecting, after all), I can completely understand why they wouldn't want to (or why it just wouldn't be worth the additional hassle for them). Have also DM'd Royal Mail on twitter to check if my understanding is correct there. I'm not holding my breath though. What we really want now is some kind of drop-ship style service, who accept parcels in China (or just "outside the UK"), deal with the customs/VAT and forward them with the appropriate labelling. I'd certainly be prepared to pay a few quid a go for it.
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MikeDB 9 months ago
A lot of companies do hire local agents in China to do just what you suggest.  But I've never known one interested in dealing with one-offs.  Maybe we could all get together and hire one ? The alternative of course is to register yourself for VAT.  Creates paperwork for yourself at this end but does mean it should clear customs okay.
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andyfierman 9 months ago
@MikeDB, Any idea where to go to find out about that?
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Kevin Allen 9 months ago
Interesting thread guys. I'm just completing a very small hobby PCB and was preparing the bare board order so this thread is timely but concerning.
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Pete Matthews 9 months ago
Note that there's a similar (more general) thread about this at [https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/uk-abolishes-lt15-vat-free-imports/](https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/uk-abolishes-lt15-vat-free-imports/)<br> <br> Did wonder about VAT registering myself (seems like a lot of hassle, might still consider it though). Other (terrible) options include... \* Asking a friend who owns a VAT registered business \(might work out\, will probably cost them\, even indirectly for accounting\)\. \* Get someone else to mediate the sale who'll deal with the VAT \(see linked thread and my stupid eBay idea at the end \- don't do that\) \* Form a collective to batch orders to get to \> £135 \- Then Royal Mail will collect\, presumably for the old £8 additional fee\.
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Pete Matthews 9 months ago
Hold the phone - JLCPCBs support site now has the following: United Kingdom                           0~135GBP (VAT collected by JLCPCB)                                                       >135GBP (VAT collected by local custom) From [https://support.jlcpcb.com/article/89-customs-duties-and-taxes](https://support.jlcpcb.com/article/89-customs-duties-and-taxes)<br> <br> Seems to imply they know something's going on and will be handling it. Might email their support folks again and see if I can get hold of someone who knows what's up.
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Pete Matthews 9 months ago
Sent a further message, and got this (extremely quick) response - celebrate! > Due to the huge impact of Brexit, we already adjust our logistic system to fit the new policy of UK customs, so please don't worry about it. > Yes, we will charge 20% of the production value for the tax in advance if your order value is less than 135GBP and we will attach the invoice with our company VAT/EORI number to the package. > So please don't worry about delivery! Hope you have a nice weekend! Woo! These people are awesome, and I don't have to run the risk of trusting anyone else with my projects. Hurrah 🎉
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andyfierman 9 months ago
@pbmatthews, Thanks very much for keeping your eye on this and following it up. @JLCPCBsupport, Thanks for arranging that so quickly, that is really good news for all UK customers.
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david.knell 8 months ago
Thanks, JLC - that's really helpful to many of us. As an aside, importing stuff into Greece from JLC used to involve about EUR 60 in handling fees from DHL (or FedEx or.. they're all the same) - I raised this with JLC who added a DDP - import duties and VAT prepaid - shipping option within hours.  As duty and VAT was then prepaid, no more handling fees.
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Pete Matthews 8 months ago
In case anyone else is interested, LCSC have confirmed via email they will be dealing with UK VAT, which is great :) > Good day. Thanks for contacting us. > Please rest assured! I confirm with our leaders that the registration for a VAT/EORI number is under processing now. However, it may cost 6 weeks as we are informed. > Please keep close attention to LCSC. > Thank you. Woo! Thanks folks :)
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andyfierman 8 months ago
Excellent news. Thanks for keeping everyone informed. :)
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JohnJJG 7 months ago
Just tried to order from LCSC, it does not look like they are handling VAT, just asking for your VAT/EORI number.  If you are a hobbyist then you can get an EORI number (through government gateway) but I have no idea how you pay the VAT.  Not sure where/when the tax gets paid.  JLPCB still looks ok (just ordered) but may have to move away from LCSC unless it gets more obvious what is to be paid and how
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MikeDB 7 months ago
@JohnJJG I ordered two PCBs with loading coming to £118 yesterday including VAT which was charged correctly.   There have been glitches in their software though which meant I had to wait a day to put the order in whilst they fixed some IT problem. I am VAT registered but it doesn't matter either way.  JLCPCB charge the VAT above and below £135, and then if you are VAT registered you ask them for the correct VAT form and then reclaim it as input tax.  However they told me for very large orders (10.5 kg - no idea how much that is in money) there is an option to ship without the VAT and deal direct with customs yourself.
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JohnJJG 7 months ago
@MikeDB I have 10 boards JLPCB  just finished production and returning via Royal Mail, VAT charged upfront so looks good.  Unfortunately it is LCSC parts that are not doing the same.  I am not VAT registered so this will be the problem for hobbyists. I am going to try a test order of £20 from LCSC using an EORI number (when you don't have a VAT number) and see what happens.  Don't mind paying the VAT but not worth it if the additional charges are unpredictable.  Hopefully it is straight forward but I doubt it.
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andyfierman 7 months ago
@JohnJJG, Have you tried contacting LCSC Support directly? Or repost your original comment as a new topic with the Category set to LCSC?
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MikeDB 7 months ago
@JohnJJG   Yes it seems you are right.  JLCPCB have registered for VAT but LCSC don't appear to have.  I'd really suggest not placing the order if it's not too late.   If you even get the parts you'll get a huge service charge.
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caliper 7 months ago
@MikeDB Can I just add that I had a similar experience this morning when trying to make an LCSC order.  In the shipping section there is box which requires either a VAT or EORI number, I bailed out at this point.  The curious thing for me is that with both JLCPCB and LCSC apparently one of the same, JLCPCB have got there act together and charging VAT at the point of sale already. Maybe it's a matter of time before LCSC catches up and adopts the same policy.  I have a request for more info from LCSC support pending, so will update if required.
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JohnJJG 7 months ago
Thanks @MikeDB, I have put a hold on the LCSC order since I just don't know how it will work.  Also means I will put a hold on a separate JLCPCB order as well that needs parts based on selections in easyeda from LCSC.  I hope LCSC notice, maybe they wont miss the hobbyist :-( because I think Easyeda, JCPCB and LCSC make a nice package.
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