When importing into the UK, there are a number of rules and restrictions which need to be considered.

All items delivered into Britain will be processed through customs to ensure it is not banned or restricted and that the correct tax and ‘duty’ (custom charges) are applied. This includes anything new or used which can be:

  • Bought online
  • Purchased abroad and sent back to the UK
  • Received as a gift

When importing goods from outside the European Union (EU) VAT, Customs Duty or Excise Duty may have to be paid before they can be collected.


Importing charges


VAT is paid on goods sent from non-European Union (EU) countries and EU special territories (e.g. the Canary Islands) if they are:

  • Gifts worth more than £36
  • Other goods worth more than £15
  • Alcohol, tobacco products and fragrances of any value

VAT is paid on goods sent by mail to the Channel Islands, no matter what their value.

VAT is charged on the total value, including:

  • Price paid for the goods
  • Postage, packing and insurance
  • Any duty owed

Customs Duty on all gifts and other goods sent from outside the EU will be charged if they are above a certain value, unless the duty comes to less than £9. The value includes:

  • The price paid for the goods
  • Postage, packaging and insurance

Type and value of goods / Customs duty

  • Anything under £135 – No charge
  • Gifts worth £135-£630 2.5%, but rates are lower for some goods
  • Gifts above £630 and – The rate depends on the type of goods and other goods above £135 where they came from
  • You can contact HMRC for more information on 0300 200 3700

If you have any further questions about customs and international delivery, please get in touch via the form.