The 'inc tax' prices on our website include UK tax (VAT, 20%). Customers with a shipping address outside of the UK will not be charged this tax - prices should update to the ex-tax ones after entering the shipping address and selecting a shipping method, either on the checkout page or on the cart page.
However, many countries will charge you import duties and other taxes on any imported items.
In some countries, these taxes are collected on behalf of your government by the shipping company, who usually charge an administration fee for this service. SOTABEAMS is not responsible for the payment of import taxes or other associated charges, payment of these is the responsibility of the purchaser.
Other countries may expect you to calculate, declare and pay the applicable tax on any imported goods as part of your tax return, instead of the tax being collected through the shipping company. If so, this is also the responsibility of the purchaser to deal with.
We do not have a definitive list of countries that charge import taxes, but all EU countries definitely do. Some countries have an order value threshold below which they do not bother with import taxes, although this exemption is increasingly being removed.
The best places to look for more information are the websites of:
- The government and/or the customs agency of your country. They should have details of tax and duty rates, and any threshold below which you do not have to pay anything (often called the 'de minimis' value, or a low value exemption).
- The national postal service for your country, if you are using one of our 'International Standard' shipping options. If the postal service is responsible for collecting taxes on imported parcels, they will usually publish information about how to pay these taxes and any administration fees added.
- The relevant courier company, if you are using one of our other shipping options.
Note if selecting DHL Express: if there are more than 5 different items in your order, then DHL might add a "multiline entry" charge which will substantially increase the clearance fee you have to pay. We will combine items where possible (for example, wire winders in different colours will be combined into a single line on the customs declaration), but if ordering a lot of different items, then it might be better to choose a different shipping option. Please contact us if you need any help, or would like us to use or to avoid a specific courier for your order (this may result in a higher shipping cost though). We have not yet managed to get clarification from DHL on the exact circumstances in which multiline entry fees will be charged.
Please note that you are likely to be charged VAT and an administration fee by the parcel delivery company on any imported parcels, since we no longer charge you VAT at the time of purchase. We are not currently enrolled in IOSS, but plan to look into it in the future.
Before Brexit, we had to charge VAT at checkout. After Brexit, VAT is paid through the shipping company instead. You still have to pay a similar amount of tax, just the timing is different. The main difference in the total cost of your order will be the administration fee added by the shipping company.
The size of the administration fee depends on the country and the delivery method. DHL is usually the most expensive admin fee (in addition to being the most expensive shipping cost), Economy Courier or International Standard may be cheaper.
There is a list available here comparing the administration/clearance fee added to the taxes by various national postal operators in the EU. If the shipping method selected is International Standard, then the parcel will normally be delivered through the national postal operator in your country. The list is a bit out of date, it was compiled by the EU Commission in June 2022, but it should give an approximate idea. The fee can range from a few Euros to tens of Euros depending on the country. For example, at the time of writing, it seems to be €3.50 for Ireland but €17.50 for Belgium, in addition to the import taxes. So it can be quite expensive for some countries, even for small orders.
Our international agents stock a range of our products. If buying from one of our EU agents, taxes should be charged at the time of purchase with no extra admin fee.