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tax on shipping personal effects back to UK

tax on shipping personal effects back to UK

Old Jan 20th 2019, 3:44 pm
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Default tax on shipping personal effects back to UK

If we relocate back to the UK and ship some stuff (not a lot), will we automatically get hit with VAT or other customs duties? For example, I've built myself a VR-capable PC (i.e. pretty pricey) and will be shipping that back plus the monitor. I've got a laptop plus camera gear. We'll also have some kitchen appliances that aren't anywhere near new but are still good for many more years.

I've had a look online and seen that you can fill in a form for tax relief. Does anyone know if this is worth our while?

TIA for any advice.
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Old Jan 20th 2019, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: tax on shipping personal effects back to UK

Originally Posted by sicklyman View Post
If we relocate back to the UK and ship some stuff (not a lot), will we automatically get hit with VAT or other customs duties? For example, I've built myself a VR-capable PC (i.e. pretty pricey) and will be shipping that back plus the monitor. I've got a laptop plus camera gear. We'll also have some kitchen appliances that aren't anywhere near new but are still good for many more years.

I've had a look online and seen that you can fill in a form for tax relief. Does anyone know if this is worth our while?

TIA for any advice.
I found this on justlanded.com.

If you’re moving or returning to the UK (including British subjects) from outside the EU, you can import your belongings free of duty and tax provided you’ve lived at least 12 months outside the EU. Your possessions must have been used for at least six months outside the EU before being imported. Tax and duty must have been paid on all items being imported (this isn’t applicable to diplomats, members of officially recognised international organisations, members of NATO or British forces and their spouses, and any civilian staff accompanying them). Articles must be for your personal use, must be declared to customs, and you mustn’t sell, lend, hire out, or otherwise dispose of them in the UK (or elsewhere in the EU) within 12 months, without customs authorisation.
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Old Jan 22nd 2019, 8:28 pm
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Default Re: tax on shipping personal effects back to UK

I typed a longer reply and it got eaten so just the essentials this time, sorry. I have recently gone through this process. You need to complete a Transfer of residence (TOR) form along with a valued list of your items. This form is available online on the HMRC site and you submit it online. Within a couple of weeks HMRC will provide you with a TOR reference number to provide to your removals company and importer. This will enable your goods to be imported free of VAT or other duties assuming they comply with the conditions the previous poster mentioned. Your removals company should be able to help with all of this, if not then change them.

Be prepared for a longer wait than they tell you. Customs is already choked and will surely get much worse after 29 March. And the sting in the tail is that you will have to pay for the demurrage incurred by customs delays. Other than that you are very unlikely to have any issues with a consignment of household goods.

Last edited by Miss Ann Thrope; Jan 22nd 2019 at 8:31 pm.
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Old Jan 25th 2019, 5:22 am
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Default Re: tax on shipping personal effects back to UK

great info everyone. Thank you.

Any idea what demurrage costs are in the UK for a few metres squared of personal goods? I could only find rates per container/day.
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Old Jan 25th 2019, 7:51 am
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Default Re: tax on shipping personal effects back to UK

I sent a container back a few years ago - I guess the shipping company did the forms as I didn't.

It was very quick and painfree. Just got stuck in customs for a few days while they x-rayed it - thankfully they didn't find my dragonmart taser that was in with the torches.
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Old Jan 25th 2019, 9:16 am
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Default Re: tax on shipping personal effects back to UK

For a reported 18 days on the quay for what I guess was about half a container, the charge was GBP85. That includes the obligatory 5 free days (so 13 chargeable days) and was invoiced as "quay rent, demurrage & admin fee". So it was more in the realm of annoying than eye-watering, in significant part because there is no verification or any way to query it. That might give you some indication.
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Old Jan 26th 2019, 10:15 am
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Default Re: tax on shipping personal effects back to UK

that's useful. We'll have much less than that so it shouldn't be a major problem.
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