Amazon is the largest online retailer in Europe and thousands of people in Ireland shop online at Amazon UK every day.
When buying From Amazon UK After Brexit, many EU and Irish shoppers will see an extra item at checkout on Amazon UK called the Import Fees Deposit . This is a combination of Irish VAT and any customs duties that are due.
However – Amazon deduct UK VAT and duty is not charged on many orders.
In many cases, the final price will be the same as it was before Brexit.
The Import Fees Deposit is shown at checkout as “estimated” – but it is a very accurate one. Amazon charges you the import fees and will arrange for them to be paid on your behalf to Irish Revenue.
Therefore – no further charges will be requested in Ireland by An Post or couriers.
If the estimate does turn out to be higher than the actual import fees , then Amazon will refund you the difference.
The changes outlined in this article are aimed at shoppers in Ireland – but the same changes will apply to online shoppers anywhere in the EU buying from Amazon UK and many other websites.
A Summary of changes to online sales from the UK to Ireland from Jan 2021 .
- There is no customs duty on products made in the UK and delivered to Ireland or any other EU country.
- Customs Duty may be charged on some categories of goods coming from the UK with a “country of origin*” outside the UK – but only IF the order is more than €150. (More details here on Customs Duty)
- Orders with a value below €150 (before postage charges) will NOT be liable to Irish/EU customs duty regardless of the product’s country of origin.
- UK VAT should not be charged by retailers on any orders delivered to Ireland from the UK. However, Irish import VAT will apply to orders over €22.
If retailers are doing things correctly – this should mean a price reduction on orders under €22 IF UK VAT is being charged by the seller.(More here on VAT free Orders Under €22)
- *Country of origin rules are very complex. See here .
For example, something made in the UK with only materials produced in either the EU or UK will be classed as UK origin.
However, something made in the UK with, for example, 51% or more of materials from China – might not be treated as UK origin, depending on the type of product.
Something made in the EU and sold to the UK may also be liable to import duty if it is sold back to the EU.
What is the Amazon Import Fees Deposit ?
On Items Sold By Amazon
Amazon UK will deduct the UK VAT and then show any Irish import VAT and duties as “The Import Fees Deposit” at checkout.
Amazon UK will pay any Irish import VAT and duties on your behalf. This means that you won’t be getting emails or texts from An Post or couriers demanding extra charges on delivery
If the actual Import VAT and Duty charged by customs turn out to be less than the Import Fees Deposit collected by Amazon, then you’ll automatically be refunded the difference by Amazon and you’ll receive a notification e-mail confirming the amount of the refund.
Amazon states that “you won’t be charged additional fees if the actual Import Fees exceed the Import Fees Deposit we estimated.”
More here on Which Products Are Liable to Customs Duty
Items Sold by Third Party Sellers and Fulfilled By Amazon
Some of the third party sellers are doing things correctly – and you should see UK VAT removed and any relevant duty and Irish VAT will be shown at checkout as “import fees deposit”.
However, there are some third-party sellers on Amazon who are not UK VAT registered – so they can’t deduct the UK VAT because they are not charging it in the first place. Items from these sellers will be more expensive for Irish delivery because Irish import VAT will be charged. Prior to Brexit that wouldn’t have been the case. (You can check for VAT registration by clicking on the sellers name and viewing their details.)
Items sold and Dispatched by Third Party Sellers
It looks like many of the third party sellers on Amazon that organise their own deliveries might not be charging the correct import VAT or import duty that is applicable for orders coming to Ireland / EU. (Especially the sellers based outside Europe) .
If you order anything over €22 from these sellers you should probably expect to be asked to pay 21% VAT on delivery plus an admin fee which could be around €15 with some couriers.
If you order anything over €150 from these sellers – you may be liable for import VAT and you might also be liable for import duty on arrival.
(This might not be true for 100% of third party sellers.)
If you don’t want the hassle and possible delays caused by this – you might want to avoid these type of sellers for now . Things will get better in Jly when new EU rules will make
Refunds of Import Fees Charged on Delivery
As mentioned earlier , some third-party sellers on Amazon might not include duty or VAT in their charges. We think its is probably best to avoid them on orders over €150 or at least make sure there is something showing in the “Import Fees Deposit” on orders under €150 and over €22.
If you do order off a seller on Amazon and end up getting a demand for customs charges from An Post – you should raise a complaint with Amazon and request a refund of the extra charges you had to pay.
Amazon instruct all their sellers to deliver goods without customers being asked to pay extra import fees on delivery. Based on what we have seen – we think any such claim is very likely to be found in the buyer’s favour.
You can click here to get a free 30 Day Trial of Amazon Prime
Calculation of Import Duty on Irish Orders at Amazon UK
Even though there was a Brexit deal – it does not rule out customs duty on all items.
If a product delivered to Ireland from the UK was not made in the UK – then it could be liable for duty.
Any orders with an intrinsic value of €150 or less will NOT be considered for customs duty. Regardless of what is in the order.
Of course – many items such as computers , printers, cameras , games consoles, books, phones are duty free anyway . More details here about Import Duty Rates on goods sold to Ireland from the UK
The amount used for the duty threshold is €150 – which works out around £130 GBP when using the official Revenue exchange rate for March 2021.
You can see the exchange rates used by customs here on Revenue.ie
More here about Import Duty Rates
Charges for Irish Returns to Amazon UK After Brexit
Nothing has changed regarding returns from Ireland since Brexit – even though some people seem to think it has.
Amazon continues to accept eligible returns from Ireland since Brexit.
- If the reason for return is the result of an error (e.g. if the item is defective/damaged/incorrect), any postage costs incurred for the return will be paid by Amazon.
- Otherwise, (I.e – you just decide you don’t want it) – any postage costs incurred for the return will be payable by the person returning the goods. (This does NOT apply to returns of Shoes, Clothing, Jewellery & Watches – postage costs will be refunded for those.)
- Note – this returns policy has not changed since 2020 and is the same policy for UK customers.
Amazon Prime in Ireland
If you aren’t already an Amazon Prime member – this could be a good time to join and take advantage of even cheaper prices on Amazon UK. Irish customers still get free priority delivery to Ireland on all Prime eligible items.
Get a Free 30 day Trial of Amazon Prime Here
Six Months Free Amazon Prime for Students Here
Tip : Always remember to pay in Pounds on Amazon UK – NOT Euros – it will work out cheaper. Read more about Amazon Currency Conversion Rates here.
This website has links to several sites where you can do Online Shopping in Ireland
Amazon Germany is an Option
Shoppers in Ireland have the option of using Amazon Germany if they have any problems with ordering on the UK site in 2021. Just be aware that all electrical items will be sold with a “European” plug ( 2 pins) – so you will need adapters. Also – there is no option of free delivery to Ireland.
We have written already about Amazon Germany’s Delivery Charges to Ireland
MoneyguideIreland.com has written this article based on the information available to us. We believe it to be accurate but you should closely check the charges at checkout when shopping at any non-Irish online retailer.
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