Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The gift of Christmas

 Last year, when the parcel of presents from the family arrived, I had to pay over 30 Euros of custom charges to the UPS delivery man. 

This year, my daughters chose to use the Post Office rather than a courier because we'd received parcels by post without any custom charge. 

However, it turned out to be Parcel Force who were handling the package. My eldest daughter spent well over an hour sorting the customs declaration out and was assured by Parcel Force that there would be no custom charges because the goods had been described as "personal belongings" rather than "gifts" - WRONG! 

Two parcels were dispatched and one of them arrived at our gate yesterday. 

The driver from Correos told me there was a 29 Euro and some cents charge to pay to customs. In order to produce a receipt he needed my email address which he typed into his phone. Unfortunately, it did not work (possibly because of a bad mobile signal) and so the parcel had to be taken back to the office from where I can collect it today. According to tracking, the second parcel is still on its way. 

My feeling is that the issue is with VAT or IVA as it is called in Spain but i could be wrong. 

On the customs declaration form there was no proof that VAT was paid on the goods in England. Indeed, both the sender and I are  recorded on the form as being NOT registered for VAT. 

If we had bought the goods ourselves to be imported to Spain, then VAT would not have been charged by the sellers. Instead, VAT would be charged in Spain at the appropriate rate. On top of VAT, there are also custom charges for handling the goods. I should know more when I see the invoice with the parcel. 

The nonsense is that, VAT was paid in England on the goods even though there is no proof of that. Effectively,  once I hand over the 29 plus Euros, VAT will have been paid twice. 

The system for sending gifts either way is now flawed as a result of BREXIT. 

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