I have just had a VAT/Duties bill for something from the USA. I was expecting it, but it was a lot higher than I thought.

It is a board game.

It was in a sale on the USA website (the company that makes it).

I bought it for $212.50 (including all postage charge).

Prior to discount it was $250.00.

I was charged VAT on the $250.00, not the $212.50.

(This meant I paid an extra £5.50 UK pounds approx in VAT than I was expecting.)

Also, I was lead to believe there was an £8 UK pounds handling charge by customs.

I was charged £12 UK pounds. (That is an extra £4.)

There was no visible import duty charged, probably because it is a board game.

In total I was charged just under £50 UK pounds, when I was expecting just over £40 UK pounds.

Were they right in VATing me for the full price rather than the discounted price I paid?

Were they allowed to charge me an extra £4 handling charge?

If either of these is wrong, where do I claim the extra back?

I do not mind paying the VAT/Fees, I was expecting the £40 UK pounds, but I do not like being diddled?

1 Answer 1


The handling fee is set by the courier and different couriers charge different amounts. Parcelforce currently charge £12; DPD charge a %age of the value; etc. Looks like whatever courier was used charged £12.

The VAT and duty will have been calculated based on the paperwork submitted by the sender. If they declared the cost as $250 then that is what will have been used.

I do not think you would be likely to be able to claim any refunds from any of the parties in this situation (the seller, the courier, HMRC).

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