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I have been saving for years to buy my dream watch and I can now afford one. There is a shop at Gatwick Airport I can order the watch from and I get 16.6% off the retail/high-street price. I have been in contact with the shop and the assistant assures me I will not be required to pay TAX/Duty on this watch as long as I am not traveling out side of the EU.

I am planning to buy the watch and collect it when flying internally within the UK. Is what the assistant telling me correct; that is, I don't have to declare or pay TAX/Duty when not traveling outside the EU?

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    Airport venues are notoriously expensive; they pocket most if not all of that tax advantage. Contact any other seller and ask for a price match. – MSalters Nov 3 '16 at 15:59
  • Eligible is a poor word choice here. You're eligible for a benefit. Paying VAT or import duties is not a benefit. Required is a better word. Oh, and @MSalters is right. Shop around outside the airport. Even paying VAT, you may end up with a lower out of pocket price. Don't forget to negotiate. – Xalorous Nov 3 '16 at 17:03
  • Thanks for your reply. Yes, indeed, eligible is a poor choice here. But, as I have stated in a comment on the answer below: The sales assistant has said to me, and with some confidence, that it is if you take the watch outside the EU zone, on the return to the UK you would have to declare and would be required to pay the TAX/Duty. He has stated that this is_not_ the case on an internal flight from London to Newquay and back? I'm confused here; I want to do the right thing, but the information on the HMRC web-site is far from clear. – MoonKnight Nov 3 '16 at 17:07
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It's the other way around: you don't need to pay VAT when you're exporting outside the EU - but you'd likely have to pay import duties elsewhere.

  • The guy has said to me, and with some confidence, that it is if you take the watch outside the EU zone, on the return to the UK you would have to declare and would be eligable to pay the TAX/Duty. He has stated that this is_not_ the case on an internal flight from London to Newquay and back? – MoonKnight Nov 3 '16 at 16:14
  • @MoonKnight: True - you'd never export it in that case. But you'd pay the VAT directly up front. He's trying to sell you a watch, and he's not being honest about this. From experience, he's not going to be honest about other things either. Walk away, no, run away. – MSalters Nov 3 '16 at 17:08
  • Okay, fair play. What is confusing is how he is allowed to be knowingly dishonest. This is a reputable company with a relatively large online presence yet, if what you are saying is true (and I believe it to be), then he is himself breaking the law by knowingly providing false information. So, how would this go down? 1. I buy the watch pick it up on the way out of Gatwick and after check in. 2. Cornwall I arrive. 3. I board the flight back to London and it is now I have to declare the watch where I will have to pay the TAX/Duty? – MoonKnight Nov 3 '16 at 17:11
  • @MoonKnight: No, he's got to charge VAT up front unless you show an international travel ticket. – MSalters Nov 3 '16 at 17:15
  • I'm calling them. There is no way they should be able to provide false information on this basis, utter garbage... Thanks very much for your time. – MoonKnight Nov 3 '16 at 17:16

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