Brexit rules difficult for web stores: ‘Easy to ship to China’

In particular, the rules on VAT have changed since January 1st. Due to Brexit, the EU and the United Kingdom are no longer considered a country for VAT purposes, and entrepreneurs are no longer allowed to charge Dutch VAT to a certain extent.

In order to provide under 5 135, European web stores now have to charge VAT to UK tax authorities. For this they need a UK VAT number.

Haas has applied for such a British VAT number, but has not yet received it. They are not alone, says London-based reporter Tim de Witt: “British tax authorities are far behind in providing VAT information.”

And Haas has more obstacles. “Suppose we get a VAT number, it’s not yet clear how difficult it is, because we do not know how to recover the taxes: what kind of system they have, how complex it is, whether there are costs.” Shipping costs are high and delivery times can be high.

Clumsy and not customer friendly

Willem Pontrub of Whistle Webshop. He sells fishing equipment and continues to supply to the UK in defiance of additional paperwork. “We make up almost a quarter of our revenue in the United Kingdom, which is an important country for us.”

The company sank completely in the last weeks of 2020. “We had to add codes and country of birth in 25,000 products. It took us a lot of hours.”

The first parcels shipped under the new rules, Pontrub were closely followed. “I kept track of how the ship was sailing. I woke up at four in the morning and saw again how things were going, but it was all going on.

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