EU DELIVERIES RESTARTED BUT STILL NOT BRILLIANT
UPDATE OCT 2021
We have found a way through - it's less than perfect and we understand if you prefer not to order. In short we can get parcels to you that will need a fee of around 8 Euro to be paid to the EU at the border, we can not pay this for you, it's an import fee.
Previous EU clients please email - we have a duty of care towards you and your orders, going forward you may need replacements, repairs and exchanges and we will work creatively with you to find solutions that don't involved extra charges on what should be free services from us.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED?
From early June we began to experience a high level of unexplained returns from the EU border. The combination of time spent answering emails, chasing missing orders, phone calls, parcels held at the border and returns and therefore refunds that were not collected due to customs fees meant we started making a loss within the EU for the first time ever.
From 21st June 2021 trade with new clients within the EU was and remains to date paused with the exception of orders from Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Monaco and San Merino.
From July 1st new EU regulations mean that to clear the EU border without incident and extra fees, VAT has to be added to all orders outside the EU at checkout. There is a further extra duty charge being levied on orders with value over £150. We have been unable to find the percentage that needs to be charged on the £150+ orders. This meant we couldn't charge at checkout. We then found that even if we could charge at checkout, we couldn't repay the VAT without an EU registered accountant.
From mid July, clients in the EU that were receiving free size exchanges and free repairs suddenly had their goods impounded and faced unexpected bills from their own customs officers demanding VAT on the items. Because the repairs were free, they were flagged as undervalued, and investigated. Investigation takes days, in the case of Malta weeks, of fraught emails and paperwork between us and our clients, and our clients and their own customs officers.
Between us we finally discovered that to exchange an item, you first have to 'export' the goods to us and get an export number from Brussels, so that you can 're-import' the exchange or repair and then reclaim the VAT. No exceptions were to be made for items that left the EU before July 1st. Note - you still have to pay the VAT, you have to reclaim it using the export number.
To do get an export number you'll be needing the following information and documents for the customs declaration:
arrival notification (from the transport company)
a document to prove that the repairs are free of charge or exchange based on a warranty obligation
an export declaration or other document for the export.
Then you have to do this:
We then realised that by implication our returns procedure was heavily impacted - we offer a worldwide no quibble return policy. But now in the case of EU VAT we are, basically, stuffed. We can only refund you the amount charged in our shop - how you go about reclaiming all the VAT and fees you paid Brussels is anyone's guess.
We hunted for days, but couldn't find the solution.
After days of work trying to fit in with the new EU regime we realised that there is no way to receive anything within the EU from us that doesn't involve an impossible re-coding of our checkout system, whilst agreeing to collect as yet to be defined taxes on behalf of a foreign state. Not to mention staying in alignment with EU rules even if when differed from UK law.
At which point we just had to call it.
We then closed our EU business to new clients as a direct result of the ongoing trade disruption caused by new EU VAT regulations.
It was absolutely heartbreaking to have worked so hard to build an outstanding business, get through a pandemic unscathed only to have it crushed by bureaucrats from a foreign state, with every part of our after sales business with you adversely affected by EU bureaucracy.
Then, eventually in September we found a loophole. It does still involve the EU charging you 8Euro to import from Lux, but at the moment it's that or nothing.
Please email if you are worried about anything and I'll try and help as best I can
I'm so sorry to all my clients who remain affected by this, because I have always been and will remain pro-Europe