Buying from Germany (to UK) post-Brexit....?

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,687
744
Ascot
Country
Mars
Country flag
Import duty on model railway stuff and books is 0%
 

dutchelm

Registered
24 Oct 2009
2,807
138
N Somerset
Country flag
Mike, if you don't mind me asking - was the first one from Grootspoor? Did you query with them why they still charged you VAT, because as I understand it they shouldn't have done.... :mad:

Good to hear that Lippe are doing the right thing and deducting the VAT, and that you got lucky on that one with it slipping through un-charged! Again, if it's not too delicate a question, were those orders each above or below the 130 Euro mark?
Hi Jon, Sorry about delayed reply, sidetracked by a running session for the local model railway club, the first good run for 18 months.
Lippe's order was 140 Euro. Is the 140 Euros or GB£
The Grootspur order was a shambles. I enquired about a rare LGB item I desparately wanted. He said he had one and he would put it on the web site so I could pay (a lot more than 140 euro). After paying he couldn't find it & was going to refund, then he found it & gave me a tracking number, after a week it had not been despatched so I had to send a reminder. It was only after I received it I realised he had charged me full retail plus VAT. I was just glad to receive it. It was brand new but he declared it as used. I was not impressed.
 

KeithT

Hillwalking, chickens and - err - garden railways.
24 Oct 2009
13,104
184
Nr Manchester
Country flag
Yes, there are various systems for items under 130 Euros, I think, that work as you say - for packets going both ways. I'm more looking for experiences with higher value items, such as buying locos, and whether or not the EU sellers are deducting the VAT as they should do to avoid double-charging.

As I understand it, there are no actual customs duties applicable on model and hobby products going either way - the charges should only be the VAT element and a fixed rate handling charge from the courier or postal service.

Jon.
Pre-Brexit I have had import duty added on model purchases worth well below €130 from several countries.:-(
In recent times, the excessive shipping charges have put me off anything from overseas. The German sellers in particular seem determined to dissuade purchases particularly of lower value items, such as spares, from the UK and in my case thay have succeeded.
 
Last edited:

KeithT

Hillwalking, chickens and - err - garden railways.
24 Oct 2009
13,104
184
Nr Manchester
Country flag
Though I've not bought any model railway stuff from Germany for some time, in N gauge circles people have observed that while some shops such as Lippe seem to be following the rules, at least one major player DM-Toys has made no effort to sell ex-VAT. I think they're losing some of their UK customer base as a result.

I did buy about £400 of drum kit from Germany a couple of months ago and paid ex-VAT. It was delivered by UPS with nothing to pay to receive the delivery (as some people had reported having to pay the driver). For a while I thought I might have "got away with it" but a couple of weeks later I received an invoice from UPS for the VAT and handling. Fair enough.
I found UPS to be the most reasonable, they notify of the impending delivery then invoice after delivery. Their charges are minimal unlike the Parcel Farce sharks who demand nearly 4 times the UPS charge, in advance. Their charge claims to be for “presenting to HM Customs and repacking” despite the fact that all but one parcel from them over a period of 10yrs had never been opened. Grrr.
 

SevenOfDiamonds

Registered
3 Jan 2010
231
67
Country flag
the excessive shipping charges have put me off anything from overseas. The German sellers in particular seem determined to dissuade purchases particularly of lower value items, such as spares, from the UK
I queried Modell-land's (post-brexit) standard postage rate to the UK (24.99 €) and was told that for orders under 20 Euros, they can use a letter rate of 2,79 € + 6,79 € per kilo (as shown on Zahlung und Versand). I have placed two small orders for LGB spare parts with them so far this year, and paid less than 4 € postage each time. The second lot came as a parcel about 15 inches long (coach chassis)!

They deduct the German 19% vat and add the UK 20% vat, so nothing extra to pay on arrival (despatched by Deutsche Post and delivered by Royal Mail).

Cheers

David
 

OLD FELLA

Registered
15 Aug 2020
24
1
80
SUFFOLK
Country flag
Good morning gentlemen,

I have in the past bought many items from Germany with no problems -- until recently. I bought a loco -- which of course was over the 130gbp threshold--- and lo -- I had to pay a swag of Duty! I had until now been blissfully unaware of the rules and up to this incident, have never been charged any duty -- even on locos etc bought before the EU breakdown.

On looking into this, I notice there is some small print on some Seller's listing referring to duty etc, but I feel that it should be made clearer on the listing of page so that one can be prepared for an accurate assessment of the true cost of the item. After all, Postal Charges are always clearly stated -- so likewise should "Additional Costs".

Now that's off my chest I feel better already! Now to get back to reality. My conversion from analogue to Battery Powered Radio Control has been wonderfully successful -- with very few real problems -- al all the minor hiccups have been quickly sorted out by Steve Foster of Fosworks. I am currently in the throes of expanding the layout and since this only involves getting more track -- for which
e-Bay is my dedicated supplier, I do not foresee any need to go to Germany for further items!

Oliver -- the Old Fella!
 

wandgrudd

Registered
24 Oct 2009
430
54
....
Country flag
Right am putting it to the test have purchased a loco and a wagon from different sellers (both German), both from ebay with the UK VAT paid, both are over the £135 limit and if correctly marked up should both be 0% rated for duty. Let’s see what happens and how long it takes I have used both sellers before and normally expect a 48-72 hour turn around.

Prices seem incredibly tempting at the moment if you look around, some locos are a good £450 cheaper, even factoring in VAT, than we are seeing in the UK, so will be interesting to see what happens?
 

MaybachMD

Registered
18 May 2018
100
10
63
Bromley, Kent
Country flag
Best of luck. I haven’t bought from Europe recently, but have an item on order. I will continue to buy from German suppliers not just because of cost but also because of availability. I hope the process becomes as straightforward as it was because I like modelling DR narrow gauge. When funds allow I will be going back to Feld Grossbahn, Bertram Heyn er al.

Regards

Simon
 

meiningen8

Registered
25 Oct 2009
270
15
Country flag
Right am putting it to the test have purchased a loco and a wagon from different sellers (both German), both from ebay with the UK VAT paid, both are over the £135 limit and if correctly marked up should both be 0% rated for duty. Let’s see what happens and how long it takes I have used both sellers before and normally expect a 48-72 hour turn around.

Prices seem incredibly tempting at the moment if you look around, some locos are a good £450 cheaper, even factoring in VAT, than we are seeing in the UK, so will be interesting to see what happens?
Here is my 2 pennyworth just bought a 20489 from MBS Fischer which attracted import VAT of £167 and a clearance fee of £12 the said model is on the Gaugemaster website at £1745 which means all in all I have saved £350 buying from Germany. I know Gaugemaster sell at full retail but they are the only UK dealer I could find who quoted a price
 

MaybachMD

Registered
18 May 2018
100
10
63
Bromley, Kent
Country flag
Sounds good. Not heard of MBS Fischer so guess what I am about to Google.

Thamks.

Simon
 

wandgrudd

Registered
24 Oct 2009
430
54
....
Country flag
Right am putting it to the test have purchased a loco and a wagon from different sellers (both German), both from ebay with the UK VAT paid, both are over the £135 limit and if correctly marked up should both be 0% rated for duty. Let’s see what happens and how long it takes I have used both sellers before and normally expect a 48-72 hour turn around.

Prices seem incredibly tempting at the moment if you look around, some locos are a good £450 cheaper, even factoring in VAT, than we are seeing in the UK, so will be interesting to see what happens?
Well, accounting for the weekend (i.e., I ordered on Friday) the European side (DHL) of the test seems to be working at the same sort of speed as before Brexit etc. as its now landed in the UK, but rather annoyingly the UK side of things (Parcelforce) appears to be rubbish as both delivery dates are showing as the 15th October which I hope is a mistake!!
 

wandgrudd

Registered
24 Oct 2009
430
54
....
Country flag
Sounds good. Not heard of MBS Fischer so guess what I am about to Google.

Thamks.

Simon
MBS Fischer is generally my go to shop, his ebay page has more to offer than the website, but check the listings as he normally lists multiples of the same item and some at different prices for example the wagon I am getting was listed twice but with a 10 euro difference between them.
 

wandgrudd

Registered
24 Oct 2009
430
54
....
Country flag
Here is my 2 pennyworth just bought a 20489 from MBS Fischer which attracted import VAT of £167 and a clearance fee of £12 the said model is on the Gaugemaster website at £1745 which means all in all I have saved £350 buying from Germany. I know Gaugemaster sell at full retail but they are the only UK dealer I could find who quoted a price
its an even better price if you look at p and s hobbies they want £1995
 

wandgrudd

Registered
24 Oct 2009
430
54
....
Country flag
Well as per normal with this country the UK side of things is letting the side down both parcels landed in the UK last Wednesday cleared customs on the same day and DHL handed them over to “our delivery partner” (i.e., Parcelforce) at which point they have taken a break as they haven’t moved since, so the original date of the 15th of October for delivery, that I hoped was a mistake is looking like it may well be true. ☹
 

MaybachMD

Registered
18 May 2018
100
10
63
Bromley, Kent
Country flag
That has been my experience. By far the slowest part of the journey. The tax bill is sent by letter, which at least can be paid on line. Once paid then the parcel takes a couple more days. Parcelforce state clearly they just collect the charges. I dread getting into a dispute with customs if I disputed what was charged. Like many things I simply shrug and get on with it. I will not be deterred from buying what I want at a price I want to pay. As I have said before, am pleased I bought so much under the previous arrangements. Buying a new VW was no different to how it used to be.
 

wandgrudd

Registered
24 Oct 2009
430
54
....
Country flag
Well, had two letters yesterday and items delivered today, no custom charges but VAT and handling fee to pay, the loco has worked out cheaper than the UK by circa £350 (including VAT and handling fee) and the wagon has worked out being £4.50 cheaper than the UK the VAT bit got me as the eBay listing clearly said the below which isn’t correct as both are 0% rated. but still happy.

Would I bother again think it depends on what’s on offer, some of the loco prices are far better than the UK i.e., you can save £200-300 which is worth it in my mind other stuff like wagons etc don’t think I would, as prices are about the same.
but was intresting to try it out and see how it now works.



1633531382674.png
 

MaybachMD

Registered
18 May 2018
100
10
63
Bromley, Kent
Country flag
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I think that is a fair conclusion too.

Hope you have fun with it.

Simon