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Customs charges warning for Lanarkshire online shoppers from HMRC

HM Revenue and Customs is urging online shoppers in Lanarkshire to avoid being hit with unexpected customs charges.

Changes introduced on January 1 this year mean that consumers who previously had to pay charges when buying certain items from non-EU sellers may now also need to do the same when buying goods from the EU.

Katherine Green and Sophie Dean, directors general, borders and trade, at HMRC, told Lanarkshire Live : “With Christmas rapidly approaching, we don’t want shoppers to be caught out by unexpected charges which will take the fun out of their shopping experience.

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“There are now a number of factors that people will need to consider when purchasing goods from the EU, so shoppers are being advised to check guidance to ensure they know what they will owe.”

HMRC recommends people look at seven top tips to determine whether there will be charges on their goods.

If there are charges to pay, shoppers may also need to pay a “handling fee” to the courier company before their goods are released.

The seven top tips are:

– Be aware of where you, the recipient, are based

– Check whether your order contains excise goods, such as tobacco, alcohol or perfume

– Check whether your order is worth more than £135, before extra costs, such as shipping and insurance are applied

– Be mindful of new charges when sending or receiving gifts from an individual based overseas;

– Be aware of how and when you could be notified of charges

– Check the guidance available to you

– Check with the seller whether the goods originated in the EU and whether they qualify for a “zero tariff”.

For more information on the changes, as well as finding crucial information about how to return goods and get a refund on charges, head online

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