No-deal Brexit: What could it mean for online shopping?


Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.06 10 Jul 2019


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There is a warning that online shoppers will be hit with larger bills in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

In a no-deal scenario, goods entering the European Union from the UK will be treated as imports from a third country.

The Government says all relevant EU legislation on imported and exported goods will apply under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

Sinead Ryan is host of 'The Home Show' on Newstalk and a consumer journalist.

She says while there is likely be a drop in the Pound Sterling, it will not last.

"Initially I suppose consumers will get a little fill up in the sense that Sterling is likely to tank immediately on Brexit.

"Obviously it's been trading at around 1.13 for a very long time now, so consumers will see a little drop on that.

"However that will be extremely temporary, and replaced almost immediately with tariffs."

Currently VAT has to be paid on any goods worth over €22 in value, with Customs duties payable on anything over €150 for goods coming from non-EU states.

Customs is applied to transport and shipping costs, postage costs, insurance costs and any handling fee by An Post or any other mail provider.

On the Revenue website, there is an example of a pair of jeans being imported from outside the EU.

The jeans cost €173 - but would end up costing the consumer a total of €266.23 after customs and taxes are applied.

This is broken down as €13 for postage and insurance, customs duty - of 12% - at €22.32, 23% VAT rate of €47.91, and an An Post handling fee of €10.

online shopping An example on how to calculate import charges | Source: Revenue

That is also not inclusive of a Sterling exchange rate that may be applied.

"Really for consumers generally - Irish shoppers love shopping on Amazon, on ASOS and other sites in the UK.

"What it means is that even aside from tariffs on food and other products, just importing it into the country is a problem.

"And anybody who buys clothes online will know that what they tend to do is buy two or three items, with the intension of returning the ones that don't fit or don't suit.

"That's going to become a nightmare, because you would have paid all the tax on import.

"That has to be handed over at point of arrival - it's taken from you by your postman or postlady - and now you have to go and apply to have those taxes returned to you.

"The paperwork involved in doing that is just going to be horrendous".

Newstalk has learned that retail giant Amazon is now examining the latest Government update to decide what steps to take.

Up until now, the company has been operating on the basis that trading from the UK into Ireland would be “business as usual” regardless of the outcome of Brexit.

Immediately after the Brexit referendum in 2016, Amazon insisted it was fully committed to its UK retailers.


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ASOS Amazon Amazon Ireland Brexit Customs Duties Irish Online Shopping No Deal Brexit Online Shopping Pound Sterling Sinead Ryan VAT

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