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Bad News if You're Shipping Port in the EU

Posted: 17:49 Mon 03 Sep 2018
by AHB
Today I walked into a DHL Service Centre to send some bottles of Port to a friend in another EU country, something I have done nearly every year for the last decade.

Apologetically, I was informed that it was no longer possible to do this due to customs regulations. Apparently national customs agencies have cracked down on distance sellers of alcohol who have been able to circumvent national rates of duty and VAT with the result that any wine sent within the EU over a national border now has to have duty and VAT paid at the destination. Since my wines are already duty paid, the thought of paying further duty and VAT in the destination country was not attractive. Apart from that, as someone who doesn't hold an account with DHL, I wasn't set up to be able to do this.

So custom and practice has now caught up with the regulations. If I want to be able to move my wines duty free across national borders within the EU I need to travel with them.

Re: Bad News if You're Shipping Port in the EU

Posted: 20:24 Mon 03 Sep 2018
by DRT
I wonder what the visitors' centres in VnG and the Douro are doing about this? For a long time they have been able to sell bottles and ship them to the purchaser's home address to avoid them having to carry them home.

Is this good tax control or regulation gone mad?

Re: Bad News if You're Shipping Port in the EU

Posted: 14:10 Tue 04 Sep 2018
by AHB
I believe that if you have an account with the courier company, then you can still ship within the EU. You have to ship duty deferred and pay the duty and VAT of the destination country. The courier company will handle all of the admin and payments for you and will simply charge these to your account.

The challenge for the visitors centres now becomes one of knowing what charges will be collected in the destination country. Not too difficult within the EU but may be more challenging outside the EU.

Re: Bad News if You're Shipping Port in the EU

Posted: 14:59 Tue 04 Sep 2018
by Will W.
I would suggest that you try another shipper and let us know how you get on, should you choose to do so. My firm has various courier accounts and we try to avoid DHL, save where it is the only option, to shift anything other than documents as DHL invariably throws up unnecessary customs requirements when moving goods - particularly from our warehouse in the UK - which other firms do not. Granted, we are not moving anything interesting (i.e., port). However, I do receive a fair bit of wine, in my personal capacity, here on the continent from various points in the EU, including England, and there has never been any question of double taxation.

Re: Bad News if You're Shipping Port in the EU

Posted: 17:20 Tue 04 Sep 2018
by flash_uk
The port shippers in Portugal if they could be bothered could ship from a bonded warehouse to other EU countries and that would avoid the double taxation. Complete palaver though. They still need to handle the destination duties and Vat up front.

Re: Bad News if You're Shipping Port in the EU

Posted: 13:43 Mon 10 Sep 2018
by StuartC
We use DHL a lot and have been told that something might come into effect in future - related to Brexit, and as with everything in this regards, nobody knows what situation will be and/or what will become full/normal practice. Have heard mention of a couple of queries, but very small minority of shipments and doesn't seem to be a blanket policy of either the EU or DHL. Too few instances to garner any trend, but seems to be only DHL and potentially it's only individual EU countries jumping the gun implementing own policies. AHB, if you don't mind me asking - which country were you trying to ship to?

Re: Bad News if You're Shipping Port in the EU

Posted: 12:22 Thu 13 Sep 2018
by AHB
StuartC wrote:
13:43 Mon 10 Sep 2018
AHB, if you don't mind me asking - which country were you trying to ship to?
Stuart, I was trying to ship from the UK to Portugal.

Re: Bad News if You're Shipping Port in the EU

Posted: 17:35 Thu 13 Sep 2018
by StuartC
AHB wrote:
12:22 Thu 13 Sep 2018
I was trying to ship (Port) from the UK to Portugal.
How ironic...