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Brexit customs fees: British textile retailers reject returns


"Burning would be cheaper": British fashion retailers are currently experiencing a nasty surprise - high customs duties are due for returns from the EU. Many prefer to do without their goods.

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DHL delivery base: Returns from the EU are expensive for merchants in the UK

Photo: Bernd Wüstneck / dpa-Zentralbild

Due to the significantly increased shipping costs due to Brexit, many British textile retailers no longer accept returns from the EU.

The head of the UK Fashion & Textile Association, Adam Mansell, told the British broadcaster BBC that it was cheaper for dealers to either "give up or potentially burn" the goods than to take them back.

The BBC also reported that almost a third of all goods bought online by EU customers in the UK are returned.

When shipping back to the UK, UK companies then have to fill out customs forms and pay import duties.

When buying goods from Great Britain, German customers are threatened with an invoice for customs duties.

"It's part of the fine print of the deal," Mansell said.

Customers in the EU are considered importers.

"Then the delivery service knocks on your door and hands you a customs statement that you have to pay in order to receive your goods."

Many EU customers have therefore rejected deliveries from Great Britain, reported the BBC.

Several British textile companies have set up warehouses in Belgium, Ireland and Germany where the returns are collected.

UK customers report high customs duties

Conversely, several media reported on customers in Great Britain who had already received high customs bills.

The Guardian, for example, names a case from Norfolk.

Here, a UPS customer had to pay 121 pounds of duties, taxes and fees for a clothing order from Norway (total value 236 pounds).

A man from Manchester received a customs bill of 147 pounds for a pair of winter boots from Germany, according to the BBC.

The British government told the BBC: "We have encouraged companies that have not previously dealt with customs declarations to entrust specialists with import and export declarations." 80 million pounds in aid had been made available for this.

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bah / dpa

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-01-22

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