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More online buys will be duty free

No duty on orders up to £105 from abroad

A pair of credit cards and a mouse

Online shoppers can now get even more of a bargain on the web thanks to changes in customs duty on goods bought abroad.

New rules introduced by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) mean that online shoppers won’t have to pay customs duty on orders costing up to £105 from non-EU websites. At the moment, consumers have to spend just £18 abroad to attract the extra charge.

The changes will take effect from 1 December 2008 – in time for Christmas purchases. 


The new rules don’t apply to VAT – you’ll still have to pay VAT on orders costing more than £18.

There’s a free HMRC podcast available that explains the new rules for buying from sites based abroad.

HMRC warns consumers to be vigilant when shopping on overseas websites, as some don’t make clear that you will have to pay duty or VAT when you order from them.

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