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Brexit: Receiving a gift sent from UK to France

There are changes with regard to paperwork and liability to taxes when sending items between the UK and EU following full Brexit 

12 February 2021
By Liv Rowland

My brother usually sends our children birthday presents ready-wrapped in packages from the UK. Has anything changed with full Brexit and will I be charged import taxes on them?

It is true that there are changes with regard to the import and export of items between the UK and EU, and this is the case whether or not these relate to commercial transactions or even to sending between members of the public.

Whether sending from France to the UK or vice versa, people now have to complete customs paperwork at the post office, with information including a short description of the contents, the nature of the item sent – one of the options is a ‘gift’ – and a value.

In the UK people must fill in the CN 22 form for items worth up to £270 or the CN 23 for items worth more than this. 

Items coming from the UK to France, sent from one member of the public to another, with no commercial transaction taking place and no payment, are covered by particular rules, as long as they are sent on an occasional basis and are solely items for the recipient’s personal or family use.

The French rules state that if the item has a value less than €45 then there will be no TVA (French VAT) payable or import tax. However above €45 both may be payable.

Customs officials have the right to open packages and inspect them if they wish.

The UK has similar rules for receiving parcels sent from abroad, including from the EU.

It has a ‘gift allowance’ of £39 in value above which gifts are liable to VAT. Customs duty is payable if the value is over £135.

The UK states that this is only applicable to situations where people are sending items on an occasional basis, such as for a birthday or anniversary.

Previous articles

Brexit: UK to France delivery problems limited so far 

Brexit: Issues with French parcels post

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