Cross Country Wireless...changes in selling to the EU

Chris Moulding

On 1st July new regulations come in affecting how tax is collected when selling to the EU countries from outside the EU.

At first I thought that it would be OK to send items to the EU without tax and have the customer pay the tax on collection.

Over recent days I've had an interesting series of emails from customers letting me know that in addition to the tax there is also a collection or handling fee around 15 €.

This makes buying low value items from outside the EU very expensive.

I've been looking at various alternatives to help our EU customers avoid paying handling fees.

Other than move to the EU / have a stock in the EU / appoint a distributor, the solutions involve lots of paperwork suitable for a large business or involve paying additional fees to agents or middlemen that come close to the handing charge especially as 27 individual tax regimes and tax rates are involved.

The solution I have found is to sell to our EU customers using eBay. They have a scheme where they apply the correct tax for the customer's country and when a sale is made send the tax to the relevant tax authority. We get paid the price less tax and the item can be shipped to the EU without any extra tax or handling charges paid by the customer.

Over the next week or so I'll make eBay listings for our products and place a link on the product web page.

It's still possible for EU customers to buy direct if they don't like eBay but bear in mind that you will be charged tax and a handling charge when it reaches your country.