IRISH online shoppers have been issued with a new urgent warning ahead of Black Friday.
Punters have been warned that despite deceptively low prices online, they could be hit with extra fees once their items have been shipped to Ireland.
Revenue has warned that while prices might seem attractive, it could be because tax and duty hasn’t been included – or the goods could be counterfeit.
Customs duties and import VAT charges don’t apply when ordering online from Ireland or other EU countries – but almost all items coming from outside of here are liable to import tax and duties.
And parcels operators will also slap on a separate admin fee, that could be added once the goods arrive in Ireland.
Irish shoppers buying from the UK have been hit with extra charges after Brexit, with new charges kicking in back in January 2021.
A €250 spend on goods bought from the UK or US could mean a €97 cost for customs and handling fees.
Head of Revenue’s South East Frontier Management Branch Maureen Dalton warned shoppers: “All goods will be liable to VAT, whilst goods with a customs value of more than €150 will be liable to both Customs Duty and VAT.
“This means, for example, that an item of clothing bought online from the US or UK, at an equivalent cost of €250, could cost in the region of €97 extra for Customs Duty, VAT, insurance, and handling fees.
“Before deciding to buy goods online, shoppers should therefore check whether the advertised price includes any taxes, duties or administrative fees applicable.
MOST READ IN THE IRISH SUN
“This will ensure that they are not faced with unexpected charges on delivery.
“Consumers should also be aware that a ‘.ie’ domain name does not necessarily mean that the seller is based in Ireland.
“Shoppers can check where a business is based by reading through the About, Contact us and Terms and Conditions sections of its website.”
And shoppers have been warned that counterfeit goods are seized by Revenue as soon as they’re imported, with some €5.8million worth of items seized last year.
Maureen added: “Imitation brand clothing, runners, handbags and mobile devices are among the counterfeit goods most commonly seized by Revenue.
“Some of these goods are not subject to regulation in the country where they are made and are often of a poor quality, which fails to conform with accepted safety standards.
“Shoppers should therefore take care when purchasing goods online, both from a health and safety perspective, and from the perspective of making sure that they don’t suffer a financial loss when the goods they purchase are seized because they are counterfeit.
“When shopping online, shoppers should be mindful that some deals are too good to be true, and what looks like a good decision to buy can ultimately be an expensive, or even dangerous one.”
Revenue chiefs warned that they cannot partake in any disputes between customers and carriers over additional delivery charges.
Shoppers were cautioned: “Charges can vary, so you will need to check them with the carrier directly.
“Revenue cannot intervene in disputes between the carrier and the consumer about charges levied by the carrier for the delivery of goods.
“Any queries about these charges should be directed to the carrier.”