AN POST has warned consumers that they may have to pay customs duties on packages received from the UK.
The sender must also provide electronic customs information for each parcel, after the customs changes that took effect in the summer.
The Post Office company here is launching a customer information campaign to advise people on new EU customs rules for parcels coming from non-EU countries, including Britain.
She cautioned that customs duties may also apply, and these fees must be paid by customers before the Post is allowed to deliver their goods.
The changes went into effect on July 1, but many are expected to be unaware of them before the busy pre-Christmas buying season.
One newspaper said more than 90 pieces of all parcels enter Ireland and leave right on delivery.
Most of the big non-EU retailers, including British brands such as M&S, River Island and Boots, have worked with An Post to provide what it said were clear « fee-paid facilities » when paying online.
This prompts customers to pay all VAT and customs fees up front so that these packages can be delivered right away.
But The Post warned: « Parcels that come through other postal services such as Royal Mail are most problematic because senders, usually small businesses or individual personal customers, are unaware of the new complex data and tax requirements. »
One newspaper there said it had limited ways to advise personal customers or small businesses sending packages to Ireland from outside the European Union on the required customs declarations and the new list of prohibited items.
EU customs rules now impose restrictions on sending a range of goods and materials into the EU from countries outside the EU, and the rules state that these items must be returned to the sender.
These include some medicines, food and plants.
Site Some postal operators and commercial organizations in countries outside the European Union do not provide sufficient guidance on new regulations, required customs data, and prohibited items.
She added: « While these issues are not of our making or under our direct control, An Post is making every effort to reach out directly to non-EU customers, trade organizations and SME representatives in order to get the message across, particularly in Britain. » .
It said it has developed a suite of process solutions to facilitate packages through customs and even delivery, and is working closely with Royal Mail and other postal services to help inform its customers.
She wants to make sure there are « paid to » solutions on the sellers site so that people pay all fees when they check out online.
One publication said that gifts under €45 (including postage) from countries outside the EU require electronic customs data, but do not require payment of any customs duties or VAT.
Gifts over €45 are subject to customs duties paid by the recipient.
When sending an item to a country outside the European Union, customers are advised of the Post’s Click & Post feature or to fill out forms at their post office to obtain all necessary electronic data.
One publication warned that « insufficient data can lead to additional charges being applied by the international postal carrier, which are paid by the addressee ».
More information is available at Anpost.com/customers.
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