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Caveat emptor: Brooks England resumes shipments to UK online customers, but warns they will have to pay Brexit duties

‘Made In England’ brand, which sends products to Italian parent for shipping, says shoppers may face extra costs

Brooks England, which suspended sales to UK customers buying products direct from its website following the end of the Brexit transition period, has resumed shipments to shoppers here – but is warning them that they will be liable for VAT and potential customs charges now that the country has left the EU, despite the products being made in the West Midlands.

As we reported in January, the company – founded in Smethwick almost 140 years ago and owned since 2002 by Italy’s Selle Royal – now fulfils orders made through its website via its parent company, meaning products are sent there for shipping, and it suspended orders from the UK following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December last year.

> Brooks England stops online sales of ‘Made in Britain’ saddles to UK shoppers – because of Brexit

In an email sent to customers this week, the company said that it is now shipping orders to the UK again, but highlighted that people here buying its saddles and other products from its website will have to pay import VAT and other potential levies and duties.

The email stated:

Orders from the UK have now resumed. However, there are important conditions to share with you before you place your order.

As you know, Brooks England is a part of Selle Royal Spa, and all online orders are shipped from Italy. Please consider then that any orders received by Selle Royal Spa will be subject to the terms and conditions of DAP Incoterms® 2020 rule.

In case of shipping to the United Kingdom, the price you pay to Selle Royal Spa will not include any relevant import customs duties, import VAT or any other applicable import levies. As the buyer, you will be required to pay any duties, taxes and/or levies upon arrival of your parcel at its place of destination, in order to have your order released from Customs. By placing your order, you also acknowledge and accept that you are responsible for checking if there is any specific rule or restriction applicable to the import of the goods into the UK.

As we are unable to advise you on the exact cost for the taxes and duties, we recommend contacting your local customs office or tax authority before proceeding with your order. For returns, we will refund the cost of the products and the shipping, but we cannot refund the taxes and duties that have already been paid to the customs office. Finally, please note that, in occasional cases, your parcel may be delayed by Customs and subsequent charges may be applied.

Due to new Brexit regulations, UK orders must meet a minimum of £135. Please note that the prices shown for orders to the UK do not include VAT. All Taxes and Duties must be paid to the courier upon delivery.

Thank you for your continued understanding and we look forward to serving your needs in the near future.

The advice only applies to products ordered direct from the company’s website; as Brooks England’s British distributor Extra UK made clear in January, the ones it supplies to premium dealers here are unaffected. 

> Brooks England’s UK distributor confirms brand’s products available as usual through premium dealers

“UK distribution through Extra UK is unchanged,” the company said at the time. “Extra UK will continue to deliver Brooks England products to Brooks Premium Dealers throughout the UK and Ireland. UK consumers can use the Brooks England store locator to find a local stockist.

“Furthermore, we can confirm that UK-made Brooks England products are shipped directly from the Brooks England factory in Smethwick to Extra UK’s warehouse, and not via Selle Royal’s HQ in Italy,” it added.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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