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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 joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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35 comments

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Secret_squirrel replied to Awavey | 2 years ago
4 likes

It does seem bonkers. Most of the UK based retailers seem to have come up with solutions for shipping all inclusive to the EU.  I presume it's possible the other at around as well. 
Brooks/Selle are making themselves look stupid, they should just shutdown UK direct sales and leave it to the UK retailers. 

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mrmo replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
3 likes

Large numbers of companys won't ship or have a variety of differing rules on what they'll do. And the next round comes in a few weeks when the EU change the VAT rules to those the UK implimented on Jan 1st. As for the comments about why ship from the UK to Italy and back, the Cambian saddles are made in Italy for a starter. With the current supply situation just be grateful you can buy anything from somewhere!

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HarrogateSpa replied to Awavey | 2 years ago
7 likes

I think you are misrepresenting the situation. No businesses are finding the situation simple, and many smaller ones have just given up on import/export with the EU.

"Happily" is not the right word.

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Awavey replied to HarrogateSpa | 2 years ago
0 likes

"Happily" as in willing to be helpful, to be of assistance, something most companies who prioritise serving their customers do, as a matter of course,because that's how they make more money by getting repeat custom.

I've bought items online from EU based companies since Brexit, expecting it to be some horrendously complex and horrible thing based on the impressions some paint of it, and have been pleasantly surprised it's all worked quite seamlessly for me so far.

Maybe I'm just lucky and use companies that were willing to adapt for their customers and use reliable global logistics firms, whilst Selle Royal have taken this different approach & path, which only they can know if it's the right thing for them or not.

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kil0ran replied to TagRed | 2 years ago
2 likes

Extra are a distie, they're not set up for selling direct to the public. Same reason you can't buy direct from Madison (except for clothing)

There's a world of difference between dealing with a dealer network on credit terms and dealing with end consumers. Returns for starters, then add in stuff like cooling off periods, chargebacks, etc. None of that applies in B2B. Also, I'd imagine they want to protect their dealer network, or at least pay lip service to doing that. That's quite common in the technology sector for example and B2C sales (which have higher margins for the producer) are a source of friction between disties/resellers and the manufacturers/publishers.

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