Online bike parts retailer Dutch Bike Bits has announced that with the advent of Brexit, the UK will become the only country in the world to which it will not ship goods. The firm explained that this was because the UK is now asking overseas firms to apply and collect British taxes on behalf of the British government when selling to UK customers.
From January 1, the government introduced a new model for the VAT treatment of goods arriving into Great Britain from outside of the UK.
It says these measures ensure that goods from EU and non-EU countries are treated in the same way and will mean UK businesses are not disadvantaged by competition from VAT-free imports.
The point at which VAT is collected has moved from the point of importation to the point of sale and online retailers are therefore being asked to register for UK VAT and account for VAT to HMRC.
Dutch Bike Bits said that for this service the UK government intends to charge a fee, “to every company in the world in every country in the world which exports to the UK.
— Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡 (@uk_domain_names) January 1, 2021
“Clearly this is ludicrous for one country, but imagine if every country in the world had the same idea. If every country decided to behave in the same way then we would have to pay 195 fees every year, keep up with the changes in taxation law for 195 different countries, keep accounts on behalf of 195 different countries and submit payments to 195 tax offices in 195 different countries, and jump through whatever hoops were required to prove that we were doing all of this honestly and without any error.
“Therefore from mid December 2020 onward we ship to every country in the world... except the UK.”
Somewhat bizarrely, the issue was flagged by William Shatner back in October.
It sounds like the William Shatner Store won’t be shipping to the UK any more either.
to absorb or we would have to raise prices considerably. Unfortunately unless something happens to change that we will suspend accepting orders from the UK at https://t.co/RXigeY1iOJ starting January 1st. I’m sorry.🤷🏼♂️
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) October 15, 2020
The EU will introduce similar rules in July – albeit these will of course cover 27 countries and not just one.
Late last month, Canyon announced that it was pausing shipments to customers in Great Britain and would stop accepting orders entirely from those in Northern Ireland, citing uncertainty caused by Brexit.
The company, headquartered in Germany, said that the move was a temporary one and that it would resume deliveries after January 11 once the situation became clearer.