Exporting alcohol from UK to EU – direct to consumer

Question

Hello,

We have an online store selling alcohol to UK only at the moment.

We would like to start sending orders to customers in EU (Ireland, Netherlands) and plan on shipping from our non-bonded UK warehouse via courier to the direct to the end consumer.

How do we do this?

What tax implications and challenges?

Thanks for your help!

Answer

Hi there,

I hope you get an answer to your question shortly.

In the meantime, I recommend also looking at the Institute of Export and International Trade’s helpdesk for more specific advice:

http://www.export.org.uk/page/Export_Helpline

The OTE team

Answer

Hi, folks.

Daniel Waldron here, Head of Content at Export Worldwide – an online, international marketing portal that helps UK companies sell their products and services overseas in up to 20 languages covering 84% of world trade.

I’m interested to know if you have a market share in EU countries such as Ireland and the Netherlands – as you’ve mentioned. Perhaps this is something we can help you with.

We currently have a UK compnay on our books selling alcohol overseas using our portal:

https://www.exportworldwide.com/en/company/old-dairy-brewery

I’d be happy to make contact direct to further discuss your needs. Drop me an email – daniel.waldron@exportworldwide.com

Thanks,

Daniel.

Answer

Hi folks,

When you start selling to other European countries, you will initially charge VAT and pay it directly to HMRC for your international sales, until such time as your B2C sales in each country (Ireland, Netherlands etc.) reaches that country’s limits. Most countries have a current threshold of €35k (Netherlands is €100k).

Once you reach these limits, you have to register for VAT in the relevant country, and instead of paying HMRC, you will now start to do VAT returns and pay VAT in the appropriate country. PLEASE DO NOT rely on HMRC to point this out. They won’t and you may end up with a double bill and legal battle.

It’s also important to note that VAT rates are different in member countries and that is the VAT rate which you must now account for in each country. You will have to make regular returns in line with each countries requirements which can be monthly, rather than quarterly.

There are plenty of companies who can help with EU VAT registration and filing. Please drop me a line at Judith@threesixtyinteractive.com and I will be happy to make introductions.

My company, Three Sixty Interactive, can also help guide you on the myriad issues you will need to address as you continue your international ecommerce journey – from growing your website traffic to digital marketing, increasing sales from your website, and identifying and setting up new ecommerce channels.

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