Brexit: Don’t worry, nothing has changed

Sunday, January 24th 2021
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We've had a few questions from readers in the past fortnight about Brexit, and they've all contained misinformation, or been plain wrong.

So I thought I'd publish a simple breakdown (here and on Instagram) to explain what's going on.

The most important thing is, if you're an EU customer of the Permanent Style Shop, nothing changes. The only tweak is that you now have to pay your local VAT, rather than UK VAT.

There are no customs charges, because under the trade deal between the UK and the EU there are no tariffs on goods being shipped from PS to EU countries. (If the goods were mostly made in the UK or EU - as nearly all of ours are.)

And, PS is opting to charge local VAT at checkout, so the process is as similar as possible to past experience. Offering this 'landed price' (also known as DDP - 'delivered duty paid') involves some extra admin costs for PS, but nothing for the customer.

Some customers seem to have been confused because they've phoned their local customs office, and not stated that PS goods are all made in the UK or EU. Or, they haven't understood how DDP works (it's not actually paid by us, but by the local courier office).

It also looks like quite a few brands haven't been prepared - shipping from the EU to the UK or vice versa - and have charged customers VAT when they shouldn't, or not put the correct statement on their forms saying where the goods came from.

In fact, when we posted this message last week on Instagram, quite a few followers complained about experiences they've had, where they've been charged customs duties, and VAT twice (local and UK) leading to the product being more expensive.

This shouldn't happen. To summarise:

  • If the product is made in the UK or EU, there are no customs duties.
  • The only reason you'll be charged duties is if the product is made elsewhere, or the brand hasn't stated the origin correctly on their customs forms.
  • You should only have to pay your local VAT now, not UK VAT. If you're in Sweden, this means you're paying 25% rather than the UK 20%; but in Germany until recently, you were paying just 13% (it has since increased to 19%).
  • It's up to shops whether to make you pay the local VAT (and an admin charge) when the products get to your country, or whether they pay that in advance. PS has opted to do the latter, to make things easier.
  • If you return goods under this system, you get a full refund, including the VAT.

If you have any questions, please do email [email protected]. That goes for brands too - several have already emailed us asking for help, following the Instagram post.

There will also always be a page on the PS Shop site here, being kept up to date.

Thank you, and please help counter the falsities about UK goods now being more expensive.

Simon