From 1 September 2021 we will receive you in all our offices again, but by appointment only.

Additional costs related to the parcel that I purchased online

Additional costs related to the parcel that I purchased online

  • How do I calculate the additional costs related to the parcel that I purchased online (duties and taxes)?

    When goods are purchased outside the EU or you receive gifts from a family member or friend from a non-EU country, depending on the goods, you will have to pay certain duties such as import duties, VAT, excise duties, etc.

    For each type of goods there is a specific commodity code and a tariff of import duties which can be retrieved in the Tarbel application. All existing goods are grouped in different chapters. The duties to be paid are indicated for each good. This search is not easy, but you can request the assistance of a Customs representative.

    ​Overview of the most common online purchases

    Smartphone

    0 %

    21 %

    Laptops and tablets

    0 %

    21 %

    Headsets and microphones

    0 %

    21 %

    Toys

    0 to 4.7 % incl.

    21 %

    Books

    0 %

    6 %

    Party games, videogames

    0 to 2.7 % incl.

    21 %

    Cases and bags

    0 to 9.7 % incl.

    21 %

    Shoes and boots

    3.5 to 17 % incl.

    21 %

    Jewellery

    0 to 4 % incl.

    21 %

    Clothes

    0 to 12 % incl.

    21 %

    Beauty and care products

    0 to 6.5 % incl.

    21 %

    Car and motorcycle parts

    3 to 4.5 % incl.

    21 %

    Wrist watches

    4.5 %

    (with a minimum of € 0.30 and a maximum of € 0.80 per watch)

    21 %

    Perfume and toilet water

    0 %

    21 %

    Example 1 - Calculating additional costs:

    You buy a piece of costume jewellery worth 160 Euro from a Chinese online shop.

    • Value: 160 Euro
    • Import duties: 4%
    • Shipping costs: 35 Euro
    • Insurance costs: 5 Euro
    • VAT: 21%

    Calculation of import duties:

    • Customs value = value on invoice related to goods (160 Euro + shipping costs (35 Euro) + insurance costs (5 Euro) = 200 Euro
    • Import duties = 4% of 200 Euro = 8 Euro

    Calculation of VAT on import:

    • Taxable amount for VAT calculation = Customs value (200 Euro) + import duties (8 Euro) = 208 Euro
    • VAT= 21% of 208 Euro = 43.68 Euro

    Total amount to be paid to your courier:

    • Import duties (8 Euro) + VAT (43.68 Euro) = 51.68 Euro + declaration costs

    Example 2 - Calculating additional costs:

    Purchase of a leather handbag on an internet website in Hong Kong.

    • Value: 450 euro
    • Import duties: 3 %
    • Delivery charges: 35 euro
    • VAT: 21 %

    Calculation of import duties:

    • Customs value = invoice value of the goods (450 euro) + delivery charges (35 euro) = 485 euro
    • Import duties = 3% of 485 euro = 14,55 euro

    Calculation of VAT upon import:

    • Taxable amount with regard to VAT = customs value (485 euro) + import duties (14.55 euro) = 499,55 euro
    • VAT = 21% of 499,55 euro = 104,91 euro

    Total amount to be paid to your courier:

    • Import duty (14,55 euro) + VAT (104,91 euro) = 119,46 euro + declaration costs

    Example 3 Calculating additional costs:

    Purchase of a pair of trainers on an American auction site

    • Value: 48 euro
    • Import duties: 16.9 %
    • Delivery charges: 20 euro
    • VAT: 21%

    Calculation of import duties:

    • Customs value = invoice value of the goods (48 euro) + delivery charges (20 euro) = 68 euro
    • Import duties = 0 euro (the intrinsic value (48 euro) is lower than the exemption limit of 150 euro)

    Calculation of VAT upon import:

    • Taxable amount with regard to VAT = customs value (68 euro) + import duties (0 euro) = 68 euro
    • VAT = 21% of 68 euro = 14,28 euro

    Total amount to be paid to your courier:

    • Import duty (0 euro) + VAT (14,28 euro) = 14,28 euro + declaration costs

    Example 4 Calculating additional costs:

    Buying a puzzle on a Chinese website

    • Value: 15 euro
    • Import duties: 4.7 %
    • Delivery charges: 5 euro
    • VAT: 21%

    Calculation of VAT upon import:

    • Customs value = invoice value of the goods (15 euro) + delivery charges (5 euro) = 20 euro
    • Import duties = 0 euro (the intrinsic value (15 euro) is lower than the exemption limit of 150 euro)
    • VAT = 21% of 20 euro = 4,20 euro

    Total amount to be paid to your courier:

    • VAT (4,20 euro)  + declaration costs

    Disclaimer

    1. Rates may change and vary depending on who delivers your package.
    2. It is often difficult to establish the type of goods at hand.   The indicated rates are for illustration purposes only. To have certainty about the price to be paid, you should know the commodity code, which can be looked up in Tarbel.
    3. In addition, the sender/declarant can charge a fee for the customs formalities carried out. This fee is sometimes referred to as ‘customs charges’.
    4. The buyer can be charged with other additional costs (such as anti-dumping duties), which can be considerable (possibly 40 % and more).
  • What should I do if the costs charged for the parcel I purchased online are more than the legal costs?

    Customs services can only repay amounts that have effectively been paid to customs.  Those are the amounts mentioned on the import declaration. We cannot repay amounts charged by the post office or courier service for the completion of customs formalities. 

    1. You pay the extra costs and receive the parcel. 
    2. You refuse the parcel.  
      Sometimes you still have to pay costs. 
      It is not sure that the seller will refund the amount of your purchase. 
    3. You do not accept the parcel yet and you file an objection with the post office or courier service. 
    4. You accept the parcel, pay the costs and file an objection with the post office or courier service afterwards.
    5. You return the parcel.
    Contact the post office or courier service beforehand.
    There must be a clear link between the parcel received and the parcel returned, otherwise no repayment will be made.   

    For numbers 3, 4 and 5, follow the steps below:

    • File a request, supported by sufficient proof, with the post office or courier service. They act as an intermediary in respect of Customs. 
    • If the post office or courier service have committed an error, they will immediately repay the amounts that have been unduly charged (if they have already been paid).
    • If the overpayment is due to an incorrect entry of the value on the consignment documents, the post office or courier service will charge administrative costs.  Contact the post office or courier service to know the amount of these costs.
    • The post office or courier service will only make the repayment after having received the refund by Customs.

    or

     Take all the necessary steps yourself to obtain repayment. (PDF, 144.13 KB)