Buying goods online for personal use

Updated on March 12, 2022


You may be required to pay custom and tax if you purchase things over the internet (or by mail order). To a large extent, this is dictated by where you purchase your things.

The United Kingdom (UK) will no longer be a member of the European Union (EU) as of January 1, 2021. (EU). From January 1, 2021, if you purchase items from the United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland), you may be subject to additional fees.


On July 1, 2021, the VAT exemption for shipments with a value of less than €22 was eliminated. Detailed information on the new rules and fees is available on page two of this section.

The purchaser is in charge of making sure the customs declaration is accurate and making any necessary payments in the form of duty and tax. In some cases, duty and VAT are not included in the advertised price.

When a customs declaration is filled out incorrectly or an item is falsely labelled as a gift, it is illegal. Fees and fines may be imposed as a result.

Added expenses

There are additional fees levied by transport companies for:




Managing fees for customs clearance of goods

When determining the appropriate Customs Duty rate, these expenses are included in the customs value. Examples of these can be found on the following page. These fees are tacked on to the duty and tax, although they are not related to customs.

You’ll need to check with the carrier to see what the fees are. It is impossible for revenue to become involved in disputes between a carrier and a customer about delivery fees charged by the carrier. The carrier should be contacted with any questions concerning these fees.

Buying goods from outside the European Union (EU) including the UK


A new era begins in Europe when the Great Britain (UK) leaves the EU on January 1, 2021. (EU). Charges may be incurred from January 1, 2021, if you purchase items from the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland).

If you buy personal items from outside the EU, you may be required to pay the following fees:

Duties Paid to the Government
Duty Countervailing Duty Value-added Tax (VAT).

Import VAT, regardless of the amount, will be required on all items entering the EU as of July 1, 2021. Shipments under €22 were exempt from VAT beginning on July 1, 2021. It doesn’t matter how much money you owe; VAT will always be taken from you. Orders placed before July 1st, 2021, for goods costing less than €22 that arrive after that date may be subject to VAT.

Exemption from Customs on Purchases Made Outside of the EU
As long as the worth of your items is more than 150 Euros, you will be subject to Customs Duty when they arrive in the country.

All of the consignment’s monetary limits apply, not just to a single item. If any of the aforementioned charges apply to you, you must pay them.

The best way to figure out how much customs duty you owe when purchasing items from outside the EU
On the basis of the items’ cost, plus other costs, customs duty is computed on the customs value.

transport (including postage), any insurance or handling charges to transfer the goods to the European Union (EU).

Customs duties are calculated based on the type of products you import. The TARIC database has all of the current rates available to the public for review and comparison.

Duty of Excise.
Alcohol and tobacco goods are subject to excise duty, which is different from customs duty. The excise duty rates for various products vary. Alcohol and tobacco products are subject to a variety of taxes.

Dumping and Countervailing Duties
Additional import charges are placed on goods in addition to the standard duties that are in place. With these fees, cheap imports from places where labour and material prices are cheaper can’t harm European business. The TARIC database can tell you if anti-dumping or countervailing tariffs apply to your products.

When purchasing products outside of Ireland, VAT is charged at the same rate as if they were purchased in the country. VAT is calculated by multiplying the customs value of the items (mentioned above) by a percentage factor:

shipping, insurance and handling charges incurred after the goods have arrived in the EU are not included in this calculation.
Here are some examples of how to figure VAT how much you owe on things you purchase online from outside the EU. Not all examples are included here. The items and tariff rates they offer, however, are diverse. Products of any kind may benefit from this approach of calculation. Some websites may add taxes and duties in their costs.

*Goods valued at less than €22 are exempt from customs duty.

To avoid paying VAT, you may need to order products valued at €22 or less before 1 July and receive them after this date.

To the end of June 2021.

Adult sports socks will no longer be available beginning July 1, 2021.

15% of the total amount to be spent on shipping and insurance

€2.00 €2.00
(€15 + €2) is the customs value
€17.00 €17.00
Customs Duty (12%) – Exemption for products costing less than €150
€0.00 €0.00
(€17 – €0) is the value for VAT purposes
As long as the value of goods and services falls below €22, VAT will be waived until 30 June 2021. After that date, VAT will rise to 23%.
€0.00 €3.91
€10.00** €10.00** handling fee for mail or courier service.
To put it another way:
€0.00 €3.91
In the end, it will cost you €27.00 For illustration reasons, the fee listed here is an example of an administration charge that may or may not apply.

This is an example of goods that have an intrinsic worth of less than €150
Example 3: Zero-rate customs duty on goods with an inherent value of more than €150.
Goods with a value of more than €150

Buying goods from a European Union (EU) country

Purchasing goods from a member of the European Union
These laws apply if you purchase items from a European Union (EU) country:

There is no duty to pay.
You must pay excise duty on alcohol and tobacco products before they are shipped to you, and you must do it at your local Revenue office. Excise Duty can be found in the Alcohol Products Tax and Tobacco Products Tax sections.
When purchasing a product, you must pay a tax called Value Added Tax (VAT). Whether or not a seller is registered for VAT in Ireland has an effect on the applicable VAT rate. Our VAT section has information on VAT rates. When excise items are purchased outside of Ireland, VAT is charged at the rate that would be applicable in Ireland. Before the products are sent to you, you must pay this tax at your local revenue office.

Buying goods from the Canary Islands

It is not necessary to pay customs fees when purchasing goods from the Channel Islands.

If the goods are sold in Ireland, the VAT rate remains the same. For purchases outside of the EU, VAT must be taken into consideration (EU).


Starting on July 1, 2021, all shipments, regardless of the value at customs, will be subject to VAT. Shipments valued at less than €22 were no longer free from VAT on July 1, 2021. If you purchased things with a value of less than €22 before July 1, 2021, but had them delivered after that date, you may be subject to VAT charges.

Excise taxes apply to all alcoholic and tobacco products, regardless of price. You must pay this cost at your local tax office before you may receive your products. For more information, see the taxes on alcohol and cigarettes.

How to locate your goods following arrival to Ireland

Following its arrival in Ireland, you may notice a delays in delivery of your items. The express operator or An Post should be contacted if this occurs.

You will receive a formal notification from Customs if your items are chosen for a Custom intervention. Upon receiving this notice, the recipient will know if the products have been delayed or seized, as well as how to contact the proper mail centre.

Please see below for our contact information.

The Dublin Mail Center – [email protected]

Email: [email protected] for further information on the Dublin Parcel Hub.

How to pay your import charges

Goods imported by mail will be in touch with the importer directly via a Post.
A customs docket connected to your delivery may disclose the import duties you owe.
You may receive a customs fee notification card from An Post, which may include an SMS or email address.
In the case of couriered products, the courier will determine the charges you must pay.
It is common for delivery services to make direct payments to Revenue on your behalf, then recuperate those payments from you.
An Post or the courier will not release your products to you until you pay these fees.

Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) numbers can be required for regular importers.

How to claim a refund of Customs Duty and Value-Added Tax (VAT)

If you bought anything and then returned it to the seller, you may be eligible for a refund of the customs duties you paid.


You can’t get a refund until you’ve paid the customs fees.

An Post is in charge of delivering packages.
Please contact An Post if your package was delivered by the postal service. Any correspondence you receive in conjunction with your delivery should include your contact information.

Courier or expedited delivery of parcels
When you receive your package, you should contact the delivery service. Your package should have included your contact information.

Refund requests must include the following information in all cases:
All the information you’d like us to know about you.
Returns or replacements are examples of reasons why you’d like a refund.
Customs and VAT taxes have been paid in full.
Any other pertinent documents, such as an invoice, should be included as well.
You’ll need proof that the items were returned, such as an email from the vendor confirming that they were.
Additional details are available upon request.
Customs can be contacted if you need additional information.