We include all UK Customs charges in our UK pound prices and we're one of a very few companies in New Zealand offering this.
For items under the duty threshold - we pre-pay all the UK import VAT, and the Customs clearance fee of £8.00 is completely avoided.
For items over the duty threshold of £135+VAT (£162) - we can't pre-pay the VAT/duty so we reimburse you this cost after you've paid it to ParcelForce.
Outside Europe, pre-payment of UK import VAT via the postal service is only available in New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. And in New Zealand only a very small number of companies are setup to do this. Therefore when purchasing sheepskin products from most overseas websites there's a high chance of UK customers incurring UK Customs charges.
Without pre-payment of UK Import VAT:
£8.00 charge payable to Royal Mail (or £13.50 if handled by ParcelForce)
20% VAT payable on full purchase price
If over duty threshold, duty also payable
Likelihood of excessive UK Customs delays
In 2010 we re-developed our entire order processing system to meet the strict criteria for the HM Revenue & Customs Import VAT Accounting scheme. Being accepted into the scheme enables us to pre-pay all the UK import VAT at this end so packages automatically clear UK Customs without any delays. Details can be found in section 3.4 of Notice 143: A guide for international post users.
This is used in conjunction with "direct entry" whereby New Zealand Post express ships each day's UK orders in bulk directly to the UK by air freight. Then on arrival in the UK there is no need for the usual UK Customs processing/charging as all charges are pre-paid. Packages are transferred directly into Royal Mail's First Class packet service so the overall delivery time is often under a week, and UK Customs delays which have often been a problem in the past are avoided.
Purchasing from us:
The price on our website is all you will pay - no charge made by Royal Mail
VAT, duty and charges are all included in our UK prices
Fast delivery - UK Customs delays avoided
We still include ALL UK Customs charges for higher value items that also incur Customs duty, however there's no service for pre-paying this. Therefore you need to pay ParcelForce all the charges, and we reimburse this.
Such higher value items are sent by New Zealand Post's International Courier Air Mail service (aka EMS) with full tracking to avoid delays. On arrival in the UK ParcelForce will request payment from the recipient of all Customs charges (i.e. £13.50 clearance fee plus the VAT and duty). As we can't pre-pay this, we simply reimburse the customer's credit card used for the order the actual amount incurred on receiving details of the Customs payment.