From today, July 1, new rules for the taxation of postal items from third countries containing goods will come into force. Parcels and packets arriving from China, the United States and the UK, amongst others, with a value of more than 160 Kuna (22 Euros) will be charged VAT.
The tax relief on imports of shipments from third countries worth up to 160 Kuna purchased via e-shops has been abolished, meaning that if you shop online in the UK, or US you’ll now have to pay VAT on all shipments of goods that arrive in Croatia from July 1, regardless of the date of purchase.
Given that all shipments of goods arriving from third countries will have to pass a control inspection, the Croatian Post has introduced new processes for processing, billing and delivery of shipments. This control inspection of shipments from third countries is a process that contains more data, requires the implementation and maintenance of a new information system and involves more complex operational control performed by employees of the Croatian Post.
And whilst this a blow for online shoppers, as their purchases from Amazon, eBay and other online stores will be 25 percent more expensive if they order from third countries, it is also a financial blow for online stores. And after Brexit the UK is now classed as a third country by the EU, meaning that goods coming from the UK will have VAT charged on top of the total.
This has led to many Croatian shoppers buying online from German or French stores to avoid paying the extra VAT. One shopper told us that she swapped from Amazon.co.uk to Amazon.de overnight. “The German Amazon website has an English translation, so it just made sense to avoid paying extra taxes,” she commented.
And this swapping on domains isn’t unique to Croatia, the Irish Examiner reports that Irish online consumers can save themselves a lot of time, worry and extra costs by making a simple switch to Amazon’s German website. ““Many prices have gone up and packages are delayed. Switch to Amazon.de, it’s really easy, where you see the Union Jack top right, change your region to the German flag, you don’t need to set up a new account or change the language,” stated the founder of consumer deal website One Big Switch Ireland, Oliver Tattan.