Online shoppers ‘are being overcharged hundreds of pounds by couriers that wrongly calculate taxes’


Online shoppers ‘are being overcharged hundreds of pounds by courier firms that wrongly calculate taxes on imports from Europe’

  • Shoppers have been ‘overcharged hundreds of pounds’ in import taxes from EU
  • Alan Edwards thinks it is an issue ‘with the system’ as it has happened four times
  • He was charged £502 in VAT and duty for a £170 order of Portuguese wine
  • Another shopper was overcharged £100 for £381 clothes shipped in from the EU 
  • Have you been overcharged by courier firms for imported goods? Email [email protected]

Have you been overcharged by courier firms for imported goods? 

Email [email protected]

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Online shoppers have warned that they are ‘are being overcharged hundreds of pounds by courier firms that wrongly calculate taxes on imports from Europe’.

Alan Edwards, from Suffolk, said that he has received multiple incorrect invoices for packages he has imported from the continent.

He said that when he imported wine from Portugal, he was charged £502 in VAT and duty, for the £170 order.

FedEx recalculated the bill, after being asked to pay almost triple what he owed, finalising the new invoice at £184.

Mr Edwards said that it was the fourth incorrect invoice out of his five most recent purchases.

‘It doesn’t seem like a one-off mistake any more, there’s clearly a problem with the system,’ he told the Telegraph.

Brits have been reporting two VAT charges on their purchases since the country left the European Union and goods from member countries were subjected to customs duties and VAT.

When Alan Edwards imported wine from Portugal, he was charged £502 in VAT and duty, for the £170 order. File image

When Alan Edwards imported wine from Portugal, he was charged £502 in VAT and duty, for the £170 order. File image

Shoppers are usually asked to pay the fees before they are given their parcels, with Mr Edwards given a seven-day period to pay, before the wine would be sent back to Portugal.

He told the newspaper that he refused to pay £502, and called for the shipping company to reevaluate the bill.

‘It’s a real mess and I have tried very hard to tell them,’ Mr Edwards said.

FedEx recalculated Mr Edwards' bill, after being asked to pay almost triple what he owed, finalising the new invoice at £184. File image

FedEx recalculated Mr Edwards’ bill, after being asked to pay almost triple what he owed, finalising the new invoice at £184. File image

He was also concerned that shoppers may have little to no understanding of the charges, and might pay an incorrect bill.

He has also been overcharged by DHL multiple times, he said. The company has apologised for the mistakes. 

Paul Carlier, from Kent, paid more than £100 in incorrect charges when he bought two pieces of clothing for £381 online.

After involvement from the Telegraph, he was compensated for the charge, having paid more than the £169.74 in fees that were due.

FedEx has been contacted for comment.  

  • Have you been overcharged by courier firms for imported goods? Email [email protected]k

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