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Customs fee on Play order


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I have just had to write a chq of €11.87 to La Poste for VAT on a DVD order from Play.com.

I have ordered regularly from Play over the last 6 years but I have never been asked to pay before.

Have I been lucky or is it a mistake on the part of the douanes?

As an aside, I note on the back of their receipt that, even if it is a mistake, they will only refund any charge over €10. The charge was €8.15 + handling fee...

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Theoretically you have to pay VAT on anything over about €15 coming from abroad which has not had VAT charged already. As this came from the Channel islands, you were liable, but the chances of les douanes picking it up are quite small, UNLESS they are trying to close down what they see as a VAT loophole, which frankly would not surprise me as the French  govt seem determined to force everyone to pay whatever it decides. Just look at the way in which the so called paradis fiscaux have been bullied.

You have to pay for Sarko the Small's shower you know!

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Because of the free p&p, I used to use Play in preference to Amazon as the sterling prices were often similar. That was until recently when I started comparing Play's sterling and euro prices and discovered that they are converting to euros at a rate typically more than 1.30. I've just calculated a couple of book prices and the rates work out at 1.31 and 1.33.

With Amazon you can pay in sterling which suits me and they also add VAT at the correct rate and show it on the invoice which is included with the package.

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