Importing goods from the USA doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think. However, there are certain things you need to be aware of it you are to avoid paying more than you need to. Read on to find out more about making international payments and importing goods from the USA without being overcharged.


Don’t pay US VAT


Make sure the supplier doesn’t charge you American VAT if you are buying goods from the USA to be exported to the UK. VAT needs to be paid in the UK instead. You won’t normally be able to get a refund if you have accidentally paid American VAT.


Do I need to pay customs duty?


You may also need to pay customs duty as well as your UK VAT payment of 20%. The duty you need to pay will depend on a range of factors, and these may include what the goods are, where they originated from and the mode of transport used to get your goods to you. UK customs will not let you access your goods until you have paid all relevant duty and VAT. The UK VAT rate of 20% will be applied to the total value of the goods, so this means you will pay VAT on things like packaging, insurance and transport as well as duty.


Are there any goods I can’t import?


Some goods need an import licence. You will need to get one of these if you are importing any hazardous goods, animals, plants or goods which may be used by the military. You will also need to get hold of an EORI number if you want to import goods to the UK. You can source one of these from the tax authorities.


Customs duty and commodity codes


If the value of the goods you are importing is more than £135, you will need to pay customs duty in most cases. A commodity code is also used to calculate how much duty you need to pay, and this is why it’s important to think about what kind of goods you’re importing before you proceed with a purchase.




Shipping goods to the UK from the USA


If you want to import goods to the UK from the USA, you will need to choose between sea and air freight. Sea freight can take much longer than air freight but should cost you less. It can take up to six weeks for your goods to reach you if you opt for sea freight. Air freight should take around 2-3 days if you choose the most expensive method but may take around 12 days if you don’t want to spend as much. The size and weight of your order can also determine whether sea or air freight is right for you.


International payments to the USA


There are many solutions available to you if you want to make international payments to the USA. Today, it’s easier than ever to pay USA-based sellers when you want to purchase goods from North America.



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