My parcel of Nature Throyd was intercepted by Customs (Border Force) and not delivered to my house. I had to go to the post office and pay £15.40 - £7.40 VAT and £8 'handling charge' to the Post Office. The man at the post office told me there has been a huge increase in these parcels being checked recently. I didn't think VAT was payable on medicines. The notice attached to the parcel reads 'customs charges are applied to imports into the EU with a value over £15 for VAT. All items value over £135 will attract import duty ....... ' (Notice 143). I wonder what will happen when Brexit takes hold.

17 Replies

  • The value amount of £15 has been a constant for many years and has not increased with inflation. £15 barely buys you anything these days the amount is an insult and another rip off by the government. Your medication is self prescribed regardless of the rules. Gifts have been exempt from these import rules but I had to pay charges on a gift only the other week.

  • I had to pay it on an item of clothing the other week but my thyroid meds were delivered to my house! Why would Brexit will make any difference to importing from the US though?

  • Because these charges are applied to imports into the EU and we aren't in the EU any more. It might not make any difference of course, or we could end up paying more.Who knows?

  • When we leave the EU it should no longer apply.

  • I don't see ANY basis for that assertion.

    So far as I am aware, there has been no promise (or even serious suggestion) that VAT will be abolished. So HMRC rules on the applicability of VAT payments could stay exactly the same with respect to most non-EU countries. There seems little reason to expect the basic VAT system itself to change even if the accounting for VAT receipts changes.

    However, when there are major changes to systems, all sorts of things often get swept up in the storm and things change almost by accident. So no certainty.

    If VAT were to be abolished, something else would take its place. We used to have Purchase Tax...

  • As you know, VAT is an EU tax. That is the reasonable basis for my assertion.

  • Medicines are exempt, so it depends what the exact description was on the package. But its not always a good idea to draw attention to the fact you are importing a prescription only medicine. Its a grey area, and we probably benefit from that. In Belgium they aren't allowed to import NDT at all, and it gets seized.

  • Let's keep 'mum' about it then.

  • I have ordered NDT twice and had to pay about £21.80 both times before RM sorting office will deliver.

  • For the UK, Nature-Throid and other desiccated thyroid products are classified as some sort of animal product. (I specifically checked this out with very helpful HMRC people a few years ago.)

    Products such as animal insulin are in the same category.

  • Yes have always had to pay this on my Armour from USA.

  • My postman hangs about while I find the exact money! I am VAT registered but have not claimed the VAT back, because I did not think about it. I will from now on! The VAT is not on the medicine, it is on the "service".

  • Not sure on what basis you could claim the VAT back?

    Can you claim VAT back on your food? Or other medicines and supplements you buy?

    The VAT absolutely is on the desiccated thyroid. The Royal Mail £8 clearance fee may or may not be subject to VAT - not sure of that - but if it is it is inclusive.

  • I hate to come over all PC Principal here but don't we need to check our privilege ? I take Nature Throid, always try to get a reasonably sized order to ameliorate the handling charge but not go over £135 when other questions may be asked...

    Been ding this for a few years now and for me it's hit and miss...I don't always get charged and on the occasions when I do, a few times the charges have been miscalculated in my favour. And you don't have to go to the post office. You can pay the duty online from the Royal Mail card and say when you'd like it delivered. Happy days.

    Incidentally although I suppose it would get 'real' dispensers into trouble, I have sent some TUK members a few rattling bits marked up with eBay numbers and proudly proclaiming 'Rapunzel's Beads' :D

    Not encouraging you to break the law... the law won, most times

  • Hi Rapunzel, Royal Mail card? That sounds interesting. What is it and where would you get one, please?

  • Hey Scazzoh

    When my NDT comes I get a little card from the postman that says 'We can't deliver your parcel because...' i) postage is underpaid or ii) there is a customs charge ii) is ticked, overleaf it tells me what to do...there is a Royal Mail website address and I logon there and pay by card, and can tell our lovely postie when to deliver didn't you get that hun ? Actually reading your post again I have visions of men in balaclavas telling you to lay down on the floor with your hands behind your head, you're busted :D

  • That's exactly what happened! I'll try the easy way next time and go to the Royal Mail site. Thanks.

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