2021.7.2 UPDATE: The End of European Sales???


I will withhold my political commentary on this one (but only barely). Instead, I’ll just post this and tell you that, even if I wanted to do so, there is no way a one-man shop like mine can track and remit all the different taxes that are included here. It would become a full-time job. Therefore, I will most likely just stop selling to Europe — period!

Dear Stamps.com Customer,  

We’re reaching out to let you know about changes within the European Union (EU) that may impact the shipping experience for you and your recipients. 

What’s changing? 

Effective July 1, 2021, EU member states will collect value added tax (VAT) for all goods entering the EU. The VAT ranges from 17% to 27% depending on the EU member state, not including any applicable duties or fees. 

What do you need to do? 

To help prevent your EU-bound shipments from being delayed, held, returned, or abandoned, we recommend the following:

  • Let shoppers know whether VAT, duties, and fees will be paid during the checkout process, or at some point afterwards. In addition, let them know that if VAT is not paid to you or the online marketplace at checkout, these added costs may exceed the merchandise’s value.  
  • Collect the recipient’s phone number or email address at checkout, and include it with every outbound shipment. This contact information helps customs officials resolve issues and collect any owed amounts. 
  • Collect VAT during the checkout process and remit monthly payments to participating EU-member states via the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) electronic portal. This requires contracting with an EU-based tax intermediary, as well as IOSS registration, as described on this official EU page: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/vat/ioss_en 
  • Include detailed customs information with every outbound shipment to the EU, to make customs clearance as smooth as possible. This now includes the applicable IOSS number (belonging to either you or your online marketplace), in addition to HS tariff codes, country of origin, customs description, etc. Instructions for including this information will vary depending on your shipping software. 

Please note that IOSS numbers should not be printed or included on physical shipping labels or customs forms. They will be submitted electronically as you create shipping labels in your shipping software. 

If you have any questions or need more information, please visit our Learning Center or respond to this email. 



6 thoughts on “2021.7.2 UPDATE: The End of European Sales???

  1. All hail the new world order……
    I say the next time they they decide to war with each other we sit that that one out.

      1. Think how some of us in England feel being stuck with this mess especially as anyone with a right mind knew this would end in tears! Hopefully my next order will be delivered to a US address and forwarded.
        Never had any problems with your International shipping fees or service.

      2. Neil,

        Thanks for your comment. Trust me, I get it. However, a Polish friend of ours has suggested that I might be able to keep doing business as I always have. The packages should still get through, just a little more slowly and possibly with the VAT taxes getting attached more frequently. We’ll have to see what happens.

  2. Well just ommit taxes, and state this clearly on you website, so every costumer is informed about the extra taxes which may be added during customs clearance in the destination country. For many goods from outside the EU it already was normal for paying import fees. Everything above 22 euro’s including shipping was due for taxes anyway. Difference is that they charge it for everything, but the costs for customs is lower.

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