From 1 January 2021 the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the European Union and after that date, if you buy goods from the UK for personal use (excluding Northern Ireland), you may have to pay customs, excise duties and VAT.
When you buy online, you have additional protections under EU law. These rights do not apply if you buy from a trader based outside the EU.
From 1 January 2021, you will still have consumer rights when buying online from UK retailers. However, these rights will be set down in UK law and not EU law. The legal guarantees you have under EU law may no longer apply.
You should follow this advice from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) before you buy from a UK retailer:
1. Check the location of the business
Find out where the business is located. Do not rely on the website name, for example .ie, co.uk or .eu or that prices are displayed in Euro.
2. Check the small print
Read the terms and conditions on the website. Make sure you understand your rights around:
Before you buy, check if the business has included any Irish VAT or customs charges in the final price. If not, then you may have to cover the costs on delivery of your items – see ‘Taxes and other charges’.
You can use the CCPC's Brexit checklist (pdf) of things to note when shopping online.
Taxes and other charges
You should be aware that from 1 January 2021, you may have to pay taxes and duties such as customs duty and VAT when you buy from a UK business (except Northern Ireland). Whether or not you must pay additional charges depends on the value and origin of the products you bought - see table below.
The EU and UK have agreed a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (pdf) (the Brexit Trade Deal) that covers customs charges when buying goods from the UK. However, the deal only applies to products coming into Ireland that are manufactured or originate in the UK and comply with the rules of origin. This means that you may still have to pay customs duty on some items bought online in the UK and delivered to Ireland.
The Brexit Trade Deal does not impact on VAT. You may have to pay VAT on purchases from the UK from 1 January 2021.
Find out what VAT and import charges you will have to pay before ordering from a UK site. The table below is a guide, however if you are not sure check with the retailer before you buy.
The value limits below are for the whole delivery, not just one item.
VAT and UK Sales to Irish Customers post July 2021
You have to pay VAT at the same rate that applies if they were bought in Ireland (the standard rate of VAT for most items is currently 21%).
You may also have to pay customs duty
Revenue has a list of examples showing how to calculate what you owe on items you buy online from outside of the EU.
If you return the item
If you return an item, you may be able to get a refund of any Customs Duty and VAT you paid.
How you apply for a refund depends on how you paid the charges.
Remember to keep proof that you returned the item.