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Incorrect clearance/VAT charges/Missing IOSS number with An Post/Addresspal ***See First Post***

  • 18-02-2022 2:10pm
    #1
    Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,811 Mod ✭✭✭✭


    Keep threads regarding the above clearance problems to this thread, for An Post/Addresspal only. There are separate threads for the courier companies in the courier forum.

    IOSS numbers need to be on the parcel and in the electronic declaration. If An Post clear it and pay VAT, the customs entry will need to be amended, and as they won't get paid to do it, An Post won't be keen. This is for eBay and Aliexpress traffic. They all know about this for a long time, so they should be your first point for complaint.

    The An Post/Customs system seems to have a blind spot for books. SOME are zero rated, but not all. They need to have the proper taric and correct description.

    Anyone clearing goods has work to do, and it isn't included in the postal price. It's a fact of life, do not come on here to moan about it.

    The email address to query VAT/Duty payments with An Post is: ecommchargequery@anpost.ie



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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 46 MrCouperin


    Just an update on my package problems, in case it might be relevant to anyone. I've got the customs charge in the post this morning on the one that had VAT paid already. It seems they've charged me 23% VAT on a figure at the bottom of the invoice which is the amount of VAT I paid by IOSS. So I have to pay VAT on VAT, which is just crazy. Has this happened to anyone else recently?



  • Registered Users Posts: 46 MrCouperin


    I did mention that to them on Friday, and they insisted that the IOSS number was left off the customs information. The supplier told me that was all sent by their (automated) system - which I believe, considering it's been given every other time I've got a package from them.

    This same package was returned to the sender before. An Post told me that the TARIC codes were completely missing - yet I found out the reason it was rejected was that some of the TARIC codes (which An Post told me were missing) were wrongly identified as a restricted substance. That's happened to me with another package too recently. I just can't believe a word they say. And how the feck did they manage to pull a number out of the middle of one of two invoices in the parcel (which was just the amount of VAT I paid) and charge me VAT only on that?



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,476 ✭✭✭deezell


    Unbelievable. They're treating the prepaid VAT as VAT paid to another jurisdiction, like if you had paid UK VAT on a pre brexit UK website. What they seem to be saying is you've already paid Irish VAT on the gross price, but not on the VAT then added, as if was an additional import cost. But they're not charging VAT on the gross price because they KNOW they've already got that via IOSS! What Idiots!



  • Registered Users Posts: 46 MrCouperin


    That's pretty much the size of it. Although, what they seemed to be telling me on Twitter DM was that the IOSS number was apparently missing, so it was as if I hadn't paid any VAT at all. The package arrived yesterday with the customs documentation ripped off. I guess if you remove the evidence, they can't be held accountable right? I've sent 3 separate emails to the ecomm email address since last Friday and I've got nothing back yet.

    Not just that but another order from the same company has been sent back now too!! They just won't quit.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8 houseshare naas


    How long does it take for customs to send out the reference number to pay the duty on a parcel ? I’ve been waiting over a week and no sign of it



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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,476 ✭✭✭deezell


    Your parcel could well be on its way back, they won't tell you that until it's too late.



  • Registered Users Posts: 509 ✭✭✭Cookiee


    Contact an post on Twitter, give them your tracking number and they'll find the customs reference for you



  • Registered Users Posts: 8 houseshare naas


    Your joking ?? The tracker said letter sent out to pay customs and then it’s just been in a sorting office.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8 houseshare naas


    I have never used twitter is there a private chat function on it ? Or would the y be able to do the same with the chat help place on the an post website ?



  • Registered Users Posts: 509 ✭✭✭Cookiee


    Yep you can private message them on Twitter! And yeah you can message them on their own website but usually wait ages in a queue so I always found Twitter fast, their Twitter is: https://twitter.com/Postvox?t=xpEqsXopuXGnoPeprrb-gg&s=09



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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,811 Mod ✭✭✭✭whiterebel


    Mod - you have the exact same question in Consumer issues. Do not post the same thing across different forums, thanks.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8 houseshare naas


    Thanks for your help, If it doesn’t show up tomorrow I’ll message them on twitter.



  • Registered Users Posts: 46 MrCouperin


    So, I got a response from An Post about my VAT issues and their response was really just a polite way of saying "we can charge you whatever we like and there's nothing you can do about it". God, they really have some incredible cheek. Between this stuff and being straight-up lied to about why it was returned the first time, I'm feeling pretty angry about the whole thing.



  • Registered Users Posts: 27 dimaie



    I've been double charged with VAT on three parcels from EBay. The reason is that the sender did not add IOSS code to the customs declaration and An Post are not willing to accept it from me stating that "An Post is not in a position to amend this declaration and you will need to pay the current charge before contacting your retailer in relation to this matter." I was trying to clarify this with Revenue and got the following response:

    "An Post, as your representative, are obliged to make correct declarations to Customs, and where necessary, submit an amended declaration to rectify any errors. They acted as your declarant and only they can amend/invalidate the declaration in order for a refund to issue."

    and

    "An Post are incorrect to state that they are unable to amend a declaration. An Post are the declarant in this situation and as I have stated only the declarant may submit, amend or invalidate a declaration. You will need to contact them again with the necessary information to get them to amend the declaration to include the IOSS number so that a refund of the charge paid can be issued. Customs cannot legally change a declaration so unfortunately we are unable to directly assist in rectifying this matter."

    Sending these to An Post did not have any effect though:

    "We are unable to add the IOSS number after the time of posting. The sender/sending retailer must include the IOSS number on the declaration which their exporter would upload electronically. 

    If the IOSS number is not supplied on the electronic data, Irish Revenue will apply a charge which is due to be paid for delivery."

    This situation is ridiculous, I am not quite sure what the next steps are. Sent a query to Revenue again using MyEnquiries service and waiting for reply.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,811 Mod ✭✭✭✭whiterebel


    I'm no fan of An Post, but I can see their point here. This IOSS system is out now quite a while now and is EU wide. How they don't know what to put on their parcels by this stage.

    The return scenario in this thread is about An Post jumping the gun compared to the rest of the EU. In your case it is working as it should - if there is an IOSS number, it goes through and there is no VAT to be collected. If the IOSS number is missing, VAT and charges accrue. Customs can't interfere in the process, the customs clearance agent must go back and amend the entry - some of the couriers have a big fee to do that - €50+. Seeing as An Post got €3.50 for clearing something incorrectly that wasn't their fault, I can see why they would push back.

    You should tell eBay what is happening, really it is up to the seller to sort it out at their end.



  • Registered Users Posts: 27 dimaie



    An Post in this case acts a Customs Broker. And accordingly to Revenue:

    "An Post, as your representative, are obliged to make correct declarations to Customs, and where necessary, submit an amended declaration to rectify any errors. They acted as your declarant and only they can amend/invalidate the declaration in order for a refund to issue."

    A possibility of amending the incorrect customs declarations seems to be a natural part of the clearance process.

    If An Post cannot or are not willing to implement it, the service they offer as Customs Broker is not adequate.

    With regard to implementation they could change their payment process allowing customers to submit the missing details of the customs declarations and other documents e.g. invoices from the seller that have clear indications that VAT has already been paid and IOSS code included. And they could even review €3.50 for clearing if it is not sufficient rather than double charging their customers with VAT.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,811 Mod ✭✭✭✭whiterebel


    It's not a natural part of the clearance process. Information required to clear imports should be available to the agent to allow them to clear it properly. If An Post put a fee on it of €50 to reclaim would you pay it? Other couriers have big charges like that, as there is more work and follow up to do on a reclaim than there is on the normal clearance.

    An Post should never have jumped so soon to drop their charges from €10.00 to €3.50. They banked on the new system allowing them to process imports by clicking one button - totally automated. They were still the cheapest by far, but jumped off the cliff like lemmings. Most companies would sit back and see how it pans out with a new system, but An Post dropped their charges 6 months before an entirely new system come into being. Brexit was, and still is, a disaster to import from the UK.

    I'm trying to get goods in at the moment, and the shipper keeps telling me that there will no charges under £135.00, but as they don't do IOSS, I know they are wrong. Their T&Cs also say that it is my responsibility to pay any customs charges, whether I accept the goods to not, so they are covered. Total lack of understanding 15 months later.



  • Registered Users Posts: 27 dimaie



    "Information required to clear imports should be available to the agent to allow them to clear it properly." - and if it is not, they could provide some technical means for obtaining this information from the recipient of the goods but they don't seem to have any appetite for this.

    "Id An Post put a fee on it of €50 to reclaim would you pay it?" - I am paying in a range of €15 - 18 to UPS and DHL for the customs clearance. I would be happy to pay the same to An Post, if they had to modify the customs declaration on my behalf instead of being charged for an excessive amount of VAT. In this case I would at least know what I am paying for.

    I am not arguing that in my case the cause of the issue is the sender not filling the customs form and EBay who is acting on behalf of the sender. However, having contacted with EBay customer service on this issue on multiple occasions, I don't think that the advice to talk to them first is in any way practical. In my case they simply refused to acknowledge the issue.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,811 Mod ✭✭✭✭whiterebel


    UPS and DHL charge that for customs clearance. UPS quote €50 to amend a customs entry afterwards., I think DHL and FedEx are similar.

    You absolutely should tell the shipper/eBay about this, otherwise it never gets resolved. With the IOSS issue it will affect any non-EU country shipping into the EU, not just Ireland. People had the same problem with Amazon marketplace sellers, and Amazon refunded the VAT. Amazon will probably deduct it from the sellers account, which wouldn't be long waking them up.

    And you might not mind the €15-18 clearance fee, but the amount of people around here that lost their minds at €10.00 and again at €3.50.



  • Registered Users Posts: 27 dimaie


    "You absolutely should tell the shipper/eBay about this" - I did that before exploring the An Post avenue every single time when the issue has happened. The sender keeps telling me that the customs declaration form provided by his local post does not even have an entry for IOSS code where he could fill the data in. And EBay CS don't see anything wrong with that either as long as they are clearly stating that VAT has been paid in their invoice.

    I have also contacted Consumer rights protection agency wrt EBay handling of this without any success.

    This is why I am not seeing the advice of contacting EBay as practical.

    From Revenue response, it appears as they have an idea of how the clearance process should be handled by Customs brokers and An Post processes don't seem to fit into that concept.

    Changing customs declaration based on the data provided by the recipient could be made available as an option by An Post, but knowingly charging their customers with VAT twice almost a year after the new customs rules were introduced, simply mean that they don't care much.

    Post edited by dimaie on


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,811 Mod ✭✭✭✭whiterebel


    "but knowingly charging their customers with VAT twice almost a year after the new customs rules were introduced, simply mean that they don't care much." If there isn't an IOSS number they aren't knowingly double charging VAT. They are doing clearance as far as they are concerned it is supposed to be done. The fact that the whole system was introduced too quickly leaves us in limbo as it's nearly impossible to ship via post into Ireland as it is.



  • Registered Users Posts: 27 dimaie


    "If there isn't an IOSS number they aren't knowingly double charging VAT" - There could be multiple scenarios for not having IOSS code in the customs declaration. One scenario is that the customer has not payed the tax. Other scenarios would have to handle IOSS code being absent because of the various reasons. It could be a user error when the code has not been entered, or it could wiped out from the customs declaration during transportation, etc. Handling only the single, the most frequent scenario, the 'happy path', means that their process is not fit for purpose and An Post are fully aware of it. This is why they are knowingly charging me with VAT twice.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,811 Mod ✭✭✭✭whiterebel


    You give every reason why they do not knowingly charge you twice. Every reason. Knowingly would mean that the IOSS declaration was sent electronically, and was present on the parcel. By your own admission they weren't.


    The whole point of automation is they they don't have to run around checking to see was it ripped off in transit, did someone forget to put it on or whatever. They have thousands of parcels a week, where does that end? It is to be sent electronically which means all your scenarios wouldn't matter. Royal Mail are aware of this, as are Royal Mail, Australia Post, Japan Post etc. And for your €15-18 FedEx or UPS won't be running around to make sure either. No electronic of pre-advise of IOSS? No IOSS number on the parcel? Are they going to worry before they pay out VAT if its been paid already? No, they won't.



  • Registered Users Posts: 27 dimaie


    Ok, let me rephrase that. An Post are aware of the deficiency of their process. They do know that I may have paid VAT but they are still charging me.



  • Registered Users Posts: 27 dimaie


    "The whole point of automation is they they don't have to run around checking to see was it ripped off in transit, did someone forget to put it on or whatever. " - There are different reasons for automating business processes, e.g. increased productivity, cost savings, etc. However, when you are planning automation, you have to ensure that the majority of your business processes are covered by it, or substituted with adequate manual processes. Especially, if you're leading supplier of postal services with millions of customers.

    "Are they going to worry before they pay out VAT if its been paid already? No, they won't." - You could be right. I don't have much of experience with other carriers and this is why I am not too concerned about it. For An Post though, I am double charged with VAT for 20-30% of my non-EU parcels. It is a big enough number to be concerned.



  • Registered Users Posts: 46 MrCouperin


    In my case, I just can't believe what An Post told me, which is that the IOSS number wasn't given. The supplier I bought my goods from are a wholesaler who have an automated system for dealing with that kind of stuff since they've been selling to customers around the world for years. I've had five packages from them since they became IOSS-registered in October, and all of them bar this one arrived with no extra customs charges. They informed me that the IOSS was sent with this package, as usual. Considering An Post lied to me about the TARIC codes when they returned it to sender the first time, I don't see why they can't be lying to me now as well.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,811 Mod ✭✭✭✭whiterebel


    They do know you may be importing class A drugs, alcohol, explosives - Are they going to red flag every parcel?

    Are they supposed to second guess every one of the thousands of parcels from outside the EU every week?



  • Registered Users Posts: 27 dimaie



    No they don't have to red flag every parcel - provided that they have an effective process of identifying "drugs, alcohol, explosives" inside.

    However, in the case of processing customs declarations their process is not adequate/complete/effective, so they cannot assume that I have not payed VAT, but they do.

    "Are they supposed to second guess every one of the thousands of parcels from outside the EU every week?" - No, they are supposed to have a process of handling such parcels without double charging their customers. Even if it is "one of the thousands", which is quite far from being the case if extrapolate my experience.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,811 Mod ✭✭✭✭whiterebel


    The process with IOSS is quite clear and effective. If the shipper doesn't fulfill the requirements of the EU regulation by providing IOSS information, you follow the backup procedure - charge VAT. .You have confirmed that the eBay/seller didn't follow the requirements of the EU Regs, but expect An Post to change their system to facilitate them. If the seller cannot do something as simple as complete these procedures, you would have to wonder if they do actually account for the VAT.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 27 dimaie


    I am not sure what does it have to do with the seller - he may not even know about EU rules. And he cannot be blamed for that as his local post office has accepted the parcel.

    It is not the seller who gets penalized by An Post charges and it is not seller who would benefit from the change in the An Post process - in both cases that would be An Post customers, the customers who have already paid their shipping fees, taxes & duties.



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