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



  • 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 Posts: 14,141 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.

  • 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.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 14,141 Mod ✭✭✭✭ whiterebel

    Your post: “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”, Seriously, are you on a wind up?

  • Registered Users Posts: 27 dimaie

    I am not sure what's wrong with my earlier statement. Yes, the cause of the issue is the absence of IOSS code. Yes, the seller did not add it to the customs declaration. And, yes he may not know about EU rules and he cannot be blamed for that because his local post office has accepted the parcel. I see no contradiction here, would you?

    Post edited by dimaie on

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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 14,141 Mod ✭✭✭✭ whiterebel

    Do you even know what IOSS is? It is totally the sellers responsibility, and only theirs. If they want to ship into the EU they need to understand it. Anyway I'm out, this is going nowhere.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27 dimaie

    Yes, it is their responsibility. However, in this case we are talking about EBay sellers who do not have their own IOSS codes so it would not be uncommon that do not know about it. If you look at EBay invoices, IOSS code is always the same - IM2760000742, regardless of the seller. Have a good night.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1 JdPaor

    Hi there, posting first time because I think I can add something to this discussion (although maybe just more expressions of frustration).

    So, I've ordered through eBay from Japan three times now in the last three months. One went fine, the other two not so much. I've had the same situation going between the seller, eBay, and An Post.

    I've been left having almost no idea what is correct exactly, and it seems that everyone expects the buyer to pay for the package even when all mistakes are on the part of the seller, eBay, or An Post.

    The first package was before Christmas:

    1. I was not experienced with deliveries like this. I bought the package through eBay and did the usual paying up-front for everything, including postage, shipping, and the VAT.
    2. The result was a few weeks later I got a text stating I must pay a customs charge (a charge that didn't reflect any value I could see, by the way). Not knowing any better, I paid An Post's demanded payment, including their customs charge, thinking it was some new rules.
    3. When I realised it wasn't, and I had already paid everything I should have (again, I was new to all this), I contacted eBay. They told me it was a known issue: the Japanese supplier hadn't added the IOSS number and that is why I was charged by customs-by-way-of-An-Post. They also told me to send them proof of what I paid (I sent a photo of my receipt) and they would get it back for me.
    4. eBay haven't got it back yet - despite a few queries my end and repeated promises on their end. They aren't clear about whether or not they will reimburse me the 3.50 from An Post. I think eBay are ghosting me.

    The second package was mid-January:

    1. This was through eBay again. I did everything the same, as I should and only could have (because... that's how eBay works). I bought the item through eBay, including the prepay of VAT on price and shipping.
    2. However, this time, I also contacted the supplier first (a different supplier in Japan), noting the problem last time. I asked them to please ensure they put the IOSS number in. They said they would - and, to make sure it was seen, they put it beside my name on the address. And just to say: I've seen they did this. I can see it on the physical letter An Post sent me (see below).
    3. Anyway, An Post sent me a customs charge text again AND a physical letter (with my address and the IOSS number beside it, incidentally). It included their An Post handling charge again. This time, I decided to see what I could do before I paid.
    4. First, I contacted the supplier, who insisted they put the IOSS number in. Again, I can confirm it is on the package somewhere - it is right there beside my name. It probably wasn't the correct place, and so maybe caused the problem (to... something that's not human, anyway).
    5. Second, I contacted eBay, who told me to contact my local courier (An Post) and, if I had to pay for it, contact them and they will go about getting it back. Given my last experience with this, I'm not encouraged by that response - so I didn't act on that.
    6. Third, I contacted An Post, and also revenue and customs for An Post (basically, any number or email I could find). On the phone, a revenue An Post contact (I think; it gets confusing who is what) told me that he could see my delivery and the customs charge on it. However, also, beside my name, he could clearly see an IOSS number.
    7. Probably (he told me), the way the details were automatically scanned when they first come into the country means that IOSS number was missed, throwing an automatic customs duty charge. But, he thought, someone along the line in An Post will probably notice it and amend it. So, it will probably be sorted out and delivered to me. He then told me, if I wanted to be sure, I should email the ecommquery An Post email address, attaching my tax invoice showing I'd paid the VAT and the IOSS number, and that should help speedily resolve the issue. Really helpful nice guy. Seemed to know what common human mistakes can arise in this process, and how they can be resolved by a human.
    8. I emailed the ecommquery address with my tax invoice. I explained the situation and they replied after two weeks, saying they couldn't do anything. A mistake was made. They couldn't fix it. I should pay the custom charge, and then try to get it back from somewhere or other.
    9. Anyway, that's the last proactive correspondence my side (except a email with eBay, where they just repeated themselves).
    10. I have not had these problems with Amazon, by the way. I think eBay are part of the problem.
    11. But I also squarely blame An Post: they seem to be fully in the 'Someone else's problem, not ours' mode, the kind of mode I often see in people who are in a panic.
    12. I live in Cork. Interesting thing I'm told from a few An Post humans (e.g., my postman, a post office clerk in the main place in town) during this exciting process. When the pandemic hit, around the time of Brexit, An Post let go a lot of Little Island An Post workers (for covid reasons, I'm told). I'm given to understand this was the Cork sorting office. If that's right, then - just in time for Brexit and for the pandemic - An Post removed humans. I take it that what replaced them were automated machines - or maybe nothing (or dolphins maybe? Again, not a shipping expert).

    Anyway, I read one commenter here saying we can't expect them to check every package, and so a missing IOSS number is not An Post's fault. (Yet, somehow, sufficiently the fault of the buyer that it's more justified that they pay it?)

    Still, a human looking at a package who knows what an IOSS number looks like would quickly see my latest package had one. (My earlier one didn't, and that's fair.) That there is some kind of automatic scanner - AND that there appear to be fewer staff - suggests that the merry-go-round is in part due to inadequate facilities on the part of An Post. If it is TRUE that An Post reduced its staff when the pandemic/Brexit hit, it also suggests that merry-go-round is partly the incompetence of some An Post management or executive. (Not the folk I meet in the post office or at my door, though - they are class.)

    Just to pause here for a moment: So, it seems to me, of everyone involved here, the customer in my position SHOULD NOT be paying. We do everything right, doing what we're asked to by the professional organisations involved, such as sellers, eBay, customs, and An Post. I think the reason why everyone else thinks its fine we pay is because, in most cases, we will. We actually want the thing. No-one else does.

    Anyway, my current package has tracking on it. Every few days, I look at its status. I've not paid the customs demand, because I shouldn't. I've not received any demand for money from An Post since those few weeks ago. The demand is there in that one status update three weeks ago, and that's it. Since then, all I see are messages every few days that it is being sorted in Dublin.

    Maybe the helpful call centre man was right, and some human saw it and amended it? Maybe it will just turn up? That is another thing that I've seen happen to people in this situation (although not to me).

    I don't expect it to turn up. I expect when the 16 working days run out (in about a week), it will be sent away out of the country again, back the way it came, with all the attendent paperwork and automatic scanning necessary to do that.

    I'm just going to watch the days tick by before it goes.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 14,141 Mod ✭✭✭✭ whiterebel

    If there isn't an IOSS number, that isn't An Post's fault. Alos they cannot be expected to second guess whether thousands of parcels have been labelled incorrectly or not. They should be able to sort it out once there is an IOSS number on it, though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,011 ✭✭✭ notahappycamper

    Ordered from Etsy paid VAT at 23% at checkout and still getting charged by An Post - why? Yes it was shipped from the UK but VAT paid at checkout. How do I get a refund?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,215 ✭✭✭✭ Suckit

    There should be an email address or a phone number to contact them and let them know.

    If Etsy hasn't labelled it correctly, then there may be some back and forths, I doubt An Post are as uncooperative as DHL when dealing with an individual, so it could be sorted fairly quickly. Alternatively, you can opt not to pay, have it sent back and reorder.

  • Registered Users Posts: 340 ✭✭ glitterIsland

    I ordered online from an American shop to the value of 90 euro. This also included a free shipping. I used the American addresspal.

    A week later I made another online purchase from the same shop and used addresspal for a smaller purchase of 80 euro. Also free shipping and I used addresspal.

    The shop has policies in place and there is a processing time of 5 to 14 days. This isn't an issue as such.

    I'm just after getting dispatch emails for the two orders now.

    I do expect to pay the vat charge on these items. As these orders were bother under 150, I wasn't expecting to pay a customs charge that usually applies to imports over 150 euro.

    These two separate orders will be shipped separately, in separate packaging but also at the same time. So its just after dawning on me that I may be charged a customs duty on these orders including vats.

    Will I be charged customs even though the items were separate?

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 14,141 Mod ✭✭✭✭ whiterebel

    2 separate orders so you shouldn't be charged customs duty as the value of each is less than €150.00. You will pay 2 x AddressPal charges, and 2 x An Post clearance charges.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,011 ✭✭✭ notahappycamper

    I’m just wondering how long people are waiting for a response from the ecommcharge query mailbox once an email has been sent to them?

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,538 ✭✭✭✭ Discodog

    So you all deserve a giggle. A friend sent me a greetings card from the USA. The custom declaration clearly shows a value of $5 with a clear decimal point between the 5 & two zeros. An post send me a demand for €113 as they have read it as $500. How anyone could decide that a card is worth $500 ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,488 ✭✭✭ deezell

    I'm curious, would they have looked for $1.13 if they had read the value correctly? Surely a card is just used stationery, its correspondence. It's has no intrinsic value, other than as recyclable paper.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,538 ✭✭✭✭ Discodog

    They want €113 😁 But yes it has no value.

    Luckily she was able to send me a photograph of the declaration

    Anyone know how long they take to release the item ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,591 ✭✭✭ witnessmenow

    I bought some tea (which is a 0 rate item) from the UK a couple of weeks ago and sent to address pal. I received my first tax note for the full value on the 10th of June, emailed the ecomms query email that day, didn't get any response.

    A few later I got my second tax note, so I emailed again. This time I got an automated response, mainly advising me to only send one email per query.

    Is a delay of 6 or 7 business days without getting a response to be expected?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,591 ✭✭✭ witnessmenow

    To add to this, I complained on twitter this mornings and had a response within in an hour, what a world we live in

  • Registered Users Posts: 372 ✭✭ Escapees

    I ordered a part from a UK based supplier with a .IE site and have now received a message from An Post saying that a customs and admin fee is due. The suppliers website states that:

    "If your delivery address is outside of Ireland or the UK, you may be required to pay import duties and taxes when your order reaches your country. These and any additional charges for customs clearance are your responsibility."

    I don't feel I should have to pay the customs charge and was going to just let the package be returned to the supplier and then look for a refund. But should I just get the supplier on the case, in case An Post have made a mistake?

    This is the last time I'll risk ordering from a UK based company!!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,476 ✭✭✭ tphase

    I'd have though the first thing to do is get onto the supplier to confirm you've already paid the customs fees and get documentary proof of it . You probably already have proof (check your invoice)

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 14,141 Mod ✭✭✭✭ whiterebel

    You'll probably find that it is yet another UK Supplier who doesn't understand that Ireland is in the EU. They have to make it quite clear on the paperwork and on the package that they are paying Irish VAT. If they don't An Post have to charge VAT. FYI, .ie domains mean nothing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 45 ObiTwoKenobi

    There seems to be wholesale confusion with UK vendors as to how IOSS works, and the requirements therein. I received this "clarification" from a UK firm recently.


    We cannot show the IOSS number on any invoice as its a secret registration number for customs clearance only and our handling of our EU VAT return, IOSS numbers are not to be shared to customers under the rules of this VAT collection framework / system.

    There would not be a VAT number as it is IOSS and no EU VAT number is given for this type of VAT handling. We would have to advise you to speak to accountants to find our the legal position for VAT reclaims under IOSS. 

    A tax amount is shown on the downloadable invoice provided to you but as mentioned there will be no EU VAT number shown, and this might present an issue making a reclaim, so please talk to a tax advisor.


    If the IOSS number cannot be shared with the customer, then it cannot be placed on the package - so how can Irish customs ascertain that any VAT has been paid.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,303 ✭✭✭ TheW1zard

    Hi I put the wrong eircode on a package to Australia, (just moved house) will this not go through now?

    All other details correct, value/ description etc

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,074 ✭✭✭ walterking

    Everything is Electronic. It as simple as the carrier putting the details on the digital data.

    The digital data of parcels I dispatch to anyone - Ireland, UK, EU has vat, IOSS, weight, value, taric and description as these details are entered on our order system and transferred.

    The customer simply sees a label with their name and address.

    Once the inputting is correct there is no issue whatsoever.

    The big issue with the UK is that the local post office doesn't have the system on place and also too many people still think Ireland is linked with the UK for postal items.

  • Registered Users Posts: 191 ✭✭ tanka006

    Hi Guys,

    Please advise me what to do here.

    I purchased some goods from the UK

    I received the bill from An Post for the import VAT as expexted

    BUT the goods were worth £126.80 & i Received a bill for the an Post bill for €110.61

    I have sent a email to [email protected] back on 05/12/2022 disputing this (which i have until 27/12/2022 to do)

    I sent the invoice as well as proof of value.

    Naturally, i have received nothing since, due to Christmas.

    Any advice please as to what to do now please


    Post edited by whiterebel on

  • Registered Users Posts: 441 ✭✭ Moving2017

    Check the values first, it may include VAT, import Customs fees and a processing fee, they do add up.

    Also, the item cost and P&P are factored into the fees.

    If there is an error and you can prove so using the invoices etc and if you pay the bill to have the item delivered they’ll subsequently refund you (it has happened me recently), alternatively you could try phoning them, I’ve found them quite helpful.

  • Posts: 0 ✭✭✭ Jayce Beautiful Plumber

    They also include delivery cost as part of the valuation

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,614 ✭✭✭ niallb

    Impossible to tell what the figure should be without knowing what type of goods they were and whether they were manufactured in the UK, the EU or further afield. Some items have no import duty at all, but don't buy shoes!

    This page is worth reading.

    You could contact the sender and ask them did they provide the correct documentation for Irish Customs.

    It might make it easier to persuade them to give you a refund and buy the goods from somebody who can demonstrate where they imported them from.