DHL changed the number of days a parcel from Germany takes to reach it’s destination. Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia are not 1 day faster. As expected, Great Britain takes 1 day longer due to the (long postponed) new customs processing gradually starting in February.
Starting next week the first new border checks for exports from the EU (where we are) to the UK will start. At first only affecting a small number of products.
A much larger number of checks will start in April and ramp up until November. This will slow down border traffic.
As a consequence, we urge UK customers to place planned orders of toys at YiffyToys within the next few days. So they can cross the UK border before all of this starts. Remember: Everything you can buy in our shop is actually in stock and can be shipped right away.
We just received the new DHL prices for October. No major surprises. We have prepared the new prices for the shop and will upload them, when the time comes. …after Eurofurence is in the past and we had time to collapse from complete exhaustion that is.
They no longer give a comprehensive list of all their surcharges in the price list. This makes it quite complicated. The Energy-Surcharge gets lowered to 0. DHL hinted that the Maut+CO2 surcharge may be lowered in a few month. No mention if the Brexit surcharge is still in place and if it applies to Northern Ireland zip-codes. The list of international crisis surcharges is still online, so they are likely still in effect. Sweden and Finnland are still and additional +4.3eur for parcels to be delivered to the door instead of a closest drop-point.
Also… after cancelling our postbox themself (remodelling the post office building), they tried to deliver the new prices to that post box. So their own research department had to figure out who to deliver it to.
We are running an Amazon integration, allowing us to sell selected products on Amazon.de (and before Brexit Amazon.co.u). We do not sell on other EU markets because we can neither provide support nor descriptions in the local languages.
A new version of this integration now replaces the mechanism of how product categories, description and attributes are handles. Luckily this only requies effort for new products.
The problem is, the first step to sell new products on Amazon is to create a „Product Type“ and these require us to select from a fixed list of product types. However the non-public category of sex toys is simply not listed to choose from. So it is impossible for us to add products we have in the shop to our Amazon listing at this time.
They also changed the value we have to enter into the EAN/UPC field for products that don’t have an EAN/UPC/ISBN. Without telling anyone. So now we have to change the value already entered in hundreds of products.
…and here I though the 5 hour printer jam was the worst that would happen on this lovely Sunday.
A lot has happened with the YiffyToys shop. Most of it completely invisible.
Due to a bug in the shop software a LOT of redundant copies of product images have accumulated on the server. Balooning a few hundred megabyte of images into 20 gigabyte. Fixing this has broken some images we used in categroes as examples for single sizes or single manufacturers. This has been fixed as soon as we noticed it
Every now and then people order an item with a quantity > 1. Being a particularly seldom case in this business. this is easy to overlook during packaging. We improved our printed invoices to not only contain the barcode of each item but also to highlight all quantities >1 to prevent such mistakes.
One Stop Shop
Because 2021 was a particularly bad year due to shipping delays and materia shortages, January was the first month for us to work with the OSS VAT rules. This means for European customers we charge each countrie’s VAT depending on the delivery address. (In the case of Northern Ireland, even depending on the zip code within the destination country. Thanks Brexit!) This also means that each month we need to split up our sales not only into VAT-free exports and EU-sales but into 27 different EU countries and non-EU exports. The invoicing and book keeping has already been prepared. New custom reports help us to get these numbers. More importantly. They help us to verify that the numbers we report are correct. (The report for OSS happens quarterly but as local VAT is due monthly, we have to do this work every month anyway.)
We have set up the new DHL shipping prices for 2022 in the shop. (We have also simplified the process for us to enter the various, shifting Corona-surcharges for individual countries.) While many international destinations and larger German have become slightly more expensive, smaller German parcels have reduced in price slightly and the Brexit surcharge for UK destinations has been lowered.
We have added the new 2021 DHL prices. Like every year, all DHL prices have become ever so slightly more expensive. As the (temporarily reduced) German VAT rate goes back up to 19%, so do all the EU shipping fees. non-EU exports obviously don’t include VAT.
While GB has always been a „premium delivery only“ country, sadly it now also includes +4.49€ just for GB. But at least the +19% German VAT are gone now. They are however replaced by 20% UK VAT payed at delivery and we are required to incur a minimum order size of 135£ to comply with HMRC changes in VAT rules independent of BREXIT. That is, as soon as DHL accepts parcels for the UK and Ireland again.
For Germany the +0.10€ for Maut get an additional +0.01€ for the new CO2 tax.
For Northern Ireland, the movement of goods doesn’t change. We split up the UK based on post code in our shop system to accomodate that. However DHL requires us to include customs paperwork because everything for N.Ireland is shipped through GB. There should be no paperwork or payment required by the customer. This is just for DHL temporarily storing parcels in GB.
Inquiry at HMRC about specifics for UK VAT invoices to implement them late in 2021
we are no longer required to charge 16% German VAT
UK requires customer to pay 20% UK VAT for imports
Minimum order size equivalent to 135 GBP to comply with UK VAT regulations (Not Brexit but HMRC)
Customs and imports
we are adding a CN23 customs export declaration to all UK orders
we also added our EU EORI number and activated electronic transmission of customs export data
DHL has informed us that they will try to do the customs import paperwork in coordination with Royal Mail. Of cause customer are still required to do the payment part.
UK requires customer to pay customs fees for imports of goos not originally produced in the EU (not part of the UK-EU trade deal)
early 2021 Automatically enforce that minimum order size (Not Brexit but HMRC)
late 2021 Evaluate possibility of automatic invoice printing UK VAT complient dual-currency invoices with a tax point (date of supply) for orders below 135 GBP
late 2021 Waiting for a solution to have UK VAT on orders <135GBP but no UK VAT for orders >135GBP.
Background: HMRC VAT regulations
According to a policy document of HMRC, above 135 GBP the customer pays the 20% UK VAT along with the customs fees. Either to the customs office or to the postal service (if the postal services did the paperwork in your name). This is not part of Brexit but a change in the VAT rules made by HMRC.
TL:DR: This requires heavy modifications to our software and processes. Mostly because of the currencies. It is likely that we will just require a minimum order to be 135 GBP. Doing that will require a modiciation to the shop software to allow for a minimum order quantity to be country-specific.
Below 135 GBP, we would be required to pay the VAT. However doing that is not exactly easy.
We would have to register for a UK VAT ID in addition to our existing EU VAT ID.
For that we would need an very expensive british business bank account first or an explanation why we pay by debit card or (with unknown fees) credit card with no way to receive refunds that way.
Our invoices would have to state the UK VAT and the total sums also in british pound using the official exchange rate of the european central bank at that time (even if the invoice is printed ahead of time or a copy is printed at a later time).
Our invoices would also suddenly need to contain the date of shipping (that happens after the invoice is printed). Something our shop software is in no way prepared to do.
Obviously we would have to declare our UK taxes and pay then and keep separate records. Luckily the later can be done on paper, so we don’t need to bend a German accounting software using Euro into somehow handling this.
Also we would need a way for our shop software to determine that UK VAT applies only to orders <135GBP but not to orders above this threshold. Something it just can not do yet.
We have already posted the technical details we where given by DHL and Amazon and the steps we will take regarding Brexit recently.
Given the deadline getting closer, we urge everyone from the UK who intends to order any toys from our store, please to do so no later then next week. Even if there is a delay, there is likely to be at least some chaos after that date. Wheels are already in motion everwhere around us even if the Brexit itself may or may not be postponed for a few weeks or a few month or a year. Banks, credit cards, Paypal, DHL, Royal Mail, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de delivering to the UK, widely fluctuating GBP/EUR exchange rates,… there are a lot of external entities we have to rely on to conduct business and everyone of them prefers to be on the safe side even if it means turning down business for a weeks or two or suddenly making their service more expensive.