BREXIT: The UK has left the EU 

Katie Bridges

Posted on January 13 2021

Brexit - Union Jack and European Union Flags


The UK officially (fully) left the European Union on 31 December 2020. What does that mean for you as a customer?


UK Customers:
Billingham is based in the UK therefore if you are in the United Kingdom nothing will change for you. You will be charged British VAT upfront on our website and will not have to pay anything extra upon delivery. 


EU Customers:
If you are in the European Union and place an order on our website you will now NOT be charged British VAT.

You will most likely be charged local VAT (20% in France, 19% in Germany etc) when your order arrives (plus an administration charge added by UPS). You will be asked to pay for this by UPS before your order is delivered.


Rest of World Customers:
If you are outside of the EU/UK, nothing has changed. You will NOT be charged British VAT but will be subject to customs charges (and a UPS administration charge) on arrival before your order is delivered by the courier.

There are no customs fees (or administration charges) on orders sent to Hong Kong.

USA customers should order from instead. They ship orders from stock held in California- so no customs fees to pay on arrival. 



Common Questions

How do I know if I am looking at prices on your website without British VAT?

Our website should detect which country you are in and automatically show you prices with/without British VAT as applicable (very occasionally it detects incorrectly). If ‘inc VAT’ appears after the price then that shows that British VAT has been added to the price.

Once you've entered your address in the checkout you'll always be charged the correct amount of British VAT (20% for deliveries to the United Kingdom or Isle of Man - 0% everywhere else).


I thought the UK/EU had a free trade deal?

Yes they do but that just means there are no 'tariffs' to pay on goods exported between UK and EU.

VAT is different, and now British VAT isn't being charged local VAT (20% in France, 19% in Germany etc) must be paid instead on delivery. 


How much is the UPS administration charge?

This is usually between £10 and £19 depending on the value of the order and the destination country (very large orders of multiple bags might be more than this).


Are any deliveries to the EU getting delayed?

For most countries there is little or no delay - usually 2-3 days extra at most. However, some shipments to Germany, Czechia, Poland, Spain and Portugal are getting delayed by an extra 1-3 weeks. We expect this situation to resolve soon once UPS and the countries concerned refine their procedures. 

We are not certain that orders made to Germany will arrive in time for Christmas.


I want to have a shipment delivered to friends or family in the United Kingdom. Why is the checkout adding 20% VAT to the price?

Under British law we have to charge British VAT (an extra 20%) on all shipments sent to UK addresses - London, Birmingham, Oxford, Edinburgh etc. Even if the person ordering is outside the UK.

The website tries to guess where you are in the World - showing 'inc-VAT' prices to people in the UK and 'ex-VAT' prices to everyone else. So if you are viewing from outside the UK but sending to an address inside the UK then 20% British VAT will be added in the checkout to the prices you saw on the rest of the site.

Of course British VAT is not charged on shipments outside the UK - USA, Hong Kong, Canada, China etc.


I've heard about changes to the import rules into the European Union on 1st July 2021. Will that change things for me?

After 1st July 2021 British sellers will have the option to register to pre-pay the VAT for their customers on orders under €150 going into the European Union - there are some other rule changes too for orders under €150.

However, the systems to deal with this aren't fully set up in all EU countries and the implementation of the rules is a bit unclear. Therefore we have paused taking orders under £165 to avoid customers suffering disruption.

There are no rule changes on orders above €150 and everything written in the rest of this page still applies - EU customers will need to pay VAT and brokerage fees on arrival.


You can find extra information on delivery and taxes here:


If you have any further questions please contact us at


More Posts


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing

--------WISEPOPS CODE--------