Customs & Duty Information > we are presently only sending to selected countries which don't need any duties paid.

We have addressed Tax/Duty in regard to customers from the UK, Europe and Canada when buying from us here in New Zealand.
(We've had no problems shipping to Australia & the USA as they usually have no extra costs on parcels valued under $1000 NZD and for purchases over $1000 NZD we will split the purchase into two parcels at no extra cost to the customer) 

So it's particularly to our UK, EU and Canadian customers we have given this info for. Consideration when sending a gift to these countries is also important as you will read further down the page. 

*If you need more info please Google the info you require or Contact Us.

Any charges incurred by Customs are the responsibilty of the customer. Any parcels rejected by customers due to the costs incurred by customs, will have their purchase refunded less costs charged to us for the return of the parcel. 

Above is the Canadian Customs Tax/Duty Calculator site link 

Goods arriving in the UK from outside the EU by post or courier must have a Customs Declaration fixed to the package - completed by the sender.

( We have taken this information direct from the website & you can find the link for this at the bottom of this page - 14/01/14) 

The declaration should include:

  • a description of the goods
  • their value
  • whether they are gifts, commercial or personal items

Some websites will offer to show a value on the Customs Declaration that's much lower than the actual price paid so that you don't have to pay duty and/or VAT when the goods enter the UK. This is wrong: if you're ordering goods over the Internet, it is in your own interest to make sure that the sender abroad makes a complete and accurate declaration. If no declaration is made, or the information is inaccurate, the package may be delayed whilst the UK Border Agency makes further inquiries, or in some cases the package and its contents may be seized and as the importer of the goods you will be liable for any charges.

2.1 Does the sender have to declare the goods?

Yes. Under international postal agreements the sender must complete a customs declaration (form CN22 or CN23) which in most cases should be fixed to the package. The declaration includes a description of the goods, the value and whether they are gifts or commercial items. Any Post Office abroad should be able to give advice to the sender.

Under customs law, you as the importer are legally responsible for the information on the declaration; therefore it is in your own interest to ensure, wherever possible, that the sender abroad completes the declaration accurately and in full.

If no declaration is made, or the information is inaccurate, the package may be delayed while the Border Force make further inquiries, or in some cases the package and its contents may be returned to the sender or seized by the Border Force.

(Heirloom Weavers will fulfill all of the criteria when sending parcels to the UK & Europe)

2.2 Do I have to pay import duties and/or import VAT on goods sent to me?

Most goods arriving in the UK from outside the EU are liable for customs duty and/or VAT taxes: 

and must be paid whether:

  • you purchase the goods or receive them as a gift
  • the goods are new or used (including antiques)
  • the goods are for your private use or for re-sale

2.3 What are the limits for customs duty and import VAT?

  • Commercial consignments i.e goods you have purchased, of £15 (approx 29.00 NZD) or less are free from customs duty and import VAT.
  • If you are sent a gift with a value of £36 (approx. $71.41 NZD) or less, which complies with the rules shown in paragraph 2.4, it will be free from customs duty and import VAT. 
  • Use our Currency Converter Link here

  • Customs duty becomes payable if the value of the goods is over £135 (approx - $267.00 NZD including postage) but duty is waived if the amount of duty calculated is less than £9.

In summary:

Goods Value*
  Customs Charges applicable     
£0.01 to £15 *No customs duty
*No Import VAT** 
£15.01 to £135     *No customs duty
*Import VAT due 
£135.01 and greater      *Customs duty due, but waived if the   
  amount calculated due is less than £9  

*Import VAT due   

*HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Excise and Customs Helpline 
Contact ~ Tel. 0845 010 9000 for further information.

2.4 Gifts

Goods sent as a gift that are over £36 in value are liable to import VAT Customs duty also becomes payable if the value of the goods is over £135 but is waived if the amount of duty calculated is less than £9.

To qualify as a gift:

  • the customs declaration must be completed correctly
  • the gift must be sent from a private person outside the EU 
    to a private person(s) in this country
  • there is no commercial or trade element and the gift has not been paid for either 
    directly or indirectly by anyone in the UK
  • the gift is of an occasional nature only, for example, for a birthday or anniversary

Note: if you purchase something from outside the EU to give as a gift to a relative or friend, whether or not addressed to that person, it is treated as a ‘commercial consignment’ for which the import VAT relief threshold in paragraph 2.3 applies.

*Gifts bought online for someone else;

Ordering and paying for goods over the Internet to be sent to someone other than to you, doesn't count as a gift and the recipient will be liable to pay UK duties and taxes.

By contrast a gift - defined as something sent directly by one private individual to another - doesn't attract import VAT if its value is £36 or below. 

 ( All gifts sent by  Heirloom Weavers NZ will comply with the above information but as an   alternative we can send the purchase to you and then you can send your gift direct marking   it as a gift )  It's IMPORTANT TO KNOW  the advantage of this is that customs won't add  the postage value into the items value when working out the fees) and if you send us a copy  of your postal consignment note as proof it's been sent over seas, we can refund any  gst you've paid through us.)

2.7 Do multi-gift packages containing more than one gift qualify 
for the £36 customs duty waiver and import VAT relief?

Where a package contains gifts that are clearly intended for several people, for example, members of the same family, the £36 VAT relief applies to each individual person provided the goods are:

  • individually wrapped, and
  • specifically addressed to them, and
  • declared separately on the customs declaration
  • within the allowances specified

If more than one individual package is addressed to a particular person the value of the goods will be added together. If the total value exceeds £36 import VAT will be charged, and if the value exceeds £135 customs duty may also be due.

If a package contains a number of different types of goods intended for more than one person, and these are separately described and given a value on the customs declaration, the waiver of customs duty will apply to each item. For import VAT, only as many items that add up to the value of the import VAT threshold (£36) will be granted relief; for example, if a package contains six items each with a value of £8, only five items will be entitled to relief (5 × £8 = £36) with charges payable on the sixth item.

When one item is sent to two people and its value exceeds £36, it is not possible to aggregate each person's gift relief, and the value of an individual item itself cannot be divided; for example one item with a value of £50 sent to two individuals cannot benefit from the gift relief.

An illustration of this is shown below:

Goods sent as gifts Relief given
One item valued at £36 or below Free of customs duty and import VAT.
One item valued at £44 Import VAT is chargeable on the full value
Six if tge same items valued at £8 each  Five items are relieved of import VAT leaving import VAT
chargeable on the remaining one item. 
Five different items valued £120 each Import VAT is chargeable on the full value
One item valued at  £300 Customs duty is charged (but will not be collected if the
amount is less than  £9)
Import VAT is chargeable on the full value.

*Please note: Therefore, if a package contains a number of different types of goods intended for one person, for example, a package contains five items each with a value of £8, only four items will be entitled to relief with charges payable on the fifth item (4 × £8 = £32).

3.1 How are import charges calculated?

Charges are calculated by Border Force officers at the postal depots where the packages are received. 
However, in some cases special arrangements are in place for goods purchased on the internet or by mail order (see paragraph 3.4 below).

Customs duty - customs duty becomes payable if the goods are over £135 in value 
but is waived if the amount, when calculated is less than £9.

The amount of customs duty charged will depend on the type of goods imported and the value stated on the customs declaration CN22/CN23 (converted to £sterling using the rates of exchange for the month of importation as shown on the HMRC website).

The percentage varies depending on the type of goods and their country of origin. 
Duty is charged on:

  • the price paid for the goods, plus;
  • any local sales taxes, plus;
  • postage, packing and insurance.

However, the cost of postage is excluded from the calculation for customs duty on gifts except where the sender has used the Express Mail Service (EMS) as opposed to a standard mail service.

Where the value of gifts is below £630 per consignment, a flat rate of duty of 2.5 per cent will be applied, but only if it is to your advantage.

Value Added Tax (VAT) - Import VAT is charged at the same rate that applies to similar goods sold in the UK and applies to commercial goods over £15 in value, and on gifts that are over £36 in value.

3.2 Is duty charged on used goods?

Used goods are still liable to the same duty and VAT charges as if they were new. However, this may vary depending on their age and condition.

3.3 How do I pay customs charges?

Royal Mail provides several options for payment and they will inform you of the options available and the amounts payable when they contact you. A postcard or letter is usually delivered to your address, detailing the amount due and the options available for payment. Once payment has been made, the package may be collected from the post office or if you have paid online/by phone you can arrange for it to be delivered. Details of the charges, including the Royal Mail or Parcelforce Worldwide handling fee, will be shown separately on a label affixed to the package.

If the value of the package is over £2,000 or it is for a particular customs regime you will be sent a customs declaration form (C88 or C160) which you must complete and return to the Border Force at the Postal Depot before your package can be delivered. You should not send any payment with this form unless asked to do so, however if 
there are any charges due you will be required to pay them to the Border Force before your goods can be released.

3.6 Where can I ask about or query a customs charge?

If you have any questions about a particular customs charge you should contact the Border Force at the postal depot shown on the charge label as soon as possible using form BOR286.
When you write to the Border Force you should include as much detail as you can, including the customs charge label, the customs declaration and the part of the wrapper with your address on it. If your claim is about overcharged tax because the declared value of the goods was incorrect you will need to supply evidence, for example, an invoice, receipt of purchase etc, to support your claim.

The Border Force deal with thousands of packages every day and without this information they may not be able to trace your particular package in their records. In the event of a claim you should retain copies of all wrappings and documents until your claim is settled.

We have only put here what is relevant to the items we sell 
as all of our products are legal to ship.

We will add more information on this topic as our customers bring it to our attention. 

*Feel free to contact us if you have any helpful tips or info.