“If we had to require information on 2 percent of packages in order to correctly calculate the value-added tax, that is now almost 100 percent,” says Van Mierlo. “There are particular problems with small web stores, usually from China, who are not aware of the new VAT rule. Sometimes we can ask the consumer about the package via an email address, but sometimes we have to write to someone. It will take Some time before there is clarity.”
Anyone who contacts Bpost’s customer service will automatically receive a message that there are “significant delays” due to the new customs procedure, which customer service says cannot be changed. There seem to be three-week waiting times. De Tejd is aware of cases where the waiting time is longer. “How this will develop is related to coffee pee,” says a bpost spokeswoman. “We hope that more and more web shops will register in the European IOSS one-stop shop and customers will be more vigilant when purchasing.”
Until July 1, the exemption from VAT was valid for parcels of less than 22 euros imported from outside the European Union. By removing the exemption, Europe wants to eliminate the competitive advantage of non-EU sellers over domestic sellers.
This is probably a small minority of purchases. According to Flanders statistics, last year 9 per cent of Flemish people aged 16-74 made an online purchase from a seller from a non-European country (since Brexit this year, the UK has also been included).
Bpost is particularly affected by the new regulations because the company plays a central role.
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