Can you pay my duties and customs charges for me like Mouser do? (DDP)

We have been investigating sending parcels via the DDP Incoterms (Deliver Duty Paid) method throughout 2020 and have been testing the process with our Norwegian customers. DDP does not save the customer any money, but it could make the delivery of items quicker and smoother.

However this method does require a seperate business registration in each seperate member state of the EU, so we would only be able to consider this for the larger EU nations.

In the meantime all parcels sent to EU will be on the DAP Incoterm, which is what we have used for all non EU destinations for the past 8 years.

Is Thonk opening a store or warehouse in the EU?

We decided to wait until the Brexit negotiations were complete and we had time to understand the deal before considering our next steps. We lost 6 months of our Brexit planning time in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We do not anticipate any major changes to our business model while the pandemic continues.

Laying off a part of our team based in the UK to employ workers in the EU instead is not a strategy we would consider.

What about the new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and UK? Doesn’t that mean we don’t have to pay customs charges now?

No, because the UK still left the single market and customs union. It just means there will not be punitive tarrifs applied.

The FTA is not a ‘default’ option that all UK businesses can instantly take advantage of. It represents a new mountain of paperwork for UK businesses to begin to navigate. We will investigate the fine print of that deal over the next 6-12 months to discover where we and our customers might benefit from it.

It is worth noting however that the majority of the duty rates on electronic components are relatively low, between zero and 3% typically so the benefits of the FTA to Thonk products is debatable. Often the customs clearance charge will be higher than the actual duty.

Can I reduce or avoid these new customs charges or VAT?

As a private customer in the EU you cannot. We are legally obliged to declare the true value of all our exports. You have always paid VAT on your Thonk orders, it is the Duty and customs clearance charges which are new.

Business customers can reclaim VAT on their UK imports in the same way as imports from other non-EU countries.

Will you reduce your prices for EU customers?

Firstly to get access to coupon codes for our planned discounts and promotions in late January- March 2021 sign up to our mailing list here.

In Autumn 2020 we secured a new shipping deal with Fedex which has resulted in much cheaper courier prices to the larger EU nations.

We will use this as well as discounted Royal Mail prices as a basis to reduce shipping prices for EU customers at the start of 2021 and then review based on customer response. Note however, we can’t currently predict how the Covid-19 pandemic might affect our services.

Will I have to pay customs charges and VAT when I receive my Thonk parcel?

Yes, because the UK has now left the EU customs union.
You should expect a similar level of charges as when you get a parcel from the USA.

You will be charged in the same way as Thonk customers in Canada, Australia, Japan etc. are. The postal carrier or courier will charge you for:

Duty – Typically 0-3% of the total depending on the specific products.
VAT – Charged at your local rate
Clearance Costs – Set by the postal carrier or courier. This is the fee they charge for collecting Duty and VAT for your government.

Oh Thonk! How could you let Brexit happen?

At Thonk we are saddened at being pulled out of the EU against our will. C’est la vie. We will adapt. We continue to ship orders to the EU in 2021 and demand remains high.

At Thonk and in our city of Brighton we remain as culturally and geographically European as the Swiss, Norwegians and Icelanders… you can argue amongst yourselves as to what that means 😉

How is Brexit affecting Thonk?

Covid-19 has presented a much more immediate problem in 2021 than Brexit. We are navigating Covid ok so far without the major disruptions of 2020. Thonk remains in good financial health with an excellent team of people and a large amount of stock.

We have been exporting to non-EU countries since 2011 so Brexit hasn’t represented a major upheaval to our systems and processes. We’re unaffected by the problems slowing lorry and road traffic entering the EU as all our orders leave by air. Electronics attract low duty rates so we do not get affected either by the publicised problems affecting food produce entering the EU.

Our sales to the UK, USA and other non-EU nations are strong and have not be adversely affected by Brexit. We have mature systems in place to ensure our imports from the far east will continue to flow as required.

Will I pay more customs charges due to Brexit?

No. You can expect the same service as previously and you will not have inflated or additional customs charges to pay compared to your previous orders. Our new Fedex deal means we can ship outside the EU quicker than ever before.