New shipping rules slowed down Latvian purchases from third countries

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The requirement to declare consignments to customs from third countries, which entered into force this year, slowed down people's shopping from third countries for some time, Māris Vilcāns, Chair of the Latvian Postal Service, told Latvian Television December 15.

Vilcāns said that the new order was not exactly great: “We have more losses from this than benefits. They are limits on people in any case. Any tax or procedure that needs to be carried out deters the person,” Vilcāns said.

People slowed down with purchases from third countries because they didn't know what to do and what to expect. It also means additional work for the postal service.

Vilcāns said that on the largest shipment provider from third countries, AliExpress, the issue had been sorted out. “This is where the process is organized and the customer pays all the taxes at the time of purchase. Therefore, no additional customs operations should be carried out when a consignment is received in Latvia. Consequently, the reception arrangements are almost the same as they were before July 1, and the person does not feel the difference,” Vilcāns said.

It also makes it considerably easier for the postal service. The volume of consignments from this platform has increased several times in the past months. 

According to changes in European Union (EU) legislation, as of July 2021, all goods purchased outside the EU, including on Internet shops, are subject to value-added tax (VAT). In order to receive the consignment, the goods must be declared to customs. Gifts should also be declared and above the value of €45 tax should also be paid.

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