I have just had a letter through from Parcelforce wanting £25.64 to release a package to me, This package consists of nappies and on my letter I'm being charged 17.64 in VAT + 8 PF charge . Now do I have to pay VAT on the nappies or can I claim it back? I know the £8 charge is dead money but VAT on nappies?
Are you definitely being charged VAT? Cloth nappies are VAT exempt but you do need to pay import duty which is 10.5% of the total paid including shipping. If they have charged you VAT you can ask them to recalculate the charge excluding VAT but unfortunately you will still need to pay the rest.
Call them and ask what the charge is and how it has been calculated. We had a similar problem with an HL co-op once, we were being charged VAT and import duty. They recalculated the charges and sent a new invoice excluding the VAT. If the charge is just import duty and a handling fee then unfortunately you will have to pay and can't claim it back.
If the nappies are from the US, presumably it would be 'diapers' on the label?
I've never had to pay customs charges on any children's stuff from the USA.
However, seem to remember from Parcelforce is that effectively your choices are to pay the charge or send the package back. And they don't care what you choose. You cannot appeal the charge via Parcelforce as they have paid it for you to Customs.
I'd call Parcelforce though and ask for the Customs' number and query it. The best outcome is that you pay it to release your package and reclaim.
I have had this before. You will need to pay the money to release the package. But then you can write to them with a copy of the packaging showing that it is nappies and you will get the VAT back because as has been said, nappies are VAT exempt. If you then get the VAT refund, you can send that letter to Parcel Force and get the fee from them refunded too as you should never have been charged it in the first place. PITA but you will get it back