What You Need to Know About eBay and Brexit

17 December, 2020

Uncategorized By Laura Lane

In January 2020, the UK entered a Brexit transition period that will last until 31 December 2020 under the current withdrawal agreement. The UK is expected to leave the European Single Market and the EU Customs Union as of 01 January 2021. Although negotiations are ongoing, as of the date of publication of this blog, starting on 01 January 2021, a customs border is expected to be in place between the UK and EU. At that time, there is anticipated to be an impact on businesses operating across the UK and EU border — whether trading to or from the UK. 

In previous blogs, we’ve looked at the implications of Brexit on Amazon FBA and Zalando.  In this post, we turn our attention to what you need to know about the changes eBay is making in response to Brexit.

VAT Changes

eBay announced in its September Seller Update that, due to Brexit, it will be required to begin collecting and remitting VAT for UK imports beginning 01 January 2021. From that date, eBay has said it will charge buyers the applicable VAT amount directly and remit this sum to the relevant authorities.

As a result of the changes eBay made, UK sellers trading domestically and all sellers trading with UK buyers and listing on the UK or any EU site will need to provide both gross prices as well as the applicable VAT rate used to calculate the gross price on all listings. If sellers do not specify gross prices and VAT rates, eBay will assume that the price provided is the net price, and will add VAT on top of the price displayed to buyers.

To get ahead of this change, you should begin specifying the VAT rates on your eBay.co.uk or European eBay sites as soon as possible. All new listings should also include a VAT rate.

Key eBay Deadlines:

From 01 January 2021, eBay will start to collect and remit VAT for UK imports on all consignments with a value of up to £135. There will no longer be a VAT exemption for small consignments up to £15.

  • In cases where the seller is a non-UK business, and the goods are already in the UK, eBay will collect and remit VAT for goods sold to consumers within the UK, regardless of their value.
  • To align with eBay’s changes, sellers should begin listing the applicable VAT rates on all their existing and new listings as soon as possible.
  • From 01 March 2021, eBay has said it will make it mandatory to add the VAT rate on all UK and EU sites when listing items.

Global Shipping Programme

eBay’s long-standing Global Shipping Programme (GSP) could help you navigate the complexities of trading to Europe and other international countries, especially during the uncertainties of Brexit. This programme can give you access to buyers in over 100 countries

With GSP, your product is posted to eBay’s UK Shipping Centre, where duty payment, customs clearance, tracking and delivery are completed. Additionally, your eBay seller performance standards are protected. 

How does it work?

  1. If you want to take advantage of GSP, you must be located in the UK and listed on eBay.co.uk.
  2. You will have the option for any order to select the “send it to the UK Shipping Centre” flag in the international section of the listing form. 
  3. The item must weigh no more than 30kg and be no larger than 125,000 cm³, and no longer than 120cm on the longest side. It should be worth no more than £2,000.
  4. eBay will provide you with a unique reference code so that, when your parcel arrives, they know it’s yours and where it needs to go.
  5. You will need to make sure you either print the label eBay provides or include the reference code if you use your own custom label.
  6. You need to pay for the cost of posting to the eBay UK Shipping Centre, in addition to standard eBay fees (including international payment fees).

Summing it up…

Making yourself aware of these new regulations and requirements is important to a smooth transition. Subscribe to our blog so you can get more Brexit updates, and other e-commerce news, directly to your inbox.  

If you’re a ChannelAdvisor customer, please know that we’ll be rolling out updates to our platform to accommodate these changes. Additional communications about these updates will be coming soon.

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