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Court blocks tax free imports from home
The European Court has overturned its advocate general's decision that wine lovers should be able to buy wine from any EU member country and have it delivered to their homes, paying just the tax in the country of origin. So a personal visit across the Channel remains the only way to buy wine at low French tax rates.
The existing EU directive maintains that duty will be charged in the member state in which the wine is purchased, provided products acquired by private individuals for their own use are transported by them. In other words, you must bring the wine back to the UK yourself to avoid paying UK taxes. This appears to mean that groups of wine lovers cannot get one person to collect and transport the wine for the entire group.
This is from the Court of Justice press release....
'The Court points out that, in order for products to be exempt from excise duty in the State of importation, the Directive requires that those products be intended for the personal use of the private individual who has acquired them and that it therefore excludes products acquired by a private individual for the use of other private individuals. Furthermore, the products in question must be transported personally by the private individual who purchased them. Were this not so, the effect, for the competent authorities of the Member States, would be an increased risk of fraud as the transport of products covered by the exemption requires no documentation.'
This is from HM Revenue & Customs web site:
If you buy alcohol or tobacco from another EU country, it must be for your own use and you must bring it back to the UK personally. If the goods are not for your own use, or someone else transports them on your behalf, the goods and any vehicle used to transport them are liable to be seized by HMRC and may not be returned.
Winedrive.com offers discount group memberships in the UK, so if your friends, neighbours or fellow club members love good wine, you can make big savings on price and shipping by forming a group and placing bulk orders. Group members then place personal orders to make up a bulk shipment and spread the load by taking more than one vehicle. You make big savings while still satisfying the rule that wine can only be brought into the UK tax-paid in France if it is accompanied by the buyer.
WineDrive is the only web site where you can buy direct at vineyard prices and collect your wine from Calais, free of UK taxes and importer's overheads.
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