No VAT on drug imports to the UK
This thread is applicable to UK residents (and perhaps EU residents) only.
In common with several of the names that appear on this site, my activity here is not just limited to the public form. A great deal of the private message traffic that I am involved with features the central issue of obtaining meds. I suppose I would save much of my time if I just created a standard advice document and then just pasted it as a reply.
Usually, new members thank me for the advice and proceed along their merry way. Not so long ago one of our newer London-based members asked for guidance. There were several issues involved apart from just obtaining meds. I am dyslexic and it sometimes takes me a while longer to do written tasks. After a couple exchanges, I thought sod it, and we spoke and resolved things on the telephone. That member duly thanked me for my guidance. I take this opportunity to return the complement. He taught me a very valuable (£$£$£$£) lesson.
My last lot of meds was purchased for me by a fellow member here (and I can take this opportunity to thank her too). She made the purchase of my meds for me, not because I was too broke; no, she made the purchase because my address is clearly flagged by H.M. Customs and hers isn’t. When I order meds to here, instead of getting the meds, I get a red card through the door telling me that they’ve got my package and that I owe them £18.00 for Import Duty – which includes an £8.00 handling charge.
I have just finished reading a PM response from one of our lady members, thanking me for directing her to a suitable supplier. Unfortunately, she has been stung 1st time by Customs. She is now £17.00 worse off.
Now, here’s what I learnt from that newbie chappie that I was on the phone with. VAT is not payable on imported drugs. He was stung for many hundreds of pounds on some extremely expensive Lyme medication from New York. He explained to me that the pharmacy should have placed certain codes on the package denoting in was drugs and they didn’t. This chap was able to get all his money back from H.M. Customs. On reflection, I seem to remember my last package being labelled “Unrestricted drugs” … but then again, no duty was paid on that consignment.
I shall indeed write to my usual supplier and see if that they can resolve this issue from their end in house. I shall also steel myself to write to H.M. Customs - though as with any government department, I expect that they’ll just give me the run-around.