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Value Added Tax on small parcels from 3rd countries to Greece from July 1

Greece will impose Value Added Tax on e-commerce parcels arriving from 3rd, non-EU countries, the Independent Authority for Public Revenues announced on Tuesday. The measure will be imposed as of July 1, 2021.

The VAT will burden all parcels worth up to 22 euros regardless of the time the order was placed

The measure comes in view of the implementation of the new EU framework in the field of VAT, in relation to electronic transactions (e-commerce).

Citing sources of the independent Authority, media report that the tax burden on small parcels will be as follows:

• All imports of parcels worth up to 22 euros, ordered electronically and currently exempted from VAT, are subject to tax from 1 July.

Therefore, consumers are charged with the VAT rate, which is valid in Greece (24% or 13% or 6%), depending on the type of ordered goods.

• The imposition of VAT on small packages is related to the time of their entry into the European Union and is independent of the time of the online order or the start of shipping by the seller.

Therefore, individual importers or postal companies, which import from 1.7.2021 small packages in Greece, regardless of the amount, must comply with the prescribed customs procedure and pay – as the case may be, depending on the type of goods – the applicable VAT.

One and a half year ago, Greeks and expats living in the country got outraged when the Greek Post wanted to raise a deliberate VAT-fee of 15 euros for small parcels arriving from third countries, especially from China and the USA. Back then, the IAPR intervened and canceled the fee.

Now it is more or less official. Blame the EU. And the UK for Brexit.

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17 comments

  1. Blame the EU by all means — but I fail to see what the UK has got to do with any of this.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      for British expats living here who love to order from home. no Brexit, not VAT

      • Exactly. No more ordering from the UK. Anyway, it’s possible to get mostly all you want or need in Greece, you just have to look around.

        • Non-UK residents shouldn’t pay VAT on goods purchased in the UK and taken or sent out of the country. VAT paid can be claimed back from HM Revenue & Customs whether the goods were bought while visiting, or from outside, the UK. UK companies should be able to sell goods to buyers outside the UK, VAT-free. VAT will then be due in the country to which they are sent. Thus the goods are only subject to VAT once. This applies to individuals as well as businesses. Rates may differ and some goods that are VAT free in the UK may still attract VAT in the country to which they are headed.

          • No. That was the case before Brexit. Now, the VAT levied in the UK is not European VAT, and you will pay VAT twice. One of the many “benefits” of Brexit. Three cheers for the right wing malakes in the UK who arranged this!

        • It is not really that simple for a lot of us. For non-Greek speakers shopping retail or online can be very difficult, unlike restaurants where everyone speaks English. Also, some particular brands or specialty products are unheard of in Greece that could be easily ordered online. My wife, pre-C19 would go home to see relatives once or twice a year and pick-up these special items for us, but since C19 this has been impossible. Hopefully, she will be able to make a visit back home soon as we are getting very low on our home country items, that can’t be found in Greece.

  2. Are you serious?

  3. Harry J. Webster

    The government of the EU keeps getting worse every year. They do everything they can to stiffle commerce.
    You can scarely find anything that is not made in China here in Greece and when you try to import non-China products you must pay an additional 24%. God help us!

    • There is no such thing as a government of the EU. The reason you can find Chinese products everywhere is because there is almost free trade (some small tariffs and restrictions) with almost all countries of the world. Blaming the stupidity of the UK on the EU is just ridiculous — as many idiots supporting Brexit are currently doing.

      And the reason that the shops everywhere are full of useless Chinese products is because lower income people want cheap crap — largely, because they have been seriously short of money for the last decade or more. If you want to stop mass Chinese imports, pay people decent wages and tax the multimillionaires and billionaires properly, instead of encouraging them get away with getting richer and richer. Across the developed world, it is the working and lower middle class who are paying high taxes, while the rich cheat their taxes with expert legal advice, stash their billions in offshore tax havens (mostly British islands) and launder their illegal money in the property markets — especially London.

  4. They have deliberately obscured the facts, and confused all journalists. The fact is that Greece did not charge 15 euros VAT last year on packages from outside the EU. It charged a processing fee of 15 euros, regardless of how much (or little) the VAT was. The problem is not the VAT, which is very little for most goods under 22 euros.

    Point of information: all Amazon sales now impose VAT at point of sale according to the country of delivery. Whether this will make any difference to the Greek authorities, who knows? I doubt that they have the slightest idea of what the law is, or whether e-goods have had the appropriate Greek VAT paid. I buy only from online stores in other EU countries, just to avoid the experiment of seeing what the Greek state does with my parcels.

  5. I assume then that all third world countries affected by this E.U. decision will reciprocate the measure and impose tax on E.U. parcel orders…

  6. So this is in addition to customs tax? I remember having to pay €10 customs tax when a friend of mine in New York sent me some socks in the mail as a gift. In fact, many times when people in the States send me packages, I have been asked to pay customs. Even though I didn’t order it, but also when I order something. Now I would pay customs tax + VAT? (Face slap)

  7. Dose this mean we have to pay vat on parcels ( gifts) sent from family and friends in UK or is it just e-commerce

  8. Brexit removed a major funding element of the EU, all countries pay in but some with weaker economies get subsidies from the EU which is supplied by wealthier members, the UK being a BIG ONE!
    This will affect CHINA because companies like Aliexpress do alot of trade in the EU/Greece, this is likely due to US pressure on the EU toward China trade. What is not being said is how China will respond.
    Alot of items are “stored” in the EU for China to deliver faster/bypass rules, this will increase I am sure!
    The backlash will be strong and hurt the EU more than help!
    Who will exit next is the real question?

  9. Greece sucking up to eu orders, pathetic, adding vat, and who says what vat rate a particular item should have. Talk about stifling any type of business, but then again, if the EU orders it, then Greece must do it. So if I order some quality street sweets, Greece will charge vat. If its for private use or consumption, whynot leave as is, if you’re found to resell an item, 5000 euro fine, but if its private use it should be fine as it has been for years. Ooohhh, let’s punish the brits, pathetic. The sooner Greece realises the EU is not a friend, the better.

  10. This one should get all the experts out. Wait till you try and ship stuff back to the UK that you,ve already paid VAT on, thats hilarious.

  11. Just love it
    Tax
    Tax
    Tax

    Do we all have bottom less pockets just like the EU