Starting 1st January 2021, all goods shipped to the UK are subject to VAT regardless of the price of the goods in the shipment. Previously, the threshold was only goods over £15 were subjected to a 20% VAT.
These changes are meant to address UK business competitiveness and will primarily affect merchants and shippers in the US, Canada and Australia since the UK tends to import products from sellers in these markets.
To start shipping to the UK, merchants are required to register a British Economic Operator Registration and Identification number (EORI). It is important to discuss these changes directly with your shipping carrier, your organization's tax/treasury expert, and your selling channels. Additionally, it may be beneficial to consult tax software and compliance companies.
EORI Wait Time
At the time of this writing, the British government is advising a week or longer wait time for obtaining an EORI number. However, in light of COVID-19, longer wait times can be expected.
Visit the UK Import Preparation Guide for the most up to date information.