HC Deb 30 January 1989 vol 146 c11W
Mrs. Fyfe

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when and why duty was imposed on calendars sent from Germany as gifts to persons living in Britain; and at what rate duty is charged.

Mr. Lilley

[holding answer 24 January 1989]: All goods imported into this country, including gifts, may be subject to duty or value added tax. This is because similar goods bought in the United Kingdom bear these charges, and different treatment for imported goods would be unfair on businesses making or selling competing products. Under EC law, which we are obliged to implement, calendars that originate in the EC or have acquired free-circulation status are not liable to import duty but are liable to value added tax at the standard rate of 15 per cent. Gifts between private persons may qualify for relief from import charges by post, but business presents sent to private persons are chargeable unless the import value is £7 or less.

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