Shipping to the EU

Last updated: 9 May 2022

WARNING: Customers in the EU have to pay VAT and a handling fee when their order arrives in their country. As our Ts&Cs state, customers are responsible for paying any and all tax, duty and handling fees on their orders.

Fighting 15s has resumed shipping to the EU, with the warning that delivery may take one to two months. Many parcels are getting severely delayed in Customs, in spite of new barcoded postal and customs labels intended to make their processing faster. The simple fact is that the EU has introduced laws that have led to a massive workload with which new IT and staff have been unable to cope.

EU customers should note that their order may be sent by an economy courier service. Although five to seven days is the advised time for this service, the reality is that three to four weeks is not unusual.

If the shipping option for an order uses the word “Estimate” it means Fighting 15s will try to get the best price for delivery and refund the difference once the actual cost of delivery is known. In general, if you live in a major conurbation, delivery will cost less than estimated.

Fighting 15s deducts VAT from prices for EU customers once the shop knows the customer’s country, so EU customers will pay VAT only once on import. The shop uses geolocation software, so may automatically detect a customer’s country. Country detection otherwise relies on the delivery country chosen in the shopping cart.

Customs laws introduced on 1 July 2021 mean that all commercial shipments from non-EU countries are charged VAT on import to the EU. There are no exemptions for items of low value. Payment of VAT and the handling fee are usually dealt with by the mail service or a courier service for the respective EU country. The mail or courier service acts as a collecting agent.

Collecting agents charge a handling fee that varies hugely from country to country. For some countries this charge is low (under 3 euros in Finland, 6 euros in Germany and 75 SEK in Sweden), but for others it is so expensive as to make small orders a luxury (over 13 euros in The Netherlands, 24 euros in Belgium). Fighting 15s is unable to find out the fees charged in each and every EU country, or what the rates are for individual courier services.

Duty paid delivery, whereby EU customers would be charged VAT in the shop and have all customs and handling fees paid in advance, initially sounds attractive. For a business the size of Fighting 15s, however, such a service is too expensive or does not offer better value for customers in some EU countries. To use such a service requires paying an annual fee, the size of which is not viable given our low number of EU orders. Duty paid delivery would require us to add £20 to the cost of every order to the EU.

Situation updates

Fighting 15s regrets that it currently does not ship to the Republic of Ireland. An Post’s IT system is rejecting the new electronic customs labels (everyone else accepts them…). The result is that Ireland is refusing to accept, and is therefore returning, import parcels. See https://personal.help.royalmail.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5317/~/international-incident-bulletin for more information.

Note: This item uses information already available in our Ts&Cs and FAQs.