Revenue have today reminded online shoppers that from July 1 this year, new VAT rules will come into effect for goods arriving into Ireland from non-European Union (EU) countries.
From July, the current VAT exemption for imported goods with a value of €22 or less will end and all goods arriving into the country from non-EU countries - regardless of their value - will be subject to VAT.
Revenue said the applicable VAT rate will be the relevant rate that would apply if the goods were purchased in Ireland.
It also said that consumers need to be aware that the new VAT rules will apply to goods purchased from a non-EU country in advance of July 1 that subsequently arrive in Ireland for delivery on or after that date.
These new VAT rules will apply in all EU Member States.
Revenue said the new rules will ensure that goods imported from outside the EU no longer have a preferential VAT treatment compared to goods bought from within the EU, including from Irish retailers.
Maureen Dalton, Principal Officer in Revenue's Customs Division, emphasised that consumers need to be aware of the additional charges these changes will bring when buying goods online.
"Goods coming from non-EU countries are regarded as imports. This means the goods are subject to customs formalities and are liable to certain taxes and duties," Ms Dalton said.
"Currently, if the cost of the goods you buy online, including transport, insurance and handling charges, is less than €22 you do not have to pay VAT. From 1 July 2021, VAT will be charged and collected on all goods, regardless of their value," she said.
Revenue said that the rules around Customs Duty and Excise Duty related liabilities remain unchanged, however.
This means that, in addition to paying VAT, if goods cost more than €150, excluding transport, insurance and handling charges, people will also have to pay Customs Duty.
"If you buy alcohol or tobacco products online from outside the EU, then VAT, Customs Duty and Excise Duty are all payable, regardless of the value of your purchase," she said.
Ms Dalton reminded shoppers to be aware that these changes may mean that additional charges can apply once the purchased goods arrive in Ireland for delivery.