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Important Information for our UK Customers

At Victory Cats we want to be as transparent as possible. For this reason we feel you should be aware of charges that may occur when buying things from abroad.

Many Victory Cats products are shipped from our Manufactures directly to your door. These fulfilment centres are located around the world and as such occasionally items are stopped by HMRC. This is something we have no control over, however we think as a loyal customer you should be made aware of this.

Below is some information from Royal Mail to help.

Royal Mail VAT and customs duties Information

Items entering the UK will be subject to VAT and customs duties. Letters, postcards and documents are usually exempt.

There will also be changes to the way these customs charges are collected.VAT will be applied depending on the type and value of the goods. VAT on items under £135 (with the exception of gifts) will now be collected directly at the point of sale. For goods with a value over £135 and gifts over £39, customs charges will continue to be applied on behalf of HMRevenue & Customs (HMRC). Royal Mail will collect these directly from the recipient prior to delivery. Letters, postcards and documents are usually exempt.

Why have I been charged?

Royal Mail is required by law to present all items arriving in the UK to Border Force. This mail may be checked by them and be subject to customs charges.Any charges are calculated and applied on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). These charges aren’t applied by Royal Mail.

The charges depend on the contents, where the item came from and who sent it. Letters, postcards and parcels containing only documents are normally exempt.

For items sent through the post, Royal Mail pay HMRC any import VAT and Customs Duty on your behalf. This ensures you receive your item as quickly as possible.

We’ll then send you a Fee to pay card. This shows how much you need to pay before you can receive your item. The amount will include our £8 handling fee.

Pay Now

Please note: We can’t release mail until the charges and fees are paid in full.

Find out more about how HMRC calculates customs charges

You can also download our guide to customs charges or see the table below.

What does the Royal Mail handling fee cover?

Our £8 handling fee reflects the cost of clearing items through customs and presenting them to Border Force.

This includes staff costs, storage, administration and handling of the item through Customs. The fee also covers storage and cash handling processes at the Delivery Office.

Why haven’t I been charged for other goods I’ve received?

Prior to the 1 January 2021 items from the EU were not subject to customs charges. The decision to raise VAT or customs duties or not is a matter for HM Revenue & Customs.

How do I pay the charges?

The easiest way to pay a fee is online.

Once we’ve received your payment we will arrange for your item to be delivered. Alternatively, you can pay the charge and collect your item in person from the address on the front of the ‘Fee to pay’ card.

When do I need to pay the charges?

You have 21 days from the date on the ‘Fee to pay’ card. If the charges aren’t paid in this time, the item will be returned to sender.

If you’re paying online, you need to pay within 19 days of the date on the card. This allows time to deliver your item.

What if I think the charges are wrong?

Unfortunately, we’re unable to hand over any items until all charges are paid. This includes cases where you think the charges are incorrect or feel you shouldn’t have been charged.

Please note: Royal Mail can’t enter into disputes on charges applied by HMRC.

If you think the customs charges are wrong, you should contact Border Force directly.

We strongly advise you to pay the fees and take possession of the item before you do this. This is because you will need to send a copy of the customs label attached to your item, with other documents and evidence as required. This will also ensure the item doesn’t get returned to sender while your case is investigated.

You’ll find contact details for Border Force on the customs charge label. You’ll need to fill out form BOR286. Send as much information as you can, including the customs charge label, customs declaration and the part of the wrapper with your address on it.

Find out more details on how to request a refund

Can I reclaim VAT on goods imported by post?

Please note: Royal Mail can't provide a tax receipt for customs charges paid either online or at our Customer Service Points. HMRC have confirmed that the customs charge label attached to items that have incurred VAT/customs duties is a valid receipt for tax purposes.

If you’re a VAT registered business and purchase goods for use in your business, you should keep the outer wrapper including the customs charge label, customs declaration and invoice from the supplier to support your claim to input tax. Further details can be found under Notice 143 on the HMRC website


When are customs fees charged?

You may be charged import VAT and Customs Duty as follows:

Items received from the Channel Islands, EU countries and Rest of World


Import VAT

Customs Duty

Gift sent from one individual to another*

Up to £39



Over £39 up to £135



Over £135



All other items#

Up to £135



Over £135