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Shipping gym equipment from Europe to the UK

By Journalist    20 Sep 2021

Despite the Prime Minister’s claims that trade with the EU would be tariff-free post-Brexit, the reality has become very different when importing gym equipment from the EU.

The UK is a vast e-commerce market, with 93 per cent of Brits shopping online per year. The loss of that market heavily affects the bottom line of many businesses. Additionally, with the added complexity and fees, many UK shoppers could stop buying cross-border altogether, resulting in significant operational changes to many companies.

Covid has increased the demand for fitness goods with people being stuck at home more, but this has become problematic. Both businesses and consumers importing from the EU, whether directly or online via a website, have found they are being charged additional import duties and VAT along with having to jump through importing paperwork hoops at the border. These changes make it undesirable and downright impossible to ship many items into the UK which previously had freedom of movement and were tariff-free, making them easy purchases for consumers. Add to that the size of the average piece of gym equipment, and it’s easy to see why some EU fitness companies are refusing to ship goods to the UK altogether. And with import duties demanded before parcel firms deliver the ordered items cross-border, it’s clear to see why businesses face complaints, expensive returns, and generally lose business.

Paperwork and Payments

Importing Gym equipment from the EU is now handled like any other international import on entering the UK. Gym equipment classed as “Heavy and Large” often needs to be transported by special couriers or shipping companies that can handle these items. So it’s no wonder there are more paperwork obligations, more customs and excise duties to pay, and on top of that, more VAT. Knowledge, as always, is power - so understanding what these are before you ship and calculating how they may affect your bottom line is essential.

Since Brexit, new processes and paperwork are the norm at the EU/ UK borders. Delivery times are longer, and customs ask customers to pay duties even if the item is a gift. In addition, anything over £35 value is liable for import tariffs into the UK so buying virtually any type of fitness equipment from the EU now faces import charges. The legislation changes have endangered thousands of businesses in the sector at risk as consumers on both sides are unwilling or unable to pay the high import costs. Add to that VAT that is expected to be added at 20%, additional to the item cost. So, in a nutshell, duties are payable on all gym equipment with an over £35 value. It’s essential to take this into account and factor it into your profit margins.

Work with us

Many businesses and importers now use the services of an intermediary, customs agent or freight forwarding specialist to help you navigate the complex post-Brexit system.

Barrington Freight is an experienced freight forwarder for gym equipment shipments. We can help take the headache out of shipping and get your goods to your clients without delay.

Barrington Freight  Shipping Gym Equipment  importing gym equipment  EU  Europe 
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