Can I buy and ship alcohol duty free to the United Kingdom?

Many customers from the United Kingdom contact us to ask if we can help them buy whisky, rum and cognac in Europe and ship the bottles from Belgium to the United Kingdom. Absolutely, it’s possible to buy whisky, rum and cognac from mainland Europe and have it shipped to the UK. However, there might be certain regulations and restrictions to consider, especially after Brexit. Continue reading this article and find out how we can help you import whisky, rum and cognac as a consumer into the United Kingdom.

We have an UK VAT number

We can import spirits to the UK as we have an UK VAT number. This means we can sell you spirits and humidors for example without 21% European (Belgium) VAT. A UK VAT (Value Added Tax) number is a unique identifier assigned to businesses that are registered for VAT purposes in the United Kingdom. It’s used for taxation and administrative purposes related to buying and selling goods or services within the UK and the European Union.

How can I buy a bottle of whisky, rum and cognac in Europe to ship to the United Kingdom

When a business reaches a certain threshold for turnover (which varies by country), it’s required to register for VAT. Once registered, the business receives a VAT number, which typically follows a specific format unique to each country. In the UK, VAT numbers are composed of the prefix “GB” followed by the actual number (e.g., GB123456789).

Having a VAT number allows businesses to:

  1. Charge VAT: Businesses registered for VAT need to charge VAT on their sales at the applicable rate and report this to tax authorities.

  2. Reclaim VAT: They can also reclaim the VAT they’ve paid on eligible business purchases.

  3. Submit VAT Returns: Registered businesses must submit regular VAT returns, detailing the VAT they’ve charged and paid.

  4. Comply with VAT Regulations: Businesses must comply with VAT regulations, including issuing VAT invoices, keeping records, and adhering to specific rules related to international trade.

The VAT number is essential for conducting business transactions within the UK and the EU, especially for the buying and selling of goods and services, and it helps tax authorities track and monitor VAT-related activities.

This is how we ship to the United Kingdom

Most of the times clients exceed the order amount of 135 Pound. If this is the case the client can pay vat and if needed excise duties in the UK before arrival of the shipment DAP.  “DAP” stands for “Delivered at Place,” and it’s an Incoterm used in international trade to define the responsibilities and obligations of the seller and the buyer regarding the delivery of goods.

When a transaction uses the DAP Incoterm:

  1. Responsibilities of the Seller:

    • The seller is responsible for delivering the goods to the buyer at the agreed-upon place in the destination country.
    • The seller bears all the risks and costs involved in transporting the goods to the specified destination.
    • The seller handles export clearance but doesn’t cover import clearance in the buyer’s country.
  2. Responsibilities of the Buyer:

    • The buyer takes responsibility for import clearance and any applicable taxes or duties.
    • The buyer is responsible for the goods from the moment they are delivered at the specified place.

In essence, under DAP terms, the seller is responsible for delivering the goods to the buyer at the agreed location within the buyer’s country, but the buyer bears the responsibility for customs clearance and paying any import duties or taxes.

It’s essential to have a clear understanding of Incoterms like DAP in international trade contracts to avoid misunderstandings regarding responsibilities and costs involved in the transportation and delivery of goods.

Packaging spirits to ship from EU to the UK

We will make sure your order will be packaged for international shipments. You will not have to worry about leakage. We want you to be a happy client when you order whisky, rum and cognac from Belgium and Europe to the United Kingdom.


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