Amazon FR - Unexpected Customs Import Duty

La Poste just delivered my order of FFP2 masks ordered from Amazon FR.

Surprised and pissed off to be charged 9 euros customs duty, especially as there is no mention of this on on the Amazon product page. In fact the page states “Free delivery… of purchases in mainland France.”

That will be my last order of anything supplied from China!

Do you need to buy them from Amazon? Most of the big supermarkets have them in stock these days. I buy mine from Leclerc.

Lesson learnt!

If the link you gave is correct, there should not have been any charges as it states Expédié par
Amazon/Vendu par Amazon and they should be responsible for all duties, etc.

You should contact Amazon, report the problem and claim back the duties paid.


I’ve raised a complaint with the seller.
I’ll give them a week to refund, then take it up with Amazon.
Not hopeful as I’ve just spotted several similar complaints on the product feedback page.

I think that French customs must have tightened up, as I ordered these masks before and did n’t get charged any duty.

This does seem crazy. Don’t you have some recourse with Amazon??

We ordered safety boots, bought through but actually supplied from UK.
I was very sceptical and scrolled the webpages carefully to check what we were paying for… delivery to France… nowhere did they mention anything extra.
I read the small print until my eyes went blurry.

Then we “watched” the parcel as it moved from country to country (3) across europe… at one point the word “douanne” clicked up and I almost went into meltdown.
Then finally into France and to our door.
With each notification, I was expecting to be told there would be a “fee” (and I was prepared to refuse to pay and lose the delivery).

On the day of delivery (last week), all went quiet… then Laposte rang our bell… and there was the box with no extras, no fuss, no nuffink.
(OH was very relieved, as he’d been expecting to be facing a firing squad.)

Frankly, I would have refused the parcel and fought Amazon for refund rather than be taken for a ride… I was all geared up to be fierce.

So, thank you for the heads-up about China… but I do think you should take the matter up with Amazon themselves.
If they don’t tell you… then you shouldn’t have to pay!!!

edit: I notice you have complained… good luck…

I briefly thought about refusing the parcel, but our post ladies are so friendly and helpful that I didn’t want to ruin their day with all the inevitable paperwork that would have resulted.

You are a kind soul.
Quite possibly, if our delivery person had shown too much misery about my refusal, I might have given in. It would depend on the amount…
On the other hand, I do know that our Post Mistress is very quick to defend “the rights” of the individual and would have insisted on it being returned, no matter what…

In fact, this topic gives me something to discuss with her on Monday.
She’s already enlightened me on how to distinguish fake bank notes… quite an indepth study that was yesterday and all I wanted was some change… :rofl:

That sounds as though you didn’t buy from Amazon FR directly but bought from a seller marketing on Amazon FR.

Until now, I didn’t realise that there was any significant difference!

In response to my complaint, the seller has responded as follows:

*"Hello, *

I am truly sorry for this incident. Our products are sold including VAT and VAT has already been paid when ordering (which exempts orders placed on the internet from customs duties).
The postman should therefore not have asked you for this sum.
*In order to obtain the refund of the tax, I invite you to download the invoice of the order on the page of your order (the latter shows the VAT paid) and to present it to La Poste. *
Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused.

  •   	*


My view is that the seller is trying to shrug the matter off.
As far as I am aware VAT/TVA has nothing to do with customs duty. Am I correct?

I would simply just go back to Amazon for recourse - I’ve found their customer service impeccable and they’ve always provided refunds promptly and dealt with any query that I’ve had fairly. So I’d first try to just get the customs duty refund from Amazon, then if you have to, simply return the item for a full refund. Otherwise I fear you’ll be messed about by the seller by the sounds of it, if you continue down the seller path, meanwhile losing endless amounts of time.

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I got mine from Intermarché.

The issue will be VAT not duty. The problem is that couriers and La Poste add flat rate handling fees as soon as VAT or duty is triggered and those make the charges disproportional.


Is the VAT number valid? Or is this a Chinese company just putting in a pretend number and keeping the VAT themselves?

Did you get an invoice from LaPoste?

This is the EU document on Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) which details what sellers need to do with regards to declarations, VAT, duties, etc. Companies such as Amazon which provide a marketplace are responsible for sellers through the marketplace. Note there is a different process for items valued over 150€.

Amazon should be monitoring all the companies on the marketplace to ensure they comply with the regulations

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