Chronopost / DPD demanding for import duty

Dear all
I ordered an external hard drive for my computer from a UK supplier, and it was delivered to my cousin in Portsmouth. The price was £120.

A couple of days ago I arranged for DPD to bring it over, in a parcel with some odds and ends of houshold items.Just now I got a message from Chronopost [DPD’s partner / parent co] demanding €53 in duty plus €7.50 admin. If I don’t pay they will return it to sender.

The notice has no indication of how or if I can query this.
Any suggestions?

Ken in Caen

Mr. Johnson B. 10 Downing Street, Westminster SW1A 2AA (but don’t hold your breath)

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I got an email from Le Poste in the last few days explaining that all parcels from third countries will now attract TVA and import duties as appropriate. They also specified their processing charges, €4 online or €8 in the post office.

I should add, use from now on and not


or Rue du Commerce or even your local high street computer shop.

They probably x-rayed it for security reasons and found “new items” with a possibility of concerns over tax/duty evasion.

But don’t they take account of the value.?

I might pay €50 if I had bought a big RAID but this is a plain vanilla 4TB USB drive.

welcome to Brexshit


As of 22nd June everything attracts tax and duties…

Being an informaticien of the old school when disk failures were normal I’m anal about backups. I have Apple time capsules backing up our laptops and desktop and I also have multiple 4/5TB drives that I’d grandfather, father, son backups to. Managing it became nightmare. So, I splashed out and bought a 20TB RAID. Thunderbolt 3 so as fast as an internal disk. Happy days.

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Thanks, John
We sound to be of similar vintage and mindset. I have a 6TB RAID as my main working drive – Thunderbolt makes it ideal for InDesign and Photoshop work. But I don’t rely on the “hidden” other half of the RAID. I have backups split by category across multiple 4TB and 5TB USB drives – Images / Work in Progress / Video / Personal / Music etc. Some of these externals [LaCie and Toshiba] are now ready for retirement, and it was the replacement for one of them that the Douane want to charge me 40% import duty!

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Same here, an array of Sonnics, on which all of my personal stuff is stored, including loads of photos and videos. Nothing is on my computer. But I won’t be buying from UK anymore. :wink: :slightly_smiling_face:

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You are a wise man Ken :slightly_smiling_face: It was a LaCie I bought and I’m very happy with it. It has a SD card adapter too which is handy because my desktop no longer has.

It is what the majority of Brits voted for. Get over it and pay up.

Oh really?

How many Leave campaigners did you see / hear telling people that Brexit would complicate the lives of those with family living on the mainland?

Don’t feed the Troll, Ken

Instead of shopping in Britain use other European sites like Germany. The prices are lower than the French and you save the taxes from Britain.

Dear all

I wish people would please stop treating me like an idiot.

Over >50 years I have had a successful career as an editor, consultant and business manager, working in the UK, mainland Europe and USA. I’ve been responsible for training hundreds of talented professionals, launched newspapers and magazines, managed budgets of millions and masterminded complex projects for both business and governments.

Since retiring I have lived in France for the past five years and obviously do most of my shopping here.

But there are two factors to consider.

1 - So far as some tech items are concerned, I have longstanding relationships with suppliers dating back to the years when I played a lead role in areas such as publishing systems and web strategy. But I’m not a techie – I suppose you would class me as an expert user in my fields, so English-language support from people who know me and my system etc can be important.

2 - From time to time I have come across special offers and “sales” which made UK pricing competitive… But obviously no longer.

Maybe I did not make my thoughts clear. Survive France normally offers a wide range of helpful advice and pointers to sources of assistance and information.

So I was hoping that someone might say something like: “No prob, pay the bill then visit your local Douane with the invoices and claim a credit.” [In my dreams - we are in France after all].

Anyway, I have bitten the bullet, paid the duties and am told by Chronopost the box will come on Monday.

Lesson learned.

Thank you.


Very many Remain campaigners made precisely those points - but their warnings were dismissed by the Brexit-supporting press and their followers as ‘project fear’.

I take no pleasure in noting that the Remainers’ concerns were well founded. But I despair at the number of UK citizens who were taken in by the misleading information and outright lies perpetrated by the Leave campaigners.

I’m not sure that anyone did that tbh (otherwise their post would have been flagged).

For me, your OP highlighted two very important issues - one, a very timely reminder that the time scale of Brexit and the free movement of goods between the UK and Europe has finally ended and secondly that the duanne are on their toes potentially examining stuff more closely than may have been the case pre Brexit which can only be a good thing from a security point of view.
So, please don’t despair - you did a good job by sticking your head over the parapet! Practical experiences are always more useful than anecdotal ones.
I for one have now completely “closed down” on any potential purchases from the UK but had been progressively doing that anyway since well before the Brexit fiasco.
Your topic served as a useful confirmation of what we all feared would be the case.

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Thanks, Graham

You’re right about the douaniers - I think we should all be grateful for increased security. By which I include matters such as biohazards.

I also share your despair at the way so many people were deceived by Remainers’ propaganda.

But I suspect you would be foaming at the mouth if you heard the full story of the struggles which my friends in the TV production business are having. Just to summarise:

The London head office has half a dozen EU nationals among the 20-plus full time workforce. A German colleague has been refused settled status apparently because she might at some future date become a charge on public funds – even though she came away from a divorce with a couple of million and is about to buy a £900k apartment for cash. And a young French chap has also been refused, very distressed at being told he lacks formal qualifications – despite a degree in economics and a French diploma in finance which is useful to say the least for people working in the accounting depts of international business.

The boss is furious. His immediate reaction was to say: If you don’t want us in the UK, we can move the head office to our bases in Köln or Paris, leaving London as a local production centre like those in some smaller European countries. His second reaction was more direct: “After a year of lockdown, we know all about remote working, so we can relocate you back to your native countries.”