Laposte charges for customs duty on parcels

Didn’t Amazon take a deposit from you to cover duty and vat? They always have done when I’ve ordered from them though I think it’s only when sold by Amazon directly.
In one case I actually got the full deposit refunded which suggests that vat wasn’t charged on a quite expensive camera lens.

Yeah I’ll follow your advice. I know the ship no’s are correct. Amazon says they were cleared customs in Belgium and at their depot near Orly now.

Relationship with factrice has been very OK - I make a point of asking for the calendar each year now :slight_smile: … but it may be about to take a nose dive… :-).

As the parcels for sure get handed to La Poste tomorrow, so La Poste must be able to recognise the reference, if they’re not accepting correct entries so it can be paid then it must be deliberate.

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Yeah I am surprised by the accounts on here that Amazon, practically, doesn’t seem to be doing DDP when their conditions make it look like they are.

Or perhaps Amazon is doing DDP but La Poste is not playing ball?.

I’ve had 2 items, not shipped by Amazon, from the UK, arrive this week without any issue at all, delivered by La Poste. These are items I need that you just can’t buy in France. Rather than order them on the UK Amazon site, I found them, and so ordered them on the French site. I think if you order on Amazon UK, and it’s not a delivered by Amazon item, then it’s the senders responsibility to sort out TVA and any duty. Basically, if it’s on the French site then it’s OK, if not then it’s anybody’s guess.

Well, the post lady arrived back today with my package and I handed over the 9 euros. When I opened it I found that it was the Christmas edition of a newspaper I subscribe to that had been delayed in the UK post. I presume the payment was partly because it arrived in a jiffy bag rather than the usual transparent wrapping and partly because some idiot had attached a customs label saying it was goods that had been purchased… :roll_eyes:

You’ll probably find the customs label is what caused it - for a non-commercial newspaper or document it wasn’t necessary, and could have just been sent letter post without the customs. 8 euros of the charge is levied by LaPoste themselves.

You’re absolutely right @Gareth2022 - normally it arrives in just a transparent jacket and it’s obvious what it is!


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OK, good news!

It is now safe to buy stuff on Amazon UK site and have it delivered here, without being clobbered with La Poste extra charges when it’s delivered.

La Poste’s website was hit and miss as to which page you accessed, whether you were logged in etc., as @kirsteastevenson said. True delivery tracking only showed on Amazon, not even after La Poste had taken tbe parcels from Amazon’s French location after it reached France from the UK via Belgium. The parcels only showed on La Poste website later, when they left La Poste’s Brive location to my local Post Office for delivery.

Interestingly, as soon as that happened, the La Poste website said “it’s no longer possible to pay charges for this parcel online”. But only when I was logged out and had deleted cookies from my earlier logins.

I have just had both parcels delivered without any hint of extra charges. Though the post lady did look a bit puzzled as she handed them over, possiby because they’re clearly Amazon and from the UK and maybe she’s used to having to collect charges on things from the UK.

I think @hairbear had the correct answer. To avoid unnecessary extra handling charges by La Poate do the following:

  1. Order the item from if you can. But often there will be a much higher price for the identical item.

  2. As @susannah suggests, look at other EU Amazon sites to see if they have the item as shipping costs can be low, no duty issues and as a consumer you can’t be charged VAT in France if any rate of VAT was included in the sending EU country’s price.

However for items such as mine which are only available in the UK or where all EU prices are prohibitive :slight_smile:

  1. Order on Make sure the item is sold by Amazon.

Amazon will ensure that correctly, UK VAT is deducted as the item is exported. At the point tbe parcel enters the EU, my Amazon tracking showed this was Belgium, local rate of VAT fot EU point of entry is charged. Duty is also charged, if applicable, at this point. But duty is not charged on many items at all, and in particular duty is not charged on phones and pc’s. So as expected I was only liable for EU VAT(TVA).

As the rates of VAT are pretty much the same for UK and BE/Fr, the net effect was 0.

I had made sure I had clicked near the top of the Amazon page before I searched, letting Amazon correctly know I was in France, and I am sure the prices ahown to me on items took all the above into account.

If the item you purchase on Amazon happens to be “Sold by” a Marketplace seller, ie not sold by Amazon but maybe shipped by them, it’s a cr*p shoot whether the seller will correctly process it as an export as above. If there is even 1 cent of VAT or duty due because the full rate of theit local VAT wasn’t prepaid by the vendor to the landing country (whether or not the vendor incorrectly had still left you paying the UK VAT-included price), this gives La Poste their reason to collect tbe VAT due and add their nearly 10 euros handling charges per parcel.

Interestingly I used a promo for which only items sold by Amazon UK were eligible and that was true of all items in my basket. But my receipt said sold by Amazon EU. So Amazon UK 'sold’my items to Amazon EU who sold them to me, in their back end I guess. I am very, very grateful to Amazon for the investment they made in their systems, to make this work.

Hurrah! Now I know how to order from Amazon UK when I need to, without receiving demands for La Poste’s own extra handling charges and unexpected extra VAT, at the point of delivery.

Couriers such as DHL and UPS shouldn’t levy extra handling charges either, if stuff is sent correctly with VAT and any duty due pre-handled by the vendor, and this would include DDP shipments and sendings from other places such as the US and Australia too. But anecdotally, the courier companies may still add their own handling charges incorrectly or for other reasons.


A few months ago we had a christmas parcel of gifts from Australia, very little value (socks and dog toys) and clearly marked as gifts, and the postie said we had to pay 30 euros to recieve it. The postage from Australia paid was already 90 euros. I’ve told the rellies not to send packages anymore. Just not worth the expense. The world has gone mad. I just dont trust posting or buying anything on the internet anymore. Too many scams and rip-offs. Just buy local, use cash. send emails to family overseas, or call them.

I was looking for a new hiking tent this year, as buying now you can get some good deals versus waiting until Spring, so searched around, found one that fit the bill, and then did the trawling. The retail cost of the tent in the UK was as high as £230. Best price I found between France and UK was Amazon UK at just under £85 - a bargain! So thought, even after adding duties it was still lower cost than in France. Took one last look and found the identical tent in Spain for 50 euros! Still can’t believe it as got the last 2, one for a friend and one for myself :partying_face: Guess they’re destocking or wanting aid cashflow. Pays to look around!

Hasn’t that always been the case with 3rd country deliveries in France? The problems being outlined here seem to be Brexit related…

Have nothing to do with it. If purporting to be from one of the major shippers - UPS/DFS/etc, there will be something in the sender deatils that shows it’s not pukka. I almost fell for one from ‘UPD’.

I’ve been plagued with emails from IBS purposrting to be UPS since I changed computers and installed a new instance of Thunderbird Mail client.
Like a “sticky toffee paper” it was difficult to trap them in the message filters to stop them but I seem now to have cracked it as the spam learning software tool in TB seems to have caught up and no recent occurrences have appeared in my inbox.

Perhaps it isnt related to the Brexit issues, but its never happened to us before and we have had many many parcels sent from Australia before without this extra mystery charge. Another post-pandemic snafu: we got told by Orange that France is blocking sms’s including bank codes, from outside the EU due to the massive covid scam sms’s. I had no access to my Aussie bank for over a year until it finally got fixed. The sms system is not the same carrier as the phones, they said. The same thing happened to two American couples we know. Personally, I think there are now too many third parties involved in online business and sometimes they get their wires crossed or dont interact smoothly for some reason. Like apps that dont work together, or some setting somewhere that hasnt been aligned. Funny how it always works to their advantage though. Probably some AI system working out ways to skim extra profits.

There is 2FA in place for my French bank (and others).
If, for some reason the 2FA using a mobile SMS is not available, it will send an email message to the account associated with the app if you request it.

If you are purchasing something from Amazon, sometimes it pays to try Amazon . de. If you google “amazon . de in english” you can view the whole German site in English, and sometimes the prices are cheaper than Amazon France, even taking shipping costs into account.