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Andrew Minalto

Importing from China – VAT & Import Duty!

Hi Andrew!

I want to import clothing items from a supplier in China. What worries me is taxes I’ll have to pay here in the UK upon arrival of goods.

Do you know how much I’ll have to pay?

Items in question are mainly t-shirts, overall value of the order won’t be higher than $1000. I’ll use a courier company for delivery as package is pretty small and weights just 10 kg.

Looking forward to your answer!

Mick, UK

Hey Mick!

Thanks for your question.

Importing from China is usually associated with some kind of mystery when in reality there’s nothing complicated, especially if using a Door to Door courier service for delivery (as in your case).

As for taxes – there are 2 types of taxes you’ll have to pay:

1. VAT (Value Added Tax) – in the UK it stands at 17.5% at the moment. This will be calculated on goods value + shipping fee basis. So if you paid $1000 for items and $200 for shipping, you’ll have to pay 17.5% from $1200 which is $210

2. Import Duty – duty rate varies depending on goods in question but for clothing items (except leather clothing items) it stands at 12%.

Calculation process here is a bit more complicated but to be safe, you have to allocate 30-35% on top of what you have paid for goods + shipping.

There will also be a courier charge for doing the paper work for you – usually around £15-£30.

Finally, if you’re not aware of this, you’ll need EORI number too. Find out more info on this here: