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Any experience about importing goods to the UK from Poland?

Wroclaw Boy  
25 Oct 2010  #1

Does anybody have experience with importing goods form Poland to the UK?

I'll be driving to the UK in a couple of weeks with a large empty van and thought i may as well take some orders from Polish shops etc and load up the van with produce to sell in the UK.

I just had a look at HM Revenue & Customs and its quite confusing.

Any assistance / advice would be appreciated.
aphrodisiac Activity: 11 / 2,493
Joined: 15 Apr 2009 ♀
 
25 Oct 2010  #2

I just had a look at HM Revenue & Customs and its quite confusing.

in what way.

Post an add on the internet, maybe somebody will be interested to use your service.
Wroclaw Boy  
25 Oct 2010  #3

in what way.

Its hard to specifically find the information i need, its all international (in or out of EU) import/export. That tells me that its free movement within EU but i'd obviously like to be sure before i get to Calais.

Post an add on the internet

I may do that, i expect there are distribution centers set up in the UK for Polish produce, even so im sure i could undercut them.
aphrodisiac Activity: 11 / 2,493
Joined: 15 Apr 2009 ♀
 
25 Oct 2010  #4

Its hard to specifically find the information i need, its all international (in or out of EU) import/export. That tells me that its free movement within EU but i'd obviously like to be sure before i get to Calais.

I will get in touch with my sis, she exports to EU on regular basis, so she should know. Will let you know.
enkidu Activity: 8 / 639
Joined: 23 Sep 2008 ♂
 
25 Oct 2010  #5

That tells me that its free movement within EU but i'd obviously like to be sure before i get to Calais.


That is what European Union is all about, isn't it?
Free movements of people and goods, right?
Harry Activity: 58 / 12,045
Joined: 2 May 2007 ♂
 
25 Oct 2010  #6

i'd obviously like to be sure before i get to Calais.

Just tell them it is all for personal use.
aphrodisiac Activity: 11 / 2,493
Joined: 15 Apr 2009 ♀
 
25 Oct 2010  #7

Will let you know.

she exports to France and there is NO duty on good, not there should be any for other EU countries.
Wroclaw Boy  
25 Oct 2010  #8

she exports to France and there is NO duty on good,

cheers, what about cigarettes and alcohol though?
Stu Activity: 12 / 532
Joined: 31 Mar 2010 ♂
 
25 Oct 2010  #9

Have a look here: hmrc.gov.uk/customs/arriving/arrivingeu.htm

Basically: "For excise goods such as alcohol and tobacco, there are no restrictions. However you must meet the conditions below:

* You transport the goods yourself.
* The goods are for your own use or as a gift. If the person you give the goods to pays you in any way (including reimbursing you for any expenses or payment in kind), then it's not a gift and the goods may be seized.
* The goods are duty and tax paid in the EU country where they were acquired."

In the bold print might lay the problem.
delphiandomine Activity: 47 / 11,640
Joined: 25 Nov 2008 ♂
 
25 Oct 2010  #10

You haven't got a chance of importing more than the guidelines with a white van - you're going to get pulled in Dover regardless. Even importing the guidelines in a white van is dodgy.

If you want to import those things, pay the tax - but you've got no chance of making any profit with paying not only UK excise tax, but Polish excise tax too.

she exports to France and there is NO duty on good, not there should be any for other EU countries.


There is no duty, but as I recall, you still have to have some paperwork showing where the goods are being exported and imported to - it's not just as simple as loading a van with goods to re-sell.
Wroclaw Boy  
25 Oct 2010  #11

Have a look here:

Thanks for that link, exactly what i was looking for.

So basically as long as its not excise goods namely tobacco or alcohol you can take what you want. I would be more inclined to bring back food anyway.

it's not just as simple as loading a van with goods to re-sell.

It could be, i dont see anything to suggest otherwise. As long as you run the profits through a company and pay the taxes no probs. The goods purchased would have had VAT and tax paid on them anyway. As mentioned above thats what the EU is all about.
convex Activity: 23 / 4,027
Joined: 25 Nov 2009 ♂
 
25 Oct 2010  #12

It could be, i dont see anything to suggest otherwise. As long as you run the profits through a company and pay the taxes no probs. The goods purchased would have had VAT and tax paid on them anyway. As mentioned above thats what the EU is all about.

Would there be a possibility that they'd want to see invoices for the goods under a company name? Would you refund the VAT in Poland?

I'm curious, have never brought anything over the border commercially.
delphiandomine Activity: 47 / 11,640
Joined: 25 Nov 2008 ♂
 
25 Oct 2010  #13

It could be, i dont see anything to suggest otherwise. As long as you run the profits through a company and pay the taxes no probs. The goods purchased would have had VAT and tax paid on them anyway. As mentioned above thats what the EU is all about.

The laws are different for commercial importation though - I seem to believe

Best bet would be to ask on trucknet.org.uk - they're quite knowledgeable on there, and there's one guy called onys from Poland who might know more.

business-int.com/categories/vat-legislation/understanding-vat.asp explains it quite well :)
aphrodisiac Activity: 11 / 2,493
Joined: 15 Apr 2009 ♀
 
26 Oct 2010  #14

There is no duty, but as I recall, you still have to have some paperwork showing where the goods are being exported and imported to - it's not just as simple as loading a van with goods to re-sell.

that is correct.
inkrakow  
26 Oct 2010  #15

I would be more inclined to bring back food anyway.


Be aware that for any animal products (including cheese, honey etc) you need to have the paperwork - namely a Trade Identification Document that states the Polish producers' veterinary number. It's not needed for small imports for personal use, but they look for it for larger consignments. And in my experience, shops and wholesalers demand it too.
pudliski55 Activity: - / 1
Joined: 30 Oct 2010 ♂
 
30 Oct 2010  #16

I import from pl myself and to be honest what youre trying to do has been tried and done by lots of others before you

the problems you will face are which items to buy, where to buy from, who to sell to and at what price...even today i was talkin to a guy who wants to do it.

First you will need to pay for the goods yourself, i doubt any shop would pay upfront for a guy to bring them in a van... I pay proforma but then i use an established company and a proper spedition firm with all relevent CMR docs

you will not be able to bring back the big money spinners, alcohol and fags, you will no doubt get pulled at dover in a normal white van then checked

also there are cash and carries already all over the uk selling polish goods, they have everything under one roof not to mention buying power so shops will know they can rely on them for stock whereas you may only have a few bits

I agree you could be cheaper but then youd only get £3-4k worth of stock in a sprinter sized van...is it worth the outlay, the trouble of selling it etc for the minimal margins u may make

5 years ago people were making shedloads of money bringin food and drink over in vans cos pl food was new to the uk and there werent so many wholesalers in the uk. I wish i started it then!

if you have any mates with shops in the uk you may be able to buy on their behalf i guess

you will also be paying pl vat at on your purchases cos chances are u dont have a foreign vat number so you will buy something for say 40p + vat @ 22% wheres i will buy it vat free and have a pallet delivered to the uk for 60 euros. Would you still be cheaper? even if you are is it worth the hassle?

I buy free of vat from pl as i have a uk limited company and a uk vat number, i fly out every few weeks for a day or so pick an order and get it delivered. Obviously not every buyer does that. You will already be 22% more expensive after you pay vat then u will need to cover your diesel, ferry, profit etc so you may need to markup your goods by say 70% at which price you will be about the same as one of the uk wholesalers

YOu may get lucky and find a shop willing to work with you

the most expensive goods in the uk at the moment which hardly anybody is supplying are magazines and medicines...u need a lot of money and a good network to sell them tho

also there are spedition websites where people are advertising return loads from pl to uk everyday

If u need any more info let me know

it may be worth your while going into some shops and asking them but im sure theyd wanna see a price list first and even after youve brought the goods into the uk theres no guarantee theyd buy them!

hope you can understand all that its a bit of a mess, im not trying to put u off just giving u a insight from the other side...hope it works for u watever u do
Wroclaw Boy  
30 Oct 2010  #17

pudliski55
Cheers for the info.

I'm not really looking to start a business out of this, the fact is i have a long wheel base van traveling empty to the UK in a couple of weeks and it seems a waste not to use it.

I wish i started it then!

Thats the most important aspect of making money - TIMING. The best idea isnt worth a thing if the timings out. In terms of missed opportunities i wish i was in recruitment when i first met my Polish wife, 2004-2006 would have been great years. I thought about it in 2002 but didn't follow through damn it..
PLUG Activity: 3 / 1
Joined: 23 Dec 2010 ♂
 
24 Jan 2011  #18

hi,i just joined polishforums in the last few months,and i just came across your posts about driving your empty van over to the uk from poland,are you going to be doing this again at any time in the near future? as i would be interested in contacting you and going into more detail,i would be interested in some products,
Wroclaw Boy  
25 Jan 2011  #19

are you going to be doing this again at any time in the near future?

I'm not smuggling cigarettes for you.
anthonybyrne  
4 Sep 2013  #20

I am looking to take on an exclusive distribution to the uk for a company in Poland and I have a meeting next week with the manufacturers. Is there anything that I need to be aware of in respect of a cultural or tax nature. Any help would be appreciated


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Any experience about importing goods to the UK from Poland?
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