The UK has decided to leave the EU. This happened on 31 January 2020. The UK will be in a transition period from 1 February 2020 until 31 December 2020 during which time the trading rules between the EU and the UK will remain the same.

As of 1 January 2021, the UK will no longer be in the EU and other rules will apply for trading with the UK, travelling as a tourist and shopping online.

Below, you can read more about what it means for you as a private individual. 

When you purchase a product online from the UK from 1 January 2021, you need to be aware of the price and origin of the product. They both influence the additional costs added to the price of the product itself.   

Read more and find answers to your questions about online shopping outside the EU.

Customs duty

The agreement between the EU and the UK means that you may not be liable to pay customs duty on products you purchase in the UK. 

If you purchase products for more than DKK 1,150 and can document that the origin of the products is in the UK, you will, as a general rule, not be liable to pay customs duty on them.   

If you purchase products for more than DKK 1,150 and the origin of the products is not in the UK, you are liable to pay customs duty. The amount of customs duty that you need to pay will depend on the specific item.   

If you purchase products for less than DKK 1,150, you are not liable to pay customs duty. 

VAT

You must pay Danish VAT if you purchase products for more than DKK 80 excluding shipping costs. VAT is charged on the price of the product, shipping costs and any customs duty. You must always pay VAT on spirits, wine, beer, tobacco products (cigarettes etc.), perfume and eau de toilette, regardless of the quantity you purchase. The Danish rate of VAT is 25%.  

When does a product have a UK origin?

For a product to have a UK origin, it must either be fully manufactured or sufficiently processed in the UK. The trade agreement stipulates when these conditions have been met and you may not be liable to pay customs duty. 

For food products such as milk or meat, it is easy to determine whether this is the case. The situation is more complicated for other products. If you purchase shoes, clothes or electronics in a UK webshop, it may be difficult to assess the origin of the products. Take, for example, an item like a camera. It consists of many different parts that may come from all over the world, and although the product is sold from a UK webshop, it is far from certain that the origin of the product is in the UK. Therefore, if you want to avoid paying customs duty on products purchased from the UK that cost more than DKK 1,150, you must ensure that their origin is in the UK. 

When do I need to pay customs duty? Three examples  

Let us look at three examples where the question of country of origin determines whether customs duty is levied on the products if your purchase exceeds DKK 1,150. 

Example 1

You buy a calfskin travel bag. The bag is made from British calfskin in the UK. Are you liable to pay customs duty?

No, you are not liable to pay customs duty. The origin of the product is in the UK. 

Example 2

You buy a pair of shoes made in China in a UK webshop. Are you liable to pay customs duty? 

Yes, as the shoes are made in China and your purchase exceeds DKK 1,150, you are liable to pay customs duty. The amount of customs duty that you need to pay will depend on the material from which the shoes are made. 

Example 3 

You order a suit over the Internet from a tailor in London. The finished suit consists of fabric from other parts of the world, but it has been tailormade in London. Is the origin of the suit in the UK and can you avoid paying customs duty?

The answer can be both yes and no. If the suit is not fully made in the UK, there are very specific requirements for how materials not originating in the EU or in the UK have been sufficiently processed or worked for you not to be liable to pay customs duty. In this example, the sewing together of piece goods from other parts of the world is probably not enough to determine whether customs duty is payable on the product. 

How to document the origin of products  

If you can document as purchaser that the origin of the product is in the UK, you will, as a general rule, not be liable to pay customs duty. The documentation consists of a so-called ‘statement on origin’ from the seller in which the webshop declares that the origin of the product you have purchased is in the UK. The statement on origin will typically be provided on the invoice or another e-commerce document. As a consumer, you will probably yourself have to request a statement on origin, as it is not certain that the webshop advertises this. 

  • If you are in doubt as to whether the origin of the product is in the UK, we recommend that you either: 
    contact the customs hotline on telephone no. +45 72221202 or  
  • ask the webshop whether the origin of the goods is in the UK. If the answer is yes, it is important that you ask the webshop to send a statement on origin with the products. 

Products for repair or replacement  

If you send your product to the UK for repair, you are only liable to pay customs duty and VAT on the repair costs plus shipping costs. However, this requires that you send your product under a special procedure known as ‘passive processing’. We recommend that you contact the carrier or the Danish Customs Agency (Toldstyrelsen) before sending the product for repair. 

Read more about products for repair or replacement.  

Returns and defective products  

If you want to return products purchased online in the UK, you can apply for a refund of VAT and any customs duty paid.  

Read more about returns and defective products.

Calculating customs duties

Our Danish-language customs duty calculator helps you calculate the amount you have to pay.

You must declare goods to customs and pay Danish VAT if you buy goods for more than DKK 80 (before shipping charges). You must also pay customs duties if the value of the goods is more than DKK 1,150 (before shipping charges). You may also be charged a fee by the shipping agent. Read more about customs declarations in Danish.

You must pay customs duty and VAT on the new goods unless they were shipped to the UK under the rules for outward processing traffic (Danish only). We recommend that you contact the shipping agent or call the Danish Customs Agency (Toldstyrelsen) on (+45) 72 22 12 12 before you return the goods.

You are not required to pay customs duties and VAT when your goods arrive in Denmark. However, you will be required to document that your goods were originally shipped before 1 January 2021.

You are not required to pay customs duties and VAT on your goods.

You can read more in Danish about online shopping in the EU and online shopping outside the EU.

For more information, please visit the Customs Agency's Danish-language campaign site about trading with the UK as of 1 January 2021: Told ved handel med Storbritannien fra 1. januar 2021.

As a general rule, you must pay customs and excise duties when you arrive in Denmark from a non-EU country if you have purchased products for a value of more than:  

  • DKK 3,250 if you arrive to Denmark by plane or ship
  • DKK 2,250 if you arrive by other means of transport

However, if the products you have purchased have their origin in the UK and you can document this, you are not liable to pay customs duty if your purchase has a value of less than EUR 1,200. However, you are liable to pay VAT and excise duties on the products.  

If you have purchased products in a non-EU country and you have a layover in an EU country in connection with your return flight, the rules for products purchased in the non-EU country apply. The rules only apply to products you have with you physically.

Read more about travelling to non-EU countries.

Alcohol and tobacco  

If you want to avoid paying customs and excise duties, there are limits to the quantities that you can bring back with you when travelling outside the EU. This applies to, for example, tobacco and alcohol.  

Read more about how much you can bring back with you.  

If another private individual outside the EU sends you a gift, you usually have to pay customs duties and VAT if the value of the gift is more than DKK 360.

Read more in Danish about receiving gifts from non-EU countries.

Do you have questions about customs duties?

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