I'm not sure how to put in a features request - please can someone tell me if this way doesn't work.
I have been looking into how as a small business I can improve the experience for my EU customers of purchasing from myself, post Brexit as a UK business.
Royal Mail have recommended a company called Taxamo assure which acts as a IOSS. They calculate and charge the customer VAT and pay it to the EU on our behalf without us having to fill in the VAT return. They charge £2 for each transaction. It sounds like the perfect solution but unless you are a shopify plus business one cannot get access to the Shopify checkout and do the API integration. The irony is if you are a shopify plus customer you will be big enough and it will be more cost effective to set up your own IOSS.
I have spoken to support about this who have suggested that I put in a feature request. So here it is. If more people can also express an interest in this feature it may have more chance of being implemented and go somewhere to ease the Brexit headache of doing business with the EU.
Solved! Go to the solution
@SarahFB Well, I haven't found any updated info that contradicts this but on the lookout for it as we speak.
@LauraECY Thanks Laura. I agree some clarification needed. I can tell you that for orders in excess of 150 Euros German customs are an absolute nightmare at present with delays and I really don't want the same experience with smaller orders.
My husband (Swedish) read your reply about having good connections with the Swedish tax authorities and remarked that you must be the only person who has, (expletives deleted, many of them). His prejudice not withstanding ,I will take a closer look. After I take over from him chopping up the ingredients for our casserole, it's really getting quite violent.:-)
@Dbaca Thank you Damon! I have installed the app, signed up online and completed the onboarding. I think I now just need to wait for my integration key to finish integrating my shopify webshop platform and the IOSS number itself. I can't set my shop to charge VAT on EU sales until I have the IOSS number to enter. From your post on another thread you gave instructions on how to add the app and sign up, I think I have followed them ok. It does mention about being billed for three months upfront, is that right?
@Nitsa that made me laugh out loud!! Was it getting like the Swedish chef from the Muppets smacking all the veg with the knife!! 😄
@Nitsa Hi - I just came across a few of your comments whilst frantically searching for information on Shopify stores shipping parcels to the EU under IOSS. I'm the idiot who, despite probably not having enough EU sales to justify it financially (though I can't afford to lose the ones I was getting pre-Brexit), paid an EU intermediary for an IOSS number and they do my monthly VAT returns. I wanted to be able to continue offering a service to my EU customers who have been incredibly loyal to me over the last few years. I felt I was led to believe a) using an intermediary was the only option if I wanted to continue selling in the EU (Taxamo wasn't an option for me) and b) it would be a smooth and seamless experience for me and more importantly, my customers. Well the reality is very different - I'm pulling my hair out with parcels taking ages to arrive and customers being charged when they have already paid tax! I spoke to Dutch customs yesterday because a customer had been charged for tax there despite already paying it on my store. But what really surprised me was the fact that she told me that the Dutch postal service are still charging handling fees of 4-5 Euros even for IOSS parcels - this I was not aware of as a thing, and I'm not sure my customers will tolerate this. I use Royal Mail (click and drop) and I would have expected them to at least be aware of what their service partners in EU markets are doing with regards to charges like this. The whole point of using IOSS surely was to avoid customers having to pay anything once their parcels arrived in their country - this is what I've communicated them, and now it looks like this might not be true. I haven't come across any other EU countries doing this (yet), though I wonder if it will become the norm? Anyway, my question is, are you aware of this happening anywhere else? Pre-Brexit I was shipping a fair amount to Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Ireland, Germany and France so these are the countries I'm most interested in. Denmark is particularly slow in my experience (that's when they're bothering to deliver the parcels in a usable condition!). I've sent the same parcel to Spain twice with DHL, and it was refused by customs - though I have no idea why! I've been searching online trying to see what people's experience of shipping is since 1st July under IOSS, but haven't been able to find much. Considering I haven't shipped that many EU parcels since IOSS came into force, I feel like I'm having more issues than expected for such a small volume of orders. I saw you mentioned Germany said they wouldn't be ready for IOSS until 2022 - that's insane!! Would love to hear anyone else's experiences!
@NatashaD I feel your pain. The Netherlands is also not up to date on IOSS, I know that from conversations with an Etsy seller (Etsy includes IOSS as part of the platform) who has had to stop shipping to the Netherlands. You're also right about handling charges, it's 4 euros if it's delivered or 7 euros from a pickup point, on top of that of course is the VAT being charged again. It's a similar situation in Latvia as well. You also mentioned Spain and I notice that quite a few larger companies won't ship anything less than €150 now leaving the customer responsible for the tax, I can only assume that is also due to the IOSS. I have my doubts whether Germany will be ready in January 22, certainly I have customers there who don't believe that will be the case. According to one of them, if it's digital, forget it, apparently online activities relating to government departments is definitely not part of the famous German efficiency model.
I do get what you mean about wanting to continue to offer a service to loyal customers in the EU. However, at the moment I've decided not to start shipping there as it could end up being a hassle for them as well as me. Another problem that I'm very wary of is using courier companies for products going to the EU, because when they foul up or customs refuse the package your troubles can be just beginning. Depending on the company, it might ask you for payment before they return it or as in the case of TNT, return the parcel to you and then a month later hit you with a bill that is often 3 to 4 times larger than what it cost to send in the first place. You could argue it I know, but the demands dropping through the letterbox and in your inbox is just another hassle. They don't give up easily.
Anyway, it seems from conversations on here that it is working out for some people, but for me personally I have enough problems to deal with and don't want to create any more for what is a relatively small part of my business. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
@Nitsa thanks so much for the reply - it's great to have more of an insight into people's experiences so far as up until now, I've only had my own experience to go on and I didn't know if i was just unlucky! I have had some parcels go through fine so it's not all horrendous (at least I think so because I haven't had many customers contact me to complain), but quite honestly the stress I feel with every EU parcel I send out now is quite real :(. Can I ask where you found out about these issues, is there another forum that's worth me joining? As I'd like to hope and pray that some of this is just teething issues and that everything will improve in a few months perhaps? Or is that unrealistic? I'm also looking at an EU retailer as an alternative option though that comes with a set of other issues I guess. Anyway, thanks so much for replying and I hope all goes well with your business too - what is it you do?
@NatashaD I think it’s always going to be the case anyway that not everything gets stopped so there is a certain element of luck to it. I snoop around various forums like Etsy but also various trade forums, we sell tech industrial items. If you think there is dissatisfaction with IOSS here, it’s dwarfed by the anger in the EU countries. Companies in US, Japan, China are turning down smaller orders because of all the complications. Whether you are a consumer or a business customer in the EU, ordering from non-EU countries is just problematic beyond words. And for European companies they also have the headache of OSS to deal with. Eurocrats or Bureaucrats, call them whatever, just seem to be put into this world to make life more difficult for the rest of us.
@Nitsa I think you're right - luck does seem to play a part as initially I thought things seemed ok. I would expect a certain amount of teething issues, but hearing that postal operators / customs authorities are not at all ready to deal with IOSS is frustrating beyond words! I just thought there'd be more of an international outcry about it - like you say, it's all countries outside of EU that must be experiencing these issues. Why isn't it reported in the press?! I feel like I'm shouting and no one (other than you and others on here!) are listening! Anyway, thank you for the ear, I do appreciate it 🙂
Hi Laura, do you mind if I ask you a couple more questions? I have set myself up and followed the instructions as per @Dbaca post in another thread. I have paid the invoice and am just waiting for my IOSS number, however:
1) I have noticed that I have just assumed that I will only be paying the $24 a month for the Shopify Crossborderit App. I have paid the three months in advance (3 x 19.99EUR) as per the sign up instructions but have realised that I thought I would pay that money through the Shopify Crossborderit app which is $24 a month and I've just paid three months of 19.99EUR. Am I right in thinking that I will be paying the 19.99 EUR a month PLUS the $24 a month for the integrated app. I'm guessing if I only want to pay the 19.99 EUR a month I will have to upload my EU sales manually?
2) Do all EU parcels have to be sent via a tracked service for the IOSS to work from Crossborderit? Tracked post via RM is so much more expensive, especially when you consider customers will be paying extra on their postage to try and help cover the Crossborderit fees and the VAT.
Thanks in advance! 😄