Warning to UK buyers of Homey Pro

Just had a notification that my Homey Pro has shipped and is out for delivery - hurray! However, there’s also a notification on the UPS shipping page that I have to pay an additional £67 in import fees, which is incredibly annoying. It’s obviously one of the “benefits” of Brexit (:roll_eyes:) - so do be aware if you’re thinking of ordering a Homey Pro in the UK, or indeed waiting for yours to ship, that you’ll be on the hook for those customs and import charges.

I would check that is correct.
I live in Guernsey, also not part of the EU or UK.
However, mine came via the UK and I didn’t have to pay any extras.

I think you’ve either been lucky, or there’s an exception for shipping to one of the Channel Islands.

See this page for a good explanation on how online orders work after Brexit:

For orders above £135 it is more complicated as they also attract import duty, which can range from 0% to 25% of the item’s value depending on what it is, what material it is made from and its declared value. There are thousands of different rates of duty and the system is difficult to navigate. Clothes typically attract a 12% customs duty, but it’s hard to generalise.
VAT is then added to the total – at the prevailing UK rate, which for most adult items is 20%. The couriers also add their admin charge of between £8 (Royal Mail) and £11.50 (UPS), or 2.5% of the amount paid to clear customs, with a minimum charge of £11 (DHL).

I don’t know how Athom deals with orders from the UK, but because the UK will add VAT to the order, they should be selling the Homey Pro free of VAT.

The same article also makes a note of that:

Other EU retailers appear to have carried on as before, and have been sending out orders without having deducted the VAT. This has led to couriers turning up on doorsteps demanding the UK buyer pay the VAT owed on the item they are receiving.

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Think you are correct Robert, i was probably just lucky.
I would have been happy to pay more anyway, very pleased with it so far :slight_smile:

It goes both ways. I used to buy miscellaneous spareparts from UK before brexit, but now I avoid it because of the import taxes to EU.

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Robert has a good point.
For Norway it seems to be correctly sold free of Dutch VAT (21% atm)

But it’s included for UK customers?

(today’s screenshots)

I think this is worth asking an explanation from Athom? I’m sure this all is not on purpose.

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I can confirm, I have just shipped Homey Pro to UK and received an email by UPS one day before the final delivery stating Duties, taxes, and fees totaling 69.84 GBP are due for this delivery.

I wish the Homey checkout process would have indicated that … at least some sort of warning would have been appreciated. Not a great start!

Why didn’t you educate yourself before importing electronics into your country?


I hope you’re not a proxy for the overall helpfulness of the Homey community.

Good user experience is proactive and doesn’t require me to look into details. Might as well just have a Rasberry Pi from China otherwise.


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Not sure if it’s different now the Homey is out of early access but when I bought one shipped to the UK earlier in the year it was sold by Athom including VAT and then UPS also charged me VAT. I contacted Athom support and they refunded the double charge without hassle.

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You should be addressing Athom, not the community. The only thing that the community can do to help is to tell you, and others, to read up on your local laws and tax codes before importing goods from abroad.

If it’s just a detail, why are you complaining about it?

Actually this is quite wrong. EU countries selling into the UK should not charge local VAT. It is Athom that needs educating on shipping to non EU countries.

That’s not the issue here, the issue is that VAT (+ possible import duties and other fees) still have to be paid when a UK buyer imports a Homey.

It was already mentioned by @Jonathan_Draper that Athom mistakenly charged VAT in their case, and that they refunded it.

The charges the customer paid are indeed correct in that respect but the double charge has been created by Athom’s error. It also means that VAT at 20% was paid on top the existing VAT so is ~ 20% overcharged. So the VAT on import is effectively 24%

I was overcharged this way too three months back but Athom, to date, have not refunded me despite me asking.

It doesn’t help that Athom’s advertised price doesn’t state whether it includes VAT or not but maybe in EU regulations it’s required to advertise a VAT inclusive price.

We don’t know if he was overcharged, the reason he posted his complaint is because he didn’t know that importing goods from the EU into the UK means paying additional VAT, duties and fees.

Maybe … but it was a direct shipment from Athom and despite me raising this 3 months ago it doesn’t seem to have been corrected.

The net result should be that the customer purchases at a reduced price from Athom (VAT removed) and this when added to the import duties/VAT should equate to a small price increase over Athom’s advertised price.

Athom’s issue when I asked them to refund me was they wanted a breakdown of import costs showing specifically how much VAT was paid, but UPS don’t supply that breakdown.

Duties, taxes, and fees totaling 69.84 GBP are due for this delivery.

We’re sort of saying the same thing Robert but your rebuttal of @bengro I feel was not appropriate.

There are two separate issues here: Athom charging VAT while it shouldn’t, and the UK adding VAT+duties+fees when importing a Homey.

I completely agree that the first issue should be solved by Athom, but it wasn’t the reason for @bengro’s complaint, that was because of the second issue.

I regularly buy things from overseas (non-EU) and no seller has ever told me that I should expect additional costs because of this, mostly because they simply don’t know (or don’t want to know). Instead, it is assumed that as a buyer you know your local laws and regulations.

When EU regulations regarding buying from outside the EU changed in July 2021, it was quite well communicated what the changes were, what to look out for, how to check if a seller had a “VAT-agreement” so they could keep on charging VAT without causing issues, and what the monetary limits were above which you need to pay import duties and fees.

I don’t think it’s fair to say that it’s Athom’s duty to explain to a UK citizen what the results of Brexit are. But even if they would, all they can say is “additional taxes, duties and fees may apply”, which is something that I think most people would take for granted anyway until they get presented by the actual bill.

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