VatCalculatorOnline

Shipping from abroad and VAT?

Hello everyone. I moved recently to Dubai. I was already living in the GCC but now with VAT, how does receiving shipments work? I used to order a lot from AliExpress and bookdepository.com and never had any issues having it delivered at a PO Box. Now I have read some stories of shipments being "detained" until VAT is paid? Can I still order from these websites (and others) into my PO Box or how is that going to work now? Will shipments get stopped? If so, where? Who do I pay the VAT to? Thanks!!

edit: the PO Box is private. It's my employer's PO Box (who is cool with us getting typical goods like books, etc. delivered there)

Dubai | 👁 544 | Posted March 21, 2018 | Share on Facebook | Twitter | Google+

| Modified: March 21, 2018 | Author:

7 Comments

wurstbla 9 months ago

I am facing the exact same issue. Their reasoning for the 10 AED admin fee (in fact 10.50 AED because they are also charging 5% on that admin fee - you couldn't even think of that!) is that it is charged for the collection of the VAT by the Emirates Post. Note that shipments that are directly put in your PO Box (not just the paper that tells you to go to the front and pick up the shipment, but the real parcel, typically the <5 USD untracked shipments from China Post) are not charged 10 AED because they are not collecting VAT on those.

Aztec_Mayan 9 months ago

It is weird that you're being charged even though you're already paying for renting the po box. Well I've ordered something already from both vendors so I guess I'll see what happens!

DXB_DXB 9 months ago

It's not just the VAT that's the issue. I believe aliexpress can put in a low value and it can be taken care off. The major issue is the 10 per piece charged now. I used to order hundreds of items from aliexpress. Most under 1$. Now the GPO is gonna charge me 10 aed per item to receive on top on vat. Screw that. I've stopped ordering now. I don't believe any country in the world charges for items receive in the Post Box apart for the yearly. Rental charges. Atleast that's for my personal Pobox.

Aztec_Mayan 9 months ago

So I probably the mail room staff will get in touch with me to pay that. Is that how it worked for you? Also believe book depository charged me VAT already.

7ambo 9 months ago

I also order using my employers P.o.box and was speaking to the mailroom employee. I asked about the VAT and he said that they are paying the charges on incoming parcels.

yopla 9 months ago

You pay VAT to EmPost when they deliver and a fee to EmPost for delivering. The guys who get their shipment blocked probably got a door to port (a DAP or DAT?) shipment instead of DDP (delivered duty paid) because it looked cheaper and since he most likely also cheapened out on hiring a clearing agent who knows what's what he had to handle clearing customs by himself. Which is a PITA. Aramex/UPS/Fedex and EmPost will handle this for consumer shipment. For professional shipping hire someone - seriously.


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