Irish consumers could pay extra €170m in customs duty due to Brexit
Irish consumers could pay as much as €170m in additional customs duty this year as a consequence of Brexit, an analysis suggests.
Figures to the end of November show that €465m in customs receipts were recorded by the exchequer.
Based on the trend in recent months and the increased consumer spending in the run into Christmas, it is estimated that this will rise to €510m by year end.
However, this compares to pre-Covid figures of around €340m in 2019, €327m in 2018 and €335m in 2017.
In the latest exchequer Fiscal Monitor for November, the Department of Finance said the increase in customs revenues relates to the impact of the UK’s departure from the EU customs union.
Since Brexit, goods coming from the UK whose country of origin is not the UK are subject to customs duties.
However, due to an absence of data it is not clear whether the entirety of the increase is attributable to the Brexit effect, or some other factors.
Despite the bounce in revenue, the Irish exchequer won’t benefit entirely from it, as around 75% of customs duties go directly to the EU, with just 25% ending up in the state.
The requirement for consumers to pay customs duties on certain goods arriving from Britain since Brexit has created something of a headache for An Post and other delivery companies.
The new customs rules for packages coming from Britain took effect in the summer requiring the sender to provide electronic customs information for each parcel.
Where customs charges apply these must be paid by customers before An Post is allowed to deliver their items.
“Brexit continues to bring bad news for us here in Ireland and this is only the latest example,” said Sinn Féin MEP, Chris McManus.
“I’d urge consumers to make sure the price they’re paying includes all charges.”
“It is particularly galling that this doesn’t even bring much benefit to the exchequer as 75% of customs duties goes straight to the EU.”
Last month the An Post chief executive David McRedmond criticised Britain’s Post Office for not implementing new customs rules.
He said the failure was resulting in thousands of parcels for delivery getting stuck for weeks in the company’s depots.