I am advised by Revenue that when goods are imported into the European Union, a customs declaration is presented electronically to Revenue by the importer or by their customs agent. Based on the information contained in that declaration, the relevant taxes and customs duties are calculated automatically. Customs Duty is harmonised throughout the European Union and is charged on the customs value of the goods i.e. the price paid for the goods plus shipping, packaging and insurance costs to the place where the goods first entered the EU. Further information on this is available on the Revenue website at www.revenue.ie/en/customs-traders-and-agents/documents/import-procedures-guide.pdf
Where an importer disputes the rate of duty charged, the Union Customs Code (UCC) provides a mechanism for them to appeal the charge. Revenue’s Designated Appeals Officers manage the Customs appeals and make a determination based on the details of the case.
VAT is chargeable at the same rate as applies to the sale within Ireland of similar goods. A VAT registered trader is entitled to take a deduction in their VAT return, including VAT incurred on import.
Where the importer is not satisfied with the documentation provided by the shipping company, the onus is on the importer to resolve this with the shipping company concerned based on the commercial contract entered into between them.