A lot of online shops sell spirits these days. Spirits are alcoholic beverages with alcoholic content between 30 and 150 proof. If you want to buy alcohol online from an online shop outside of your country, there are very useful hints you should know before you make up your mind.
1. IS IT ALLOWED IN MY COUNTRY?
Not all countries allow their residents to buy alcohol online and receive via airmail or courier. There 3 types of countries regarding this issue:
1. Unlimited quantities allowed (i.e. USA, UK, Australia, Germany, etc.)
2. Only 1 bottle is allowed to be imported via airmail (i.e. Sweden, Poland, France, Russia, etc.)
3. Import alcohol is strictly forbidden (i.e. all Islamic countries, Canada, etc.)
You must take into consideration these limitations before placing an order, because your alcoholic parcel might not just be declined, but your attempt to buy liquor online might be subject to penalty.
Where to check this? On your country’s Customs website. If you want to send a gift to someone to another country, than the regulations of the recipient’s country must be applied.
Most spirits online shops apply these limitations and will not let you order spirit online if you want it to be shipped to a country with limitations.
Selling Serbian slivovitz plum brandy for years, we at tastebrandy.com have a lot of experience with these limits and we applied it to our shopping cart.
2. COMMERCIAL OR NON-COMMERCIAL PURPOSE
Do you want to drink it yourself or re-sell it to another other person? If you buy spirits online for your own consumption, the Customs procedure will be as simple as possible. If you own a restaurant or a shop and want to re-sell the brandy that you buy online, than the Customs procedure is a bit complicated and we strongly recommend that you contact Customer Service of the online shop prior to placing an order.
3. IMPORT PERMITS
Some countries require their recipients to be issued an Import Permit before they are allowed to recieve a parcel with alcoholic beverages (i.e. Scandinavian countries).
Be aware that all parcels with spirits will be subject to Customs clearance, without exemption. The Customs officer might charge you! In most countries parcels with small value (i.e. 3-5 bottles) are cleared informally and nothing is charged.
5. CUSTOMS DUTIES
Alcoholic beverages are subject to Customs clearance and you can be charged:
VAT – calculated on the value from our invoice (price of the ordered bottles+ shipping). VAT rate is usually between 17% and 27%, depending on the your country’s tax laws.
I.e. If invoice is 100 EUR and VAT rate 20%, you will be charged 20 EUR VAT.
Excise duty – calculated as charge on percentage of pure alcohol. It varies from country to country.
I.e. Excise duty is 1,500 EUR per hectolitre of pure alcohol. You order a bottle of brandy 0.7 l, alc. 40%.
1,500 EUR/ 100 litres= 15 EUR litre
0.7 l x 15 EUR x 40% v/v= 4.2 EUR per bottle.
Customs duty – calculated on the value of the invoice (including the value of the ordered bottles+ shipping). It is usualy 10-30%, depends on the country of destination.
USA – all parcels with alcoholic beverages are reported to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by tastebrandy.com prior to dispatching. You might be required to pay 21$ for processing of these parcels when they arrive to USA.
6. WEIGHT & SHIPPING
A bottle of 0.7 l of spirit usualy weights about 1.5 kilos. If it is sent via airmail or courier, this might be a significant cost. So, it can’t be easily compared to other merchandize that you buy online. The online shop is obliged to inform you of the shipping cost before you place an order.