I forgot my manual coffee grinder and Aeropress at a friend's place in the UK. The items were bought in the EU (but not Portugal) and I have receipts for them. They're missing all packaging and extra parts. Retail value was about €160, and the package will be shipped using the Royal Mail.

As far as I understand I shouldn't have to pay anything, but how do we convince customs of this in the off chance the package is examined?

Do we indicate a value of £0 on the customs form and include printouts of my receipts? Am I overthinking the whole thing?

  • I don't know the details of Portuguese customs law, but I don't understand why you should expect any duties exemption when sending these items by mail. Exemptions for luggage and free allowances for items (potentially) bought abroad usually only apply if you bring the items in person across the border. May 3 '21 at 17:09
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    Packages under a certain value and shipped via mail (not courriers/express servicess such as DHL/Fedex/UPS/TNT etc.) used not to be charged any VAT, so at that time it would definitely have been "don't worry too much about it". But that just changed (or is just about to change), now they are supposed to charge whatever the amount (trying to protect from imports from Aliexpress etc. from China, mostly). Your solution (value = 0 + include receipts) is probably the right one, along with a quick note explaining the situation (otherwise they'll just take the amount as base for taxes!).
    – jcaron
    May 3 '21 at 17:10
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo The items were purchased in the EU and have thus already been charged VAT. We're not in the case of items bought outside of the EU which would need to be charged VAT.
    – jcaron
    May 3 '21 at 17:11
  • @jcaron And how is OP supposed to prove that and that he is not simply buying used items from outside the EU? Even if he has a receipt showing that the items (or more precisely any item of the same type/brand) were originally bought in the EU, he could have claimed VAT refund when originally exporting them. May 3 '21 at 18:59
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    @MarkJohnson That is of course not a proof. Anyone else, e.g. the friend living in the UK, could have brought the items out of the EU and claimed tax refund. May 4 '21 at 12:27

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