Importantly for buying overseas stuff, like lithium batteries, chargers, motors, controllers (like my roboteq one) and anything else for adapted cars, powerchairs, electric beds, specialist tools, etc. do the following BEFORE the damned ignorant impossible to contact customs charge you:
Imported goods for disabled people
You can import certain goods into the UK without paying VAT or duty, as long as they're for your own domestic or personal use.
[b]Goods you can import without paying VAT[/b
]Goods designed solely for the use of disabled people that you import for your own use are zero-rated anyway, but in addition, you may not have to pay VAT if you import the following:
•any goods specially designed to be of educational, scientific or cultural help to people who are blind or partially sighted
•any goods specially designed to give educational, employment or social help to people with physical or mental disabilities
You also won't have to pay VAT if you import spare parts, components, tools and accessories specifically or recognisably intended for such goods.
If the goods need adapting to make them suitable for use by disabled people, you can't get any relief on importing the unadapted goods. You'll have to get them adapted before you bring them into the EU.
See a list of examples of goods for the blind that qualify for import VAT relief at the end of this guide.
How to get the relief
If you're bringing the goods in yourself, in your accompanied baggage, you don't need any prior approval. Simply declare them in the Red Channel or Red Point when you arrive. You may be asked to fill in and sign a declaration.
If you're bringing them in by any other means, you have to obtain authorisation first. Write to the National Imports Reliefs Unit (NIRU) and they'll send you a form to fill in.
National Import Reliefs Unit
HM Revenue & Customs
Killyhevlin Industrial Estate
Tel: 028 6632 2298
Fax: 028 6632 4018
After you send the form back to HMRC, you'll be sent an NIRU certificate and a copy of the certificate. Hand the certificate to customs when you import the goods, and keep the copy for your own records.
Goods imported by post
If the goods are being sent to you by post, ask the sender to write clearly on the package and its accompanying customs declaration:
'GOODS FOR DISABLED PEOPLE: RELIEF CLAIMED'
HMRC may send you a form to fill in and complete, together with a declaration. If the package isn't properly marked you may have to pay duty and VAT. If that happens, write to customs at the postal depot where the charges were raised, enclosing your original NIRU certificate, the VAT declaration and the document showing the charges. Explain what happened and if they're satisfied that you don't need to pay duty and VAT on the goods, they'll repay them to you.