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Foreign retailers

What about purchases from another country within the EU?

Buying products within the EU is safer than you might think. The right of withdrawal and rules for distance selling that apply in the UK are based on EU directives that apply to all EU countries:

  • The right of cancellation when buying online is the same as in the UK – you have 14 days after receiving the product to cancel an order of goods.
  • The retailer has an obligation to give you clear information about the terms for the right of withdrawal before you purchase an item.
  • Different countries may have different minimum amounts for the right of cancellation. In many countries it is €50.
  • Remember that the cancellation period of 14 days starts the day you receive your goods.
  • The retailer must deliver the product to you within 30 days unless otherwise agreed. If, after a reminder, you do not receive the product within a reasonable period, you have the right to cancel the purchase and get your money back.

What applies to purchases from countries outside the EU?

If you buy from a country outside the EU, it is counted as private import. Bear in mind the following:

  • You may have to pay VAT, Customs Duty and Excise Duty on your purchase.
  • As a consumer, you may not have the same protection that you do in the EU. It can also be difficult to complain or return produts.
  • You should carefully check whether the retailer you are buying from gives a serious impression. Please check the ratings other users have given the retailer on PriceRunner or other independent sites. If you buy from a retailer in the US, you are recommended to check what has been said about the retailer on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website.
  • You should be aware that products approved for sale in other countries may be prohibited in the UK.
  • You should also ensure that they are not copies or counterfeit products.

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