International orders

Following the UK’s tumbling out of the European Union, from 2021 international orders have become slightly more complicated. The below information applies to all sales we make directly to customers in a country other than the UK via our website or over the phone; if you’re a bookshop overseas and order from our distributor, this won’t apply to you. In either case, if you need more information, please contact us at and we’ll do our best to help.

In the UK, books are ‘zero rated’, and therefore no VAT is due on book sales. However, this does not apply to all countries in the EU, and now that the UK is no longer a part of the EU, the blanket ‘zero rated’ export of books from the UK into the EU is a thing of the past, and customers purchasing from the EU do not necessarily benefit from tax-free purchases. Import tax, at your local rate, is now payable upon books sent to you. While books tend to have a reduced rate of sales tax applied in the EU, the rate varies by country, ranging from 0% in Ireland to 12% in Latvia. You can check your country’s rate via the International Publishers Association’s website, here. The VAT is charged by the shipper before they deliver, so if you order you will hear from the shipper (usually Royal Mail, except for larger deliveries) with a tax bill; please bear in mind that some shippers also charge an admin fee to cover administration, which, we understand, typically ranges from €5–€10.

If you’re buying from a country outside of the EU, this information is still pertinent to you, but what is important is whether the UK and your country have a tax treaty – you will probably know better than us whether your country charges VAT on books (but you can check here), and the UK Government has a list of tax treaties here.

Of course, we understand that, in some cases, an additional bill of €5–€15 for a £10 book makes a purchase out of the question, and we can only apologise to our international customers and friends for the situation we find ourselves in – we can only express the hope that things improve in the coming months.

This page was last updated on the 29th of June 2021. Information on this topic is constantly changing, so please contact us if you want to check anything.

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