24. Sep 2019 |

Buying Things from Europe after a No-Deal Brexit

From 31st October 2019, there might be some changes to how much you pay for products and services from countries in the European Union, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. This is the case if there is a no-deal Brexit. In addition to this, you might also have to pay more tax on those products and services.

Buying Things from Europe after Brexit
Package holidays, paying with credit card and online shopping: there might be some changes after a no-deal Brexit. (© Unsplash)

There is no current indication as to how much more consumers might have to pay. It is just a case of waiting and seeing what happens.

Let’s take a look at consumer rights, package holidays and other factors that might also be affected if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

Your Consumer Rights

When you buy items from companies that are based in the United Kingdom there will be no changes to your consumer rights. Your consumer rights will remain the same once the UK leaves the EU. This is good news as confidence in UK products will either remain the same or improve.

If you wish to buy a product after Brexit it might be wise to check the terms and conditions before you part with your money. You should consider contacting the UK’s European Consumer Centre if you have difficulties purchasing the products.

If the UK leaves the European Union with a no-deal Brexit you might have to use the court system in the country you bought the item from. This is only the case if you have a problem with the product and you want compensation.

Paying for your Purchases

If the UK comes away with a no-deal, there’s always a chance that you could be charged to use your debit or credit card. This is only the case when you’re buying from companies who are located in the EU, in addition to Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

Please note that payments could also take longer to process.

Returning your Purchases

UK shoppers who tend to purchase items online might be affected if they wish to return their purchases. This is the case whether there’s a no-deal Brexit or the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

Currently, consumers have 14 days to return their purchases. This is the case even if the goods are not faulty.

The period of 14 days was only introduced because the UK Government had to match the EU’s Consumer Rights Directive. If Brexit goes ahead then the UK Government will not have to use the same regulations. This means that you could just have 7 days to return those unwanted purchases.

For some customers, 7 days is not long enough to return goods. Work and family commitments might prevent them from returning their purchases any sooner.  In addition to this, 7 days might not be a sufficient amount of time for the public to discover that their new item does not work as expected. This could potentially cause a lot of problems for consumers. The 7 day return period could mean that consumers are less likely to buy as much as they used to. However, they might also look to buy their products from elsewhere if they are offered a better deal.

EU Shoppers Buying British Products

EU shoppers who purchase British products online may well find that they have less protection. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in Ireland has said that Irish shoppers might no longer be protected by consumer laws that the EU has brought about. What’s more, is that their rights will move from the current rights to another set of rights.

Let’s imagine you live in Ireland and you want to buy a product from a British company. Your consumer rights will depend on those set out by the company you’re buying from. This has the potential to make British products a lot less attractive to consumers in the EU. This is especially as the consumer will have to pay VAT and shipping costs if the product is worth more than €22. Duty will also have to be paid on products that are worth more than €50.

Regardless of where they live, consumers in the EU are unlikely to get a bargain if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Buying a Package Holiday

If you plan to buy package holidays from businesses located in the EU you will probably be covered if the company goes into administration. However, this is only the case if the business sells to those who live in the UK or if the business itself operates in the UK.

If the business does not sell directly sell their business to customers in the UK you will need to check their terms and conditions. This is so you completely understand what will happen if they go into administration. This is also the case if they are no established in the UK. If you are not sure where the company in question is based you will have to check with them.

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