Tullverket

When something goes wrong

When you buy online, things do not always go as you imagined. We here give guidance on, amongst other things, paying VAT, receiving customs duty repayments and returning goods to the consignor.

I have to pay VAT

If you have bought an article online from a country outside the EU (e.g. via Wish or Alibaba), you must always pay VAT on this article. If you discover from your receipt or invoice that you have not had the opportunity to pay VAT, you must inform Swedish Customs. We will then help you to calculate what you have to pay and send out a periodical customs bill so that you can do what is right.

This applies whether it is Postnord or a courier company that has transported your article.

Remember also that you have to pay customs duty on any article worth more than SEK 1,700.

Inform Swedish Customs by sending us an email or letter stating what has gone wrong and which company transported your goods. To be able to help you, we need to know the price of the article and any freight and insurance charges. You should find these details on, for example, receipts and invoices. Send them to us digitally or on paper.

E-mail tullverket@tullverket.se or send a letter to:

Swedish Customs

Box 12 854

SE-112 98 Stockholm

Notify within three years

You can notify Swedish Customs of non-payment of VAT in the three years following arrival of the goods in Sweden.

I have to pay customs duty and VAT

If you have spent more than SEK 1,700 on an article from a country outside the EU (e.g. via Wish or Alibaba), you have to pay both customs duty and VAT on said article.

If you discover from your receipt or invoice that you have not had the opportunity to pay customs duty and VAT, you must inform Swedish Customs. We will then help you to calculate what you have to pay and send out an invoice so that you can do what is right.

This applies whether it is Postnord or a courier company that has transported your article.

Inform Swedish Customs by sending us an email or letter stating what has gone wrong and which company transported your goods. To be able to help you, we need to know the price of the article and any freight and insurance charges. You should find these details on, for example, receipts and invoices. Send them to us digitally or on paper.

Email tullverket@tullverket.se or send a letter to:

Swedish Customs

Box 12 854

SE-112 98 Stockholm

Notify within three years

You can notify Swedish Customs of non-payment of customs duty and VAT in the three years following arrival of the goods in Sweden.

I have paid too much in customs duty and VAT

If you consider that you have paid too much in customs duty or VAT on an article that you ordered online, you can have the decision on customs duty and VAT modified. Swedish Customs can modify the decision if you apply for modification within three years from the day when you learnt how much you were to pay.

This is what you do

You apply by sending Swedish Customs a letter or email explaining what you consider is wrong. To be able to assess and handle your transaction, we need the following details:

  • the customs ID (a combination of two or three letters and seven or eight digits which you can get from the company transporting your goods)
  • the item number (when Postnord is transporting your goods)
  • an account extract (from your bank account or, for example, PayPal) showing how much you paid for the goods
  • your bank details (account holder’s name, bank, sort code and account number) and your name and address (so that we can credit directly to your account and confirm that we have done this).

We respond within 30 days.

Email omprovning@tullverket.se or send a letter to:

Swedish Customs
Box 12 854
SE-112 98 Stockholm

I have paid VAT on a gift

A gift is something sent from one private individual to another private individual. You do not have to pay VAT on a gift worth less than SEK 500. If you consider that you have received an incorrect VAT demand that you have not yet paid, contact Postnord or the company that transported your goods. If you have paid the VAT that you consider is incorrect, apply to us for a modification by sending a letter or an email.

This is what you do

You apply by sending Swedish Customs a letter or email explaining what you consider is wrong. To be able to assess and handle your transaction, we need the following details:

  • the customs ID (a combination of two or three letters and seven or eight digits which you can get from the company transporting your goods),
  • the item number (when Postnord is transporting your goods),
  • your bank details (account holder’s name, bank, sort code and account number) and your name and address (so that we can credit directly to your account and confirm that we have done this).

Email omprovning@tullverket.se or send a letter to:

Swedish Customs
Box 12 854
SE-112 98 Stockholm

If you have not yet paid, contact Postnord or the company that transported your goods.

Read more about the rules on receiving goods.

My goods have been returned to the consignor

If your goods have been returned to the consignor, you must contact the seller to get back what you paid for the goods.

When you have got back what you paid, you can apply to Swedish Customs for the repayment of VAT and any customs duty.

This is what you do

You apply by sending Swedish Customs a letter or email explaining what has happened. To be able to assess and handle your transaction, the following details need to be included:

  • the customs ID (a combination of two or three letters and seven or eight digits which you can get from the company transporting your goods)
  • the item number (when Postnord is transporting your goods)
  • proof that the consignor has received the returned goods
  • proof that you have got back the money for the goods (e.g. a copy of an account extract showing repayment or a credit invoice)
  • your bank details (account holder’s name, bank, sort code and account number) and your name and address (so that we can credit directly to your account and confirm that we have done this).

Email omprovning@tullverket.se or send a letter to:

Swedish Customs
Box 12 854
SE-112 98 Stockholm

I have returned an article

When you return an article that you bought online, any customs duty, VAT and other charges you paid when buying the article can be repaid. For Swedish Customs to repay the money, we need to declare the customs declaration invalid. We can do this if, within 90 days of the date Swedish Customs received your customs declaration, you apply to have the customs declaration declared invalid.

This is what you do

To apply for Swedish Customs to declare the customs declaration for the article invalid, send a letter or email explaining what has happened. To be able to assess and handle your transaction, the following details need to be included:

  • the customs ID (a combination of two or three letters and seven or eight digits which you can get from the company transporting your goods)
  • the item number (when Postnord is transporting your goods)
  • proof that the consignor has received the returned goods
  • proof that you have got back the money for the goods (e.g. a copy of an account extract showing repayment or a credit invoice)
  • your bank details (account holder’s name, bank, sort code and account number) and your name and address (so that we can credit directly to your account and confirm that we have done this).

Email omprovning@tullverket.se or send a letter to:

Swedish Customs
Box 12 854
SE-112 98 Stockholm

I have received a new article as a replacement

If you receive a new article as replacement for an earlier article that, for example, broke during transport, you need to pay customs duty and VAT on the new article too.

You can apply to get back the customs duty and VAT you previously paid on the first article.

This is what you do

Write Swedish Customs a letter or email explaining what has happened. To be able to assess and handle your transaction, the following details need to be included:

  • the customs ID of the first article (a combination of two or three letters and seven or eight digits which you can get from the company transporting your goods)
  • the item number (when Postnord is transporting your goods)
  • proof that the original article has been returned (e.g. a credit invoice or other document showing that the seller has received the returned article in a country outside the EU)
  • your bank details (account holder’s name, bank, sort code and account number) and your name and address (so that we can credit directly to your account and confirm that we have done this).

Email omprovning@tullverket.se or send a letter to:

Swedish Customs
Box 12 854
SE-112 98 Stockholm

I have to send an article for repair

If you have an article that has broken and you, as a private individual, have to send it away outside the EU for repair, processing or replacement, you can pay lower customs duty and VAT on the article when it is returned to you. In certain cases, you will not need to pay any customs duty or VAT.

Such repair is called “outward processing”. Outward processing requires authorisation from Swedish Customs.

Pay customs duty or VAT or nothing?

If the repair is covered by the article’s guarantee, you pay nothing when the article returns.

If the repair is not covered by the article’s guarantee, you have to pay:

  • customs duty on the repair cost and customs duty on the freight and insurance charges when the article is returned to the EU.
  • VAT, calculated on the repair cost and the combined sums for customs duty.

If your article is duty-free (i.e. the rate of customs duty is 0%) you pay only VAT. This is calculated on the repair cost.

This is what you do

Save the dispatch receipt you get when you send your article. This receipt is the so-called “proof of export”. When the article is being returned to you, it is most often the carrier (which may be Postnord or another forwarding agent) who submits your import declaration and to which you pay customs duty and VAT. To escape paying, you must inform the carrier that you want to “återimport efter passiv förädling” (“re-import after outward processing”). In your import declaration, the carrier will then apply for outward processing. The carrier may want to see your proof of export and a copy of an invoice (or similar) from the company repairing the article. Said invoice must state: that this is a repair; and, the sum you have had to pay.

I am improving an article

If you, as a private individual, are sending away an article for it to be upgraded or otherwise improved, you can pay lower customs duty and VAT when you get the article back. Enhancing jewellery with new gems, renovating musical instruments and upgrading the functions of cameras and clocks are examples of improvements.

Such improvement is called “processing” and is a part of the “outward processing” customs procedure. Outward processing requires authorisation from Swedish Customs.

What do you have to pay?

What you have to pay if you send an article for improvement is:

  • customs duty on the processing cost
  • VAT (calculated on the processing cost + the customs duty).

If your article is duty-free (i.e. the rate of customs duty is 0%) you pay only VAT. This is calculated on the processing cost.

This is what you do

Save the dispatch receipt you get when you send your article. This receipt is the so-called “proof of export”.

When the article is being returned to you, it is most often the carrier (which may be Postnord or another forwarding agent) who submits your import declaration and to which you pay customs duty and VAT. To escape paying, you must inform the carrier that you want to “återimport efter passiv förädling” (“re-import after outward processing”). In your import declaration, the carrier will then apply for outward processing.

The carrier may want to see your proof of export and a copy of an invoice (or similar) from the company repairing the article. Said invoice must state: that this is a repair; and, the sum you have had to pay.

Last updated: 2020-09-03

What is updated: Quality assured