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VAT and import charges for EU customers

As of 1st January 2021, the rules for exporting from the UK to the EU have changed.

This means that all shipments to the EU will now attract import charges, these are usually VAT applied by the government of the recipient country and collected by the courier or postal service that is transporting your parcel. 

All our books are Zero-rated for VAT in the UK, but in most European countries VAT is charged at between 5-20% on books, including photobooks. Our customers in the EU will now, unfortunately, be responsible for paying VAT on books in accordance with their country’s laws on shipments from us. Please note that extra charges are not applied by RRB Photobooks, but by customs agencies in your home country.

For shipments to Ireland, there is no VAT on books. This means that shipments to Ireland under €150 (~£130) should not be charged customs duties. We have been made aware that some customers have received VAT charges despite there being no VAT on books in either the UK or Ireland, this can and should be challenged.

International customers should also be aware that admin fees can be charged in addition to VAT charges. This is because many governments have asked couriers to collect these charges on their behalf and the couriers have chosen to pass this cost on at the point of delivery.  

The rules are different again for prints, as VAT is charged on print products in the UK. These shipments may also attract charges, we will update this section when further information is available.

As ever we urge all international customers to check their own country's rules and regulations prior to purchase, as RRB Photobooks can not take responsibility for taxes and charges beyond our control.


What do I do if I am charged for a shipment from RRB?

  • Ask for an itemised invoice of the charges if you are unsure
  • Most couriers will provide an easy payment link to pay your charge and release your parcel.
  • Please do not refuse the parcel unless you have no other choice.


What happens if I refuse my shipment or do not pay the import charges?

  • If you fail to pay the import charges your book will be returned to us.
  • Upon receipt of the book RRB will refund the cost of the book only, as we are unable to take responsibility for unpaid charges in your home country.
  • Should you wish, we can re-ship the book. This will incur further postage charges and will be subject to the same VAT charges as the first shipment.


I am VAT Registered, can I reclaim the VAT on my purchase?

Yes, any VAT registered individual or business can reclaim VAT on their purchases. A VAT invoice is available for download from your order confirmation. Please email if you need any further documentation.


How can I avoid import charges?

We are working closely with our partners at Art Book Cologne, who already stock a range of RRB titles. We hope to expand this to the full range of RRB books including pre-orders very shortly.

Based in Germany, books bought through Art Book Cologne are priced to already include VAT, and so there will be no further VAT charges for EU customers who buy from

We do always encourage individuals to double check their own countries rules and import charges before making any international purchase, wherever in the world you are.

See our books at Art Book Cologne

For trade customers, please see Art Book Cologne's Trade Stock