Adam's Blog

How to Claim Back Overpaid Import VAT/Customs Duty from HMRC

I posted an article a couple of years back on how to claim back the £12 ‘customs advancement fee’ from FedEx, but I’ve since had problems with Border Force wrongly calculating

For example, the invoice might state $19USD total value, and yet I’ve been charged £30 Import VAT. The actual calculation should be  20% of £14.80, which is £2.96.

Fortunately, there’s always a way to claim back.


For Royal Mail or ParcelForce imports

If you received the shipment via Royal Mail or ParcelForce, the process is quite simple.

  1. Download and print off a BOR286 form
  2. Fill out all the relevant information along with a quick explanation of why the charges are wrong (e.g. this item cost me £40, so the Import VAT should’ve been £10, yet you charged me £51).
  3. Include a copy of the EMS waybill (if applicable)
  4. Cut off/take a photo of and print out, the Charge Notice, and include.
  5. Include supporting evidence such as the invoice from your supplier, or a print-out of the eBay/Amazon/PayPal transaction.
  6. Stick on a 2nd Class stamp and post to either;
    1. Border Force, Coventry International Hub, Siskin Parkway West, Coventry, CV3 4HX
  7. A few weeks later you should receive a cheque in the post.


For courier (FedEx, UPS, DHL, TNT) imports

If you received via a courier such as FedEx, UPS, DHL or TNT, you need the C285 form instead.

  1. Fill out the C285 form online
  2. Include supporting evidence (such as Entry (C88/E2), Invoice, or the waybill).
  3. Advise HMRC on the amount to be reimbursed
  4. Print out and send to
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