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Taxation and Customs Union

Buying goods and services online for personal use

The internet allows access to an enormous marketplace without geographical restrictions. The potential benefit to consumers of e-commerce remains largely untapped, due to a number of factors.

In this section you will find a solution to the main issues you may face when buying online for your personal use as regards tax and customs issues. Goods and services are bought for personal use when you are not using them for commercial purposes, but for your own use or your family's.

For matters concerning consumer rights, please visit the ‘Your Europe/Citizens’ portal.

You should be aware that, if you are buying goods online, you may have to pay customs duty, depending on the country that you are buying the goods from. The section on buying goods online provides more information.

Be aware that when buying tobacco products or alcoholic beverages online you will be charged excise duties. You will find specific references to these types of goods in the section 'buying goods online'.

When buying services online, you only have to pay Value Added Tax (VAT). Customs and excise duties are not due. The section on buying services online provides more information.