Importing an order whilst still on Universal Credits

biggsy147147biggsy147147 Forumite
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First Post
MoneySaving Newbie
Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this question but I just need a bit of advice and I haven't been able to find any elsewhere as of yet! 

I am looking to make a small order of products from abroad, I'm not currently working and am on UC but it is something I would like to start doing, my question is simply this, can I just make the order and then pay the custom fee's and that's it? Or do I need anything else as I have been told since Brexit you need some sort of self employment code? I am only making a small order of potential products I am interested in selling (roughly £500 from China), I would like to move onto being self employed and working again as soon as possible and would just like to know what the right steps would be first of all. 

Any help would be great. 

Thanks 

Replies

  • edited 20 July at 10:37AM
    martindowmartindow Forumite
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    edited 20 July at 10:37AM
    Carriers ask for an EORI
    I'm not sure what happens if you don't have one.
    You need to make sure that you are aware of all of the costs involved.  £500 at the factory gate in China  might look a bargain but there are shipping costs which have increased greatly over the last year or so.  If they offer shipping to the dockside or an airport here you will also find a host of extra charges above the VAT.  I would ask them to quote for door to door delivery and then do your calculations.


  • J_BJ_B Forumite
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    martindow said:
     I would ask them to quote for door to door delivery and then do your calculations.

    ... and hope that, having paid; some 'border control' don't hold onto it, asking for XYZ duty!!!
  • biggsy147147biggsy147147 Forumite
    5 Posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Thank you for the reply, I am aware of the extra fee's as I have looked into it a fair bit but the main concern I have is that I am not self employed, and do not have an EORI, and because of this I will likely run into some problems along the way. I want to do things the right way and I would really like to begin to start a business online, but I was kind of hoping to see if there was any potential market or to even gain some experience before jumping in at the deep end, which is why I was planning to make an original smaller order like this, to gain a bit of experience and knowledge firstly and to see if it could maybe work financially.

    Isn't there some kind of trial period for people wanting to try self employment and earn a living? If I went ahead with this, notified UC about it in order to get a EORI number, spent lots of money on a big order and it failed within a month I wouldn't have a hope in hell and will have also had UC payments stopped as well
  • martindowmartindow Forumite
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    J_B said:
    martindow said:
     I would ask them to quote for door to door delivery and then do your calculations.

    ... and hope that, having paid; some 'border control' don't hold onto it, asking for XYZ duty!!!
    You can see the duty payable in advance by looking up the commodity code so this shouldn't come as a shock.

  • martindowmartindow Forumite
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    Biggsy, I know nothing about UC but getting an EORI is free and done via the link I posted earlier.  I can't imagine that that in itself would come to the attention of the benfits people.
    Good for you trying to do something to help your situation.  If it is a success I imagine it would affect UC as you will be receiving income.  If it is not a success then there will be no income to disrupt UC.
    There is a benefits board
    and I'm sure that there will be people there able to explain how this would work.

  • SandtreeSandtree Forumite
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    Isn't there some kind of trial period for people wanting to try self employment and earn a living? If I went ahead with this, notified UC about it in order to get a EORI number, spent lots of money on a big order and it failed within a month I wouldn't have a hope in hell and will have also had UC payments stopped as well
    There is no register of self employed, there is only a register of those needing to do self assessment of which one of the reasons can be because you are self employed.

    The only exception is if you are taking less than £1,000 revenue (not profit) per year where you don't have to register for self assessment. Other than that you must register by the September of the first time a SA must be done (its no longer within X months of starting to trade).
  • martindowmartindow Forumite
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    Sandtree said:


    The only exception is if you are taking less than £1,000 revenue (not profit) per year where you don't have to register for self assessment. Other than that you must register by the September of the first time a SA must be done (its no longer within X months of starting to trade).
    This is true regarding SA, but I've no idea how UC would view it.  It is possible that they would want to know about any additional income, no matter how small.

  • brisbris Forumite
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    UC are not the tax man, there is no £1000 freebie. You make a £10 profit and they want to know about it. If you don't declare it and get caught then you are in trouble.
  • edited 23 July at 4:20AM
    seatbeltnoobseatbeltnoob Forumite
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    edited 23 July at 4:20AM
    you should declare yourself self employed with UC before the order. there is no minimum income floor so not issue with that. the stock purchase is an allowable expense for self employed UC. so the -£500 and the -£100 or so import duties and taxes will put your profit down to -£600, when you start making sales then you'll be paying off your losses so you can make £600 profit and not affect your benefits.

    If you hastily place your order before declaring yourself self employed to UC. Then I don't think you can retrospectively add the stock purchase as an expense. Because UC is calculated on transaction basis in your monthly claim period.

    If you declare self employed when you start selling (and not in the month where you placed the order) all the sales will start to reduce your benefits, ignoring your intial "investment"

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