Macallan boutique

Old Aug 3, 2023, 5:51 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by Jzlerner
The app doesn't appear to list the boutique. Do you have a contact number for them?


https://www.themacallan.com/en/heathrow-boutique

contact details above.
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Old Aug 3, 2023, 6:11 am
  #17  
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Originally Posted by jamesreid978
They only sell to people leaving the UK, just an FYI of anyone thinking of booking a cheap domestic to pick one up.

Also worth having a conversation with the staff, a desirable bottle (one which sells for greater than retail price) I enquired about was out of stock once, but after speaking with the sales guy for 5 minutes or so about whisky and my collection, he remembered they did in fact of one in stock in the back...

So just enquiring if they have stock, you might be told no, but that doesn't always mean they don't have stock.
Why would they do that? Is it to prevent Jack the Lad types from buying it up just to sell on?
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Old Aug 3, 2023, 6:29 am
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by Jzlerner
So as it happens I became an expert in this yesterday. I got to customs and literally had this thought. I went through the red channel to ask. Here were the questions:

Hi, I'm thinking of bring into the UK a bunch of whiskey. I know my personal duty free allowance is 4 liters. If I bring in 5 what tax will I have to pay.
Agent: you'll have to pay tax on 5 liters (which may or may not be correct I don't know but it seems ridiculous to have the pay the total and not the excess)
Me: how much is the tax?
Agent: don't know, we'll tell you when you do it.
Me: that doesn't make sense. Imagine I have a 700ml whiskey bought for 300 40%ABV. How much tax am I paying if I bring in excess of my allowance for that.
Agent: we'll work it out when it happens.
Me: nonsensical! It's a set tax rate not whatever you feel like on the day! I'm asking to know before because if you decide to tax me 80% on a bottle what's the point. If it's 20% than it's likely worthwhile. So whats the tax rate?
​​​​​​Agent: we'll work it out when it happens
Me: if I purchase duty free upstairs can I just abondon my flight and exit?
Agent: no, you'll be arrested. It's illegal.
Me: why?
Agent: because you never intended to take the flight, just to get the duty free items.
Me: fair enough. What if I do all the above but declare it and pay taxes?
Agent: still illegal.
Me: why? Buying duty free and then paying duty. What's the issue?
Agent: you'll be arrested.
Me: what if I buy duty free fly out of the UK and then get on the next flight back in?
agent: illegal. You'll be arrested
me: what if I go, stay abroad for a week then come back?
Agent: you'll be arrested.
Me: so how can anyone ever buy any (non consumable) duty free items when they have the full intention of bring it home after their holiday.
​​​​​​agent: mumbles


​​​​​To point out, this is a summary. I was more polite in person and the agent was more annoying than they sound above.

I also should mention when I initially walked in I said straight away "I have nothing to declare I just have some customs questions for the future".

They were really genuine questions. If I can buy a limited bottle for 300, sell it for 1000 next day, I'm more than happy to pay 20% tax and being in as many bottles as I can carry. If I'm not being told the tax rate how can I work it out?

Needless to say after 15 minutes of incompetency I was searched for "raising suspicions" which to be honest is fair, I can't fault them on that but it is utterly ridiculous that the place you are supposed to declare imports cannot provide the tax rates for those very imports.

I agree this is ridiculous, and they should know, but as possible slight mitigation there was a significant change to alcohol duty rates and calculation methods on 1 August so the agent may well have been unsure of the correct answer. He might just have known that things had changed, and didn't want to spend the time working it out under a system that would be new to all of them for a hypothetical import, when he had real "customers" to deal with too. Possibly just unfortunate timing that you happened to initiate this discussion on 2 August. The further conversation about bringing it back does get silly though!

Edit: I suppose I should have a stab at answering the question (tax is my job, but not customs and excise, so do your own calculation).

Alcohol duty depends on exact ABV:

- Duty under the new regime for 70cl of 40% ABV whisky = 8.86
- Duty under the new regime for 70cl of 43% ABV whisky (the internet tells me that is the strength of the Macallan you are all talking about) = 9.52

VAT is 20% on the cost of the whisky PLUS the duty. So if you are saying RRP is 348, and you have a receipt to show Customs that is what you paid, you would be charged VAT on 348 + 9.52 = 357.52 x 20% = 71.50. Note you really really want to have that receipt - if you don't have it, and they go looking up how much this stuff costs, good luck proving you didn't pay 1,000+ for it.

So VAT of 71.50 plus duty of 9.52 = 81.02 payable per 70cl bottle of 43% whisky purchased for 348.

Yes you are charged on the whole amount you're carrying, not just the excess over your limit.

Last edited by gingerlucy; Aug 3, 2023 at 6:55 am
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Old Aug 3, 2023, 6:43 am
  #19  
 
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I think the answers are here. No expert in this field but it appears to be 20%.

https://www.trade-tariff.service.gov.uk/headings/2208
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Old Aug 3, 2023, 7:08 am
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by Phlyer2
I think the answers are here. No expert in this field but it appears to be 20%.

https://www.trade-tariff.service.gov.uk/headings/2208
The 20% referred to is only the VAT. There is also excise duty on alcohol, which needs to be worked out first then VAT on top.
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Old Aug 3, 2023, 7:46 am
  #21  
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If you go through the red channel and pay the duty, surely this then becomes 'duty paid' goods. It doesn't matter whether you bought it in a UK airport, went Spain and then came back with it (sans duty free bag) or just went to Spain and bought it there.
It's not tax evasion unless you keep it in the duty free bag and don't travel.
You used to be able to buy duty free in the UK to pick up airside when your returned from your travels. To me that indicates it is the amount you are importing (notionally from abroad) that is the factor.

As to the morality of gaming a scarce resource to make a few quid, I will leave that for others to comment on.
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Old Aug 3, 2023, 7:51 am
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by DeathSlam
If you go through the red channel and pay the duty, surely this then becomes 'duty paid' goods. It doesn't matter whether you bought it in a UK airport, went Spain and then came back with it (sans duty free bag) or just went to Spain and bought it there.
It's not tax evasion unless you keep it in the duty free bag and don't travel.
You used to be able to buy duty free in the UK to pick up airside when your returned from your travels. To me that indicates it is the amount you are importing (notionally from abroad) that is the factor.

As to the morality of gaming a scarce resource to make a few quid, I will leave that for others to comment on.
Yep would make no sense if you couldn't import from a duty free based in the UK (after travelling). Otherwise they'd need really big signs in every UK duty free shop advising that you're not allowed to bring anything bought here back to the UK.
It would also be tax evasion if you are planning to sell the item and it's not for personal use / free gift. I would only actually be interested in buying for personal use.
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Old Aug 3, 2023, 8:02 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by muscat
Definitely worth a flight if you can buy it for the RRP of 348 and then (attempt to) sell online for 1995 !
Current market value is sitting at around 860 based on an auction last month. (https://www.whiskyhammer.com/item/15...--Folio-7.html)

A decent margin but nothing anywhere near 1995.
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Old Aug 3, 2023, 8:02 am
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by danmushman
interesting
I think pretty standard if you go over your personal allowance they'll tax you on the whole amount
Not sure what the issue is if you take your flights and return to the UK? Any specific guidance on this?
Yes, from here - Border Force - UK customs information
If you have any goods that exceed these allowances, you will need to make a declaration and pay tax and duties due on the full amount of goods in the category or categories exceeded.
There also the interesting question of whether, if you intend to re-sell something, it is Commercial Goods and not covered by personal allowance. Proving it would be challenging though of course.
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Old Aug 3, 2023, 8:06 am
  #25  
 
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Also to the point about the duty you would need to be pay if you exceed your allowance. You don't have to do this in the red channel, you can declare, calculate and pay in advance of travel - gov.uk/bringing-goods-into-uk-personal-use/declaring-goods
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Old Aug 3, 2023, 8:57 am
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Truthmonkey
Also to the point about the duty you would need to be pay if you exceed your allowance. You don't have to do this in the red channel, you can declare, calculate and pay in advance of travel - gov.uk/bringing-goods-into-uk-personal-use/declaring-goods
Very useful link, thanks.
A lot easier than using 'The Tarrif' when importing via shipping.
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Old Aug 3, 2023, 10:24 am
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Originally Posted by Truthmonkey
Also to the point about the duty you would need to be pay if you exceed your allowance. You don't have to do this in the red channel, you can declare, calculate and pay in advance of travel - gov.uk/bringing-goods-into-uk-personal-use/declaring-goods
Maximum of 10 litres of spirits allowed via this route for the high rollers trying to do this on multiple bottles of the good stuff!

More seriously, I'm not actually sure this simplified process works as the first question is on the origin of the goods. There are three options:

1. EU - no longer the right answer
2. Non-EU - but see below...
3. Great Britain & Isle of Man - but it says ONLY to be used if you are importing into Northern Ireland from GB or IoM

I am not sure how I'd answer for bringing Scottish whisky back to Great Britain - to me, (2) isn't meant to include the UK given (3) exists, but (3) doesn't work for re-entering Great Britain. I don't think it's set up to cope with what people are talking about doing on this thread. I'd probably just do it at the border.
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Old Aug 3, 2023, 10:47 am
  #28  
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Originally Posted by gingerlucy
More seriously, I'm not actually sure this simplified process works as the first question is on the origin of the goods. .
Works fine. There is one question for your travel origin and another for your goods origin. Coming from Spain with whisky produced in UK no problem it calculates it as duty + 20% VAT on everything as expected.
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Old Aug 3, 2023, 11:04 am
  #29  
 
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Im told they are limiting purchase to 1 bottle/boarding card but havent validated myself yet.
Its an easy sell on in Scotland via auction at 600-700/bottle at the moment but worth holding out.
Im not back in T5 for 10 days but if theres any left Ill be buying and holding.
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Old Aug 3, 2023, 11:17 am
  #30  
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Originally Posted by gingerlucy
I agree this is ridiculous, and they should know, but as possible slight mitigation there was a significant change to alcohol duty rates and calculation methods on 1 August so the agent may well have been unsure of the correct answer. He might just have known that things had changed, and didn't want to spend the time working it out under a system that would be new to all of them for a hypothetical import, when he had real "customers" to deal with too. Possibly just unfortunate timing that you happened to initiate this discussion on 2 August.
​​​​​​Sorry for not mentioning this earlier. The agent did know of the changes. Either way there is no excuse for a customs agent seemingly not having any knowledge about customs limitations and fees.

And your part about "real customers". I walked in. 2 agents on their phones. One looked up and gave me a "what do you want look". Throughout the 15 minutes not a single other "customer " came through. Guess getting back to candy crush was more important.
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