back to article Seagate UK customer stung by VAT on replacement drive shipped via the Netherlands

One of the consequences of Brexit came back to bite a Seagate customer in the UK who was forced to pay import VAT and brokerage fees on a replacement drive still under warranty that was this month shipped from the Netherlands. Tom Parkinson, CEO at New State Entertainment, a group of labels specialising in dance and club music …

  1. alain williams Silver badge

    Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

    have been removed when the drive was exported from the EU ? Or did they pay VAT twice ?

    I believe that Seagate disks are made outside of the EU.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

      have been removed when the drive was exported from the EU ?

      It probably was, and Seagate kept it, but then did nothing to ensure that the recipient was reimbursed or that they prepaid the UK VAT. This is Seagate's fault, they should have prepaid the UK VAT before shipment, since this was a warranty replacement. Instead they just shipped it under pre-Brexit rules and dumped the problem on the customer.

      He should have refused the parcel.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

        That's just not how VAT works. It's paid by the recipient, not the sender.

        There's a gov.uk page for that: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/paying-vat-and-duties-on-imports#not-paying-at-the-time-goods-enter-the-uk

        It's very much likely that Seagate is more aware on how to send disks across borders than you are, them being a global company and all.

        1. ChrisBedford

          Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

          It's also not how warranty replacements work. If the cust has to pay VAT on the incoming new unit, he should have been refunded the VAT on the exported broken one.

          The simple solution, instead of lying down and letting bureaucracy walk all over ignorance, would be for Seagate to tick the box on the export form that says "warranty replacement" and the courier firm to ensure customs notes this. The part then goes through -=GRATIS=- -- at least, that's how it should work in any civilised society.

          Hey El Reg, on a side note: why does this forum flag British English spelling and want me to use American? Hmm? Hmm?

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

            "The simple solution, instead of lying down and letting bureaucracy walk all over ignorance"

            would have been to not vote for Brexshit, like some moronic numpties.

            Well done, all morons who voted for this shit. Now we have to pay customs duties on everything from everywhere.

            1. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

              Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

              Small shipments crossing borders (Canada-US in my case) are always a crap shoot. Sometimes they sail through without issue other times they are delayed and accumulate custom and handling charges, no matter how accurately you complete the forms.

              If there is enough volume the supplier might warehouse product on your side of the border - but that increases costs, so your local prices go up.

              It cost money to cross borders and it is the customer that usually pays one way or another.

            2. VulcanV5

              Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

              June 23rd 2016 is, by now, a long time ago, yet your life seems to have stopped the morning after.

              I'll happily pay VAT and any other charges arising from the electorate's overwhelming vote in favour of Brexit if such payments continue to remind you of the bitterness you felt when realizing that you, in all your innate brilliance, had been out-manoeuvred by all those lesser mortals / 'morons'.

              1. EnviableOne Silver badge

                Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

                51% to 49% is hardly overwhelming

                Referendums under uk law are not legally binding

                The leave Campaign broke the Law

                The referendum question was badly framed with little fact to support either side available.

                As more fact emerged, A lot of those on the 51% side decided they had made the wrong decision.

                Boris, Theresa, etc. all decided to ignore the calls from a more informed electorate for a re-vote.

                the process was dragged out over the next 4 years

                the effects of the above are just starting to be felt.

                In the short term, any sort of brexit was bad for britain

                In the medium term it starts to get to a grey area

                In the long term there may have been positives, but this relies on their being enough to make it through the hort and medium term.

                MPs have enough resources to weather the storm, the people affected mostly do not.

                these are the facts, and they are self evident

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

                  @EnviableOne

                  "As more fact emerged, A lot of those on the 51% side decided they had made the wrong decision.

                  Boris, Theresa, etc. all decided to ignore the calls from a more informed electorate for a re-vote."

                  Actually there were a number of re-votes. However even with GE promises to ditch brexit there was little support for it. Brexit has been consistently the desired option from the referendum, GE's and MEP elections.

                  "the effects of the above are just starting to be felt."

                  I am not convinced. So far we have only just left the EU and had little time to achieve much. We are feeling the effects of the covid crisis. Which leads to the actual achievements which is to have broken from the EU and its collective mentality the UK is incredibly ahead of the vaccination process.

                  The EU on the other hand have apparently blocked vaccine from going to Australia after making diplomatic incident over vaccines, attacked the manufacturers and gone begging to the Russians. The only achievement is to see each member act in their own interests even against agreements with the EU.

                  "In the short term, any sort of brexit was bad for britain"

                  In theory. Events have shown it to be a positive quite quickly. Even the cost of brexit was shut up by the EU covid bailout fund. The quality of EU governance called into question over vaccine procurement. Competency over its commitments with the Irish border screw up. Even the die hard EU nutters are criticizing it from within. Hell even the EU handling the Irish sea border has shown them inept and a laughing stock. Leaving looks to be bloody smart.

                  "The leave Campaign broke the Law"

                  It is questionable if remain did. They were fined over their spending 'methods'. Also didnt leave find themselves on the wrong side of the law by following advice given from the law makers. Also the government literally threatening its population (punishment budget) tends to be considered bad even if they dodge the word illegal.

                  "these are the facts, and they are self evident"

                  There are many facts to brexit.

                  "the process was dragged out over the next 4 years"

                  Very true. Every sickening and traitorous scumbag attempt to keep us trapped causing more delays and increasing the costs of what was a pretty easy affair.

          2. Avatar of They

            Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

            Refund what VAT though?

            If he bought it before Brexit there is no import VAT to repay from Seageates point of view. You can't refund a tax that wasn't there. This is one of those massive obvious things that people who voted Brexit should have known was coming.

          3. Tom Parkinson

            Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

            to be fair it does sorta say that on the manifest - but its confusing and probably caused the problems

            'value' stated at USD $182.30 (usd isnt a great start from a eu base to uk company

            'county of origin' Thailand - again unhelpful and possible WTO rules of origin then apply? but i guess necessary

            then at totaliser it says: TIOTAL EXT value USD$ 182.30

            plus TOTAL BILL (PRICE VALU) 0.00

            so is that VAT they've charged at GBP£33.62

            xe USD-GBP lets say at that time was about 1.38

            182.30 USD > £132.10 - so VAT uk rate 20% (or netherlands 21%) is £26.42

            if my xe is approx correct 33.62 is around 18%...

            so WTAF????

            thats duty not vat right?

            oh no duty is only erm *checks notes*

            Type and value of goods Customs Duty

            Non-excise goods worth £135 or less No charge

            Gifts above £135 and up to £630 2.5%, but rates are lower for some goods - call the helpline

            Gifts above £630 and other goods above £135 The rate depends on the type of goods and where they came from - call the helpline

            are they just making it up?

            oh wait i can 'apply for incorrectly attributed tarrif'...

            https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-repayment-or-remission-of-import-duties-c285-chief

            but you know what ill need:

            What you’ll need

            If you use Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system to import

            You’ll need:

            your VAT registration number, if you have one, this is a 9 digit reference number issued by HMRC when you (or your client) registered for VAT, for example 123456789

            your registration subsidiary reference number, if you have one

            the entry processing unit number of the goods

            the entry number of the goods

            the Combined Nomenclature code of the goods

            the commodity code for amended case, if you have one

            the tariff quote serial number, if you have one

            You’ll need to provide supporting evidence for you claim. This can include:

            C88/E2

            substitute entry

            original preference certificate

            VAT disclaimers

            invoice (this must be a commercial invoice, not a pro forma)

            airway bill

            authority from importer for representative to be repaid

            If you use Customs Declaration Service to import

            You’ll need:

            an EORI number

            registration subsidiary reference number, if you have one

            a movement reference number (MRN)

            Combined Nomenclature code of the goods

            commodity code for amended case, if you have one

            tariff quote serial number, if you have one

            You’ll need to provide supporting evidence for your claim. This can include:

            CDS Declaration and Notification of clearance

            substitute entry

            original preference certificate

            VAT disclaimers

            invoice (this must be a commercial invoice, not a pro forma)

            airway bill

            authority from importer for representative to be repaid

            How to apply

            If you’re a Fast Parcel Operator (FPO), you’ll need to check FPOs reclaiming import VAT on returned goods (CIP2) before using this form.

            If use CHIEF to import use form C285 to Apply for repayment or remission of import duties.

            If use CDS to import use form C285CDS to Apply for repayment or remission of import duties.

            Email HMRC to ask for this form in Welsh (Cymraeg).

            If you’re using an older browser, for example, Internet Explorer 8, you’ll need to update it or use a different browser. Find out more about browsers.

            You’ll need to fill in the form fully before you can print it. You cannot save a partly completed form so gather all your information together before you start to fill it in.

            Send your completed form, and any relevant documents to the address shown on the form.

            After you’ve applied

            You’ll receive a letter with your National Duty Repayment Centre reference, confirming we have received your application.

            You’ll then find out the outcome of your application within 30 working days.

            SIMPLES!!!!!!

      2. Tom Parkinson

        Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

        yes i might do that next time haha - have a bunch of spares anyway - but this will just cause more problems for my local NW london UPS depot who already have pallets and pallets of 'refused' parcels in limbo due to brexit customs regs ... hum... there was a rumour at that depot they were gonna suspend EU / UK shipping like DPD did for a while

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

      Seagate have a plant at Springtown in Northern Ireland. While this is outside the EU, there are import restrictions between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK (and none between Northern Ireland and the EU). A colleague of mine from County Down was surprised to discover that he had to fill out a customs declaration to ship a birthday present back home a few weeks ago. The existence of this internal customs border within the UK is probably most safely described as "controversial". I don't know if the drive at the centre of the article was made at Springtown though.

      Seagate may also have manufacturing sites in the EU - the only ones I know of are in the USA. According to Wikipedia, Seagate's legal (i.e. "official") headquarters are in Dublin, though.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

          So really it's the DUPs fault. If their side had planted more bombs then Dublin would be more scared of an Irish Monarchist Army than London is of a Republican one and a border in the Irish sea would be impossible

        2. Jesrad
          Stop

          Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

          "Basically, we have been told that we have to have an internal border or the IRA will start killing people again."

          That's not true.

          The conundrum was that in order to have divergence of import-export regulations from the EU, the UK needed to put down a border somewhere. The British representatives in the negotiations proposed to not put a border until the divergence would actually start (May's backstop) and the EU was fine with it, but your House rejected it. Then Boris offered to put the border in the Irish Sea, and managed to con the DUP in NI with a promise that he wouldn't actually enforce this border - and they bought it hook, line and sinker.

          That neither party proposed to put the border across Ireland was not just because of the risk of reigniting the Troubles (they still might reignite soon anyway, if the DUP can have its way...), but because that would deprive the Irish citizens of NI of their rights to do business and trade freely with Ireland (and the EU). And that would be a violation of the GFA, of which both the EU and the USA are guarantors. The status quo of NI people being able to both, Schrödinger-style, be British and do business with GB while also being Irish and doing business unfettered with Ireland, was forcibly broken by Brexit. One half had to give way to the other, it happened to be the British side that gave way so NI remained in the EU in all but name.

          1. boblongii

            Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

            I think you've missed a *lot* of the NI side of the conversation. As soon as the idea of having the border at - gasp! - the border was raised, the Irish started ranting about how this would threaten the "peace process". In other words, the IRA would start killing people (the other lot weren't going to kick up a fuss about the border being enforced were they?) and that was the end of it.

            The timing of the border placement was only important insofar as the Irish position was "never is good for us, is it good for you? No? Oh, well, that's sad." And we now know that if May's proposal had been adopted the EU would have simply used it to strangle any divergence no matter how small, keeping the UK in the EU in almost every important way. It was an unworkable idea which set a trap for the whole country. The UK team took far too long to realise that the negotiations were with what amounted to a hostile power.

            As to the GFA, its role in this has been greatly exaggerated. It basically has nothing to do with anything. There's no "rights to do business and trade freely with Ireland" and still less for the rest of the EU.

            The UK government gave way due to the moral blackmail of being portrayed as the people who brought back the troubles if they didn't give the IRA what they wanted - a wedge between NI and the rest of the country, which is what they have achieved. No one in the mainstream UK parties is willing to "threaten the peace process", which is why the EU's move over the vaccines should have been taken as a golden opportunity to let them have as much rope as they needed.

            1. David Neil

              Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

              Lets play spot the angry Unionist

            2. Jesrad
              Facepalm

              Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

              On the contrary I think I have been paying a lot more attention to this issue than I needed to, out of sheer fascination for the area and its history.

              For instance I find it interesting how you completely obviate the importance and scope of the joint-rule arrangements that came from the GFA. Schooling, policing, energy, water, health, migration controls, agricultural policy alignment and coordination, etc. As the direct successor to Sunningdale, the treaty introduced a great deal of such joint, cross-border, power-sharing and mutual legal entanglement institutions, governance bodies, arbitration processes and mechanisms. So I am not buying your "it had nothing to do with anything" claim in the least. And maybe I should have evoked that level of complexity right away instead, fine.

              There simply was no way to unwrap all of these complex, wide-ranging arrangements, and carve a border harder than anything that had existed there before, without voiding the treaty of basically 100% of its substance (and causing major constitutional headaches in both countries). That is why the Irish side of negotiations so firmly pressed the issue. And, Irish interests being European interests, and the EU being one of the signed guarantor of that treaty in the first place, obviously there was no going back on it.

              So stop making this all about the IRA, that is ridiculous, and probably unhealthy too. Brexit was threatening many aspects of current NI-RoI governance if it was allowed to erect a border across Ireland, the peace process was secondary to it (and ideally should not even have come to the fore).

              "The UK team took far too long to realise that the negotiations were with what amounted to a hostile power."

              I think you are projecting here.

              "No one in the mainstream UK parties is willing to "threaten the peace process", which is why the EU's move over the vaccines should have been taken as a golden opportunity to let them have as much rope as they needed."

              That is delusional. Someone unfamiliar with the NI protocol forgot to recontextualise the exemption for NI in the draft document, Ireland pointed out the mistake and got it corrected. At no point was the UK in any position to "give the EU rope".

              1. H in The Hague Silver badge

                Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

                "Brexit was threatening many aspects of current NI-RoI governance"

                As the FT put it succinctly: The DUP backed Brexit but opposed every manifestation of it.

                Source: https://www.ft.com/content/b596905e-9878-433d-9516-181e2432e4ee

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

                  Clearly, somebodies been DUPed.

            3. sniperpaddy

              Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

              Give over. You sound like Arlene.

        3. Alan IE

          Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

          > But as soon as there's the chance of losing money, the Irish are all about the importance of upholding the laws about border crossings.

          We have neither the time nor the crayons to explain this to you. Who would have thunk the upholding of laws and International peace treaties would have been so controversial. Brexit will be a slow motion disaster, and the UK gets to own it and its results. The EU or Ireland will not be scapegoats to poor decisions.

        4. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

          Ever since the Irish Free State came into being in the early 1920s there's been free movement between the UK and Ireland -- Ireland was independent but still in the UK's economic sphere with their currency being effectively tied to the British currency and there being free movement of people between the two countries. When Ireland joined the EC/EU things changed radically because Ireland disconnected itself from the historical association with the UK and connected itself to Europe. The UK didn't seem to notice the change or think it was important because it was also in the EU and so (nominally) connected to Europe. It may not have realized that this move into the EU effecitvely united the two parts of Ireland, two parts of what were historcially one country, and it was this that cemented the Good Friday Agreement. The UK subsequently deciding to leave Europe overlooked the de-facto integration of Ireland and the only viable solution was for the UK government to recognize this 'wellington boots on the ground' fact and apply the border at the ports (where it has been for many years anyway because of anti-terrorism resitrctions).

          Its just another of those unintended consequences. If you look closely you'll probably find that Gibraltar is effectively now part of Spain again. Fact of life -- nobody's interested in a hard border down there, they've got used to Schwnfwn and there's no interest in turning the clock back.

          1. onemark03

            ... this move into the EU effectively united ... Ireland

            You might almost suspect that the real reason for Brexit was to enable the UK to get rid of Northern Ireland (back into the the Republic of Ireland) a little bit more quickly.

            1. eamonn_gaffey

              Re: ... this move into the EU effectively united ... Ireland

              This is the crux of the matter. British politicians have wanted to see the back of NI for decades, and Brexit provided an opportunity to put this in motion. Fair enough some might say, given the DUP's cake and eating it approach (not part of GB, but 'Irish' - really ? ) over the years. However, I'm not sure Dublin even wants NI anymore, it being a black hole sump for public subsidies that it is.

              I can't believe the DUP and allies are dumb enough not to have noticed how isolated they have become, hence the anger of some on this forum. Anyway, the wheels are in motion, give it 1 more generation and NI will probably be annexed into a federal 'Island of Ireland' federation.

              In case they hadn't noticed, the DUP have been sold down the river (or Irish Sea if you prefer) by a completely duplicitous UK PM, from the 'Conservative and Unionist Party'. How ironic.

              1. NerryTutkins

                Re: ... this move into the EU effectively united ... Ireland

                I am not sure I would agree that the DUP were sold down the river. It's one thing to see the Tories pull the wool over the eyes of the average voter, who can perhaps more easily be swept up in jingoistic promises of "we hold all the cards" and "we'll have our cake and eat it".

                But you expect a deeper level of understanding from professional politicians.

                The DUP propped up the Tory brexit government and enthusiastically backed Brexit. When the Tories lacked the majority in the last parliament, the DUP could easily have forced the government to stay in the single market and customs union which would have meant no borders, just like before. Let's remember that despite Tory revisionism, Thatcher was an enthusiast for the single market and if it was really true that "we only joined an economic club" they could easily have left the EU as a political construct, continuing to remain in trading arrangements "the economic club" that would minimize border checks.

                But the Tory government convinced itself that even the economic club was bad, and they'd do better outside. The DUP held their coat, and supported this hardline approach throughout, and of course duplicitous promises were made. The DUP should have been smart enough to realise that Johnson had a history of lying and telling people whatever they want to hear, and that there was no possibility with the NI arrangements that a border in the Irish sea could be avoided.

                One day, probably within the next 15 years, there will be a united Ireland, and they'll put up ironic statues of Arlene Foster and her critical role in cutting Northern Ireland off from the UK and welding it to the Republic.

          2. don't you hate it when you lose your account

            Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

            A number of very good explanations about the truths of the matter, non of which would fit on a bus. The ones that would turned out to be lies. But still they hang out on the bus as it heads over the cliff.

        5. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

          You are so confused.

        6. FrJackHackett

          Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

          "Basically, we have been told that we have to have an internal border"

          Do you honestly not see the irony in complaining about an internal border?

          It's also hilariously ironic that the DUP has done more to further the cause of Irish unity in the last few years than anyone else in the last century. They've gone from supposedly cementing NI's place in the Union under May's government to putting one of the last remaining nails in the coffin a few short years later.

          Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

        7. Max Pyat

          Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

          If the UK isn't able to negotiate good agreements to protect its interests, then whose problem is that?

          Honest question.

          And in terms of "bleating", that's pretty much the best description of your entire post. Make the best of what you've got. It was (by definition) the best you could get out of the situation given where the relative balance of power/expertise/interests lay.

          If the bit that's most enjoyable is complaining, and blaming the EU for things like UK VAT regulations, then I guess have at, but it's more than a bit sad...

      2. Jesrad
        Trollface

        Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

        "While this is outside the EU"

        NI has effectively remained a part of the EU in all but name.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I believe that Seagate disks are made outside of the EU

      in which case, import tax should be added too! ;) I dread to think what to expect if I ever wanted to "iimport" my bicycle, my tent and other outdoor gear, plus my inflatable kayak with my dirty underwear, etc, all stored at relatives' place in one of those EU countries behind the brexit curtain....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: I believe that Seagate disks are made outside of the EU

        I'm now pondering the merits of using an inflatable kayak as the preferred storage receptacle for dirty underwear, and I must say. I can't fault it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I believe that Seagate disks are made outside of the EU

          inflatable, but presumably in a state of deflation?

          1. David Roberts

            Re: I believe that Seagate disks are made outside of the EU

            I feel seen.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I believe that Seagate disks are made outside of the EU

        In all seriousness, you may find that you have to pay to import your bicycle and outdoor gear. My company regularly sent service personnel from the UK to (other) EU countries before lockdown, and they would often travel with a suitcase of personal tools. Current company policy is not to do this; our EU service team will ship standard toolboxes to customer sites (when travel is re-authorised).

        Holidaymakers might get caught out too, if they have a roofrack full of bicycles for example.

        1. H in The Hague Silver badge

          Re: I believe that Seagate disks are made outside of the EU

          " they would often travel with a suitcase of personal tools. Current company policy is not to do this; our EU service team will ship standard toolboxes to customer sites"

          Good idea. Temporary export of tools (and cameras and musical instruments and sound equipment which my contacts deal with) can be done under a carnet to avoid some import/export hassle, but replaces it by carnet hassle and costs.

          https://www.londonchamber.co.uk/export-documents/ata-carnet/

          Most recent governments claim to be committed to the "creative industries" but this makes it more difficult for British musicians, photographers, etc. to work across the Channel. And that's even apart from work visas (different for every country, decided at the national, not EU level).

          "Holidaymakers might get caught out too, if they have a roofrack full of bicycles for example."

          I don't think that's likely to be a problem, but if you've got a particularly new and shiny, expensive bike on that roofrack then it would be a v good idea to carry the receipt from the UK shop where you bought it with you, so you can prove you didn't buy it whilst on hols.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I believe that Seagate disks are made outside of the EU

            but then, I have A LOT of outdoor gear in that storage in the EU, from bicycle to skis, etc.. It's pretty ironic that I bought everything here, but how the fuck am I supposed to prove to the customsdroids that I did actually buy this bicycle around 1995?! Or that tent, skis, boots and sleeping bag, and THAT pair of dirty underwear indeed, which was, QUITE POSSIBLY, made in a non-EU country in the first place before it made it to these shores. No, wait! It was made in Bulgaria, that's EU, right?! No, wait, it was made in Bulgaria BEFORE they joined the EU, but AFTER they joined NATO, although, quite possibly, woven from a fabric 'made in Germany', before they all moved production lines to China.

            re. old underwear v. inflatable kayak, the merits of one against the other are endless, I'll just focus on the most obvious: removal of excess water from inside the abovementioned vessel by means of moisture-absorbing 'thingy'. Ideally a car wash sponge works great, but if none's available at hand (live and learn), old underwear works just fine. And to add an it angle, I also stored my lenovo x220 on board (long story ;).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I believe that Seagate disks are made outside of the EU

              I'd just row the lot across the Channel (ok, not sure about the bicycles, maybe in a raft behind the kayak?)

          2. ridley

            Re: I believe that Seagate disks are made outside of the EU

            The receipt won't stop the EU customs charging you to import the item into the EU.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I believe that Seagate disks are made outside of the EU

          AC>>> (when travel is re-authorised).

          And when you've got the requisite work permits/visas for your UK service personnel ?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I believe that Seagate disks are made outside of the EU

            (Old AC back again): Some of our service personnel are EU citizens. Others will be sent under the arrangement where UK citizens can spend 90 days in any 180 within the EU. They are planning to thoroughly document all travel in case of queries on entry. The company is also planning to get visas for a few, to allow them to work in single countries more than the 90/180 days.

            It won't be as simple as before, and we are having to do some careful planning. The boss has already said that they can reserve up to 14 days from the 90 during the year, so that they can still go to the EU on holiday if they want.

            1. heyrick Silver badge

              Re: I believe that Seagate disks are made outside of the EU

              "arrangement where UK citizens can spend 90 days in any 180 within the EU"

              Don't you also need a work permit if you're going to....work?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I believe that Seagate disks are made outside of the EU

                Yep. The other AC seems to think UK citizens can walk into an EU country and work in 2021. They are mistaken. Unfortunately that is no longer the case due to [checks notes] "Brexit".

            2. arachnoid2 Bronze badge

              they can reserve up to 14 days from the 90 during the year,

              So they are effectively using employees own personal 90 day allowance and not paying for it.

              Union, hello Mr Union I have a question............

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: they can reserve up to 14 days from the 90 during the year,

                Quite common already to be honest - especially with those whose work takes them to the US, where the company will send them using the ESTA / VWP scheme (meetings, training, conferences, etc).

                ESTA / VWP gives you up to 90 days at a time, so long as there is a "reasonable amount of time" between visits.

                Whilst this isn't as clear and prescriptive as the EU's 90 day rule; if the person who is manning the US CBP desk on your arrival doesn't buy into your reasoning, then back you go (and with a black mark on your record which may prevent you from ever entering the US again)!

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: they can reserve up to 14 days from the 90 during the year,

                  Another AC >>> meetings, training, conferences, etc

                  And there's the rub. All of the above can be done on a standard business visa or waiver for most countries.

                  Working on live projects, consulting or any gig not covered under an existing S&M contract needs a visa and/or work permit. This is where many are going to get unstuck. And it's all very well for an employer to try the fly-by-night, "You'll be fine on a standard tourist/business visa!" as they will not be the ones in-country trying to explain it to an immigration official or work inspector.

                  1. JonathanH

                    Re: they can reserve up to 14 days from the 90 during the year,

                    Indeed!

                    This is something that has already been highlighted in the context of UK businesses sending staffers to the EU - yet many businesses are still very unaware.

                    I don't know how the immigration officials in most EU nations are in terms of this (by virtue of having freedom of movement until recently and tending to travel more to the US), but once COVID is under control and things return to "normal" there may be some nasty surprises ahead for some folks.

                    But hey-ho - this is (along with the other issues) all a price worth paying according to some...

    4. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

      It was a replacement drive, so no VAT in the Netherlands, but the UK Customs sees the value of the drive on the documentation and automatically slaps on VAT.

      That said, as a company, they should be able to reclaim the VAT, as Seagate said. It is a pain, but that is how it goes.

      Also, what do datacentres and other bigger customers do? They usually have a bunch of drives on hand as spares - if I had an array of more than a dozen drives and mission critical, I'd always have a couple of spares in my stores, just in case - either as hot spares or cold spares in stores.

      When a drive fails, the hot spare is brought online, the dud removed and a drive from stores put in its place. The dud is then sent back for warranty replacement and the replacement goes into stores.

      Or I'd have 4 hour or 24 hour (depending on the criticality of the data) service contract, which would deliver the replacement in a timely manner.

      With "only" 64 drives, I'd be damned sure to have a support contract or spare drives to hand.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

        Even if you had spare drives in store, you'd still need to get the warranty replacement. Otherwise you'll eventually use up all your spares.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

          Part of his complaint was how long it took to get the replacement. Having spares eases that problem. You use a spare and the replacement, when it eventually arrives goes in the spares bin.

          1. Mr. Flibble

            Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

            Sadly WD were no better years ago for speed. I have had nothing but problems with drive replacements with them, even before brexit.

            Another WD was "fake", even though I bought it from an authorised reseller, and the last one, they were complaining about the serial number, even though it wasn't fake in the end.

            It took so long to get 1 drive replaced (a month) another one started failing and eventually I lost the array.

            Before you laugh at my lack of planning, it was a personal system and I wasn't rich enough to have spare drives lying around...

            For that reason I'm no buying WD ever again.

            1. Tom Parkinson

              Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

              and thats why switched to seagate haha - im of to Toshiba for next lot who will warranty back 5 years HHD enterprise via sales channels - but i cant afford to do that wioth 64 HDD in use on various raids....

          2. Tom Parkinson

            Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

            amen mate i do keep spares of course

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

          In many cases though, the replacement drive is already local.

          Take Cisco gear. If you have a 24x7x4 service contract, you get the replacement within 4 hours of the RMA being generated. The replacement is already local and then you ship the bad part back within 10-days. So if the replacement is local, there would be no VAT since nothing is being imported in. How the parts depot gets replacement components could be a different story though.

          On Cisco servers, they use various different manufacturers and you deal with Cisco and not the actual drive manufacturer. Cisco like most other vendors also use white label drives; so the warranty is up to them and not the drive manufacturer anyway. So large companies that have lots of drives are going to be dealing with the server/SAN/NAS vendor anyway and not the drive manufacturer and they will have a support contract.

          1. Tom Parkinson

            Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

            like i said we are small player - cisco servers? big boys only

      2. DrewWyatt

        Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

        From having participated in negotiations for bigger storage arrays, I know that some businesses agree with the manufacturer that they will have a small stock of warranty spares on site. I have also seen agreements where the manufacturer agree to keep a small stock locally, say within 20 miles. That way the spares can cover multiple businesses in the same geographical area.

      3. Tom Parkinson

        Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

        of course we do have spares, the process pre brexit took over a week! but also i want my 5 year warranty upheld and this wasn’t the deal... they should be sending warranty replacements via sales channels in local countries to avoid this like toshiba do. 4 hour swap out cover? nah that’s me i do that bit. seagate should cover the replacement with no fuss or red tape.

        1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

          Buy British. They still make paper punch tape don't they?

    5. Sykowasp

      Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

      As an RMA drive, surely no VAT is due, because it's a replacement, not a new purchase?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

        No it's a sale but Seagate eat the price.

      2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

        You pay VAT on imports whether you bought the thing you are imported, received it as a birthday present, won it in a raffle or found it in a field.

        1. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

          An extreme case was a car thief stealing a Bugatti Veyron in Austria and trying to sell it in Germany. Germany declared the stolen car was imported and wants about £200,000 import tax from the car thief.

        2. Max Pyat

          Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

          Not quite, and in fairness, Seagate make it all rather clear:

          "In addition, while it is correct that the customer is responsible despite the warranty, the customer will be entitled for a VAT relief. If they declare the replacement as outward processing relief at export. If the customer fails to do so, then yes, it is up to the customer to pay for the VAT, and this is a Brexit consequence: VAT is charged when products are crossing the border."

          So all that's required is for the customer to prepare export documentation and file it appropriately with HMRC or Customs & Excise or whoever it is these days in order to secure a VAT relief that can be applied against the import of the replacement (or repaired) HDD when it comes into the UK later on. There's probably not much more than a couple of days administrative work required on this (between reading into the processes, documenting it, etc.,), plus whatever administrative checks are needed at the border to make sure that it's all legit.

          And one should not forget the most important thing: these are proper UK regulations vital to taking back control. This should not be confused with awful EU red-tape that presumably was in the background of the old system where Hard Drives would shoot back and forth without any proper UK control on what was happening.

          1. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

            Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

            The problem is still with Seagate.

            Their RMA process should cover this OR they should be providing the RMA within the UK.

            The simple answer is one of

            Enough people will get stung by this and stop buying Seagate drives in the UK

            People who have RMA's or will refuse to pay the import costs of a RMA then take Seagate to the small claims court for failing to abide by their warranty policies

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

        Seems more like an issue with the process and the warranty. In Oz you deal with the outlet you bought it from -> it's their problem. In UK it will depend on where liability sits - I always thought the contract was with the outlet not the manufacturer. Maybe them bypassing the vendor to RMA with the manufacturer caused their problem?

        1. Tom Parkinson

          Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

          that’s would be nice toshiba do it that way but pre brexit this process was a breeze. also western digital do same way for their SMB enterprise products.. so toshiba for us next time

    6. Max Pyat

      Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

      I think as Seagate explained, the owner of the drive needed to declare the export of the drive from the UK as a warranty return. This would have given some sort of credit to the owner, which they could then use to re-import the drive (or its replacement) VAT-free when it was sent back to the UK. I've no idea what the paperwork for this would look like, but the logic is reasonably clear. Additionally, it would be important to be able to verify that the returned drive basically matched the one sent to Seagate (i.e. that someone didn't "warranty return" a 40MB ancient HDD, and then get sent a 1TB SSD by return). Not sure how customs check that, but they'll be building up the systems already if they haven't already.

      Ultimately it's not a big deal. A few hours of paperwork and checks (or a couple of days maximum) would be all it would take in terms of actual administrative work, and maybe a couple of weeks of additional transit time. Is that really a problem? It's really just a matter of UK rules and regulations, and seems like a small price to pay.

      If the owner of the drive failed to declare it on exit of the country, then there's really nothing that Seagate (or the Netherlands) can do. The UK has "taken back control", so it's not appropriate for them to even comment on the matter. As HRH said "it's none of their damn beeswax".

  2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

    > What is charged is import VAT. In addition, while it is correct that the customer is responsible despite the warranty, the customer will be entitled for a VAT relief.

    Only if the customer is a business registered for VAT.

    Which rules out quite a number of business, as well as consumers. So, we all get to pay for our "free" replacements.

    Brexit really was a fucking idiotic idea, only made worse because it was implemented with absolutely 0 understanding of the impacts.

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
      Facepalm

      The worst of it is that, if it's under warranty, there shouldn't be a charge on the drive.

      So if the price of the drive is zero, how is the VAT on zero £33.62?

      Importing things here into Portugal, they ask to see the invoice and then work out the VAT on what you've actually paid, not the nominal value of the item. Just strikes me that those in charge didn't really think this one through.

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Coat

        Price vs Value

        Because of dishonst customs declarations, most countries customs have a right, by local law, to decide the value of a shipment.

        "But it's secondhand baby clothes and a present."

        "They look new. We'll catalogue them, decide the value and charge appropriately."

        I remember equipment "passports", the Carnot, or otherwise you paid duty on your gear crossing the frontier, going and returning.

        Companies need to document the part LEAVING and then there is no VAT or duty on it returning, perhaps repaired or "refurbished".

        Claiming back VAT can be an option too. It's nothing to do with the EU or Seagate, but UK Customs rules for foreign countries. Previously applied to USA, Thailand, China etc.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Importing things here into Portugal

        Not the experience I've had. Once I bought second-hand audio cables form the US (from a proper shop, providing a receipt) and Customs wanted me to pay more for VAT and import duties than the cable cost me. They told me the receipt was fake and that the 'correct' price was the one on the maker's website. Talking to others, I was told it's a scam they pull so merchandise is abandoned and auctioned, where people in the know, basically their buddies, buy the best lots for a bargain.

      3. hoola Silver badge

        And this is exactly what I was thinking, if it is a warranty replacement then the value is effectively zero. The customer has paid nothing for it and there should not be a value for customs purposes. There may be a value for insurance purposes but that should be completely separate from customs.

        Whilst the root cause is the shambolic mess we ended up with due to political dogma, idealism and above all stupidity, it is not beyond the whit of Seagate to ensure the replacement has appropriate documentation. This applies to all the stuff sent out as replacements under warranty of maintenance.

        On the other hand I am still waiting for a package from Germany that has been "processed in DHLs export centre in Dorsten and despatched to the recipient region" for a week now. You cannot get any more information that that, if have copies of all the waybills and customs docs and everything is correct. That is a £10k instrument that we will only get after further delays when we finally get the Vat/Customs notification.

        The whole thing is a total clusterfuck caused by the likes of JRM, BJ, DC and other moronic tossers who just don't understand anything other than the Beano (though even that may be a bit tricky).

      4. arachnoid2 Bronze badge

        VAT

        Isnt VAT at the perceived value of the item not the sales price ergo presents which cost you nothing still have VAT/Import rules applied.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      They're still not going to get the brokerage charges back. There'll likely be a VAT element to that but nothing more.

      I wonder whether and how Tom voted. And all the other small business owners who are finding out the hard way about freeing the UK from EU red tape.

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Yep, either way there's a direct cost.

        Plus, of course, even if you can claim VAT relief, you're still not recouping it all in practice, as you've got to pay someone to sit and deal with more complex accounts paperwork than they had to pre-Brexit.

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        It's one of those things that wasn't explained/deliberately fudged over. The world is tied up with red tape. Always (since trading began) has been, probably always will be. The EU effectively removed a few layers of tape in exchange for a smaller number of other, mostly less cumbersome ones - such as standardisation.

      3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        They're still not going to get the brokerage charges back. There'll likely be a VAT element to that but nothing more.

        I don't get 'brokerage charges', especially from shippers like DHL, FedEx or even the Royal Mail. But then I remember shipping stuff pre-EU. Like bimbling off to a UK post office, getting a package weighed, filling out a little form declaring what was in it, which was then stuck on the parcel along with a wodge of stamps to cover charges.

        And I remember receiving packages, sometimes with additional charges to pay, if the shipper had got the paperwork wrong. But it was one of those things that went with international shipping. Buy X, get quoted to ship to or from me, let the shipping company deal with that stuff. After all, that's what they do, ship things around the world and hope the package and paperwork arrives in the right place.

        So I'm puzzled why there's now a 'brokerage charge' applied for shippers like DHL etc to just do their job. Pre-EU, maybe that was just rolled into their shipping cost, and post-EU, it's seen as a nice per-package 'tax' they can apply to inflate their profits, and bears no relationship to their cost.

        I'm kinda curious if DHL & others apply this charge to ship from the EU to other non-EU countries, of which there are many.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The charges are related to pushing your purchases through their bonded warehouses and clearing customs. It's a bit of a scam in the modern era, but it has always been the case since I can remember. And it never stopped for non-EU shipments.

        2. hoola Silver badge

          The fees they charge are to cover the fact that they will be paying the VAT and any duties before you pay them. There clearly is a load of admin as well, most of it fairly straightforward but one assumes they will have some packages that the courier has paid the VAT/Duty that the recipient then declines to pay. Whilst that means they don't get the package I am not sure what the courier then does with the parcel.

          If they send it back they have to cover the return cost and then claim the Duty/VAT back plus any other documentation that is needed. Is it then classed as an export? Again I don't know.

          Some of the fees are steep, particularly when it is a percentage rather than fixed. They will be making some profit however the point is that the courier is taking some risk and is saving the recipient a lot of hassle.

        3. K.o.R

          I have a standard template e-mail for whenever FedEx charge a handling fee on my incoming package. Works every time.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      That was a huge difference, when I moved to Germany. Every business has to be VAT registered and it also made for complications with UK businesses that weren't VAT registered.

      If you buy something, you need a VAT invoice. If the supplier isn't VAT registered and doesn't have a VAT registration number, the accountants and tax accountants kick up a stink, because it causes problems with the Finanzamt (Inland Revenue). I've seen deliveries sent back to the UK for refunds purely due to the UK supplier being unable to quote a VAT registration number.

      Sometimes the company has taken the hit and the extra scrutiny, because the product was hard to come by locally. But, generally, the accountants want an easy life, so will get you to send it back, if they can't get a VAT invoice.

      That is why we are very careful with suppliers, no no-name Chinese imports and, generally no UK imports without a VAT number, and that was before Brexit.

    4. Bruce Ordway

      Brexit really was...

      ".... a yes/no question referendum about something so complex"

      What always seemed even crazier to me was that it only took a simple majority?

      Here in the USA, every once in a while I've heard that some percentage of the inhabitants want their sate to break from the union. I'm pretty sure nothing like that will ever be put to a similar vote but... the past few years have reminded me that I should never to say "never"

      1. Alumoi Silver badge

        Re: Brexit really was...

        Give it a couple more years and I'll bet you'll be the first to vote for XXxit

      2. onemark03

        inhabitants want their state to break from the union

        You mean Texas isn't the only one?!

      3. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Brexit really was...

        @Bruce Ordway

        I read you but, the EU is not a country, it's not run by a president and a government like the USA.

        It's now run by 27 presidents or prime ministers in 27 independent countries.

        Nobody was forced to join and nobody is forced to stay.

        To compare that to say Texas leaving the United States is just not possible.

        But you are right about the "simple majority".

      4. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: Brexit really was...

        What always seemed even crazier to me was that it only took a simple majority?
        To be fair, the vote to enter the EEC (pre-cursor to the EU) was only a simple majority vote. Therefore while in normal circumstances I'd agree that it should have to be more like a supra-majority (66%), it wouldn't, IMHO, be reasonable to have a simple majority to enter and then a supra-majority to leave. It should be (and was) the same standard in either direction.

        To be clear, I think the UK is better in the EU than out of it, and I think the voting was dodgy for other reasons.

    5. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      @Ben Tasker

      "Brexit really was a fucking idiotic idea, only made worse because it was implemented with absolutely 0 understanding of the impacts.".

      I largely agree.

      It's actually funny how well the EU has managed to cut red tape, bureaucracy and make things easy for member states and now suddenly this one ex member is starting to weep claiming the EU is unfair, a bit like missing the train and then accusing the train.

      When taking expensive stuff with you abroad it was common to visit the customs to get the paperwork done should some then ask about it when you returned.

      And this is still true regarding the USA, Russia and lots of other countries.

      I doubt this story was on ElReg if that drive had been sent to the USA because the rules are the same.

      And nor was it the same drive, I assume, that returned to Britain which of course is the main assumption if you do the paperwork in advance.

      Perhaps Segate has to set up some spare parts in Britain to support customers.

      So I largely agree but.., then you write " made worse because it was implemented with absolutely 0 understanding of the impacts".

      Do you assume that the agreement for Britain would have been more favourable if more intelligent people than say Davis or Raab or Boris had been in charge.

      I don't really think so, faster, easier perhaps but outside the customs union and similar demands I don't think anything would have come out differently.

      Then again if what you mean is that Brexit was "implemented with absolutely 0 understanding of the impacts".

      Then I agree, but the problem is then that had the impacts been know and not just called "project fear", then perhaps those who invented "project fear" would have lost.

      I would recommend Fintan O'Toole, "The Politics of Pain"

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA08SXJ8mAY

      Because as an outsider/insider I think he has understood a lot about what has happened on that other island and why.

      1. CuChulainn Silver badge

        it was common to visit the customs to get the paperwork done should some then ask about it when you returned

        And thanks to COVID, not many people have discovered that particular hornets' nest that's been disturbed, yet.

      2. hoola Silver badge

        Many of the current problems around Brexit that we are now saddled with are due to none or the politicians being able to agree on absolutely anything. All they were able to do was disagree about everything.

        Once we started down the Brexit route if these idiots had started working together to try and reach some sort of compromise we would probably be better off. Long before the result of the vote was known it was clear that it was going to turn into a total shambles. Years of of petty bickering then ensued with all sorts of stupid political allegiances (DUP?).

        Maybe, in hindsight Theresa May's agreement would have been better, unfortunately with the "Get Brexit Done" campaign we will never know.

        The ineptitude of so many senior political figures is just beyond belief and this is symptomatic of the entire parliament now. There are just too many brainless career seeking chimps in their now, easily led by by equally useless leaders.

  3. Mr Dogshit

    But, but

    Look at all this lovely sovereignty we've got!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But, but

      Can we have a Nelson Muntz icon?

    2. don't you hate it when you lose your account

      Re: But, but

      Apparently the British fish are much happier now

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But, but

        Ah, a Jacob Rees-Mogg quote. The Brexit cheerleader who moved his own business to Dublin. Also a man, who despite being middle aged, still has a nanny (who famously accompanied him on his first election campaign). Presumably she still has to wipe the useless c*nt's arse.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: But, but

          @Janne Smith

          "Ah, a Jacob Rees-Mogg quote. The Brexit cheerleader who moved his own business to Dublin"

          I keep hearing this but did he? From what I understand he had to move the base of a fund into the EU as per the EU protectionist rules. Not the business itself.

          1. CuChulainn Silver badge

            Re: But, but

            I keep hearing this but did he?

            Apparently, yes.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: But, but

              @CuChulainn

              Dont take this the wrong way but the the headline doesnt match the article. The headline claims the firm moved to Dublin. The article states otherwise, it says they set up a fund in the EU which required that fund to be registered in the EU. Importantly it says this-

              He added that his firm had funds based around the world, including in Australia, the US and the Cayman Islands, and that "people outside the EU are used to Irish-domiciled funds".

        2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: But, but

          > Also a man, who despite being middle aged, still has a nanny

          I think you'll find he has young children and the nanny is for them. I struggle to wonder how someone can be so un-worldly-wise to possibly imagine that a middle-aged man would need a nanny for himself? Such a person is traditionally referred to as an au-pair.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: But, but

            Nope, it's his nanny, that in the absence of proper parenting he considers part of the family.The same one he went on the election trail with before he'd managed to get some other inbred, upper class prat pregnant.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: But, but

              Wow that’s some deep-seated hatred there. If you hate the kind of people that make it into Parliament so much you should consider standings yourself.

          2. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: But, but

            I struggle to wonder how someone can be so un-worldly-wise to possibly imagine that a middle-aged man would need a nanny for himself? Such a person is traditionally referred to as an au-pair.
            Err no.

            Traditionally, a nanny is a member of staff, a servant, a waged employee, who's job is to look after the children.

            Traditionally, an au pair is a "social equal" who, in return for room and board, looks after the children. E.g. Your cousin's daughter - or more cynically the daughter (traditionally the au pair was female) of a noble or powerful business person you have or are trying to establish a relationship with - is visiting for a year or two, and in return for free room and board, this young woman helps look after the kids, but has much free time to galavant around or to, for example, study at university. They aren't a waged employee, they can't be ordered around like the help since they aren't, they are an honoured guest who in return for extended room and board while they are visiting is helping out.

            If a middle-aged man had a nanny, assuming they weren't a nurse for medical reasons, I'd assume it was actually the cover for a mistress...

            1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

              Re: But, but

              Whooosh!

      2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: British fish are much happier now

        Because now they run the Tory party

      3. tmTM

        Re: Apparently the British fish are much happier now

        They certainly are considering no-one is trying to catch them anymore.

        #BrexitBenefits

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But, but

      Of course we have sovereignty. It wasn't the EU that charged the import VAT, it was the UK.

    4. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: But, but

      And the extra £350 Million a week going to the NHS is absolutely amazing.

      1. DJO Silver badge

        Re: But, but

        Since 1973 the UK contributed a total of £215 billion to the EU.

        So far in one year the cost of Brexit to the UK is over £200 billion.

        After 5 years I'm still waiting for anybody to tell me what the advantages of Brexit are, I mean just one advantage, please....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But, but

          I see you have a downvote for your comment.

          There are no advantages to Brexit. Any advantage stated, is easily proven wrong or false. The Brexiteers have to lie, but i don't think they know they are lying, in that, they are too stupid to work it out. Not trying to be nasty here.

          Have a look at the Daily Express forum comments. You will then see the level of the IQ involved, where those people are easily manipulated, and the comments can be utterly disgusting.

          I know the EU is far from perfect, and have done some really stupid things, but we do seem to be out performing them when it comes to stupid.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: But, but

            Nailed it in one !

            They can do stupid things and *not* be accountable - ever !

            1. Chris 239

              Re: But, but

              Says the person too chicken to put his name to his post. Oh the irony!

              You think the simple servants responsible for most of the Brexit trade arrangements will be held responsible (you don't actually think Boris's bungling pals got involved with the details or will accept an iota of responsibility do you?)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: But, but

            You missed the bit about vaccine procurement then.

            Whereby the EU countries that started to procure vaccine gave up and allowed the EU to do it. Which they did. Badly.

        2. Martin Silver badge

          Re: But, but

          Take Back Control !

          </sarcasm>

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But, but

          Off the top of my head, one benefit is that the UK is now free to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trade with Peru would become much easier.

          Of course, one drawback, for example, is that trade with the Netherlands is harder. Do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? Some people would say yes, others no.

          1. jilocasin
            Coat

            Re: But, but

            Trans-Pacific Partnership

            Huh?

            Isn't the UK in the Atlantic?

            1. graeme leggett

              Re: But, but

              There's a British Overseas Territory in the Pacific, the Pitcairn Islands.

              Combined land area about 18 square miles, population less than 50 (most of whom are descended from the Bounty mutineers and their "Tahitian "companions - unsurprisingly one of the commonest surnames there is "Christian")

            2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: But, but

              > Isn't the UK in the Atlantic?

              No, it's up a creek.

              Ba-dum-tish!

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: But, but

              I absolutely meant Trans-Pacific Partnership. See

              https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-makes-next-step-towards-accession-to-trans-pacific-partnership

              dated 2010-01-31

              The first two paragraphs (quoted in full) are:

              "The government is formally applying to join one of the world’s largest free-trade areas, to position the UK at the heart of emerging economies in the Pacific and support jobs across the UK.

              UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss will speak with Ministers in Japan and New Zealand on Monday morning (1 February 2021) to request to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the first formal step before negotiations start later this year."

              The UK wants to have free trade with countries around the Pacific.

            4. Chris 239

              Re: But, but

              Is you sarcasm detector on the blink?

            5. eldakka Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: But, but

              Why is Australia in Eurovision ?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But, but

          If it had remained as a free trading zone then we would still be in and everyone would be happy.

          But they had mission creep (planned all along ?).

          Having unelected and unaccountable bloated oversight is a good reason to leave.

          1. jilocasin
            Big Brother

            Re: But, but

            The European Union (EU) was never meant to be just a free trading zone. It was a response to the fact that the member countries of the EU are too small to compete effectively in the modern world, either economically or militarily.

            The main problem with the setup is that it is modeled more after "The Articles of Confederation" than the US Constitution. In the end it suffers from the same problem. The individual European countries (like the individual American states under the Confederation) retain far too much power to make it an effective setup. Too many of the European countries have kept their languages, and even their money. There is no European military (well not a serious one anyway). When a law is passed at the European level, it doesn't actually mean anything until each individual country passes their own law to implement it, and they don't even have to be the same.

            We all witnessed the disaster, and the lack of support of the southern countries by the larger northern ones when it came to the economic crisis. When COVID-19 hit, it was every country for themselves (not that the US under Trump was much better). When the southern US states tried to seceded, there was a civil war fought to prove that wasn't an option.

            Europe (and by extension the UK) is going to have to come to grips with the fact that they can not stay as separate countries forever. They either need to merge under their own terms, or accept the fact that an empowered Russia, China, or some other larger entity will do so under theirs.

            1. Lars Silver badge
              Thumb Down

              Re: But, but

              "Too many of the European countries have kept their languages".

              jilocasin is apparently to dumb to grasp that people learn more than one language and too uneducated to know how many different languages are spoken in the USA.

          2. nijam Silver badge

            Re: But, but

            > Having unelected and unaccountable bloated oversight is a good reason to leave.

            Yet strangely, we still have that.

        5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. DJO Silver badge

            Re: But, but

            Ah the benefit of misreporting.

            The UK threw money at the pharmaceutical companies, the cost to the UK will end up at least 10 times as much per dose as in the EU.

            The problem was AZ could not meet the contracts it had signed so it had to break one contract, it chose to break it's contract with the EU.

            Strangely in the EU itself there is no narrative that the EU screwed up, they didn't, what they did was wait a bit until the vaccines were ready and certified which meant a one to two week delay over the risky and expensive route taken by the UK.

            The only place where the story is the EU screwed up is here.

            1. genghis_uk

              Re: But, but

              Not 100% correct, The EU Commission negotiators were trying to drive the cost down and refused to budge on the waiver that the pharma companies wanted regarding liability if anything went wrong. This delayed things to the point where Germany and France split and started their own negotiations.

              The EU also wanted all of the paperwork i's dotted and t's crossed before they moved forward - the analogy I saw was the pharma companies had all of the chapters written but had not compiled the book. The UK moved on the basis that the work had been done but Europe wanted the book bound and a ribbon on it. Note: having worked on EU projects, I can absolutely believe this.

              The stories are in Germany, France and Belgium at least so it is a bit disingenuous to say it is only the UK that are reporting it:

              e.g. Der Speigel Germany (a good investigative reporting outlet) fro mid-December 2020

              https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/the-planning-disaster-germany-and-europe-could-fall-short-on-vaccine-supplies-a-3db4702d-ae23-4e85-85b7-20145a898abd

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: But, but

              Not that AZ actually broke the contract

            3. MOV r0,r0

              Re: But, but

              Save member countries a few million at the expense of keeping their economies in lockdown for months longer? How is that a saving??

              Plenty of reporting here in the UK of how critical the continental press is of the Commission, particularly as VDL's choices have reignited pre-existing criticisms of her competence (broomsticks, training ships) and it's not just in the German press either.

              No EU vaccines were sent to the UK (none were ready - late order!). AZ are at contractual liberty to send UK produced vaccines anywhere they want after the first 100m doses. Hopefully Commonwealth countries. And maybe Portugal.

              As for "throwing money" philanthropic gestures always require that and funding practical health research is always a good thing. There was a bit of self interest but why not? Who should the UK government represent if not the UK population?

              Beyond vaccines there's an additional £340m being "thrown" at the WHO by the UK at the suggestion of the Gates Foundation - not for this pandemic but for the next, and the one after that: UK government thinking is way beyond where the EU Commission is right now.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: But, but

                "As for "throwing money" philanthropic gestures always require that and funding practical health research is always a good thing. There was a bit of self interest but why not? Who should the UK government represent if not the UK population?"

                And that is the primary difference between the UK and EU in this situation. The UK invested hard cash into AZ and others to increase production in preparation for a vaccine becoming available. The EU didn't. They just placed speculative orders, the UK paid up front. Some of that AZ investment from the UK also went to building out production at the AZ Belgium (or NL??) plant too. All this was stated by a top AZ guy in a radio interview the other day.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: But, but

              > what they did was wait a bit until the vaccines were ready and certified which meant a one to two week delay over the risky and expensive route taken by the UK.

              The cost of the pandemic so far is measured in hundreds of billions. The "risky gamble" on vaccines: a few billion total. Even if only one of them had worked, it was an excellent set of bets.

              AZ, reportedly only £5 per shot x 100m ordered, was a particular good one.

              1. DJO Silver badge

                Re: But, but

                The UK spent £11.7 billion on 570 million doses most of which will never be delivered with no penalty to the non-suppliers

                The EU spent £2.7billion for 300 million doses all of which are contracted to be delivered.

                And you think we got a good deal? The final cost per dose to the UK taxpayers will be over 10 times the cost to EU taxpayers per dose.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: But, but

                  The UK has categorically NOT bought 570 million doses. That's absolutely ridiculous if you were stop and think about it for a second - even for this Government.

                  You are perhaps referring to the fact that Pfizer have contracts for 570 million doses to be delivered worldwide for 2021 (at least as of December last year) but that's not all for the UK.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: But, but

                    The Other AC "The UK has categorically NOT bought 570 million doses."

                    Quite right AC. In total they have only ordered 407 Million shots:

                    AZ 100 million

                    PB 40 million

                    Mod 17 million

                    Nov 60 million

                    Val 100 million

                    Jan 30 million

                    GSK 60 million

                    Citation: https://www.cityam.com/which-covid-vaccines-has-the-uk-government-ordered/

                    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                      Re: But, but

                      ...and a lot of those orders will be cancelled, sold on or donated. The UK, like many other countries, ordered many more doses than needed of vaccines which didn't yet, and may never, exist. It's called hedging your bets. The orders were placed while the vaccines were still being developed. The orders for the least likely to be ready vaccines are almost certainly speculative orders which can easily be cancelled if and when their vaccines become available.

                      The wealthier countries such as the UK were talking about sharing vaccines with poorer countries early last year. The WHO are pressing for this to happen. In fact it's already happening, albeit on a small scale, right now. Read up on COVAX

                      I'd like to think all the good words said by the more wealthy countries will lead to a rapid expansion of this scheme.

                  2. DJO Silver badge

                    Re: But, but

                    Actually they did, UKGov backed every horse in the race which will obviously get you the winner but you also have to pay all the losers too.

                    Not a sustainable practice but 100% true to established Tory methodology - it gets a few favorable headlines from the poodles at the Daily Mail where the staggering waste of money is dutifully ignored.

                    Also helps their primary objective which is to make sure when they leave Westminster they'll have nice sinecures to waltz into.

                    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

                  3. Notrub345

                    Re: But, but

                    Absolutely nothing about the UK's vaccine rollout (which also happens to be the first and only thing the UK government have done well during this pandemic) is to do with Brexit.

                    Like very other EU country, we ALWAYS had the option to fast track drug approval without waiting for the EMA. Neither did we have to rely on EU purchasing for vaccine supply.

                    And while it suits some people's agenda to criticise the EU's vaccine rollout, it needs to be pointed out that the UK were quite lucky with the Oxford vaccine which at one point looked like it might not be safe. If it HADN'T been viable, then our vaccine program would have been a LOT less impressive.

                    This post keeps getting rejected - WHY??

                2. eldakka Silver badge

                  Re: But, but

                  The UK spent £11.7 billion on 570 million doses most of which will never be delivered with no penalty to the non-suppliers

                  The EU spent £2.7billion for 300 million doses all of which are contracted to be delivered.

                  And you think we got a good deal? The final cost per dose to the UK taxpayers will be over 10 times the cost to EU taxpayers per dose.

                  Considering the hundreds of billions - and climbing - COVID19 has cost already, do you really think £9billion saving is worth it? That's "fallen down the back of the couch" level money when considered over the whole cost of the pandemic so far, let alone the ongoing costs.

            5. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: But, but

              At least the UK only paid over the odds and didn't sweeten the pot by giving away all their citizens' medical data as Israel did. The British government would never do something like that. Would they...?

        6. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: But, but

          >I mean just one advantage, please

          I think the advantage is if you're part of the City. The UK had got a bit of a reputation as a haven for dodgy money and the EU had implemented rules that effectively put a stop to this. These rules were to come into force at the beginning of 2020. Coincidence?

          (Its an unforutnate fact of British history that the City is effectively an independent state that just happens to be parked in London. Obviously if you indulge in a bit of street crime or some such then their police force with coordinate with the Met and it will all appear British but for things that really matter its effectively an independent country.)

    5. nijam Silver badge

      Re: But, but

      > ...lovely sovereignty...

      It's easy to forget, because of the way we've used the word in the past, that "sovereignty" simply means "the financial and military muscle to boss your way around the world".

      Heads in sand, we didn't spot that that hasn't really been our situation since the end of the first World War.

  4. Elledan
    Meh

    In hindsight

    In hindsight, the referendum question should have been a 500+ page document like the UK & EU each put together on the consequences of Brexit. If after reading through that (and signing each page, by hand) one still felt that Brexit was a terrific idea, one could then check the 'yes, I love more borders, red tape and expenses' box.

    As things stand, it seems that precious few who ticked that box really had the foggiest of what it would result in, except for what their local flavour of propaganda rag told them it would do. Yet as Wikipedia summarises it: "There is overwhelming or near-unanimous agreement among economists that leaving the European Union will adversely affect the British economy in the medium- and long-term."

    Or in summary: paying additional import charges is the least of the UK's worries.

    We live in a time when virtually every country in the world is in some kind of trading bloc: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_bloc and yet the UK is now the odd one out when it comes to free trade areas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Free_Trade_Areas.PNG

    If adding more borders was such a bloody good idea, everybody would be doing it.

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: In hindsight

      Quote

      "If adding more borders was such a bloody good idea, everybody would be doing it."

      Best hope you stuff does'nt come from scotland then....

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: scotland then

        They voted FOR the Union because UK in the EU.

        Not having EU borders will compensate for having an English one. Spain will swallow worries about Barcelona and agree to Scottish Accession.

        Maybe NI Unionists should revive the idea of the Kingdom of Dalriada rather than trusting Tories, who will be in Westminster forever if Scotland leaves.

        1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

          Re: scotland then

          So it should have been Greater London left, and the rest of the UK remained? Probably would have sorted the traffic problems as well.

          1. Hawkeye Pierce

            Re: scotland then

            Errr.... London voted remain, second only to Scotland in terms of regions.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In hindsight

      I'd make it easier: why on earth was such an important decision with such a wide ranging impact on everything in the country left to a simple majority vote? This should have been a two-thirds majority from the start.

      The next thing I note is that there was an enormous amount of BS poured out over the population after it was revealed after the result that a lot of what people were told were straightforward lies, some so large they were put on the side of a bus - just to make sure that nobody came up with the idea to poll the population if they would have still voted for Brexit if they had known the actual truth.

      I would welcome it if someone could tell me who actually wins with Brexit, it doesn't strike me such a good thing for the average man in the street. Who makes the money here? Is it to isolate Isle of Man and Jersey from too much EU scrutiny? Is that it? It's an honest question, no snark.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: In hindsight

        why on earth was such an important decision with such a wide ranging impact on everything in the country left to a simple majority vote? This should have been a two-thirds majority from the start.

        The same should have been true for creating/joining the EU, but most people didn't even get a vote. Hardly surprising, even europhile France only voted for the EU by 51% of a 70% turnout.

        If we'd had a 2/3 rule then, we'd never have got into the mess that Brexit was intended to get out from, but it would not have been reasonable to insist on a 2/3 majority to leave when a simple majority sufficed to create/join it

        1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Re: In hindsight

          > If we'd had a 2/3 rule then, we'd never have got into the mess that Brexit was intended to get out from, but it would not have been reasonable to insist on a 2/3 majority to leave when a simple majority sufficed to create/join it

          I don't think that's true to be honest.

          If we accept your argument that it was a mistake not to require 2/3 going in (and, FWIW, I do) then it follows that it'd also be wrong to make the same mistake _twice_.

          It can't be wrong not to require it once, and then OK to require it another time, that's not democracy, that's adjusting the goalposts to suit the person arranging it.

          Actually, I'd go further though, and say that - as a nation - we should just stop doing referendums. We're shit at them. The Irish manage perfectly well, as do various Nordic countries, but do so because the take a mature, rule based approach. We're far too busy screaming exceptionalism to learn from foreigns though, so we bungle them.

          1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

            Re: In hindsight

            "Actually, I'd go further though, and say that - as a nation - we should just stop doing referendums."

            I wonder if there's any way to find out if most people agree with that plan?

            1. nijam Silver badge

              Re: In hindsight

              > I wonder if there's any way to find out if most people agree with that plan?

              Easy... just wait to see what the tabloids tell them.

          2. CuChulainn Silver badge

            Re: In hindsight

            Actually, I'd go further though, and say that - as a nation - we should just stop doing referendums

            I agree.

            In any situation that requires a referendum, it always turns out around 50:50. Hell, even elections are like that (latest US presidential, for example). You wouldn't decide to to put your hand in the spinning blades of a lawnmower or food blender based on such nonsense that half of the voters believe, when the correct answer is obvious all along. But thanks to social media (among other things), people DO do things like that - and they still have what they consider a logic behind it.

            The net result is that half the voters are right, and half are wrong - albeit for wide-ranging reasons, many of which are in QAnon territory, and on both sides.

            The real problem is that those who cast their votes based on the Dark Side of their beliefs expect to get a say in every decision going. Naming ships ('Boaty McBoatface'), vaccinations, US Presidential elections (fair enough), and... Brexit.

            Then we end up where we are.

          3. graeme leggett

            Re: In hindsight

            The 1975 referendum to stay in the EC was 67.2 /32.7

        2. Lars Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: In hindsight

          "Hardly surprising, even europhile France only voted for the EU by 51% of a 70% turnout."

          That's a silly thing to claim, the EU is a long story starting with In 1951, the Treaty of Paris.

          The French have never had a "brexit" referendum.

          "Signed, creating the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The Treaty of Paris was an international treaty based on international law, designed to help reconstruct the economies of the European continent, prevent war in Europe and ensure a lasting peace.

          The original idea was conceived by Jean Monnet, a senior French civil servant and it was announced by Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Minister, in a declaration on 9 May 1950. The aim was to pool Franco-West German coal and steel production, because the two raw materials were the basis of the industry (including war industry) and power of the two countries. The proposed plan was that Franco-West German coal and steel production would be placed under a common High Authority within the framework of an organisation that would be open for participation to other European countries. The underlying political objective of the European Coal and Steel Community was to strengthen Franco-German cooperation and banish the possibility of war.

          France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands began negotiating the treaty. The Treaty Establishing the ECSC was signed in Paris on 18 April 1951, and entered into force on 24 July 1952.".

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: In hindsight

            the EU is a long story starting with In 1951, the Treaty of Paris.

            Yes, I'm well aware of it's history, but you're taking my comment out of context.

            The ECSC developed into, eventually, a European Community, which worked tolerably well. It was turned into the EU by the treaty of Maastrict in 1993, and that is where everything started to go downhill. The French barely accepted it, the Danes rejected it, and people in the UK didn't get a vote because it would clearly have gone solidly against it. If you're going to argue that Brexit should have been subject to a 2/3 majority than I would say that the kind of constitutional change implied by Maastricht should also have been subject to that, in all of the then-members. It would never have passed, and we wouldn't be in the current situation.

            1. graeme leggett

              Re: In hindsight

              Britain didn't get a vote because we don't do things by referendum.

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: In hindsight

        it doesn't strike me such a good thing for the average man in the street. Who makes the money here?

        If your idea of the EU is limited to making it easier to go on holiday, or post a parcel to your granny, then I agree, it doesn't help the man in the street in their immediate daily life. The EU plays to that, of course, by bigging up their successes like phone roaming, easy travel, etc. (all of which could have been agreed without the EU) and ignoring all the things that aren't working.

        You need to look at it from the point of view of the 28 member countries. The big strength of Europe, in my opinion, is due to their differences. Countries like France, the UK, Italy, Sweden etc. all have the same broad aims, but very different ways to achieve them. Some are very socialist in all ways, some very liberal. Others are socially conservative, but support a free market, others are protectionist. We all learn from each other, and contribute to the whole. That is what we had with the Common Market & later European Community, a group of co-operating neighbours in a free trade zone. It had its flaws, the CAP for one, but it basically worked.

        Since Maastricht, though, the drive has been to a common model, one parliament, one President, one currency, a central bank, central court, EU army. All forced into a one-size-fits-nobody pattern that destroys those differences that make us stronger. Inevitably that leads to centralizing on the lowest common denominator, mediocrity and stagnation because no-one is free to be different. The politicians won't see that, though, they see a centrally controlled empire run by them as the perfect solution, where we all do what we're told and live happily ever after. They ignore the pitiful growth, weak currency, etc. that has bedevilled the Euozone since it was created

        That perfect Union can't happen, of course. Look at the COVID-19 fiasco. Each country is trying their own lockdown model, closing borders and imposing their own travel rules, while Brussels bleats plaintively that we need an EU solution, but can't produce one that works, so it is ignored. France is enthusing about getting to 2m vaccinations per month by March, the UK is already doing 2.5m per week because it isn't waiting for 27 governments to agree. All they'll ever be able to agree on is some "mostly harmless" compromise that suits no-one, but doesn't upset anyone enough to reject it either. It's not the way to build a truly prosperous future for the "average man in the street".

        Is it to isolate Isle of Man and Jersey from too much EU scrutiny?

        The Channel Islands and the IoM are not part of the UK, nor have they ever been in the EU, so they are the least affected by Brexit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In hindsight

          The Channel Islands are part of the UK (I'm not familiar with the Isle of Man's status). Although technically self governing, the UK Parliament can impose laws on them. They were also a part of the EU economic system, under a separate agreement.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: In hindsight

            The Channel Islands are part of the UK (I'm not familiar with the Isle of Man's status).

            That Channel Islands are not part of the UK, they, and the Isle of Man, are Crown Dependencies, self-governing possessions of the British Crown.

            They were also a part of the EU economic system

            They were part of the free market for goods only, not services, and channel islanders didn't benefit from free movement rules.

        2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: In hindsight

          So we can count on your support for Scottish and Welsh independence then, Phil?! Thank you!!

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: In hindsight

            I'm not Scots or Welsh, so I don't have any say in it. I think that it would be a pity to break up a union that has existed sucessfully for centuries, and that independence would be economically disastrous for Scotland (and worse for Wales), especially if they ended up with a hard border, but it's up to them. It would be advantageous for the UK treasury, and make Tory majorities at Westminster much more likely, so from that point of view I'd support it!

      3. ThomH

        Re: In hindsight

        > I'd make it easier: why on earth was such an important decision with such a wide ranging impact on everything in the country left to a simple majority vote? This should have been a two-thirds majority from the start.

        David Cameron, lacking the perspective to spot that he was a mere political flyweight and after winning other two constitutional referendums — Scottish independence and proportional representation —believed he could easily win a third.

        That win being guaranteed, there was no need to do anything that might allow the xenophobia wing of his party to argue that he had tipped the scales.

        1. CliveS
          FAIL

          Re: In hindsight

          The 2011 referendum was on electoral reform, swapping First Past The Post (FPTP) with Alternative Vote (AV). Neither system could in any way be considered a form of Proportional Representation. In fact, had the 2015 General Election been held under AV rather than FPTP, the result would have been less proportional.

          1. ThomH

            Re: In hindsight

            A referendum on whether I can remember things correctly would be pretty damning.

        2. CuChulainn Silver badge

          Re: In hindsight

          David Cameron

          Agreed.

          But Cameron did it to try to stay in power. He promised the referendum, thinking it would result in a 'remain' vote. Having delivered on his previous manifesto pledge, he would have been the winner.

          It blew back in his face, albeit by a very, very small margin - but a big enough margin thanks to the inept way the referendum was run (no two-thirds majority) to drop us into this mess.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In hindsight

        > why on earth was such an important decision with such a wide ranging impact on everything in the country left to a simple majority vote?

        Perhaps because it was merely advisory, and did not legally bind any government into any particular decision or course of action.

      5. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: In hindsight

        " why on earth was such an important decision with such a wide ranging impact on everything in the country left to a simple majority vote?"

        It wasn't.

        The referendum wasn't legally binding

        If it was, people could be prosecuted for illegal campaign behaviour

        If it was, it would have failed on both turnout/threshold requirements (even on low thresholds and needing 55% as previous referendums did)

        Theresa May's lawyers argued sucessfully in the high court that the referendum (and its results) had NOTHING to do with Brexit

        From a legal point of view, Brexit was implementation of conservative party electoral policy - the referendum was "merely advisory" and the conservatives set their electoral policy only partially based on the outcome - but most importantly of all from the legal point of view the referendum STOPPED being relevant the moment there was an election.

        1. tip pc Silver badge

          Re: In hindsight

          "The referendum wasn't legally binding"

          so if the nation had voted remain by the same tiny margin any post 2016 government (Corbyn could have won (stop laughing)) could have still pulled the UK out of the EU regardless?

          Both Labour & Conservatives at post 2016 elections promised to enact the vote result. Voters could have voted for non Brexit supporting parties at the 2017 or 2019 elections and stopped Brexit or the 2019 MEP elections to show support for remaining in the EU but all elections showed a strong Brexit bias by the silent majority.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: In hindsight

            Disingenuous

            Because, as you say "Both Labour & Conservatives at post 2016 elections promised to..." etc But that doesn't actually leave voters any realistic alternative options. A vote for the minor parties in the UK ( or at least England) is seen, correctly, as giving a vote to the incumbent in almost all constituencies. Add to this the plain and simple fact that for most voters there are other issues to vote about - especially since there was no realistic chance of a minor,pro-EU, party winning anyway.

      6. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: In hindsight

        " Is it to isolate Isle of Man and Jersey from too much EU scrutiny?"

        if so, it hasn't worked - IOM and the Channel Islands have scooted under the EU wing for fishing policy and divorced themselves from UK "sovereignty" (They're able to do this because they're not part of the UK, but "crown dependencies")

        Gibraltar is divoced from the UK in all but name too.

      7. nijam Silver badge

        Re: In hindsight

        > I would welcome it if someone could tell me who actually wins with Brexit

        In order: Russia, China, a tie between USA and whatever the economic grouping of Arabic-speaking countries is called. Rest of the world also-rans. Commonwealth countries won't see much economic benefit but can at least have a laugh at our expense...

      8. Notrub345

        Re: In hindsight

        A Fistful of Dynamite:

        "Juan Miranda: I know what I am talking about when I am talking about the revolutions. The people who read the books go to the people who can't read the books, the poor people, and say, "We have to have a change." So, the poor people make the change, ah? And then, the people who read the books, they all sit around the big polished tables, and they talk and talk and talk and eat and eat and eat, eh? But what has happened to the poor people? They're dead! That's your revolution. "

        With Brexit, they're not dead - just poorer - otherwise it's the ages old story. Those in power shout "Be a patriot and Jump!" and the muppets respond "How high?" The Leave voters come from the same stock as the soldiers who totally believed it was best to march in formation into machine gun fire because the very act of dying bravely would scare the willies out of the enemy. The Brexit commanders are the same rich, privileged class who issued those commands.

        When it comes to breathtaking stupidity, there's a long list of things you can apply to Leavers, but probably the most extraordinary one was the fact that these muppets actually believed the likes of Jacob Rees Mogg and Nigel Farage were on the side of the ordinary man!

        Perhaps we'll be lucky and Brexit will turn out to be a French or Russian style revolution where the architects of the first uprising are publicly executed during a second one? I can only live in hope.

      9. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: In hindsight

        "who actually wins with Brexit,"

        They are usually known as "war profiteers" or, slightly less controversial these days, "crisis profiteers".

        Just look at the recent highs in electricity prices in Texas during a crisis.

        1. David Nash

          Re: In hindsight

          I heard something about that recently, it seems that some companies set up to supply power at wholesale variable prices, because under normal conditions this is cheap. At least one of these suppliers, when they realised what was going to happen (ie. their customers would be hit with bills for thousands of dollars worth of now-expensive wholesale power) tried to warn customers, ie. said "drop us now".

          Sadly many of these customers were not in a position to read email or switch power suppliers at that moment due to the weather conditions.

      10. Mike Richards

        Re: In hindsight

        Westminster seems to have a deep-seated fear of anything but the simplest voting processes. Hence we have first-past-the-post which delivers crushing majorities for a minority of the vote and ensures most votes are wasted at general elections; and we have *advisory* referendums not only given credence by populist politicians, but not subject to super majority thresholds.

        The Westminster system is so dysfunctional it might just be quicker to list the bits that work well...

        ...anyone?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We live in a time when virtually every country in the world is in some kind of trading bloc

      you see, the idea was that the UK would be at the helm, possibly of a new, trading bloc, and then every country in the world would queue meekly to be allowed into our great, fair UK-lead free trading zone. At this point in time this has not happened yet, but it is absolutely certain, and we just need to wait a little longer... longer... longer... longer.

      p.s. but the other day, on the goode olde streets of London, I saw a familiar (?!) sign: a brightly painted bus. (no, not THAT bus!) - this time it carried a happy face of another wannabe 'mare' of London with some cheerful, though vague promises of bright, happy future. This suggests to me that the boffins behind that sorry candidate had established the previous bus has already been forgotten (meet a new bus, same as...) and you can rinse and repeat (cause it works!). So, I propose a new measuring units, to reflect voteer memory-span: " a bus-year". And the basic unit should be 4 bus-years. Oddly reminds me of a time-span between most elections. Have I hit upon a hidden across a pattern here? :(

      1. Oh Matron!

        Re: We live in a time when virtually every country in the world is in some kind of trading bloc

        It's not that B(w)anker with the 1980's suit, is it? Brian? He's everywhere, like the smell of piss in a bus station. The Mayoral elections can't come quick enough, so his smug face vanishes from the ether. Although, the way things are going, it'll be a landslide from the guy with one suit.

        1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

          Re: We live in a time when virtually every country in the world is in some kind of trading bloc

          And in France, people know where to find him...

          Where is Brian?

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: We live in a time when virtually every country in the world is in some kind of trading bloc

        " the idea was that the UK would be at the helm, possibly of a new, trading bloc, "

        Ah,. like the one the UK tried instead of the EEC back in the day because it wanted to control how things were done.

        What was that? EFTA? all the way back in 1960?

        Someone remind me how well that worked out?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Free_Trade_Association

      3. Jonathon Green
        Coat

        Re: We live in a time when virtually every country in the world is in some kind of trading bloc

        “ meet a new bus, same as...”

        Was it a magic bus?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We live in a time when virtually every country in the world is in some kind of trading bloc

          Jonathon Green >> Was it a magic bus?

          The Clapham Omnishambles Bus

    4. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: In hindsight

      In hindsight, the referendum question should have been a 500+ page document

      I don't think the people who voted for Brexit actually understood what they were voting for because no-one had worked out the implications. Soft Vs Hard, etc.

      The referendum was a sop to Farage that spectacularly backfired.

      1. Adelio Silver badge

        Re: In hindsight

        Not even the people who advocated brexit had the slightest idea what was to come. I am guessing most of them have trouble doing up their shoe laces.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In hindsight

          I am guessing most of them have trouble doing up their shoe laces.

          Well, stop "guessing" and educate yourself. Arrogantly prating on about how anyone who disagrees with you must be stupid really just shows you up as someone who hasn't taken the time to learn why they made their decision.

          1. Notrub345

            Re: In hindsight

            I spent 12 months "educating" myself about how Leavers thought.

            It wasn't hard to reach the conclusion that the vast majority didn't.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: In hindsight

            "...most of them actually do have trouble doing up their shoe laces."

            TFTFY

            No guesswork involved.

          3. CuChulainn Silver badge

            Re: In hindsight

            prating on about how anyone who disagrees with you must be stupid

            Actually, someone is wrong on this.

            And given the problems we are experiencing, and the lack of all the 'benefits' it was supposed to bring - hence this article - is a clear pointer as to who it is who was wrong.

            I'll happily take that back once we're whatever it is we were going to be according to Brexiters, but in the meantime the facts suggest otherwise.

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: In hindsight

        Not all, but a fair chunk, of people voted Brexit due to loving the whole xenophobia thing (being polite & resisting calling them racist scum).

        A lot of "white" UK people have no real clue how racist so many Brits actually are (it was often subtle, but post brexit it seems far more overt & prevalent as the racists seem more empowered)

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: In hindsight

          The constant whining on by Brexiters about trying to establish CANZUK via an astroturfing organisation in Canada shows that it's not _just_ racism

          They honestly expected "The white colonies" to welcome Britain back with open arms

          - 47 years after the UK shoved a set of kitchen knives into their backs whilst joining the EEC

          - leaving AU/NZ/CA with major financial/social problems

          - then the UK spent 45 years writing rules to keep those "white colonies" out of EU markets and the EEA captive to British farmers/fishermen (rules which those farmers and fisherfolk are now decrying as "far too strict" and "picking on the UK")

          And that's without even going into Britain's imcreasingly toxic behaviour in the Ottawa agreement's finaly days leading up to it joining the EEC.

          Hint: forcing trading partners to buy car with built in factory rust under the paint and substandard electronics has left "made in Britian" as a warning label of "utter crap inside" in most people's minds ever since (doubly emphasised if it has a union flag attached as this usually indicates they're trying hide things realy are shite behind "patriotism/nostalgia") - GM found this out the hard way when it attempted to revive the "Vauxhall" brand to find that not even sales reps would be seen dead in a Vauxhall in Australia or NZ - it sold 3 cars out of a shipment of 1000 until it rebadged the rest as Opels (and then sold the other 997 in 9 weeks)

          https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2019/01/26/backwards-march-brexit-canzuk-and-the-legacy-of-empire/

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: In hindsight

          @tiggity

          "A lot of "white" UK people have no real clue how racist so many Brits actually are"

          Probably because they live in a country considered one of the least racist in Europe.

          1. CuChulainn Silver badge

            Re: In hindsight

            Probably because they live in a country considered one of the least racist in Europe.

            Yes, Brits like league tables.

            With COVID, it was 'we have less dead than the Italians'. Then it was 'we have less dead than the Spaniards'. Right now, they've shut up on that.

            Then we have 'we've vaccinated more people than [enter name of an EU country]'.

            Those same people - and whatever they have between their ears - voted for Brexit.

            And that's not driven by racism in any way, is it?

            THAT'S why the level of racism in this country isn't understood. And especially so by those who try to dismiss it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: In hindsight

              Then we have 'we've vaccinated more people than [enter name of an EU country]'.

              make that "all EU countries"

            2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: In hindsight

              Those same people - and whatever they have between their ears - voted for Brexit.

              And that's not driven by racism in any way, is it?

              If you actually think that people in other EU countries are of a different race then you should perhaps be considering what you lack between the ears.

              The vast majority of people in Western Europe are of the same race, and most of the race-related conflicts that are seen in the UK concern relations with immigrants from countries in the Caribbean and the Indian subcontinent, very few of which are in the EU. Whatever issues might have motivated people to vote for Brexit, only a fool would see race as one of them.

              Of course, there is a word for people who see race as the root of all problems. It's "racist".

              1. CuChulainn Silver badge

                Re: In hindsight

                then you should perhaps be considering what you lack between the ears

                Racism and xenophobia are inextricably linked, and the British have skip loads of both!

                They try to hide it with complicated (and erroneous/fatuous) explanations about what 'race' is, all the time trying to build up to how great Britain is.

                A huge proportion of Brexit voters voted based on long held perceptions of British superiority and foreign inferiority. It matters not one jot whether it was xenophobia or racism - or a complex mixture of the two, which is what it is in reality.

                The desire to compare anything Britain does with anything a foreign nation does is as much a British pastime as complaining about the weather for many people. And that was a major factor in how they cast their referendum vote. It was sold to them on 'taking back sovereignty' - which had never been lost in the first place.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: In hindsight

                  Racism and xenophobia are inextricably linked, and the British have skip loads of both!

                  Well, you certainly have the xenophobia angle covered!

              2. Terry 6 Silver badge

                Re: In hindsight

                Nonsense.

                A) "Racism" is this context has long bypassed ethnic identity in any objectively definable way, it's become a way of saying xenophobia for people who don't like long, complex words ( almost everybody),

                B) Too many British don't discriminate -they're all just "Forrins"

                C) There was a very deliberate campaign stirring up fears around Turkey joining and letting in lots of Muslims..

                1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                  Re: In hindsight

                  A) "Racism" is this context has long bypassed ethnic identity in any objectively definable way, it's become a way of saying xenophobia for people who don't like long, complex words ( almost everybody),

                  Perhaps if they're to lazy or stupid to understand words like xenophobia they should reconsider whether they have the intellectual capacity to vote in a constitutional referendum?

                  B) Too many British don't discriminate -they're all just "Forrins"

                  Hmm, and you accuse us of xenophobia?

                  C) There was a very deliberate campaign stirring up fears around Turkey joining and letting in lots of Muslims..

                  "Muslim" is a religious distinction, not one of race or nationality. Furthermore, most of the anti-Turkish sentiment comes from France and didn't really impact Brexit.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: In hindsight

                    "Furthermore, most of the anti-Turkish sentiment comes from France and didn't really impact Brexit."

                    I smell gas!

                    (https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/unfounded-claim-turkey-swing-brexit-referendum/)

            3. Danny 2 Silver badge

              Re: In hindsight

              The UK lobbied for the EU to fast track eastern European nations before their economies had been equalised, for geo-political reasons. Then the UK granted instant free movement to these new member states, ensuring sudden and unplanned mass migration from nations like Poland.

              This new cheap workforce were a boon to business owners and property owners, but lowered quality of life and wages for poorer Britons. We were told 13,500 would arrive in the first year but 350,000 arrived, so that strained existing infrastructure (housing, transport, social services) which hadn't been invested in. The new comers earned far more here than at home so would work for less undercutting a century of worker's rights improvements at a time of rising social inequality.

              In this context many Brexit voters were motivated by economic self-interest rather than xenophobia, albeit the two played off of each other. They assumed that voting Brexit would cut immigration and restore their personal and communities fortunes, and many were motivated more by the hope of returning to the 1990s than returning to the 1950s.

              1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

                Re: In hindsight

                and know these EU workers may be replaced by even cheaper Indian ones, right?

            4. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: In hindsight

              @CuChulainn

              "And that's not driven by racism in any way, is it?"

              Not from what I read there unless I am missing some subtle point you are trying to make. Yes Brits compare themselves to others, other countries do too. Brits are also very self critical, especially against their own country/rulers which has its positives and negatives.

              It was remainers comparing the UK to the EU when insisting we should join the joint purchasing agreements. Remainers telling us we would die if we didnt and would be slow to get the vaccine. Now the reality has turned out different is it wrong that the comparisons premade by remainers are continued?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In hindsight

          Whereas you wanted to keep freedom of movement.

          For the people of the EU (only).

          That are predominantly white.

          And not have freedom of movement for people from outside the EU.

          Who are predominantly non white.

          But your immigration policy that is biased in favour of people that are mostly white is somehow not racist, whereas an immigration policy that treats everyone equally regardless of nationality (and hence likely skin colour) is racist.

          Because if it wasn't, you would have to think.

    5. Mage Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: In hindsight

      The only country in the world ever, to voluntarily decide to have worse trading terms.

      And with the most successful bloc, for all it's very many faults.

      Also by 2019 Sterling had dropped to 5th. It was 1st before the USA created a federal Dollar in the early 20th C. Then was soon 2nd.

      Guess who is 2nd and catching up on the Dollar? The euro, that the UK media keeps calling a failure.

      Certainly the EU needs reform, certainly it's flawed. But those are not reasons to leave. Also most of the immigration to UK was non-EU people and not covered by EU freedom of movement. Now there is a brain and skill drain of EU citizens.

      It was always about the Offshore money laundering. The EU finalised new rules in 2016. These came in at Jan 2019 and Jan 2020. Even in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Ireland and Monaco. But not in the IoM, Channel Is or the Western Atlantic/Caribbean UK Overseas.

      Even Singapore and Panama are going to reform. But not British Overseas Territories. The Leave campaign was a lie for the Elite, hedgefunds and more dubious City enterprises doing laundering, avoidance and offshoring.

    6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: In hindsight

      "As things stand, it seems that precious few who ticked that box really had the foggiest of what it would result in,"

      Prior to the referendum, pretty much every farmer interviewed on TV or other media was strongly in favour of Brexit. Now it's happened, almost without exception, pretty much every farmer interviewed on TV or other media is strongly against Brexit.

  5. xeroks

    It doesn't have to be this way.

    Since the item was being replaced for free - I don't understand is why Seagate's UK subsidiary couldn't pay the VAT and reclaim it.

    I recently bought a music thing for a German retailer, who have a UK store. I paid UK VAT at the time of purchase

    The item was shipped directly from Germany. Delivery was about a week later than estimated due to "brexit related issues", which is better than I expected. I didn't, however, have to pay VAT again, and I didn't have to pay an admin fee to the courier.

    Clearly the vendor has got all this sorted out. Apparently they previously had some issues with the forms they had to fill out, but they were resolved by the start of February.

    If this German company can fight it's way through the quagmire of Brexit, so can anyone.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: It doesn't have to be this way.

      Presumably Seagate have decided they don't want to carry the cost and hassle of dealing with it on our behalf.

      Some other manufacturer might decide they are willing, but ultimately most will probably be quite happy to leave us to deal with our own mess.

      After all, what are you going to do, not RMA the drive and get a "free" replacement? That's a win for them as the replacement gets to stay in inventory for sale to a nice easy EU based customer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It doesn't have to be this way.

        EXACTLY that. Seagate decided to pretend it's not their problem, because it's a short term gain for those minions involved. And if it becomes a long-term problem, i.e. escalating, down the line, into thousands of such 'problems' and then, finding its way into court that's going to cost Seagate quite some money either way - it won't be minions' problem either, because by that time they will have been replaced with 7th generation of minions. And I don't blame those at the bottom of the food chain, to pass the buck, as far away from themselves as possible.

    2. Fonant

      Re: It doesn't have to be this way.

      As I understand it, and I could be very wrong, there's a difference between items "worth" less than £135 and those worth more than that.

      Items worth less than £135 - EU supplier is required to register for UK VAT, charge VAT at the point of sale, and then send the money to HMRC along with VAT statement later.

      Items worth more than £135 - EU supplier should NOT charge VAT, as HMRC will collect VAT and any applicable Duty, at the Customs border.

      1. Barrie Shepherd

        Re: It doesn't have to be this way.

        "Items worth more than £135 - EU supplier should NOT charge VAT, as HMRC will collect VAT and any applicable Duty, at the Customs border.".........payment of which can only be made via courier/mail organisations who will add an inflated sum to the bill the end customer has to pay.

        Under the old (£15 rule) Parcel Farce once tried to charge me £16 'handling fee' for two items from China that cost £8 each + £3.20 VAT. I dis-respectfully told them to send the items back and promptly ordered the items again in separate orders to stay below £15.

        The fees collection model agreed between HMRC and the carriers is a rort. In this day and age end customers should be able to pay HMRC directly by bank transfer to free the goods up for delivery.

        1. David Hicklin

          Re: It doesn't have to be this way.

          And the VAT free on orders under £15 is also gone now we have left the EU.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: It doesn't have to be this way.

      You dealt with a reaosnable company

      Having had to deal with drive replacement issues in other countries, this kind of behaviour from Seagate is par for the course and the CORRECT way of taking this forward is to raise a dispute in small claims with the retailer who sold the drive instead of letting them fob it off to the manufacturer

      They really do go out of their way to make replacements/RMA difficult/expensibve in the hope that people won't bother

      (When I was in the Philippines in 2001, it ended up costing MORE to get a drive RMAed than to buy a new one, that story is hardly unusual)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seagate UK

    The company is a customer of Seagate UK, not Seagate NL. It is up to Seagate to meet the obligations of their warranty - and if that includes free replacement of defective items then that means free. I suggest Tom Parkinson sends Seagate UK a bill for the VAT and other charges.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: Seagate UK

      This is in their returns policy

      > If your product is under warranty, Seagate will pay for postage of replacement products from Seagate to you. You must pay all applicable duties and customs charges for shipments to and from Seagate, unless otherwise authorised.

      Wayback machine shows that wording there as far back as Dec 2015.

      Which means this

      > and if that includes free replacement of defective items then that means free

      Is worth about as much in practice as shouting "they need us more than we need them".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seagate UK

        That doesn't mention anywhere that you have to send the item out of the country it was purchased in, however (generally the assumption that you won't have to is one you're allowed to make, according to the courts).

        1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Re: Seagate UK

          Read it again:

          > You must pay all applicable duties and customs charges for shipments to and from Seagate, unless otherwise authorised.

          How often do you encounter duties and customs charges when shipping domestically (current situation with NI not withstanding)? I'd say the implication is there that sometimes there will be international shipment.

          It doesn't need to specifically state where you have to ship the item, only that you're responsible for costs associated with doing so.

      2. Annihilator Silver badge

        Re: Seagate UK

        Except Seagate has always been an American company (although admittedly recently headquartered in Dublin for the usual shenanigans) - I assume they don't ship their replacements from the US for the very reason it would be subject to import duties and would massively pee off their customer base outside the US.

        1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Re: Seagate UK

          > I assume they don't ship their replacements from the US for the very reason it would be subject to import duties and would massively pee off their customer base outside the US.

          Well, yes, that'll be a part of why they've got a base (ignoring the HQ, which as you say is there for different reasons) in the EU, as well as locations in other important markets.

          They may decide that the UK's important enough a market for them to setup the necessary here, or they might decide that we're too small a market, and that issues like this don't happen often enough to justify the costs of that.

    2. Tom 38

      Re: Seagate UK

      Technically, the company is not a customer of Seagate at all, they're a customer of whatever reseller sold them the drive in the first place.

      It does open up some interesting questions for consumers though. Previously, retailers of computer kit have said "buy products from <foo> and any RMA stuff is handled by <foo> and not us", but (IANAL) I'm not sure that's what consumer law says. If you buy something, and its defective, its the retailer who is responsible and not the manufacturer. Whilst we were in the EU, no-one rightly cared - you got better service from Seagate than from Ebuyer or Misco. But now?

      Its going to be even more complicated, the consumer rights apply for a shorter period, and things like enterprise drives with 5 year warranties; I'd guess the warranty is on top of the consumer rights, optional, and can come with provisos like this..

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Seagate UK

        "Technically, the company is not a customer of Seagate at all, they're a customer of whatever reseller sold them the drive in the first place."

        Maybe. The drive has a two year warranty under consumer law between the buyer and the seller. Seagate the manufacturer provide a 5 year warranty. So after year 2, any warranty claims are with Seagate, not the seller. Since this was a business customer, the warranty between the buyer and seller might be different to that which a retail customer would get. Likewise, there may be a longer implied warranty for retail customers based on a "reasonable lifetime" of the product which comes with further, more restrictive conditions such as partial refund, or parts only repairs etc.

      2. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: Seagate UK

        If you buy something, and its defective, its the retailer who is responsible and not the manufacturer.
        IANAL

        During the statutory warranty period, for statutorily covered issues, then yes the retailer is responsible.

        However, this statutory warranty is usually (depending on item) anywhere from 6 months to 2 years (where I am).

        Seagates 5 year warranty is a manufacturer extended warranty. If claiming under this warranty (i.e. outside the statutory warranty period and/or for something outside statutory warranty coverage but Seagate says it will cover) then you need to deal direct with the manufacturer or their designated respresentative.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Seagate UK

          For consumers, in the UK the statutory period is "Er well it ought to last a reasonable amount of time, sort of innit".

          At which point it's for a court to decide if the item was reasonably durable.

          1. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

            Re: Seagate UK

            If a manufacturer is prepared to offer a 5 year warranty then they would be hard pressed to say that it was unreasonable for the thing (drive in this case) to last 5 years

    3. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Seagate UK

      The company is most likely a customer of some retailer or other. I don't think Seagate sell direct unless you are buying drives by the container load.

    4. Tom Parkinson

      Re: Seagate UK

      amen bro

  7. Old Tom

    Seagate need to adjust their operations.

    Seagate are well aware of problems like this - their statement acknowledges it. Their behaviour and statement on this occasion are pretty shitty. Companies of this size should get their act together, recognise that UK customers are not in the EU and adjust their operations appropriately.

    (This applies whatever you think of Brexit.)

    1. BenM 29 Bronze badge

      Re: Seagate need to adjust their operations.

      >>recognise that UK customers are not in the EU and adjust their operations appropriately.

      Why is it Seagate's, or indeed any other company's, problem? The UK adjusted trading conditions so that customers, located in the UK, of EU based firms were impacted by UK VAT rules.

      Its all down to cost benefit... does it cost more to accomodate the new UK trading position or lose the UK as a market? for smaller companies I guess its easy to say 'stuff the UK as a market' (many have done) but, perhaps, for Seagate, WD et. al. the decision would be more nuanced... though I doubt it.

      We did this to ourselves, on the premis that 'they' would be falling over backwards to assist us in our new trading situation. Turns out 'they' aren't going to do that - or at least not in the near future. We can blame no-one but ourselves.

      (This applies whatever you think of Brexit)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why is it Seagate's, or indeed any other company's, problem?

        because they operate in the UK, and the UK government will NOT accept it's gov's problem, which makes it a Seagate problem... who promptly make it a customer problem...

        Methinks this would make an interesting court case, if customer argued that Seagate have not fulfilled their warranty promise of replacing a faulty drive at no cost. Arguably they did not charge that "extra" cost themselves, so they did fulfill they warranty. Funny, nobody's guilty, but somebody's gotta pay, and that somebody is the one on the 'receiving' end of that long, brexit chain...

    2. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: Seagate need to adjust their operations.

      Companies of this size should get their act together, recognise that UK customers are not in the EU and adjust their operations appropriately.
      All costs are always, in some way or other, passed on to the consumer.

      For Seagate to absorb the VAT in this case by sending it first to Seagate UK, paying the VAT, then shiiping it to the customer (now with no VAT since internal mail) will incur costs on Seagate. What this will mean is that Seagate will calculate how much VAT they'd have to pay on average per year for this sort of arrangement (number of warranty returns per year * VAT + administration costs - whatever deductions they can manage), then average this sum over the expected number of units they expect to sell in a year, and increase the sale price of those units by that amount.

      Sure, the customer getting the warranty replacement might not then have to pay the £33.62 in 'government charges' (I assume is VAT) upfront for the warranty replacement, but they might now have, for example, £4 added to the purchase of any drives. And in this case where the customer had 64 drives, if they purchased 64 drives now, would pay an extra £256 for that set of 64 drives so that they'd get VAT-free manufacturer extended warranty replacements.

      1. Old Tom

        Re: Seagate need to adjust their operations.

        For Seagate to absorb the VAT in this case by sending it first to Seagate UK, paying the VAT, then shipping it to the customer ...

        VAT is payable when goods/services are sold/bought. Seagate UK would neither buy nor sell the replacement, no VAT would be due.

        1. Tom Parkinson

          Re: Seagate need to adjust their operations.

          exactly - i suspect this incorrectly charged 'duty' at the border and its NOT VAT - i have the UPS receipt that says as much - although they always get the paperwork wrong - seagates manifest states - $0 vale to customer / customer $188 USD RRP (that must be based on replacement value as they were $300+ new these 12TB ironwolf pros)

  8. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    What bigger companies are gonna do

    Set up a hard disk recycling company that accepts any broken drive and quietly gives them to a "completely unrelated" UK based hard disk distribution company. The distributor sends the disks to their EU division for replacement under guarantee - and gets the VAT paperwork for the export. The EU side of the distributor recycles the old disks and buys new ones to export back to the UK - with paperwork showing no VAT to pay because these are "replacements". The UK side then sells hard disks at a good price, charges VAT for them but does not actually pay the VAT.

    People used to do this with DRAM which had an extra tax to support the EU DRAM manufacturers. HMRC do not like this business plan and are likely to say things like "fraud", "fines" and "prision". Check with your lawyer. For an extra Brexit twist you should be able to "recycle" the broken drives across the Irish border to complete the loop.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: What bigger companies are gonna do

      I think you just described what is known as the VAT carousel. A well organised one doesn't even need real physical product, or at least the product doesn't have to actually move from one location to another, just the paperwork needs to look like it did :-)

  9. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I seems that when Seagate gave the details of the price to the courier (probably for insurance cover Seagate for loss or damage in transit) they gave the full retail price, where as it probably should have been priced at zero since it was not a sale but a warranty replacement for a faulty unit.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem here isn't the borders, it's the ludicrously anal way that the tax situation was set up.

    Prior to the EU, under EEC rules, I (in France) could mail order something from the UK, (from Maplin Electronics, for example) and it was shipped without VAT. As the recipient I was supposed to declare it & pay duty/VAT. I would image that few people did, so there was a tax loss.

    With the arrival of the EU the rules were changed to require the shipper to collect VAT at the recipients rate. For example when Amazon shipped a book to me from the UK (zero-rated) to France (5.5%), they were required to charge French 5.5% VAT on it. This really made little sense, any value that has been added to the item was added in the UK, not in France, so why pay VAT at the recipients rate? If I had travelled to the UK and bought the same item in Waterstones to take home to France, I would not have been quizzed about where I was taking it. I would just have paid UK VAT. Given that, at least for low-value items, there's an element of swings & roundabouts on this, simply charging VAT at the rate of the shipping country, and paying it to the treasury of that country, would have the same net effect and have been much simpler to organize. Tax would be paid, and each country would get a reasonable share overall.

    Now, with the UK out of the EU, they still require the shipper to charge VAT at the recipients rate, but the whole process of registration is more complex. It really doesn't benefit anyone, except perhaps the EU at the ideological level. They can continue to gloat about how bad Brexit is, while ignoring the fact that they are punishing small EU businesses just as much as small UK ones.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: The problem here isn't the borders, it's the ludicrously anal way that the tax situation was ...

      That's not quite true. If Amazon were over the distance selling threshold for the UK (I think it was about £75,000), and they would have been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over that limit, then they were required to register for UK VAT and charge that to their customer.

      For a smaller company, for example if you phoned a small local bookshop in France to order a French language book that you couldn't get here, then yes, they would have charged French VAT on the sale.

    2. Dr Scrum Master

      Re: The problem here isn't the borders, it's the ludicrously anal way that the tax...

      A someone who's spent the last decade living on a small island outside of the EU I've regularly had to purchase goods from several overseas countries. Only once was I stung by customs duties, which could have been avoided by splitting the order. It's therefore astonishing that HMG has now signed the UK up to a load of excessive bureaucracy.

      Is this part of the EU trading agreement? Or is it just HMRC messing everything up?

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: The problem here isn't the borders, it's the ludicrously anal way that the tax...

        Just Boris Johnson messing everything up. HMRC do what they are told to by the government.

      2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        Re: The problem here isn't the borders, it's the ludicrously anal way that the tax...

        It's because we're retained the EU's VAT rules and regulations and are applying them at our border the same way the EU applies them at its border.

        Within the customs union, if you were to import goods from a seller in a third country, and the seller hasn't made the appropriate registrations and arrangements to collect VAT on behalf of the EU territory into which they're selling (and very few did), VAT would be applied and collected at the common customs border.

        We've retained that portion of the acquis, so now imports from outside the UK have VAT applied at our border. This includes imports from sellers inside the EU, who shouldn't be applying VAT to UK sales, and should be supplying the same paperwork they'd supply to exports (including RMAs) to any other third country.

        Our exports to the EU also have VAT and other duties applied at the EU border. Sales outside of the UK's VAT regime don't have UK VAT applied, as has been the norm when selling to places outside of the EU when we were part of it, so anyone selling from the UK to the EU shouldn't be adding VAT to the price.

        VAT wasn't part of the trade agreement, which is really more of a framework agreement than an actual trade deal. Some future agreement on VAT might be negotiated within that framework, but I expect it's low down on the priorities.

        The point is, we're applying the rules as inherited. Now whether the government will be keen to change those rules is anyone's guess (I'm going out on a limb to predict the only changes they'll make are the ones that they think will bring in more revenue), but blaming the government for the existence of these rules is a bit parochial, given they were originated by the EU and are now being mutually applied, unchanged, by both parties to one another as they would to any other third country.

        1. Dr Scrum Master

          Re: The problem here isn't the borders, it's the ludicrously anal way that the tax...

          we're applying the rules as inherited

          It's a shame that the reporting hasn't indicated that, but then I suppose some kind of contextual understanding is beyond the capabilities of the media who will hype up one disaster and pay no attention to many other similar disasters...

      3. CuChulainn Silver badge

        Re: The problem here isn't the borders, it's the ludicrously anal way that the tax...

        someone who's spent the last decade living on a small island outside of the EU

        That now describes the those of us in the UK to a tee.

        Unfortunately, far too many of us still think we can see the Emperor's new clothes.

    3. Solviva

      Re: The problem here isn't the borders, it's the ludicrously anal way that the tax situation was set

      You contradict yourself.

      "This really made little sense, any value that has been added to the item was added in the UK, not in France"

      What value was gained from the book in the UK? None. It was sent to France for you to peruse and obtain value from, in France.

      " If I had travelled to the UK and bought the same item in Waterstones to take home to France, I would not have been quizzed about where I was taking it. I would just have paid UK VAT"

      Because you would have been able to add value by perusing the book in the UK. That you took it back to France with you isn't a problem, (ex)-EU rules.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The problem here isn't the borders, it's the ludicrously anal way that the tax situation was set

        I'd disagree. The value was added to the components of the book during the printing process. Reading it may have added value to me, but not to the book.

        1. eldakka Silver badge

          Re: The problem here isn't the borders, it's the ludicrously anal way that the tax situation was set

          Reading it may have added value to me, but not to the book.
          But that's entirely the value (to the tax man) of a VAT.

          The sale process itself is a 'value'. So the tax in this example was for the 'Service' of selling the book to you.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The problem here isn't the borders, it's the ludicrously anal way that the tax situation was set

            So the tax in this example was for the 'Service' of selling the book to you.

            A service which took place in the UK, so why not tax it in the UK?

    4. Notrub345

      Re: The problem here isn't the borders

      Sigh - more misinformation.

      The EU VAT system simplified everything. Like everything else the EU did, it replaced 27 different ways of doing things with a single coherent rulebook and how wonderful this was.

      Now we're back to doing things our own way - it's a mess.

      As for the issue of non-declaration - you can still do that (for lower value items) and you MIGHT get away with it - it all depends on how thoroughly they're checking stuff at the border.

      Unbelievable that you're trying to blame the EU for this - it's like closing your bank account and then complaining because your direct debits are no longer being paid and you have to go back to dealing with bills and writing checks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The problem here isn't the borders

        Like everything else the EU did, it replaced 27 different ways of doing things with a single coherent rulebook and how wonderful this was.

        Like everything else the EU does, it replaced 27 ways of doing something with an unnecessarily complex new way, carefully designed so that no country could have any advantage over any other.

        Unbelievable that you're trying to blame the EU for this

        I wasn't blaming just the EU, deals have at least two participants and in a bad deal they all share some of the blame. Both sides had the opportunity here to find a solution that was simpler for all involved, but chose not to do so. The EU ruling classes will not tolerate anything which might make Brexit successful, it would not only threaten their own power & control, it could be an existential threat to the EU itself. Because of this they will never accept a win-win deal, for them only deals in which the UK loses are acceptable. If EU small businesses also lose, well that's just acceptable collateral damage. It's not a productive attitude, but we're dealing with politicians who risk losing some of their power, so no surprise.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "government charges" and £11.50 "Brokerage charges"

    send the bill to Boris. No, wait! Boris didn't cast 17+ million votes for those charges, did he?! Well, then, I guess, as a business owner, I would happily bump up my business rate charged to the UK customers, to recover those costs. And any future costs. As the DHL cleary have done...

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: "government charges" and £11.50 "Brokerage charges"

      DHL haven't changed their pricing, Seagate haven't changed their pricing or conditions.

      The only thing that has changed is that brexit added bureaucracy, who would ever have thought it, oh right anyone with their head on their shoulders rather than up their arse.

    2. CuChulainn Silver badge

      Re: "government charges" and £11.50 "Brokerage charges"

      Boris didn't cast 17+ million votes for those charges, did he?!

      No, he cast one of them.

      But he did then spend the next three and a half years trying as hard as he could to get what we now have.

  12. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    It's no surprise in Northern Ireland.

    EU red tape has been replaced by Boris's red tape, anyone who works in industries with international imports and exports outside the Common Market will pretty much ignore all the comments here. This event is typical of taxation and import regulations and it was obvious that it would be extended to local trade when the Tory party pushed the referendum to get David Cameron reelected. We have left the Common Market but the Tories are running the country so Brexit is seen politically as a huge bonus.

    This issue is just another side of the "oven ready" deal environment that Boris created and the Irish are complaining about.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: It's no surprise in Northern Ireland.

      But it is British red tape now, and all the happier for it ...

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: It's no surprise in Northern Ireland.

        > But it is British red tape now, and all the happier for it ...

        I'd be even happier if it were blue red-tape.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Been dealing with this too. Marking the shipping reason "return for repair" seems to avoid attracting any duty either way. Any other reason seems to require a carnet and a bond which can be a significant proportion of the item's original value. Also the bond is non returnable if the item doesn't come back within a set time period!

  14. Swordfish1

    Seagates returns policy, has not been updated since 2017, according to the link in this article.

    As the product is under warranty then Seagate should provide an RMA with postage paid, and should return the replacement free from all charges too IMHO.

    I emphasise SHOULD.

    Until they update their policies; I would suggest boycotting Seagate, in the future, and buy Western Digital, who do have a RMA return address in the UK

    CS

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Flame

      I'm boycotting Western Digital, because they changed their Red Drives to be SMR without telling anyone.

      Then, when people complained about really long resilvering times, told them that they shouldn't be using drives advertised as suitable for use in Network Attached Storage in a Network Attached Storage device.

    2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      > Seagates returns policy, has not been updated since 2017, according to the link in this article.

      You mean the one that says the user is liable for duties and custom charges relating to the return? That wording's been there since 2015 according to the Wayback machine (the earliest snap it has, presumably the URL changed).

      > Until they update their policies; I would suggest boycotting Seagate, in the future, and buy Western Digital, who do have a RMA return address in the UK

      There may be a catch with that, depending on what you're buying and how you feel about corporate honesty.

      WD's Red range is quite popular for NAS usage/data hoarding etc. However, without telling anyone, they swapped significant parts of the range over to using SMR (which ultimately knackers write rates in various scenarios that a NAS might care about). They also went out of the way, in their spec sheets, to hide that the disks were SMR.

      When they were challenged on it, they initially lied, then lied some more and then after lying a bit more eventually conceded and admitted to it.

      Personally, I think I'd rather deal with the import duties

      Edit: Beaten to it

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        And it was the lower capacity ones, not the new ones that get reviewed by people who do tech product reviews.

  15. Annihilator Silver badge

    "That was always the fear of Brexit: a wave of bureaucracy. Still, the blue passports are being dispatched."

    Having just received my new-born daughter's non-EU passport in the post, I can assure you they are not "blue". Black would be a more accurate description. But people see what jingoistic colour they want to see I suppose...

    1. adam 40 Silver badge
      WTF?

      Made in France!

      The new ones are made in France - that really gets my goat.

      (Because we were still under EU tendering rules.)

      I hope we can now terminate that contract and get them made in the UK.

      1. H in The Hague Silver badge

        Re: Made in France!

        "(Because we were still under EU tendering rules.) I hope we can now terminate that contract and get them made in the UK."

        Apparently any British supplier who tendered was more expensive than the French one - so awarding the contract to them would raise the cost to British taxpayers.

        Following your line of reasoning, EU customers should stop buying refuse cleaning vehicles built in Blackpool and Warwick and buy them from, say, Spanish or German suppliers instead. Such a great way to support British industry!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Made in France!

        I thought they were meant to be made in Poland? Either way, presumably import tax and VAT are due to have them delivered here? ;)

        1. Tom Parkinson

          Re: Made in France!

          French company - with subsidiary in Polnad

      3. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid Bronze badge

        Re: Made in France!

        The home office at the time said the French deal was £100m cheaper.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Made in France!

          "The home office at the time said the French deal was £100m cheaper."

          I wonder if they took into account the closure of the place that made them and the job losses incurred? I'm sure many of those made redundant went on to find other jobs, but those would have been jobs taken by others if they'd not been made redundant. So there are people on benefits, somewhere down the chain, who probably would not otherwise be claiming. And they have less money to spend too, so possibly causing other job losses.

          But the people in charge are all lawyers and accountants. They get paid enough not to care and only ever look at the immediate effects on the bottom line, not the knock on effects.

      4. Annihilator Silver badge

        Re: Made in France!

        In or out of the EU, I'd still prefer that our tendering rules meant we bought the one with the best value attached to it, and not one that insisted we pick a more expensive but local company.

        We'd struggle to do business globally if everyone else insisted on that approach. Particularly in our new role as global outlier. We'd never sell goods or services internationally again if their trading laws insisted on buying in their own country.

        They're made by Gemalto. I imagine if you look on the back of your bankcard you'll see that name on the top-right. The (only) company that tendered for them in the UK (De La Rue) were more expensive. But perhaps under your new tendering guidelines they'd be thrown out for sounding a bit foreign. If they did slip through the next, the cost of your passport renewal would probably go up significantly, as they'd be free to charge whatever they wanted, as they'd have no UK competitors to drive the cost down.

  16. terry 1

    Lad had the same issue

    My youngest had to return an AMD processor (also to Holland) and it just dragged on with him, the courier and AMD having to state the price, and often was the wrong price for customs declaration. Under RMA there needs to be a declaration of £0 with it being a warranty repair. All got resolved in the end but took a lot of leg work

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lad had the same issue

      I remember when everyone's girlfriends would fly over to Amsterdam years before we joined the EU, buy everything we wanted and then return. Wrapped up and inserted into a body cavity, they never had any problems returning the the UK and we would throw them huge parties. I guess the processor would need to be well wrapped too.

  17. codejunky Silver badge

    Meh

    "Are you paying import duty or facing other consequences of Brexit? Send us an email here."

    Pretty please, give us a reason to complain about brexit, something to balance out the clusterfuck going on in the beloved EU? I wonder if we are reaching the final death throws of remainer hopes. Was nice to see a lull in bexit whining and EU arse kissing.

    1. Martin Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Meh

      Death throes, not death throws - it's not some ultra-violent MMA battle.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meh

        Weren't the Death Throws a Marvel comics gang of armed juggling villains?

      2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Meh

        Ironic that a hard-core Leaver can barely write English.

        1. Notrub345

          Re: Meh

          Ironic?? I think you meant "normal" meh?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Meh

            Hmmm...

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Meh

          @Throatwarbler Mangrove

          "Ironic that a hard-core Leaver can barely write English."

          Why? I am dyslexic but you think thats a problem when considering the future of the country? I guess when you cant refute the point you attack the person.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meh

      Maybe you could apologise to all the people who have been negatively affected by your selfish vote?

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Meh

        @AC

        "Maybe you could apologise to all the people who have been negatively affected by your selfish vote?"

        I am sorry to those who have been negatively affected. As for everyone in the UK I also say you are welcome.

        Now AC would you like to apologise to everyone negatively affected in the UK for supporting the EU?

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Meh

          So you can suggest some groups negatively affected by our being in the EU? With evidence rather than myth, preferably.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Coat

            Re: Meh

            The fishermen and fishing industry! Ah. Err... Mine's the oilskin with the sou'wester in the pocket.

          2. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Meh

            @Terry 6

            "With evidence rather than myth, preferably."

            Everyone. Evidenced by the repeated 'food prices are lower outside the EU than inside it'. Many remainer articles about how food will be more expensive followed by the asterisk *from the EU.

            Remainers complaining the EU is now hard to trade with due to paperwork and tariffs are pointing out we had to apply those to the world for our imports. And protectionism of the member countries to our cost (e.g. protectionism of the orange growing market for Spain).

            The tampon tax was finally removed which couldnt be done while in the EU.

            Everyone in the UK affected by the lowest common denominator recycling insanity.

            White van men fined for not littering with their lunch wrappers.

            The taxpayers having their money thrown at the EU monstrosity.

            The voters having had no vote over membership of the EU monstrosity (until the leave vote that is).

            Everyone burdened with EU dumb ass regulation in the domestic market screwing with our appliances, vaping, animal farming and various interference they piled on the problems with.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Meh

              No. There's a few trivial moans in that list, and some vague claims. And even the "Tampon tax" iniquitous as it was is a pretty small item item in the great scheme of things which could have been ameliorated if we'd chosen. Which was reported at the time.

              The cost of the EU membership was small in terms of spending, and the value to our economy far outweighed it. No one, not even Mogg, now claims that we'd be financially better off outside the EU.

              Oh and what you call "interferences" most people call "protection for the consumer/environment", but clearly you don't like that sort of thing.

              The legally binding thing,likewise. Had Remain won by a tiny majority a subsequent govt couldn't easily have taken us out. There is a considerable difference between voting to change and voting not to change. A tiny majority to make a major change is very different from an equally tiny majority not to change - without a very clear voice for any action in such a situation the status quo should be retained. And that's not even considering those who were unsure or unwilling to vote.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Meh

                @Terry 6

                Still no apology from the AC. Aint you is it Terry?

                "And even the "Tampon tax" iniquitous as it was is a pretty small item item in the great scheme of things which could have been ameliorated if we'd chosen."

                How? Only by leaving could it be set to zero as per EU rules.

                "The cost of the EU membership was small in terms of spending, and the value to our economy far outweighed it."

                So you say. As I pointed out due to higher costs (protectionism), domestic regulations and our contribution there was a high cost. All that to buy another layer of incompetent government. And we have escaped the covid bailout fund which is the point remainers went quiet about the cost of brexit.

                "Oh and what you call "interferences" most people call "protection for the consumer/environment", but clearly you don't like that sort of thing."

                Ha! The alternative is the over-regulation so you must love being a slave. Grow up you child. The level playing field is not about protection of consumer/environment but about keeping everyone stuck under the lowest common denominator so nobody has an advantage. Advantages being what we all want in trade and in our trading partners.

                "The legally binding thing,likewise. Had Remain won by a tiny majority a subsequent govt couldn't easily have taken us out."

                So if remain won we would remain. Leave won so we leave. This on the back of a minor party gaining such incredible support for its single issue 'leave' that the main parties took serious note of what the electorate was supporting. And then in every election here and MEP returned the ones promising leave.

                "without a very clear voice for any action in such a situation the status quo should be retained"

                Waaa lost but crying about it. We didnt have a vote to join the EU, the leave votes were consistent from the referendum and elections after but you go tell me how people wanted to remain. Even parties outright promising to overturn the result were trashed hard in the general election.

                "There's a few trivial moans in that list, and some vague claims"

                So you dont take issue with the cost of food being more expensive inside the EU which would be a drop in everyones expenses if we buy global. And thats vague?

                You asked for people negatively affected by the EU. I provide and you dismiss them as nothing. Yet I acknowledge some people will be negatively affected, but so are people for being in the EU. There are winners and losers to both.

                So will the AC be apologising yet?

                1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                  Re: Meh

                  I can't speak for the AC ( I only do AC when there is a specific privacy/professional reason and then I specify that). But no. You are still making vague sweeping and unbalanced arguments that hold no water in terms of advantages for the UK. And as I noted, not even Mogg now claims a financial advantage. It's all about sovereignty and happy fish.

                  Anymore sealioning from you?

                  I'm afraid I'll have to treat your comments as no more than that unless you make specific, rather than vague, claims.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Meh

                    @Terry 6

                    "I can't speak for the AC"

                    Since posting with your name I didnt think it would be you but figured I would ask.

                    "You are still making vague sweeping and unbalanced arguments that hold no water in terms of advantages for the UK."

                    Aka you cant refute it and aint even gonna try. But this thread that you joined in was the AC asking an apology for those negatively affected by brexit, and me asking for one in return for those negatively affected by the EU. You dont seem willing to deny that and anyone with half a brain knows some will gain and some lose from such a choice.

                    So taking this in a different direction you ask for advantages of leaving which I have explained many times in the past but is wide ranging and makes for a massive comment on its own. So if you care to pick- economic, trade, democratic, sovereignty. Or recently the Covid vaccine screw up.

                    "And as I noted, not even Mogg now claims a financial advantage."

                    I just had a quick flick through your comment history searching for that but didnt see it. Do you have a link? Did he make the comment before the latest EU crisis by any chance?

                    "Anymore sealioning from you?"

                    That is interesting coming from someone who has yet to contribute to the discussion and just keeps avoiding by claiming everything is vague. And now you move the goalposts from what me and AC were saying I am now offering to discuss on your terms (advantages of leaving), so maybe look in a mirror and answer that question yourself.

                    "I'm afraid I'll have to treat your comments as no more than that unless you make specific, rather than vague, claims."

                    Treat my comments how you wish. My comments have provided answers while yours have yet to do so, so I am not sure what you find vague. Maybe you are waiting for some silver bullet to show you the light, but from your responses I dont think reason will do it.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Meh

              Codejunky "Everyone. ... "

              Superb. Probably the most incisive and comprehensive analysis of the Brexit dividend we have seen since the referendum result. A valuable lesson. Please keep on presenting this evidence to help explain our Brexit prize.

    3. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Meh

      And to further the own goal the EU is trying to stop exports of vaccine (while still claiming the AZ vaccine isnt good enough) after lying about a UK export ban and yet will most likely be requiring vast imports of vaccine.

      Seriously, who the hell still thinks we should have remained in that cesspit?

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Meh

        There seems to be little but the sound of crickets. Cmon remainers here is your opportunity to sing praises to the utopia! Just see-

        "Are you paying import duty or facing other consequences of Brexit?"

        We are no longer in the place of glorious unity (where members scramble in any direction to ignore the EU and get vaccine). That horrible UK who ordered in timely fashion and helped the production of vaccine which benefits the world has over half its adult vaccinated, while the land of glorious unity has barely started.

        Worse is how the UK has loads of AZ vaccine (that EU and member propaganda is causing people to reject) and isnt just giving it to us. Why wont Britain just drop trow and grab its ankles like a good member (oh yeah)?

        Its odd how there has been a quiet of EU/little England stories there are now. Maybe they will come back. At some point in the future.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Meh

          Wow downvotes but no defence of the indefensible. Maybe remainers are starting to realise? But the saga continues-

          https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/04/01/british-taxpayers-funded-eu-factory-heart-vaccine-row/

          The thieving scum sorry land of utopia, hope and glory which wants to ban exports of vaccine to the UK from the Halix factory in the Netherlands didnt pay a penny (nor Cent) towards the plant while the UK invested in the region of £21m.

          To make this even more astonishing (if your a remainer I assume) the knuckle-heads were asked by Oxford scientists but never signed the deal.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Meh

            Damn! The EU is so short on vaccine that they have spent 6 months negotiating with a French company (producing in the UK thankfully) and come to nothing-

            https://www.politico.eu/article/valneva-walks-away-from-vaccine-negotiations-with-commission/

            Instead the company will deal with the members directly instead.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Meh

              And the EU continues its power grab by trying to use the covid bailout fund to coerce Ireland into changing its favourable tax's-

              www.continentaltelegraph.com/2021/05/as-ever-the-european-union-is-decades-behind-the-curve/

              I remember some people being fooled into thinking the EU were friends, but this isnt something you do to a friend. Or is Ireland merely tolerated in the EU?

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Meh

                Its almost like an automatic 3 thumbs down but no capacity to respond. I can only guess bots. Either machine or meat sack.

  18. Timbo Bronze badge

    It's a UPS issue

    I had a very similar issue with UPS recentrly importing goods that were made in the EU into the UK.

    First UPS wanted to charge me around GBP 930 BEFORE they would deliver to me, which included "government charges" of around GBP 905 plus "documentation fees" of just under GBP 25.

    The "government charges" represent 20% (ie the VAT amount) of the declared value of of the goods, converted into GBP (from EURO) using the UK Government online "exchange rate" for the relevant period.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hmrc-exchange-rates-for-2021-monthly

    As a VAT and EORI registered business, you can advise couriers to use "Postponed VAT accounting" (PVA) to declare the VAT value on your quaretly return, instead of paying upfront to a courier. You do not need to tell the UK Govt you are doing this - just advise the courier.

    Getting UPS to "register" my EORI number took me a week !! (You can email them at pva@ups.com to register)

    And then UPS tried to charge me customs duty of 2% on the value as they claimed that "Third Country" duty was applicable....I had to get them to re-check the commerical invoice (sent with the goods) to see that there was a "SIGNED DECLARATION" on the commercial invoice stating that the items were made in Germany.

    Therefore under the FREE TRADE AGREEMENT, the UK is the "second country" and no duty applies to the commodity code of items listed on the invoice....though some products, such as food, dairty meat, livestock etc may have other duties applies).

    Eventually I got my package, 16 days affter it was ready for collection Germany on 2nd Feb 2021 !!

    re: Returning items for repair/replacement

    There is a way of declaring items for repair/replacement that avoids all the duty issues - and its down to the sender and shipper to do this in advance. HMRC website covers this:

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-can-delay-customs-duty-and-import-vat

    1. Mr Dogshit

      Re: It's a UPS issue

      Great! I'm sure we'll "prosper mightily" in the "sunlit uplands" now we've overthrown the shackles of Brussels bureaucracy.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: It's a UPS issue

      Your mistake was using UPS. They're blacklisted at my employer due to their many cockups

      1. Timbo Bronze badge

        Re: It's a UPS issue

        "Your mistake was using UPS. They're blacklisted at my employer due to their many cockups"

        Actually, it wasn't MY mistake, it was the seller...but at the time his usual courier, DPD, had suspended courier deliveries to the UK, due to the impact of Kent variant of Covid, plus a huge issue of trucks stuck in Kent, due to France closing their borders.

        So, *his* 2nd choice was UPS, as they had NOT suspended courier services to UK. It was only due to inefficiencies with the Customs handling process that caused the issue both with the O/P and for my shipment.

        But lesson learned and UPS won't be used again.

        I've also heard from someone else, within my sector of industry, that they too have had issues with imports coming via UPS from The Netherlands and Germany too...in their case, the goods are still "in the UPS system" 3 weeks later. :-(

        Oh and I also received an email from UPS telling me that their storage fees were £13 per day (after 3 days), if I took my time paying the "government charges and docmentation fees".

        I wonder how many UK firms are paying up, just to get goods imported via UPS, even if they are being over-charged for these fees... :-(

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: It's a UPS issue

          I'm currently waiting for ups to get off their backsides and deliver a package from Spain. They've had it in Madrid for over a week now, blaming Brexit even though other couriers just sail right through without issue.

          Every time ups is the courier, something goes wrong. The most memorable recently was when they destroyed half of an order of national heritage mead and didn't bother to warn me before they left a sodden, glass-filled box on my doorstep. They only very reluctantly responded to the seller's compensation claim after a month.

        2. CuChulainn Silver badge

          Re: It's a UPS issue

          issues with imports coming via UPS

          I told this story a while ago, but I ordered a case of UHT milk from Amazon (lockdown and shielding, otherwise I'd buy it at the supermarket). Amazon's depot is only 30 miles from my door.

          But the courier was UPS.

          The shipment ended up going via East Midlands, to Switzerland, to Germany, back to Switzerland, then to London, where it arrived at the same time as the replacement tray of milk which had been shipped properly. As expected, all the handling and compression/decompression had ruptured every carton, and the outer was papier mâché.

          UPS admitted it was a screw up.

          Fortunately, it was before Christmas. But I wonder how that one would have been handled if it had happened since January 1st?

          1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: It's a UPS issue

            Fortunately, it was before Christmas. But I wonder how that one would have been handled if it had happened since January 1st?

            Assuming it was sent to Switzerland sometime after Christmas but before New Year and delivered after, you would have been billed for VAT and the like, all for a sodden, useless mess.

    3. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: It's a UPS issue

      There is a way of declaring items for repair/replacement that avoids all the duty issues - and its down to the sender and shipper to do this in advance. HMRC website covers this:

      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-can-delay-customs-duty-and-import-vat

      From what I can tell from a very brief perusal of that site, it only applies to those who have an EORI number.

      A normal consumer, as in this article applied to the situation, don't have EORI's as far as I can tell to use these various processes. As I understand it, only businesses with any significant trade volume would get an EORI, not a 'regular' consumer or a tiny 20K turnover-type business.

  19. ChrisC Silver badge

    I gave up on RMA'ing drives donkeys years ago after realising that cost of getting the borked drive safely back to the warranty centre (also in the Netherlands in this case, though I can't recall if it was a Seagate drive) was high enough such that I'd have preferred to just pay the extra and get a brand new drive shipped next day from a UK supplier than have to wait an indeterminate length of time to get the warranty replacement. If we now have to also throw the possibility of import charges into the mix, then all the more reason not to bother...

    Maybe now's the time for a manufacturer to release a lower-cost line of drives which have no additional warranty provided beyond what's required by law, so that those of us who are happier to just replace with new and junk the old drive don't have to continue subsidising the cost of providing warranty returns for those other users who do still want the additional safety blanket provided by a longer warranty period.

  20. aks

    Surely the solution is for you to deal directly with Seagate UK. If they acquire replacements from the EU, USA or China that should not be something you need be aware of.

    As someone living outside of the UK and EU, when we post any items to the UK the Post Office imposes VAT on that item.

  21. TonyJ

    I don't understand something

    I mean, surely as a warranty replacement he didn't buy it for a second time to begin with so why was any kind of VAT been charged?

    Apologies if I've missed something obvious. It's Friday and I've had a bastard of a week.

    1. Terry Barnes

      Re: I don't understand something

      An item of value has crossed the border, thus VAT is payable.

      1. TonyJ

        Re: I don't understand something

        Why? An item of equal value is returned hence there has been no financial transaction. He didn't buy the second drive, it was replaced under warranty. Net zero transaction.

        I genuinely don't get it.

  22. colin79666

    DJI

    I’ve seen a few reports that this is happening with DJI drone repairs/replacements too. Their repair centre is in the Netherlands.

  23. jabuzz

    We just had a couple of 16TB drives posted out from the Netherlands this week from Lenovo. No import duty was paid and the dud drives have not been returned yet.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brexit, the metre long shit sandwich

    No, sorry.

    The 3.28084 foot long shit sandwich!

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Brexit, the metre long shit sandwich

      We'll have no decimalisation here, thank you very much, that'll be 3', 3" and 3/8ths (roughly).

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ebay, Amazon - China products

    This week an order for £4.99 for a product shipped from China to UK - was billed by ebay as £5.99. The extra £1 was itemised on the ebay invoice as "vat @ 20%" - apparently added automatically by ebay not the supplier. This suggests a recent change in the import regulations?

    Some suppliers in China are apparently UK vat registered - will ebay still add this charge to effectively double the vat?

    I wonder if the recent increase in the ebay listed price of some online China supplied products by about 20% has a similar origin? Even on Amazon a MarketPlace product - that was shipped from a UK Amazon warehouse before Xmas - is now listed at over £20. A 20% higher price.

    The latter may be down to the soaring cost of container transport from the Far East to the UK.

    1. Notrub345

      Re: ebay, Amazon - China products

      Nope - that's the VAT system the UK government has implemented - nothing to do with Brexit (although it occurred at the same time) - unless an item is over £135, VAT is now collected at the point of SALE. The onus is on ebay, or Amazon etc to recognise they are selling something to a UK based buyer, charge the VAT and then send the dosh to HMG.

      The increase in the price of goods from China is down to a combination of Brexit and Covid.

      1) The UK government, as a means to enrich their chums, ordered in 35 years supply of PPE over the course of last summer - most of that is still in containers blocking up our ports as the gov doesn't actually have anywhere to stash it.

      2) Brexit concerns resulted in a lot of UK importers trying to stock up ahead of 1st Jan.

      The net result of both these was that UK ports developed a backlog that is proving difficult to clear, particularly as container ships are now actively avoiding the UK, or when they DO dump here, leave before they can be loaded up with all the empties, so these too are cluttering up our docks. This has resulted in the cost of shipping containers from China to the UK rising astronomically.

    2. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

      Re: ebay, Amazon - China products

      >This suggests a recent change in the import regulations?

      I think this is the new online consumer VAT regulations that came into force in the UK in January (which seem to be muddying what is a result of Brexit and what is due to the new tax regime).

      Online market places (which I understand also includes individual suppliers if they don't use a market place) now have to register with the UK tax authorities and pay UK VAT on the goods they sell into the UK to the UK tax authorities (and thus the recipient does not - other than that it's included in the purchase price, of course). Seems to me that this makes life easier for the recipient in the UK (no more paying vat + handling charge at the post office), but is likely to see small (non-UK) businesses that don't want to sign up to a market place simply not selling into the UK.

      This isn't just a UK idea - I think the UK version actually originated with the EU - they are introducing something that sounds to be similar in July, and I understand that a lot of nations already have something similar.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ebay, Amazon - China products

        "which seem to be muddying what is a result of Brexit and what is due to the new tax regime"

        Prior to Brexit it appeared to be the case that as long as the EU seller was charging their local vat - then that was it for UK buyers. Apparently now some UK purchases from EU countries have local vat included in the list price - and then UK vat is added elsewhere. The reverse direction can also incur that double vat unless UK small sellers do all the necessary vat registrations. Surely not for each of the 27 EU countries?

  26. sitta_europea

    We used to buy Seagate drives, but sending them all back under warranty quickly became very tedious.

    So we tried HGST instead, and we've NEVER had to send one back.

    Of course the last one we bought was just before WD announced that they were going to buy HGST...

    With luck we'll be buying solid state storage exclusively in future.

  27. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Incidentally

    The latest "scam" doing the rounds is official looking letters claiming VAT hasn't been paid on a given item and charging a "inspection fee" that has to be paid to release the goods with a menacing threat attached in many cases of item's destruction etc.

    Scammers are banking on the chaos related to Covid and Brexit delaying goods for this one.

    Of course if the goods turn up before the letter does then its all for nothing.

    AC for obvious reasons.

  29. old_nic

    Blue Passports and VAT

    As the Blue passports are made in France, I assume the UK government will remember to claim back the French VAT when they are exported from France in bulk so they exceed £135. I don't know what the French rate of VAT will be on blank passports? Perhaps it is zero as it would be in the UK books?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blue Passports and VAT

      I don't think books are tax free in all EU countries?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keyboards and boats...

    The wife is about to discover the joys of Spanish keyboards as UK models all seem to be shipped from the UK thereby incurring all sorts of fees. To the point where many UK suppliers don't even offer EU shipping.

    In other news it seems I shall be barred from doing my job here due to my change in status. Regardless of what the "deal" says, I don't have the resources to sue the EU.

    So there are exciting sunlit uplands for us...

  31. gratou

    VAT is a small price to pay for sovereignty.

    /s

  32. Just an old bloke

    This is not a VAT charge

    If it was VAT our club owner could have reclaimed it in the normal manner, he just has to pay it up front first. This sounds like a) UPS abusing the current situation and b) Seagate screwing up the export documentation. At a push, UPS could be charging import duty under the heading of Government Charges but that seems excessive, it's also way too low for a VAT charge.

    If it's a no cost exchange, there should be zero charges. UPS are greedy. Seagate need education in export documentation.

  33. Richard Cranium

    Profiteering

    I've experienced problems with imports (from other places) before. In both cases the fee payable was substantially less that those in recent press reports some of which have been substantially more than this seagate example. Someone is making a killing from this, I wonder how the charges differ between parcel delivery companies.

    My 2 examples:

    As a prize for "Comment of the week" on a forum. I found I'd won a Tee shirt. It came from the USA and was declared at $15 but HM customs looked the product up online and found it retailed for more than that. I had to go to the post-office to collect and pay £18.

    A friend in Japan sent us a gift (silk kimonos she'd made herself) and declared a value of $200. Post office got in touch to say they needed £70, as we weren't expecting anything and didn't know who it was from we debated whether we wanted to spend £70 for a "mystery parcel" or let them return it. Luckily we chose to pay, and, as it turned out to be "legitimate", the sender would have been offended had it been returned, it might seem to her that WE had rejected it.

    For the time being I think the best advice is: avoid sending parcels between UK and EU if at all possible.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Profiteering

      " I wonder how the charges differ between parcel delivery companies."

      A few years ago I ordered a Libera choir music CD from Japan - IIRC Amazon Japan. Cost something like £20 and they would only send to the UK by courier - not post. When it arrived the courier small print on the paperwork said that if it had incurred UK Customs charges - then the courier clearance fee would have been added @ £45.

  34. ~chrisw

    Alternative title

    "incorrectly declared faulty item export has replacement's import VAT correctly applied". UK customs have to adhere to the new process, so this seems more a failure both by Seagate, to communicate the new required procedures by the exporter, and the exporter himself in not adequately researching the customs requirements, which is slightly surprising.

    Once upon a time I worked for an indie label and we exported physical product to the US, UK and Asia. I was well aware of the various customs declarations required and the importance of not screwing it up, particularly for the US. Now we have to do the same thing for Europe.

    I agree it's shite, and I have sympathy for how the person feels hard done to, I'd be just as frustrated. But hey, that's what the majority seemed to want.

    An expensive lesson for this guy that shipping returns across customs areas is still subject to the same rules as trade export, next time he'll check the paperwork. Write it off as a business expense for tax purposes...

    1. Tom Parkinson

      Re: Alternative title

      well if you mean me by the 'exporter' i did NO exporting! - seagates process for RTB warranty is and always has been since ive had seagate product: return faulty part to UK warehouse (no replacements held there) and customer pays this leg fair enough so far - seagate then i assume send large shipment to Netherlands where their tech warranty dept is. when approved seagate book UPS to ship the replacement or repaired part back to the customer in the UK - as a seagate customer i have no choice but to accept this way. Channel sales warranty replacement in UK not happening - seagate want all SME customers regardless of location to use their 'warranty portal' - IMHO this is NOT VAT - i suspect due to a useless FTA that was signed at the last minute a device i have already paid import duty on when i purchased originally came with a 5 year RTB warranty - i shouldn't be charged duty a second time - also FYI seagates drives (EXOS and IRON WOLF - all made in Thailand - even these replacements ....#justsaying

  35. sumpvesen

    Seagate needs to have replacement parts in Great Britain to solve this problem.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Seagate might not bother....

  36. The Blind Watchman

    Before spending lots of time, money and unnecessary effort it is always wise to run spinrite on the drives as it will often recover data from sectors and then remove them from service. Drives can be maintained for years if used a couple of times a year and running at level 2 will also maintain and improve the efficiency of SSDs. Its also advisable to check a brand new drive with spinrite as this will flag up any problems before the drive has any valuable data put onto it.

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