Brexit and Dwarf

A practical question here: I’ve ordered a Dwarf at the very early Kickstarter sale. I think I paid it including VAT. However, as I live in the UK, should I fear that post Brexit taxes are going to be applied by the British customs when the unit is finally shipped?

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Hi @Azza

I am not exactly sure.

Kickstarter does not differentiate between countries that apply and those that do no apply VAT and does not allow for different prices depending on country.

The Dwarf ships from Germany, which is inside the VAT zone.

It is on us to properly account for VAT later for the shipments that happen inside the VAT zone.

It is on the customer to pay for any duties and taxes in case his shipping address is outside of the VAT zone.

In principle, from January 1st onwards you would need to go through the import process, but there seems to be a 6-month transition: Customs and VAT after Brexit: What happens for UK businesses? | Sage Advice United Kingdom



There is a bit of that for sure.

I’ve been wondering about this too. Given that the “deal” was so last minute, most of the advice doesn’t seem to be up to date yet - so once things have settled we should be able to work out what’s what. I have read comments about personal imports under £390 being exempt, so we may be OK. (edit - this may only be when bringing things through customs personally, rather than having things shipped…)

It also looks like the onus will fall upon Mod Devices to make the declaration etc, rather than us as buyers - we will “just” need to pay the fees!

I for one will need certainty about this before shipping, as I don’t wish to be hit with an extra charge, so might have to (regretfully) cancel my order. Let’s hope things become clear in the next few weeks…

This is an interesting question. I pre-ordered in July, with no thought about this possibility at all.

If I’ve understood correctly on this, one possibility is that Mod won’t need to pay German VAT (19% I believe) on Dwarfs exported outside the EU (Exporting to non-EU Countries), so a reasonable way to work-around this may be for Mod to refund that 19% of our pre-orders, and then we will have to pay 20% UK VAT (Tax and customs for goods sent from abroad: Tax and duty - GOV.UK) on receipt.

However, there is also this mention on a different UK gov page that “If a seller receives payment for an order before 11pm on 31 December 2020 and dispatches the item after that time, these rules will not apply.” (VAT and overseas goods sold directly to customers in the UK - GOV.UK), so possibly this clause allows for our Dwarf pre-orders to be exempt, but there’s no info on the mechanism for declaring them as pre-ordered before the transition.

I guess this will become clearer in time.


If it comes to worst, I think might be tempted to have my dwarf sent to my mum in France and to collect it from there next time I’ve got the opportunity to cross the channel. Would that be an option @gianfranco ?

Hi everyone

I have read further and yes, there is a chance that UK customers will have to pay VAT.

I’m contacting our accountant to clarify this as everything related to Brexit has been so confusing and crowdfunding is also not something that the traditional accounting perfectly embraces.

The pledges are not actual sales at the moment of the campaign. The crowdfunded project might fail and, in this unfortunate case, there is no tax to be paid as no products are shipped. Pledges are pre-payments

Once we ship, the pledge has become an actual sale and we then generate the invoices. At this moment, VAT is applied if applicable. This will happen in Q1/2021.

We will speak to the accountants and get back to your guys


Of course @Azza

I’m sure the accountants will be able to advise, but a lot of the info seems to be aimed at businesses in the UK importing from abroad, whereas (as I understand it), this is a case of us as individuals buying from outside the UK… so hopefully the guidance will become clearer soon! I may need to reconsider as well if VAT is payable. I hate Brexit!

EDIT - I should be able to get it sent to a relative in Ireland, so that may well be the best option anyway - simpler for the Mod Devices guys and for me!


Thanks for starting this topic. It honestly didn’t occur to me to think about this, so if anyone finds anything out, could you post here to let us know? Thanks!

Would be possible to change the delivery address to another country? Maybe before shipping to all UK costumers would be great to let us know how much extra we would have to pay and also give us the chance to ask for refund or change delivery address…

Yes, it is possible to change the delivery address. You can do it also on your account on Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
Regarding the extra costs, as you are certainly aware, the Brexit situation is a huge mess, so it’s really hard yet to understand these costs. Supposedly there will be a transition period, but no one knows yet how it will work during this period.
Hope that you understand.


According an article on the Guardian (sorry can’t post links) looks like goods under £390 (unless the items are being shipped via Mod devices Private boat or plane :slight_smile: will not require additional import duty.

After checking my Indigogo reciept it doesn’t show that I had paid 20% VAT, so I would guess that will still be payable on top, which I think would have been required anyhow prior to Brexit.

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Just had a notice from UPS for a charge of £60 import fees - I’m in the UK.

Is that including a handling fee? I would have thought the Vat would be taken off - if you check Thomman they are advertising without VAT or they would honour the sale happening long before dispatch.

Shame as this could effect sales and even feelings on the Dwarf . I know if I have paid 25eur for delivery, £60 on import charges and a possible handling fee on top I might not be loving the dwarf as much as it might deserve.

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I can see how this would be an issue, but the mod team don’t control brexit. Hopefully someone can get an answer soon on total charges incurred.

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I know Randal, feel bad for posting but just wanted an answer . i know its a strange time at present including Brexit and people are struggling, but it would be nice to know whats going on. Be even better to know if and when the production dwarves are shipping ; )

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I’ve asked Mod devices to send mine to my Mum in France where I will be picking it up next time I am able to travel there (which can be in a long time).
Not an ideal solution but I can’t be asked to shed the extra cash.


Thanks for sharing this with us :slight_smile:

As @Randalhicks said unfortunately we can’t control brexit and the regulations coming out of it. Yet we are available to do the best as is possible for us, and solutions like @Azza found are pretty ok for us.
Regarding your question on the production of the Dwarfs, we just start shipping the betas. Any prediction at this point for the production units to ship is exactly that…a prediction. We still need to get the results of the beta test and find the fixes for whatever we find during this test, so you can get the best Dwarf possible. Hope that you understand it.

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