Sellers' Tax Liabilities

The IMPORTANCE of Import & Business Tax

Every country has different Import, Customs and Business Tax laws and policies. It is your responsibility as a Cross Border Trade (CBT) eBay seller to learn, understand and apply them in your eBay business dealings. You are also responsible for paying all fees and taxes associated with using eBay as an eBay seller, regardless of where you are physically located.

If you are located in Singapore, for example, but you are selling to the US market, you need to adhere to the US tax laws.

Make it a priority to find out the tax laws in each of the countries you are selling to. And make sure you comply with all applicable tax laws.

Import & Custom Taxes

Import & Custom taxes are usually based on the item's price, shipping weight, dimensions and country of origin.

Orders delivered to a particular country will have to adhere to that country’s local import & custom duty. The parcel’s recipient, your buyer, may need to pay these to clear the parcel through customs. 

Which is why you must always inform your buyers about the potential import charges (tax and custom charges) that they will need to pay when they receive their items so there are no unpleasant surprises on their end.

You should state it in your listing’s item description as well as communicate it to your buyers again when they have made their purchase. Doing this is not only the Best Practice for a responsible seller but would also help you reduce the number of buyer’s remorse returns protected by the eBay Money back guarantee policy.

Business Tax

Aside from import & custom taxes, sellers are also required to meet business tax obligations in the countries where you do business. These taxes apply when your business reaches the registration threshold set by the country. Read on and learn about the bu

GST in Australia:

Effective 1 July 2018, Goods and Services Tax (GST) applies to goods imported by buyers in Australia. Learn more about Australia GST.

VAT in European Union:

If you reside outside of the EU and UK, and list your items on one of our European sites, you must ensure you are compliant with any tax consequences as a result of your international selling activities.

If you are selling to European Union (EU) countries and/or UK, you may have to pay VAT.

What is VAT?

Value Added Tax, or VAT, is a tax charged on most supplies of goods or services in the EU and UK. You may be required to charge VAT on the sales you make on eBay. If you are not sure if this applies to you, please read the links we provide below for the United Kingdom, Germany and France

United Kingdom VAT

VAT on your sales

eBay is primarily a consumer marketplace. Therefore, sellers are not permitted to add VAT to the final item price. If you want to show your buyers how much VAT they paid on the item, you need to specify the VAT rate when you create your listing.

To charge VAT on your items, you need to be VAT-registered and you are responsible for paying that VAT to the relevant tax office in accordance with the appropriate laws and regulations. You'll need to register your eBay account as a business account and display a valid VAT ID in your  "Business Seller Information" under My eBay.

Learn How To Display Your VAT ID Here


Please be aware that failure to meet your VAT obligations is a serious criminal offence. If you do not appear to be meeting your VAT obligations on EU sites, your account may be blocked from selling and your active listings removed.

You will need to update your account with a valid VAT number and contact us before we can remove any selling restriction.

So if you're selling to buyers located in the EU and UK, we urge you to read our articles on VAT guidelines for individual countries.

United Kingdom VAT

Germany VAT

France VAT