Important info if you import supplements from U.S. (Anitra)

I know quite a few people import high strength supplements such as vitamin D from the U.S.

Most goods to the value of £18 or under can currently be imported duty free.

BUT, I just found out in the context of something else entirely (I was buying some jigsaw puzzles from Japan) that this threshold is to be reduced to £15 as of 1st November.

So, a sneaky little tax rise for you, that I haven’t seen get any publicity, and I’m sure will catch a lot of people out. If you used to get as close as you could to £18, without going over, you’ll have to remember it’s now £15. This will mean some things you could formerly buy without duty are now off-limits.

It’s not just the duty itself, but IF your parcel triggers it, Royal Mail will slap an extra £8 handling fee on top, which is the real killer. So you’ll have to pay duty AND the £8. Makes it not worth it, for most small purchases.


That hasnt done my indegestion any good![sick|35x35]( thanks for the info, dont need any for the time being but my Vit D3 did come from USA so I`ll have to watch it.


If you were right on the borderline of the £18 threshold, and will fall on the wrong side of it once it’s reduced to £15, it might be worth making a couple of (separate) purchases between now and 1st November, so you’ve got some stock at the old duty-free price.

Surely nobody imports drugs/supplements, from what is an unknown source. My advice would be to only obtain drugs in this country, and then only from a reputable supplier, preferably on the advice direction, of a medical professional.

Stay safe.

Take care.

Chris R.

I. El. (Eng). (Rtd).

I know its going to be a bad day when I get out of bed and miss the floor, today is such a day.


I know for a fact that quite a number of people here do. I wouldn’t have posted it otherwise.

We’re not talking viagra, or “illegal drugs”, from some fly-by-night company whose mailshot arrives in your spam folder.

We’re just talking vitamins, from reputable sources, who happen to be in America.

The savings can be considerable, and higher strengths are obtainable than are widely available over here. They’re not illegal or anything, just cheaper and more convenient.

Great idea thanks for that.

For some years l have been buying from SimplySupplements - Glucosaimine /omega 3/ devils claw/acetly l carntine/alpha lipoic acid/ kelp/zinc

  • but for vitamin d3 l get them via amazon as Simply Supplements only sell 400ius - so l emailed them and mentioned that l thought they should look at the modern up to date research on vit d3 and the amounts that are recommended. And they replied the same day - and said that they would be looking into it. They seemed to be interested in the points l made. l told them they were actually missing out on a sales opportunity.

As it is not just us pwms who need vitamin d3 - lts now mentioned everywhere. As they did respond to my email - l shall contact them again.

And as Anita has pointed out - lts worth checking the postage/tax when buying from US.


Thanks for that Anitra, I too take supplements. Sneaky government again and the post office, Strange how all these extras creep in when we are no looking.

Best wishes



Oooh thanks, have to get my vit D supply next month so will bear it in mind. Thanks again. S.

Why on earth would you imagine that because something is imported it comes from an “unknown source” Chris? You make it sound like we are buying illegal drugs in some strange dark alley!

I buy EXACTLY the same vitamin D3 product from a US company that many people do in the UK, except for far less, even including post & packaging. I also get other vitamins and minerals from this company that are a fraction of the price of high street UK retailers and are BETTER quality!

What’s more, if I only bought vitamin D3 on the advice of one of my medical professionals, I’d only be taking 400iu a day (if any). Not because that is what I actually need, but because my medical professionals are so out of date!

@ Tina: Thanks so much for this info! Very very helpful

Karen x

I did make one slight mistake, which is that when I said “duty”, I should have said “VAT” of course.

Duty, as far as I know, remains unchanged, and doesn’t cut in until much higher value (£135, I think it is).

But the difference is academic, in this context, as the advice is still to keep it under £15, from 1st November, or get stung for 20% VAT and the stupid £8 Royal Mail fee,

It’s daylight robbery that the courier (not the government) can slap an £8 charge onto something that was only worth £15 in the first place.

We have the ludicrous situation where the VAT itself would only have been £3 (annoying, but acceptable, as we pay it at home), but another £8 for the privilege of paying it.