[IMPORTANT] European friends please check this out

Hey guys. As the CM3s now in the carrier’s warehouse ready to leave shore, we’ve heard a news from our shipping partner.
Starting on 1st July this year, THE VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT) RULES IN THE EU has been changed. Clearly, the EU wants the data of import goods to be more transparent. The commercial packages from outside of the EU will have to claim the right price by attaching the original invoice. And there are some more changes, please go to to check them out.
According to our shipping partner, as a result of the new policy, every receiver of overseas commercial pakcage in the EU, will have to provide the TAX ID (or anything close to that concept) for getting the pakcage through the customs.
In the past, like my experience of handling the GameShell, only some pakcages were picked out for that. But now, it sounds like a standard move.
The European CM3 consumers have alreay received an email from me saying that we need to collcect the tax ID. Providing the tax ID before shipping will help the carrier to make the fastest move when the package hits dock, our shipping partner said. So, if you feel fine of this, please send your tax ID to with the version and the order number.
We promise that it will be shared only with our shipping partner. None unrelated part will get any of your private information from us.
For those who doesn’t like this, we completely share your feelings. It is normal to have concerns for giving sensitive information to others. In that case, please contact the carrier once you got the tracking number from us, to make sure that they have the right phone number of yours, so they can contact you for tax ID when your package is with the customs. The whole process may take a while.
Please be aware: as we learned from experience, the carrier normally keeps your package in the warehouse for at most 7 days. If they failed to contact you and get the tax ID, they would destroy the package. Please understand that we are unable to take any responsibility if so, because we have zero control on that.
For those who doen’t have anything close to tax ID, or never even heard of this, please contact your local customs or carrier (such as DHL, FedEx) for more information and instruction. I believe they have solution for that. Other European countries which is not in the EU (like the UK, Russia), please do the same.
I understand this is not something you want to hear. To avoid this kind of things in the future, we are seeking for European distributors. If you are interested and also have resources to do it, we’ll be glad to discuss business with you. Please send an email to .
Thank you for your time.


All that changed was for things with a value under 22 EUR. Even before this change, all imports into the EU have been subject to VAT and required the appropriate customs declarations. There is nobody in the EU who imports things who is unfamiliar with their local processes for paying customs duties and VAT.

Who is your provider? All of this information here is exceedingly strange. A private person importing goods from outside the EU is not required to provide any civic registration number (which is presumably the tax ID you are referring to) – only a commercial importation arrangement from one company to another would require providing a VAT ID, and even that is dubious since that tends to only be for countries in the EEA. Humans do not have VAT IDs.

So basically, everything you’ve just said sounds like your provider is treated individuals as commercial entities and not private entities, ie, human people, and this would be a mistake. If you fill out the customs forms when exporting as was already required before July 1, everything should be fine for us on the receiving end.

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Like I said, it’s okay for those who doesn’t want to provide the tax ID. But it will make the process quicker. I’m not familiar with the EU policies, not to mention all the countries. But as far as I’ve dealt, in Germany, France, Spain, Poland and some other countries, they do have some sort of tax ID or tax number or some thing like that for individual. It’s not the ID like social security number but all about tax and things related I suppose.
But also there are some contries don’t have it, like Swiss. So receivers in these countries will have to contact the carrier to make sure that the package will not be destroyed with surprise.

European customer here. I preordered an A04 model in November last year. How can I go about cancelling that order and getting a full refund from you guys? I was willing to bear the delays upon delays, but I will not jump through any stupid hoops and if anything goes wrong and my package is destroyed by the carrier be shit out of luck.

Sorry clockwork, I gave you every chance to do business with me, but enough is enough.

Yeah this really isn’t how shipping works though. I’ve ordered a great number of things from AliExpress to Sweden through many carriers and not had any issues (twice in the last month too, and both for items under 22 EUR so hmm).

The EU isn’t different to, say, Australia. You have to fill out the same customs declarations. It’s also not usual for a carrier to destroy packages – nominally they return them.

So I ask again: who is your carrier? I’m more worried that you avoided answering that question. Even the cheapest horrible carriers just dump their packages on the local postal service and make them manage the VAT fun times.

My advice at this time would be to quickly clarify if your information is correct, and if so, strongly consider using another carrier (like… DHL which you linked to), which has the capacity to actually manage shipping to one of the largest trade and customs unions on the planet. :slightly_smiling_face:

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The thing is, our carrier is DHL. They asked for tax ID of European receivers. Like I said, again, it’s totally okay to not to provide tax ID. But please be aware: we are not interested in collecting such information from anyone. We are asked to do so by DHL. And it’s only for speeding up the process. No tax ID will slow things down and there’s risk that DHL will have to destroy the package if they fail to collcet it from receiver.


No problem. Please send an email to for refund.
Meanwhile, there’s no such a hoop. There is a due time for your package to get through the customs, that’s it. If DHL (we use DHL to ship to Europe this time) failed to collect necessary information from you for too long, as I remember, 7 days, they would consider the delivery failed, and destroy the package, or charge us a lot if we wanted it back, some times even more than the package’s worth. So, normally, we would not ask them to get it back, because it would be a financial mistake. Not only tax ID, any necessary information, such as correct phone number, address, etc., would cause that result.
That’s why I recommend you to contact the carrier once you have the tracking number.
Again, there’s no hoop. It’s just a precaution.


Hi @AlexDuan You mentioned that you have sent European CM3 customers an email. I have not received one yet. I ordered July 29th so i suppose i’m last in line.

Please send an email to with your order number, I’ll check it out. I’ve sent to all European folks. There must be some mistake. But maybe I’ll have to reply in hours, because China is almost 4 a.m… My sight is blur……:joy: My apology.

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Hi Alex. Kindly note that Switzerland, although located right in the middle of Europe (the continent), is not part of Europe (the trade union) and the swiss law did not change. Carriers (incl. Deutsche Post) request payment of VAT on package delivery, and then send it to the swiss customs administration. This has never been a problem for me in the last 20 years. I’m confident DHL will be able to deliver.

That would be nice. We don’t want any of this either. I’m not familiar with the status of your country. If there was any misguiding, please forgive me.

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I’ve been browsing the the dhl-eucustoms pages and I wasn’t able to find a reference to the receivers tax id.
Is it possible there’s a translation error?

From my german point of view, providing a tax id would only make sense for the importer of the goods
or maybe if you are shipping to a business.
Then you’d have to provide a vat id.
But a tax id, doesn’t really make any sense, at least from what I gathered.

I found more information about the new regulation: IOSS A supplier can handle VAT on a portal site before shipping (but it is not required). The EU encourages this since it is EU policy that an advertised price for any item you order should contain all additional costs (like taxes and shipping).
The regulation of import tax has not changed. It is just that VAT (value added tax) can now be paid in advance (but it can also be paid upon receiving a shipment). The VAT value applies to the full cost, including shipping costs.
There should be no problem. We EUers can just pay the VAT upon receiving the shipment. We’ll likely have to pay import tax anyway, since a shipment of more than 200 euros is pretty likely to be held in customs.


I got this email asking for my order number and tax ID. I then replied asking for your public PGP key so I can send this information in a secure way. I couldn’t find any PGP keys on your website - do you even have any? If not, how can I give you the information without sending it as plaintext through untrusted third party servers? Is there any HTTPS form?


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I just heard the same thing from my colleague. We’ll ship to EU consumers with no tax ID via FedEx. Because from our end, DHL consider the tax ID as a must-be, unlike the FedEx. It will cost us more, but a deal is a deal.
I’m still trying to figure it out. I really don’t lke to collcet sensitive information. Thank you for your information.


Although one thing they’ve told us for sure, and did work in the past: having the tax ID would make the process faster, as they can use the fastest way to get through the customs.

Different countries’ different policies I think. Like in Germany, France, Spain and some other countries, they do have tax ID or number for individuals. Especially in Germany and Brazil, what we have learned from the past, is that packages to these two countries must have tax ID. But also there has been some Germans saying that they don’t have tax ID, or it’s okay to ship without it. I hope German friends can help me out. It’s too complicated for some non-German and bad at handling money…

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Hi. It’s okay you don’t provide tax ID. We’ve switched to FedEx to ship European orders without tax ID. Just a little bit slower at the customs. But I recommend you to contact FedEx once you have the tracking number to make sure that they have enough information for delivery.


Hi, I can add a bit of information on Germany.

Germans (as all EU citizens) need to pay value-added-tax (VAT) on anything worth more than 22€ that is imported in to the EU.
This vat must be paid to customs (Zoll), but in practice, most shipping companies (such as DHL) will collect it for you. If you’re really out of luck, your package will end up in a customs bureau in some hopefully close city.

Now, the tax ID that you’re referring to is for companies - it’s the Umsatzsteuer-ID. Companies can get tax rebates when importing stuff that they need to produce wares; if they have such a tax ID they can hand it over to the shipping company to (1) pay less and (2) automate the process.

In practice, no ordinary person in Germany has a such tax ID. (There is a national tax ID for paying taxes owed to the state, but that’s highly sensitive and should never be handed out).

So what’s the best way to proceed here? To be honest, I wonder why DHL wants this info for your European customers. Perhaps they are misunderstanding who you’re shipping to. I’ve never provided any tax info for imports, including some from Shenzen and including some via DHL. Maybe ask them again if you can just leave the tax info blank.

PS: Sorry that you have to deal with all of this alex - it IS frustratingly complicated :stuck_out_tongue:


Thank you for all the helpful information.
DHL says collecting tax ID will help them to speed up the whole progress. I suppose not only for making the delivery sooner, but also for getting their money back quicker, since they will have to pre-pay the VAT for the receivers at customs.
But we’ve found a solution. We’ll use FedEx to handle the European orders since they don’t require tax ID for now. I’m not sure what will happen in the future. Perhaps due to the tax-pre-paid policy, they’ll eventually have to collcet tax ID for commercial packages. At least it works now.