Backing for moves to protect internet shoppers from draconian customs fines

West Midlands MEP and Consumer Spokesman Daniel Dalton won backing today for proposals to protect internet shoppers from customs faced when buying from abroad.

Increasing numbers of consumers buying goods online from another country are getting caught up in customs procedures and accused of possible violations, with many being sent worrying letters by officials and facing fines which are disproportionately high in comparison to the original purchase price of the good.

Daniel Dalton's report to the Consumer Protection Committee of the European Parliament recommended a range of measures to tackle unfair penalties and blocks on Internet shopping, including raising the de minimis threshold for customs procedures, which is currently at less than £20.

Mr Dalton welcomed the backing for his report:

"Many people in the West Midlands have been hit by shock fines when making simple purchases online from countries such as the US."

"Today's customs procedures need to adapt to 21st century shopping habits."

"Ecommerce is our fastest growing industry and an increasing source of jobs in the UK, removing digital non-tariff barriers to trade is in all our interests."