Covid-19 information and EU orders from July 2021
In accordance with government guidelines and as a mail order supplier, Sparkplugs Ltd will continue to trade as normal. In order to protect our staff and reduce the risk of transmission we are running skeleton staff. There will be some changes in postal service efficiency at this time, please check the appropriate section below for more information.
 PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO SEE INFORMATION RELATING TO SALES TO EU CUSTOMERS.
Customer enquiries:
In order to minimise the chances of Covid-19 transmission at our workplace we are running skeleton staff. It may not always be possible for us to answer the telephone at this time. Please leave a voicemail or use our online contact form to send any enquiries, your enquiry will almost always be answered within 2 hours during the working day/week.
Wholesale Enquiries:
If you are an existing or new wholesale customer, please use our contact us page to send your enquiry in the first instance. We are currently able to fulfil trade/wholesale orders as normal. 
Shipment of 'In Stock' items:
As of 4th Jan 2021, we do not anticipate any issues with shipping 'in stock' items on the same working day that your order is placed, provided your order and payment has been received before 15:00 (3PM GMT). Orders placed after 16:00 are likely to be shipped the next working day. Orders for 'in stock' items placed during the weekend (Friday 16:00 to Monday 00:00) will be shipped the following Monday.
'Out of stock' or Backorder items:
The ability to order 'Out of Stock' or 'Backorder' items through our website has been disabled for some products. This is because we cannot be certain that our usual 1 - 2 working day backorder fulfilment schedule will be possible. We are reliant on our suppliers to despatch promptly and their couriers to delivery efficiently, neither of which are within our control. If you wish to purchase an item listed on our website that does not have an 'Add to cart' button displayed, please assume that the item is not in stock and contact us for availability information. We will check stock with the respective supplier and confirm expected despatch time with you before enabling the item for online purchase, should you wish to place your order with us.
Royal Mail Shipping (UK):
There have been some notable changes to Royal Mail's delivery estimates for all services. We urge you to be patient at this difficult time, Royal Mail are extremely busy and normal service levels are impossible to maintain. Below is a list of services we currently offer and estimated delivery times based on our experience rather than Royal Mail's estimates. Please note that these schedules apply from the day of despatch NOT the day of your order being placed. Delivery time varies significantly between different areas of the UK.
  • Royal Mail Second Class/Royal Mail 48 - 2 to 6 working days.
  • Royal Mail First Class/Royal Mail 24 - 1 to 5 working days.
  • Royal Mail Tracked 48 - 2 to 5 working days (tracking link provided)
  • Royal Mail Tracked 24 - 1 to 5 working days (tracking link provided)
  • Royal Mail Special Delivery - Next working day by 4PM (tracking link provided). Note that this was previously a 1PM guaranteed service but delivery is now guaranteed by 4PM. Please ensure that you are available to take delivery. Royal Mail's guarantee only returns your postage costs if delivery is not attempted within the guaranteed schedule, it does not imply any additional compensation.
Royal Mail Shipping (International):
Delivery times vary greatly dependant on the destination country. As there are currently very limited flights to some countries it is possible that there will be very long delays until air transport is available. Once an item has been sent we are unable to recall or divert it, we also cannot offer a refund if your order is simply delayed. The Western EU countries are less affected as those in the East. We urge you to choose courier service during checkout if your order is urgent. We have restricted shipping options to ensure that customers can only choose appropriate services. Claims for losses of airmail items cannot be addressed until Royal Mail classify an item a 'lost', this may take 6 weeks, possibly longer at this time.
  • Standard Airmail - 10 to 30 working days (no tracking, NOT recommended)
  • International Tracked/Tracked and Signed - 3 to 30 working days (tracked, varies significantly by destination country. Signature is not currently available in some countries).
  • International Tracked Insured/Tracked and Signed Insured - 3 to 30 working days (tracked, varies significantly by destination country. Signature is not currently available in some countries). Please note that insurance only covers the actual value of the shipment and NOT consequential loss.
FedEx Courier Shipping (UK & International):
At the time of writing, FedEx appear to be operating relatively normally. FedEx shipping is only available for orders above a certain value (International) and above a certain weight (UK). Whilst we would generally recommend Royal Mail services for UK shipments, delivery to the EU will almost certainly be more efficient, and often less expensive, by FedEx. There may be 1 working day delay before your shipment is collected if choosing to use FedEx due to collection cut off times.
A note from Sparkplugs Ltd:
This page will be further updated as soon as the situation changes. In the meantime, please stay safe and well in these trying times, we will get through this with the minimum casualties if we all play our part.
CHANGES FROM JULY 2021. INFORMATION FOR CUSTOMERS BASED IN THE EU 
UK VAT is no longer charged on goods sent to European states. The Low Value Threshold exemption, equivalent to £15 (GBP) which was valid until the end of June 2021 will no longer apply from July 1st 2021. As a result ALL EU shipments are likely to be delayed by delivery services whilst import VAT and any necessary duties and handling charges are collected from the customer/recipient.
Like many other mail order retailers, we are waiting patiently for the UK government to implement an IOSS (Import One Stop Shop) to enable collection of VAT at point of sale for goods of value £135 or less (Approximately 150 Euro). This will mean less delays and no requirement for the delivery service to collect VAT from customers in the EU for qualifying orders.
Orders of above £135 total value will fall outside of the scope of IOSS and we expect will be treated as simple exports. Import VAT, Customs duties and any handling charges will be collected by the delivering courier/postal service.
Please expect some disruption and delays whilst new systems are implemented in both the UK and your destination country. The pandemic is also adding to potential delays. Please assume that Royal Mail International services will have more than double the usual expected transit time.
European countries with special status such as Norway and Switzerland will continue as before the UK left the EU.
Please do not ask us to mark down the value of goods or mark as a 'gift' in order to try to evade taxes.