I still find it absurd in this age of international-commerce-at-the-touch-of-a-button that quasi-legal random charges are applied for daring to buy products we can't buy here. My rage will never abate over this matter. Never.
If you're going to the depot then refuse to pay the Parcelforce Clearance Fee, just pay the VAT. They cannot legally hold your parcel if you've paid the VAT, and if they want the clearance fee, they can send you an invoice for it [in the way that FedEx do, you get your parcel and then a VAT demand with clearance fee invoice will be sent to you later].
With effect from 1 November 2011, the threshold over which commercially imported goods are subject to import VAT will reduce from Â£18 to Â£15. However please note this change does not affect any other Customs thresholds or reliefs.
This means that from 1 November 2011, commercial consignments of Â£15 or less, excluding alcohol, tobacco products, perfume or toilet waters, will be free from customs duty and import VAT.
Commercial consignments with a value exceeding Â£15 imported on or after 1 November 2011 will be liable to import VAT.
I blame Nick: Travel chaos, Time Wars weather, riots and the CUTA limit comes down.