The future of RumAuctioneer

Quite the bomb they dropped…

What do these mean for us? Are we going to pay triple duty (once when purchased, once UK for shipping and once more when shipped back to the EU), or double duty (UK tax exempt?) or? What about VAT; that’s surely will be paid at least twice, won’t it? Will there be a separate auction for German lots? If not why is there a separate section about the Germany office and selling accounts with a registered address in Germany? So many questions.


Do you have a link?

As an important customer, we want to make you aware of operational changes we have had to enact as the result of EU directive 2020/262 - due to soon become law in Germany – which is related to movement of duty paid excise goods.

This EU-wide directive will have an impact across the industry, and over recent months we have been working hard to establish the best way to continue serving our EU customers with as little impact as possible. We appreciate your patience during this time while we have worked through the situation and we understand this may have affected your experience with us. Following analysis and advice on this matter, the office in Germany will no longer continue to operate as it has done the last two years.

As of our January Auction, which starts on the 27 January, we will no longer offer ‘EU lots’ in our auctions, and all lots from outside the UK will be transferred to, and sold from, our UK Head Office as ‘UK+VAT lots’. Our Germany office will transition into a Seller Services hub supporting sellers based in Germany only.

We have been working tremendously hard to build a plan for the future to ensure that we can continue to serve our global customers to the highest standards. In all aspects of our business, we work with specialists to understand the legal requirements and guidelines, and comply with them. As global market leaders, we have an unwavering commitment to conducting all our business with integrity so that you can continue to feel confident in the services we provide.

We firmly believe that our customers are best served through a strong marketplace for buying and selling whiskies and spirits online. It is up to us to protect and preserve the integrity and transparency of the secondary market and the industry we love.

To help make the situation easier to follow, we have created Q&As below regarding the services we provide.

What does this mean for EU sellers outside Germany?

We can continue to support our valued selling clients across Europe. Over the years we have established strong relationships with freight experts to ensure the safety and security of your bottles in transit, and this is something we are pleased to continue. Please complete our Seller Form and our Client Services team can advise you on how we can best support you to get your bottles to our UK Head Office.

With immediate effect, we can only receive seller’s bottles at our Germany Office that:

  1. originate from within Germany, AND

2, are to be listed on a Rum Auctioneer account registered with an address in Germany.

What does this mean for buyers in the EU?

We will no longer offer ‘EU lots’ in our auctions. All bottles from the EU will be sold as UK+VAT lots and we will no longer be able to offer a Collection service from our Germany Office for orders won in future auctions.

This means that if you would like to ship winning bottles to a country within the EU, local taxes will apply and be the responsibility of the buyer.

Can I continue to store bottles at your Germany Office?

We will no longer be offering a storage service at our Germany Office.

If you have bottles currently in storage at our Germany office (you can view what orders you have in storage in the Orders section of your user dashboard, please choose one of the actions below:

Sell Stored Orders in Upcoming Auctions

Please complete our Seller Form and we will work with you to agree a solution to receiving your items.

Collect Stored Orders

Our Germany office is open for you to collect your items. Please make an appointment to visit us first.


Lol. Sounds like that thing created more issues than it solved. The overall loss in taxes due to less commercial activity is probably greater than the misdistribution losses due to VAT differences of the individual member states. Well done.


Important Information for France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Slovakia, Hungary, Greece, Finland, Estonia: As a result of an EU-wide directive, we will no longer be able to ship items bought from our auctions to you (effective from 27 January 2023). Rest assured that we are working hard with specialist partners to develop solutions to support you and will be in touch when we are able to resume shipments to your country. We thank you for your patience as we do our utmost to work on reinstating our full range of services for you. Please make sure you regularly check our EU Information page for up-to-date information and links to further help.

Weird… Germany has a special role here. Possibly because of the (still) German office?

Is it related to the excise tax? So to say, the calculation and exchange of different alcohol taxes in Europe?


Weird, as the VAT is now European… so the differences should be quite minor


If this is about to stay, RA/WA is essentially dead for EU customers (as EU customers cannot compete with those tax additions with UK customers).


I agree to what Jakob says. These news mean Rumauctioneer is dead for EU customers, especially for German customers.

The critical part is that they say local tax and customs are the liability of the buyer. I know such conditions from my early 2k shopping experiences when I bought from Amazon in the US. It basically means you need to collect your shipments from a customs office or pay extra-extra-extra fees for handling by the parcel service.

To sum it up, the overhead cost kill the service in the EU except for maybe the rarest bottles where price doesn’t matter.


On the bright side: great savings on my expenses :rofl:


And so the next question becomes: will it be possible for them to survive without EU consumers?
Knowing that LMDW (among others) has its own auction platform that may become more and more attractive and siphon off many EU customers…


But wouldn’t they face the same excise (and by coupling VAT) issues like Rumauctioneer, at least eventually?


They (so we :sweat_smile: ) will face excise duty (550€/100L “pure” alcool) but not VAT.

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I love Europa and I don’t understand the rule about the free traffic of people and goods :rage:
What a mess !!!


Lol no shipping to Poland. I think rumtrades from Italy will benefit from this situation.


Clearly, they got around 100-120 bottles each month, that will climb to 400-500 easily.
Maybe Idealwine will rise too.


One would think other platforms of this kind are also affected, no?!
Or is RA just understaffed in their legal department? The text reads a bit like “we tried to work around it, but didn’t find a solution in time” :thinking:

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RA shipps from outside the EU and this prohibits it from shipping to Poland because of Polish law. I think this is exactly the same with other countries that are not serviced by RA now. Once the rum is in the EU it can be freely shipped so Italy and France-based auctions shouldn’t feel anything. I just wonder how it will affect catawiki.

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Wasn’t the whole idea of the EU office to not ship from the UK? It was my understanding that EU lots never left the EU.

How and why exactly the new regulation-turned-national-law thing hinders even the business within EU escapes me…


@DevidedByZero if the company is registered legally in the UK, they have to apply UK VAT even if they ship from within the EU. I fell into that trap ordering a bottle of rum on ebay and the seller was in Berlin, but his shop registered with ebay UK!