Royal British Legion to stop selling Poppy Shop products in EU after Brexit

The charity has branches across the world, including in Europe, and uses the poppies as a fundraising effort to help the British Armed Forces.

Royal British Legion poppies
Royal British Legion poppies

The Royal British Legion will no longer sell its online Poppy Shop products in the European Union due to red tape following Brexit.

The charity, which provides support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, sent an email to supporters stating the online store will “need to cease sales to customers in countries in the EU” for the foreseeable future until legislation surrounding Brexit is reviewed.

The i newspaper reported that the charity could not justify the expense, including customs charges, to send poppy products such as badges and jewellery, overseas following Britain’s departure from the EU’s customs union on January 1.

But the charity said post-Brexit regulations would only affect sales to the EU from the online Poppy Shop and would not impact the distribution of traditional paper poppies to Royal British Legion (RBL) members in Europe for remembrance activities.

Poppy appeal
Poppies are a fundraising tool for the Royal British Legion and are worn by Britons every year in the weeks leading up to Armistice Day (Hannah McKay/PA)

Poppies are worn in October and November for Armistice Day, and the charity sells them to raise money for members of the armed forces, veterans and their families.

The RBL also sells a range of poppy jewellery, clothing and accessories through the Poppy Shop.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the RBL said: “The RBL’s distribution of paper poppies to the EU is not affected as a result of the UK leaving the European Union.

“Goods sold by our online Poppy Shop to customers in the EU will be subject to the local rate of VAT and customs fees from July 1.

“These costs are often higher than the value of the goods themselves and to pass them on to customers is not reasonable, therefore regrettably we are ceasing sales to customers in countries in the EU until such time as that legislation is reviewed.”

A Government spokeswoman said: “We are focused on supporting UK organisations as they adjust to our new trading relationship with the EU.”

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