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William Shatner to stop selling merchandise to UK fans over costly international trading changes

Danny Thompson
·Contributor
·3-min read
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 01:  Actor William Shatner during C2E2 at McCormick Place on March 01, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/WireImage)
Actor William Shatner during C2E2 at McCormick Place on March 01, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/WireImage)

Star Trek icon William Shatner has said he will be forced to stop selling merchandise to UK fans because of impending changes to international trading costs.

The actor, best known for playing Captain James T Kirk in the hugely popular sci-fi franchise, took to social media recently to warn buyers and apologise to fans.

His tweet claimed the British government planned to make sellers from abroad collect VAT on orders being sent to the UK as of next year.

Read more: George Takei responds to William Shatner's 'bile' as 'Star Trek' feud continues

He wrote: “UK folks; looks like your government is wanting to force vendors outside of your country to collect VAT on orders being shipped to the UK staring [sic] 1 Jan.

“I had my staff investigate costs & it’s over £1000/yr just to file these forms via a service. That’s too much for a small store.”

Leonard Nimoy as Spock and William Shatner as Kirk in the 1967 <i>Star Trek</i> episode <i>'Mirror, Mirror'</i> (CBS)
Leonard Nimoy as Spock and William Shatner as Kirk in the 1967 Star Trek episode 'Mirror, Mirror' (CBS)

A second tweet added: "That's too much for a small store to absorb or we would have to raise prices considerably.

"Unfortunately unless something happens to change that we will suspend accepting orders from the UK at ShatnerStore.com starting January 1st. I'm sorry."

Despite not mentioning the UK’s impending withdrawal from the EU, some followers suggested the claim was merely a rumour “started by a remainiac” and a “remainiac delusion”.

This prompted Shatner to respond with a link to a government website confirming this wasn’t the case.

Shatner was also questioned why he was bothered about paying an extra £1,000 per year, to which he responded: “No that’s just the cost to file the forms. There’s an entirely separate cost for the added work needed to determine, collect, fill out forms and pay the VAT. All of that is manpower which costs $$.

“Why should I do the job of a foreign government whom I have no connection with?”

The William Shatner online store sells a host of merchandise from the Canadian star’s TV shows including Star Trek, TJ Hooker and Boston Legal.