Last week CCP announced a price increase for players paying in pound sterling.
On 5 October 2020, there will be an update to the pricing of all Omega and Skill Extractor products for players paying using the Pound Sterling (GBP). This is being done in order to bring GBP prices in line with other main currencies (USD/EUR). Active Omega subscriptions will also be affected, and will update automatically after 5 October.
The main reason for the price change is that changes in currency conversion over the past few years have created an imbalance between the pricing in GBP, USD and EUR.
Furthermore, the prices have not changed since 2014, so these must be updated in order to maintain relative consistency across EVE Online's many markets.
Since the announcement, one nagging question stayed in the back of my mind. Why not also update the prices of PLEX? Then the reason hit me: low value consignment relief.
In May 2012, players in the UK could begin paying for their subscriptions and other purchases in pound sterling instead of euros. At Fanfest 2012, CCP mentioned something about new laws that would allow the company to lower the subscription price for UK players, but not the real world cost of PLEX. The law in question regarded low value consignment relief. At the time, I wrote about the subject:
Even after the pricing change CCP collects more after taxes from U.K. players than from any other country. How can this be? The European Union has a regulation called low value consignment relief. While for most of Europe the amount is €10, in the U.K. any import from a non-EU country like Iceland with a value of £15 or less is exempt from the normal 20% VAT that domestic companies must pay.
|Subscription price change for UK, starting 5 Oct 2020|
For imports of goods from outside the UK in consignments not exceeding £135 in value (which aligns with the threshold for customs duty liability), we will be moving the point at which VAT is collected from the point of importation to the point of sale. This will mean that UK supply VAT, rather than import VAT, will be due on these consignments.The new arrangements will also involve the abolition of Low Value Consignment Relief, which relieves import VAT on consignments of goods valued at £15 or less.
|Price of PLEX on Amazon.co.uk, 10 September 2020|
Perhaps the simplest explanation is best. CCP was prodded to look at pricing in the UK due to the elimination of low value consignment relief. Whoever is in charge of the pricing looked, realized they could raise the prices on certain items and did so. That the company doesn't have to start paying VAT until January just gives the fourth quarter numbers a minor boost that could help make CCP's books look a little better at the end of the year.