vat - import & export

MAYDAY Registered Posts: 3 New contributor 🐸
a Friend has asked me about vat on importing goods from USA and exports them to a non EU country, is there any VAT to account for.

As I dont have experience of importing/ exporting I do not have a answer, but would assume exporting is zero rated, not sure about correct declaration of this, can anyone advise please ? found on HMRC notice 702/9 ? would this apply

thanks for any help offered. :confused1:


  • Sevren
    Sevren Registered Posts: 101 πŸŽ† 🐘 πŸŽ†
    Hi - as the goods will be received from outside the EU into the UK then VAT and possibly duty will be due before it is released into the EU.

    It is then Zero Rated if exported to another member state. This export then goes into usual VAT returns

    This is a broad overview - it gets complicated !
  • LMW
    LMW Registered Posts: 16 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐡 🌟
    You really need to get advice on this from HMRC. It can be very complicated depending on what the goods or services are. At the moment HMRC is trying to find a correct VAT treatment for one of my customers. Import and export involved, an expensive VAT consultant involved, several department of HMRC involved, poor old me involved and it seems to be that HMRC is arguing with themselves about the correct VAT treatment and this may go on for a considerable time. That book of theirs is very thick and they all read it different way. Just a word of warning, get their ruling first in writing and act after that.:001_smile:
    MAYDAY Registered Posts: 3 New contributor 🐸
    many Thanks for your reply, I'll pass on the answers received. Knew it would be more than they thought. Thanks
  • yves
    yves Registered Posts: 28 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«

    Hi I have worked in import /export I can tell you that the imported goods are likely to have duty on import into EU and the Vat will be payable on the cost of the goods and the duty. however the importer can reclaim the VAT only on his/her normal VAT return

    hope this helps

  • tonyd
    tonyd Registered Posts: 8 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    If the goods will be "phyiscally" landing in the uk, then you're client will pay vat and possibly duty to his freight agent. Customs will then issue a C79 certificate, allowing the vat to be reclaimed by the client. It's only on receipt of the certificate and not the vat invoice from the agent that customs recognise as acceptable evidence - so they are worth their weight in gold.

    Your client will then sell the goods to non-EU member states and will be zero rated, providing the client can prove export. I would suggest they keep a copy of the bill of lading attached to the sales invoice. Customs tend to focus on this a lot in recent years.

    Be careful though, use an experienced freight forwarder for the export as well, the paperwork can be quite onerous.
  • yves
    yves Registered Posts: 28 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«

    I actually work for a freight forwarders so if you need any further assistance I can find the answers

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