VAT on Imports

When purchasing goods that are sent to you from outside of the European Union (EU) import VAT and duties will be due. These goods will firstly go through customs authorities to check that it is allowed into the country and that you are paying the correct amount of import VAT and duty. As the importer there is a legal requirement to correctly declare the correct commodity code for each product (commodity codes are sometimes referred to as customs tariff clarification codes), as the duty is calculated based on the tariff. 

What if I am VAT registered?

VAT is not due to the supplier, instead you are paying import VAT on the cost of the goods as they enter the UK. If you are VAT registered you will be able to claim this amount back when preparing your VAT returns. Your claim must normally be made on the VAT Return for the accounting period during which the importation took place. When your goods are declared to customs your EORI number should be used on the import declarations, in order that HMRC will be notified and issue a certificate, a form C79, as evidence that you have paid VAT on import. These certificates are not issued per shipment, but monthly, to your registered VAT address. It is important that you do not try to recover an amount of import VAT unless you hold an appropriate form C79, as this forms your evidence for VAT reclaim.

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