UK consignment and call off stock

Non-UK companies with no UK permanent establishment (local company, staff, offices etc.) that are holding goods in the UK may be liable to UK VAT register their company, and report any intra-community supplies and subsequent domestic sales in the UK.


UK VAT stock simplification

There are two regimes in the European Union for VAT compliance on stocks held in another EU member state.  The UK’s implementation of these are summarised below:

UK call off stock

If a non-UK seller provides and intra-community supply of goods to a location or warehouse controlled by a single customer, but the title does not change hands, then there should be no need for the non-UK company to VAT register.  The goods must be held on a sale or return basis.  The buyer will record the intra-community arrival and the domestic sale.

UK consignment stock

If instead the goods are held by a foreign company in a location they control, and the goods are intended for multiple final customers or consignees, then this will require a UK VAT registration by the seller.  This is known as Consignment Stock.  The seller records the intra-community movement of the goods to the UK, and then the domestic supply to the UK customer.


Note, if the goods are coming from outside the EU, they are an import (as opposed to an intra-community supply), and a registration may be required on this basis alone.


Need help with your UK VAT compliance?



Researching UK VAT legislation is the first step to understanding your VAT compliance needs. Avalara has a range of solutions that can help your business depending on where and how you trade. 

Latest British news

UK only 20% businesses Brexit customs ready

March 5, 2019

HMRC estimates that 245,000 businesses buy and sell goods with other EU27 states. When the UK leaves the Customs Union, 29 March, all movements of goods must be declared for customs, tariffs and VAT. This requires an EORI number (Economic Operator Registration Identification), which is shown on customs declarations etc.

HMRC warns digital companies on new Brexit VAT obligations

March 1, 2019

HMRC is writing to thousands of UK, US and other international sellers of digital services to warn them to now VAT register in another EU state in readiness for a no-deal Brexit. This covers their sales of e-services, apps, streaming media, online gaming and dating, e-books and software to EU consumers.

UK £135 small parcel VAT portal opens for Brexit

February 14, 2019

The UK’s HMRC has opened the registration portal for foreign delivery companies to register post-Brexit VAT on consumer good parcels below £135. This new regime will be triggered under the current default no-transition deal Brexit on 29 March 2019.