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UK Brexit goods in transit import VAT

  • Mar 19, 2019 | Richard Asquith

HMRC has provided guidance on the VAT treatment of goods-in-transit in the event of a no-deal Brexit on 29 March 2019.

After Brexit at 11pm (UK time) on 29 March 2019, goods arriving into the UK from the EU 27 states will become subject to UK import VAT. This is already the case for goods coming from the rest of the world. However, the UK government has already announced a voluntary Postponed Accounting scheme whereby import VAT need not be paid at the customs clearance point. Instead, VAT registered business may declare the VAT in their next return under the reverse charge rule. This would avoid the need for a cash payment of the VAT.

Goods in transit at the moment of Brexit must still be treated as intra-community movements, and declared in UK final Intrastat and EC Sales Listings. Imports in process must therefore be still reported as EU acquisitions in the UK VAT return.

Import VAT must be declared to HMRC via either:

  • Specialist software or the existing CHIEFS declaration system. The importer will now require an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number; or
  • The new Customs Declaration Service system with the importer’s VAT number.

The EU has yet to issue guidance to the 27 member statements on the treatment of goods in transit to and from the UK on Brexit.

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. 

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VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2020 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard trained as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.
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