VATLive > Blog > United Kingdom > UK Brexit import VAT Postponed Accounting VAT return

UK Brexit Postponed Accounting VAT return

  • Jul 28, 2020 | Richard Asquith

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU VAT regime on 31 December 2020. The UK is introduced deferred import VAT scheme – Postpone Accounting – so traders importing goods into the EU and rest of the world will not have to make cash payments of import VAT.

This can be recorded through a UK VAT return, which is completed by all UK VAT registered businesses – both UK resident and non-resident.

Completing Brexit Postponed Accounting import VAT return

Traders using Postponed Accounting will receive a monthly statement of all their imports where they opted to postpone the import VAT through the customs clearance paperwork. This should be reporting in the subsequent monthly or quarterly UK VAT return as follows:

Box 1  - Total VAT due in this period on imports accounted for through postponed VAT accounting.

Box 4 - Total VAT reclaimed in this period on imports accounted for through postponed VAT accounting.

Box 7 - Total value of all imports of goods included on your online monthly statement, excluding any VAT.

Traders can account for import VAT if:

  • the goods you import are for use in your business
  • you include your EORI number, which starts ‘GB’ on your customs declaration
  • you include your VAT registration number on your customs declaration, where needed

If traders initially declare goods into a customs special procedure, they can account for import VAT on their VAT Return when they submit the declaration that releases those goods into free circulation from the following special procedures:

  • customs warehousing
  • inward processing
  • temporary admission
  • end use
  • outward processing
  • duty suspension

Traders can account for import VAT on your VAT Return when you release excise goods for use in the UK - also known as ‘released for home consumption’. This includes when goods are released from an excise warehouse after being in duty suspense since the point of import.

Import Consignments not exceeding £135

The UK's HMRC intends to require ecommerce sellers, or their facilitating marketplaces, to charge VAT at the point of sale on imported goods (consignments) not exceeding £135. This is instead of paying import VAT. At the same time, the existing VAT exemption on parcels not exceeding £15 will be removed.


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 can be contacted at: richard.asquith@avalara.com. He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2019 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.

Register now for instant access to over 30 hours of recorded webinars with global tax experts and our latest resources covering the most important issues facing your business right now and for 2021.

VATlive newsletter

Sign up for our free newsletter stay up-to-date with the latest tax news.

VAT Voice Webinars


Stay ahead of the curve, sign-up to VAT Voice, our essential monthly round-up of VAT, GST and legislation news