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VAT and duty on imports and exports

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Whether you are importing or exporting there are important VAT and duty rules and procedures.

1. Export to other EU countries

If you are selling to a non-VAT registered business or a consumer, you must charge UK VAT at the normal rate

You must also complete an EC Sales List and submit to HMRC, this is normally quarterly

2. Export to countries outside the EU

Exports are usually zero-rated, but there are exceptions where exports are not zero-rated so you must check carefully

Record the value of exports on your vat return

3. Import goods from EU countries

Give the supplier your VAT number, this allows the supplier to zero-rate the supply

You must account for VAT on acquisitions on your vat return, VAT is charged at the normal UK rate of VAT for those goods

4. Import goods from outside the EU

You can claim VAT on imports in the same way as you reclaim input tax on supplies within the UK

You cannot reclaim import duty

Regular imports can defer payment of VAT and duty by opening a deferment account with HMRC.

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