The UK is no longer a member of the EU, which means that providing they do not qualify as a small parcel (goods worth under £135), import VAT will now apply to all goods imported from the rest of the world into Great Britain (different rules apply for Northern Ireland).

This import VAT will typically be accounted for as a reverse charge entry on the importer’s next VAT return using postponed import VAT accounting (PIVA); this is a permanent change to the UK’s VAT system.

Helpful Information On Submitting Import VAT Returns

The reverse charge means that there will be two entries on the VAT return; these usually cancel each other out. However, this will not apply if:

  • There is any non-business use of the goods or;
  • Where the importer is partially exempt, so are not permitted to reclaim all VAT on purchases.

For those deferring the payment of customs duty on imported goods, there will be a separate process. Both VAT and customs duties are included on customs declaration forms.
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Monthly PIVA statements will be an essential part of your VAT records and will be needed in order to provide the correct figures in your VAT return. PIVA statements are only available online for six months, so don’t forget to download them regularly.

In the instance that the PIVA statement is not available, HMRC will allow you to provide an estimation of the amount of VAT paid. However, these figures should be amended on the following quarter’s VAT return once you have the statement.

If the import VAT is paid on arrival of the goods in the UK, the amount will be shown on a C79 certificate; you should always keep this as evidence.