UK: Owner of goods must be the importer of record

16 May 2019
United Kingdom Resized


The HMRC recently published HMRC Brief 2/19 dealing with who is entitled to claim the import VAT paid on goods imported into the UK. In the Brief, the HMRC noted that it was aware of the practice by toll operators who although are the importer of record, and are not the legal owner of the imported goods, deduct the import VAT paid on the goods. The HMRC confirmed that there is no provision in the VAT law for this practice.

The correct procedure is for the owner to be the importer of record and reclaim the import VAT, either in accordance with section 24 of the VAT Act 1994 (if registered for VAT in the UK) or under the Thirteenth VAT Directive (86/560/EEC).

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