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Goods sent from abroad

Source: HM Revenue & Customs | | 15/09/2022

There are special rules to help ensure that goods sent from abroad are taxed appropriately and do not disadvantage UK businesses supplying goods in the UK. For example, by having to compete with VAT free imports. This includes goods that are new or used and bought online, bought abroad and shipped to the UK and goods received as gifts.

This means that in order to receive goods you may have to pay VAT, Customs Duty or Excise Duty if they were sent to:

  • Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) from outside the UK.
  • Northern Ireland from countries outside the UK and the European Union (EU).

VAT is charged on all goods (except for gifts worth £39 or less) sent from:

  • outside the UK to Great Britain; and
  • outside the UK and the EU to Northern Ireland.

Online marketplaces that engage in facilitating the sale of goods are usually responsible for collecting and accounting for the VAT. If the VAT has not been collected, VAT will have to be paid to the delivery company either before the goods are delivered or when goods are collected. If you have to pay VAT to the delivery company, it’s charged on the total package value which includes the value of the goods, postage, packing, insurance and any duty owed.

Generally, there are no Customs Duties payable on non-excise goods worth £135 or less. There are various rates payable above this level and on excise goods of any value.

 

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McAllisters is a partnership trading from Paxton House, 11 Woodside Crescent, Glasgow providing accountancy and tax services and general business advice and is a member of ICAS (Registration No 0342) and an FCA exempt professional firm (No 301235). Its VAT number is 261 3019 94

McAllisters (Scotland) Ltd is a related business providing tax and business advisory services to McAllisters and its clients. McAllisters (Scotland) Ltd is registered in Scotland (Registration number SC146856). Its VAT number is 624 0564 62.

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