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Posted Sat, 24 Feb 2024 23:09:45 GMT by Pruddie Rudford
Hi, I have a website selling various home decor items to UK customers. I am a UK citizen living in the UK. My question is: If I sell an item costing over £135 via my website, to a buyer in the UK and a supplier in Greece then sends that item direct to my buyer in the UK, am I responsible for any of the import VAT or other tax or is that all down to the supplier or the UK buyer? I.e do I just sell the item as I would normally do to a buyer in the UK and let the buyer then pay any import duty and VAT due when the item arrives in the UK or is there anything extra I have to do? I am not UK VAT registered. Do I need to be to do this? My turnover is below £85,000. I believe the supplier in Greece would need to be VAT registered in the UK to supply my UK customer? Is it my problem if it turns out he is not or his?
Posted Mon, 26 Feb 2024 12:11:37 GMT by Customs oldtimer
Hi If the goods are over £135 normal import procedures apply. That is import duty and import VAT are due at the time of import. Import VAT is charged whether or not you / the importer are VAT registered. How you choose to handle the payment is a commercial decision. You could pay the taxes on behalf of your customers or you could advise your customers that the import taxes must be paid by them. Your customers may not however be expecting the goods to be sent to them from overseas and may refuse the delivery if they are asked to pay taxes. Your Greek supplier is not supply or selling to your customers, you are. You must therefore take ownership at some point to be able to sell those goods . You do not have to take physical possession to own something. Put simply you can’t sell something you do not own . Therefore your customer orders something from you , you order the item from your Greek supplier , they sell the goods to you but physically ship them to the address you provide them. Where the transfer of ownership takes place will be down to what contractual agreements you have with your supplier. In the scenario described there is no obligation on the Greek supplier to register for VAT in the UK . Special rules do apply to shipments below £135 where VAT registration is required. For goods that are located overseas at the point of sale, the new arrangements will apply irrespective of where the online marketplace or the business selling the goods is established. There are also plenty of other threads on the forum about drop shipping you can look at.
Posted Tue, 27 Feb 2024 08:49:20 GMT by HMRC Admin 19

You would only need to register for VAT in the UK if you are making taxable supplies over the threshold of £85000. You can see guidance here:

Working out whether you need to register

You will only be making taxable supplies in this scenario if you are the importer of the goods and the designated importer of record on the import declaration. If the overseas supplier is the importer of the goods then they will be making a supply to you in the UK and you will then be making a separate taxable supply to your customer in the UK.

If the customer is the importer of the goods then they will be responsible for accounting for the import VAT on the goods on arrival and because you will not own the goods in the UK you will not be making any taxable supplies in the UK.

You will need to arrange this with the overseas supplier.

Thank you.

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