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Posted Wed, 31 Jan 2024 18:03:55 GMT by
I am looking to import a sculpture with the commodity code 9703900000 into free use. It is dated 1956 in an edition of 9. My customs agents have informed me that as the edition is greater than 8, the reduced rate of 5% cannot be applied and it will be subject to import VAT at 20%. My understanding is that if it was cast before 1989 then the reduced rate can be applied. I have spoken to several HMRC advisers at imports and exports General Enquiries, none of whom have been able to provide an answer. Any help or advice will be greatly received. Thank you.
Posted Tue, 06 Feb 2024 10:45:26 GMT by HMRC Admin 19

You will need to contact our VAT team for relevant notice.

VAT: general enquiries

Thank you.
Posted Tue, 06 Feb 2024 12:02:39 GMT by
Thank you. I've just filled in the VAT general enquiries online enquiry form. I did speak to two adviser at Customs and Export general enquiries but they were unable to help. I have also written to HM Revenue and Customs — CITEX Written Enquiry Team, Local Compliance S0000 and am waiting for a reply.
Posted Tue, 06 Feb 2024 18:43:55 GMT by Customs oldtimer
Hi JFH Firstly I am not an HMRC employee so cannot provide an official answer. You may find some of the information you need in this guidance. There is an embedded link in the words ‘sculpture casts ‘ to this (withdrawn) guide. In this guide it mentions 3. An item comprised in a limited edition shall be taken to be so comprised for the purposes of subsection 1(d) to (h) only if (a) in the case of sculpture casts: (i) the edition is limited so that the number produced from the same mould does not exceed 8, or (ii) the edition comprises a limited edition of nine or more casts made before 1 January 1989 which the Commissioners have directed should be treated, in the exceptional circumstances of the case, as a limited edition for the purposes of subsection 1(d) Whether this is still applicable I cannot say.
Posted Wed, 07 Feb 2024 11:11:07 GMT by
Hi Customs oldtimer, Thank you for taking the time to reply. You have highlighted the exact issue and it is 3. (a)(ii) that my customs agents need written approval from HMRC in order to apply reduced rate of 5% import vat. However I am struggling to find an adviser at HMRC who can provide a written ruling 1. Either allowing or disallowing the reduced rate, or 2. Stating whether this guidance is still applicable as it has been withdrawn and 3. Therefore provide in writing how limited editioned sculptures should be treated for the purpose of import vat.
Posted Wed, 07 Feb 2024 16:08:53 GMT by Customs oldtimer
Hi JFH It may be worth asking the HMRC classification team . They certainly apply rulings on vintage vehicles and whether they qualify as collectors items rather than vehicles.
Posted Wed, 07 Feb 2024 17:25:12 GMT by
Hi Customs oldtimer, Thank you for coming up with more helpful suggestions. Funnily enough, the HMRC classification team was where I started last December. While they were able to confirm I was using the correct commodity code they were unable to provide any information as to what rate of import VAT should be applied. Their suggestions were that I contact Imports and Exports General enquiries which I did who were unable to help, and to look up the Trade Tariff online service which I did here: Where it states: An import VAT rate of 20.00% or 5.00% may apply if certain conditions are met However it doesn't state what the "certain conditions" are. I thought about applying for an Advance Tariff ruling but that seems to be more concerned with which commodity code to use.
Posted Tue, 27 Feb 2024 13:38:37 GMT by JFH
Update: No reply from the VAT General enquiry form that I submitted on 06/02/24 (on the website it states it may take 15 working days which is today) nor a reply to a letter I sent to HM Revenue and Customs — CITEX Written Enquiry Team, Local Compliance S0000. I'll submit another online enquiry and send the letter again.

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