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Posted Sat, 27 Aug 2022 14:53:40 GMT by T J
I am hoping to purchase two fine art giclee prints to be delivered from overseas, both with the following details: 1. 'giclee' (inkjet?) print of an illustration on paper, roughly 300 by 400 cm in size 2. signed and numbered by the artist and limited to 50 copies each. Reading the reduced import VAT page on and VATA Section 21, it seems that only 'original' (by hand) prints fall into the 5% rate (heading 9702). And a note gives an express exclusion of 'photomechanical processes'. Am I right in thinking inkjet printing counts as a photomechanical process? Other than that possible avenue, I can't see how an art print not done directly by hand would fall under the 'works of art' definition for reduced VAT, despite the quality of the process or being a limited run. Am I correct in thinking this? The note about excluding photomechanical processes fails to give an indication (as other notes do) as to what commodity code such art prints do fall under. If that is indeed the case and I haven't missed something, or haven't become hyper-fixated on 9702 without realising these art prints fall into a different but also reduced-rate category, my best guess at the commodity code would be '4911 - Other printed matter, including printed pictures and photographs'. However, it seems like there is some hope because the code 4911910090 (Pictures, designs and photographs -> Other) seems to allow for the 20% or a reduced 5% rate. I'd like some clarification on the existence of this if at all possible and if it is in relation to the vat rate for art.
Posted Tue, 06 Sep 2022 14:09:47 GMT by Customs oldtimer
Firstly I am not an employee of HMRC so my comments are from my own experience. Reproduced prints of art even in limited runs will generally fall into 4911 as it covers a very wide range of products. Nor is all art eligible for the reduced VAT. 9702 is generally for original hand crafted prints such as where the artist has made a print from a hand etched a plate . It does not cover reproductions or as you say items produced by mechanical or photo mechanical means. The language of the tariff is such that it allows for new methods of mechanical reproduction. If you want certainty you would need to ask HMRC for an Advanced Tariff ruling an informal HMRC opinion can also be sought - contact details on this web page. Once you have the classification then the VAT rate can be explored.
Posted Tue, 06 Sep 2022 18:14:22 GMT by T J
Great, thanks for that! I will proceed with seeking an information opinion from HMRC. I have one other question. Let's say that they fall into 4911, do you happen to know why a 20% and a 5% VAT rate is written for most categories there? I know 20% is standard, but I was wondering, other than the reduced 5% rate for some art, what other reasons there might be for good in this category to receive a 5% rate.
Posted Wed, 07 Sep 2022 11:17:21 GMT by Customs oldtimer
the reduced 5% VAT for specified works of art and collectors items is explained more fully here Where goods are eligible the value of the goods may be reduced so although the vat charged is still 20% it is on a reduced value giving the effective 5% VAT rate. The various rates for printed matter is here
Posted Fri, 09 Sep 2022 15:48:07 GMT by HMRC Admin 10
Please could you contact our written enquiries regarding your query.
Please see details below.
Write to HMRC for help with questions about importing, exporting and customs reliefs.
HM Revenue and Customs - CITEX Written Enquiry Team
Local Compliance S0000
NE98 1ZZ
United Kingdom
Include your VAT registration number and the name and postal address of your business.

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