Hi The C88 is not a form to fill in . It is the output of an electronic customs declaration made to HMRC. If you don’t have the required software to submit a declaration you usually need to use a customs agent to do this on your behalf. They will charge for this service. It’s up to you to decide who should be responsible however legally the exporter named on the declaration must be a person established in the UK . There is a simplified method for merchandise in baggage for goods below £1500. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/taking-commercial-goods-out-of-great-britain-in-your-baggage. As your customer is physically taking the goods out of the country themselves you need to have a good level of trust that they will follow the correct export procedures and provide you with the evidence you need to zero rate.
Yes the import process is just the same whether your supplier is VAT registered in their country or not.
Each countries VAT system is separate so when your EU VAT registered suppliers sell to you they zero rate as no VAT is charged in their country.
If the supplier isn’t VAT registered then they will invoice without VAT being mentioned. Their EU VAT registration status is totally irrelevant to the UK authorities
The import into the UK is an entirely separate transaction so import duty ( if applicable) and import VAT is charged on all imports . It does not matter whether the importer is VAT registered or not . You do however need to be UK VAT registered to use postponed VAT accounting. It is your choice whether to use this and shouldn’t be dependent on the transport company .
If you are UK VAT registered then you should be entitled to import VAT recovery
provided you meet the normal criteria for VAT recovery.
Hi Erich Hoyt
Parcel force will have based their charges based on the description and value of goods advised by the sender. If it is not clear the package contains books then
If the package does not have any details of the sender and you don’t know who sent the package then I doubt anyone can tell you.
HMRC cannot track your package so you will need to go back to parcel force and query the charges.
If you think you have been overcharged then you can make a claim https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-customs-dutyimport-vat-relating-to-imports-by-post-bor286
NB:If goods are subject to VAT at import it applies even if you are not registered for VAT . This puts imports on the same footing as a purchase from a shop.
If you are buying and storing goods in an EU country you may trigger a requirement to register for VAT in either the country of purchase or storage. As a non EU resident business there is a zero VAT registration threshold.
Yes you can ship goods you already own but you must make sure you follow the customs valuation rules as there has not been a sale that caused the goods to be imported into the UK . Import VAT will be applicable when the goods are imported and declared to customs.
Hi AA Quest
1) No you can’t usually claim back VAT if you don’t have a C79.
2) Yes it is a requirement that businesses have an EORI number. Check if there is already an EORI number for the business . It will usually be the company VAT no followed by 000 . https://www.gov.uk/check-eori-number.
If not An EORI can be applied for easily on line . Make sure they quote their VAT no so the VAT no and EORI are properly linked.
3) some courier companies use PVA by default which is the best option for most businesses who are entitled to recover the import VAT. You always have options to opt out .
An individual consumer does not need a VAT number nor would they be any requirement for a UK business to register for VAT until they reach £85,000 turnover .
A VAT number is not required to import into the UK except when the shipment is below £135. In this case it is not the consumer but the overseas company that should register for VAT in the UK and charge you the UK VAT in their charges.
If you are a business, including being a sole trader , you should apply for an EORI number which is an importer registration number. You don’t need a VAT number to get an EORI number.
Hi Laura Curtis
There is a duty exemption for any goods whose value is less than £135. It is not specific to imports from the EU.
As HMRC Admin has said the VAT is charged on the whole cost of the purchase including postage packaging etc.
It may be that the retailer you purchased from has not registered for
UK VAT as they should have and therefore not followed the correct procedure and included the UK VAT. That is a separate matter that you could report to the customs fraud line.
Each retailer will have its own charging structure so you should always check their specific terms and conditions specifically on customs charges and importantly that they include the UK VAT in their prices.
Nor can you assume that you are being charged both the retailers domestic VAT and UK VAT or that the retailer will deduct domestic VAT from the price you see. Some of the overseas retailers may already have different websites for different markets so the domestic VAT will not be included in the price they show.
If you think you have been overcharged duty and vat then you can submit a reclaim request to HMRC or raise the issue with the courier who delivered you import. Given the large quantity of imports mistakes can happen.
( I do not work for HMRC so cannot add links)
Hi HMRC Admin 25
Unfortunately the guidance does not cover the specific question raised by Imports-exports queries.
To my understanding a REX number cannot be used when making out the statement on origin under DCTS . The reason being that the REX number is only for use with the EU GSP scheme. The commercial document statement must be supported by a Trader Identification Number, or a GSP /DCTS Form A
Better guidance is here:
The extract below is the statement required on the invoice declaration. The only reference to importer number is for UK exporters .
There is no specific mention of which importer number an overseas exporter should use or what UK importers should check for to verify they can regard the statement as valid when they make the claim for preferential rates.
It would be very useful if reference to what importer identification number should be used by the DCTS beneficiary country exporters is published.
• include the statement below incorporating the information required by the footnotes.
The exporter of the products covered by this document (customs identification No…. (1)) declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of …. (2) preferential origin in accordance with the rules of origin of the Developing Countries Trading Scheme of the UK and that the origin criterion met is … … ( 3 ).
(Place and date (4))
(Name and signature of the exporter)
(1) Enter your customs identification number if allocated. Exporters in the UK exporting goods under bilateral cumulation should enter their Economic Operators Registration and Identification (“EORI”) number.
(2) Enter the origin of the goods.
(3) Products wholly obtained: enter the letter “P”; Products sufficiently processed: enter the letter “W” followed by a heading of the Harmonised System (example “W 96.18”).
(4) This may be omitted if included in the document itself.
All applicable duty rates are published in the UK tariff schedule.
You can check for the rates applicable for your goods and in the box titled
‘Trade between the UK and’ ( insert Ukraine)