When and if the UK exits the single market, UK businesses that sell goods to consumers in other EC member states such as businesses trading on Amazon, eBay or similar online platforms will no longer be able to register for VAT under the distance selling rules in other EC member states, so any current distance sales VAT registrations in other member states will become invalid. The goods sent from the UK to EC end consumers will instead become subject to VAT and duty at the point that they clear into the EC from the UK.
However, if the individual consignment sent to a consumer is less than €22 this will benefit from low value consignment relief (LVCR) and be cleared into the EC VAT and duty free. Any consignments above €22 (up to 2021) will attract import VAT but not duty provided the consignment value is less than €150.
From 2021 LVCR relief will be withdrawn and an extension to the VAT Moss system is expected to be introduced for goods imported from outside the EC by end consumers into EC countries where the consignment value does not exceeding €150. This is likely to result in suppliers being required to submit and pay VAT returns at the rate applicable in the member state where their customer is based via the non EC MOSS system currently used to account for VAT on supplies of e-services to consumers. An alternative scheme allowing the person who presents the goods to Customs (such as the freight forwarder) reporting and paying the VAT on behalf of the customer may be available.
These options only apply to:
- Consignments with a value of less than €150 supplied to the customer. Where the consignment value is more than €150 import VAT and duty will still need to be paid when the goods come into the EC at the point of entry.
- Delivered goods being sent from the UK to the end consumers or customers.
Where goods are warehoused and sold in an EC country by the UK supplier (or the goods are imported in the name of the supplier), the UK supplier will still be liable to register and account for VAT in that country.
If you are involved in distance sales or export goods to the EC please contact our free VAT helpline for further advice,
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