How to claim import VAT back for small imports?

Discussion in 'International Business' started by Dinky, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. Dinky

    Dinky UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    27 1

    I've recently become VAT registered and also started to import small amounts of stock from China and USA (less than £200 per order) and trying to understand what is required for me to reclaim VAT please? I understand EORI number is required for larger orders (£800+) and then HMRC sends you a C79 form monthly confirming import VAT you've paid, but how does it work for small imports where EORI is not needed and no C79 form is received?

    What documents do I need to be able to claim back the import VAT on these small imports? Also do I simply claim VAT back the same way as I do for other input VAT?

    I have two recently imports that I hope you can give guidance on please...

    Import 1 from Alibaba
    Received goods and then soon after I received duty and tax invoice from FedEx and completed payment. Along with the invoice was included 'Supplementary Declaration Acceptance Advice' page, plus a copy of 'Commercial Invoice' from supplier. Is this all the paper work I need to claim back this import VAT?

    Import 2 from
    Actually purchased via but via their 'Global Store' program which ships items from You paid an 'Import fee deposit' upfront which is exactly 20% of the items price (so VAT), and then they deliver the goods. Unfortunately there is only order confirmation available; an invoice is not available and Amazon explain...

    "Items purchased from the Amazon Global Store won't include VAT because they're imported from outside the UK. Import VAT and customs duty will be paid as described in the Amazon Global Store Terms & Conditions. Your carrier will declare all imports on behalf of the delivery recipient."

    VAT is clearly paid, but there is no invoice, so guess I wouldn't be able to reclaim this VAT. Is this correct?

    Thank you
    Posted: Aug 29, 2019 By: Dinky Member since: Jun 7, 2014
  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    19,301 2,227
    What do the amazon global store T & C say about VAT?
    Posted: Aug 29, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  3. Dinky

    Dinky UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    27 1
    Here's what the T&C says...

    "As imported products, Amazon Global Store Products may be subject to Import Tax and Fees. As the declarant, you are solely responsible for paying these taxes and fees. We will estimate the amount of Import Tax and Fees (the "Estimated Import Tax and Fees") for Amazon Global Store Products and charge them to you when you place an order. For each Amazon Global Store Product on which the Estimated Import Tax and Fees are charged, you authorise Amazon US to designate a carrier ("Designated Carrier") to act as your agent with the relevant customs and tax authorities, to carry out the customs clearance for the merchandise, process and pay the Actual Import Tax and Fees for such items.

    The Estimated Import Tax and Fees may not be the same as the actual amount paid to the relevant UK authorities (the "Actual Import Tax and Fees"). Customs regulations and tax rates applicable to certain goods may change between the date the taxes and duties were estimated and the applicable taxes and duties on the date of import into the UK. The duty or tax rate is determined by the classification of a good and the total value of your imported products. The Estimated Import Tax and Fees will be used, on your behalf, to reimburse the Designated Carriers for the Actual Import Tax and Fees that they have paid on your behalf to the appropriate authorities. You further agree that the Designated Carrier or other agent may disclose to Amazon US the Actual Import Tax and Fees along with any other information that Amazon requests to validate the payment of the Actual Import Tax and Fees.
    Posted: Aug 29, 2019 By: Dinky Member since: Jun 7, 2014
  4. Import Expert

    Import Expert UKBF Regular Free Member

    321 133
    An EORI number is needed for commercial imports - It's only not used where the goods are for personal use. However, I digress. Whoever is clearing your goods into the UK should be declaring your VAT/EORI on the import customs entry (Box 8 of the C88 to get technical).

    HMRC will then automatically send you a C79 form as proof of VAT paid, which you can use to reclaim the VAT. If you don't have this you should still be able to use a copy of the import customs declaration as evidence.

    Under a 'No Deal' Brexit, import VAT will be postponed, so there will be no need to pay up front. It will simply be an input/output directly on your VAT records.
    Posted: Sep 2, 2019 By: Import Expert Member since: Feb 1, 2012
  5. Dinky

    Dinky UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    27 1
    Great info, thank you.

    I've read that EORI is not required for smaller imports under £800, is that not the case? All commercial imports require EORI regardless of value, is this correct?

    With regards to the "import customs declaration" you mentioned, is this the same as 'Supplementary Declaration Acceptance Advice' which is what I received from FedEx along with their 'Duty & Tax Invoice'. We these suffice to reclaim VAT?

    Thank you
    Posted: Sep 3, 2019 By: Dinky Member since: Jun 7, 2014
  6. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,136 1,041
    When the courier has paid the VAT on your behalf - as in DHL, UPS etc, they do send you a document with the handling and VAT content - I've always used my proof of payment of the VAT in my accounts.
    Posted: Sep 3, 2019 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  7. Tom Gardner

    Tom Gardner UKBF Contributor Free Member

    58 4
    if you want to claim the VAT back on your imports, it should be your EORI number in box 8 of the SAD (Single Administrative Document, which replaced the C88 some years back).
    Posted: Sep 4, 2019 By: Tom Gardner Member since: Dec 9, 2017
  8. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,136 1,041
    Thinking back to the courier company collecting VAT on our behalf - how does this work because the VAT was charged to me, by them, in the same way every invoice has the VAT added, and with their VAT number then the flow of the VAT was totally in the UK. Would not DHL, or UPS etc who actually paid the VAT to HMRC be the one who does the import VAT? They charged me VAT, and they pay it to HMRC, or do they actually not pay it at all, and just invoice me for it? I'vegot an EORI number but to the best of my knowledge have never used it, or indeed, been made aware of what it's for, apart from without it some suppliers being unable to supply - I certainly didn't;t realise these documents being talked about even existed?
    Posted: Sep 4, 2019 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015

    CHUKTC UKBF Regular Free Member

    113 16
    As said above the goods should be imported using your EORI number - make surry the shipper puts this on the paperwork. In our experience you then get a C79 from HMRC after import even for small amounts. It doesnt arrive until i month after the end of the month whan it was imported - so up to 2 months later. If you dont get one speak to HMRC helpline - I have always found them very helpful.
    Like it has been said above the courrier yousually provide you with a statement showing what taxes they have paid on your behalf (duty and VAT) and I use that VAT figure to put in my VAT return VAT on purchases. Once the C79 arrives I reconcile the two. Hope this helps.
    Posted: Sep 6, 2019 By: CHUKTC Member since: Jan 2, 2019
  10. DontAsk

    DontAsk UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,215 161
    I have been importing/exporting for 15 years as a sole trader and Ltd and never had a VAT or EORI number until today. It has never been a problem until one (new) supplier insisted on having one. HMRC issued the EORI instantly on-line.
    Posted: Sep 11, 2019 By: DontAsk Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  11. Tom Gardner

    Tom Gardner UKBF Contributor Free Member

    58 4
    Posted: Sep 14, 2019 By: Tom Gardner Member since: Dec 9, 2017