Simplified Import VAT Accounting (SIVA)

By Tolley

The following Value Added Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Simplified Import VAT Accounting (SIVA)
  • Impact of the Union Customs Code on SIVA
  • Benefit of using SIVA
  • Criteria to use SIVA
  • SIVA application process
  • Next steps after receiving SIVA approval letter
  • Returning the SIVA 2
  • Granting SIVA approval
  • Using SIVA
  • Amendments to SIVA
  • Reducing the deferment guarantee
  • Cancelling the deferment guarantee
  • SIVA and agents
  • Appeals and reviews

The aim of the SIVA scheme is to reduce the costs paid by businesses importing goods into the UK. A business using SIVA is able to reduce the amount of financial guarantee that it has to provide if it uses a deferment scheme to delay payment of any import VAT and customs duties due. An importer, agent or warehouse keeper can use the Duty Deferment Scheme to pay any VAT and duties due on imported goods on an agreed payment day each month, rather than at the time of importation. See the Delaying payment of import VAT guidance note for more information. If the business is authorised to use the Duty Deferment Scheme, or is about to apply for authorisation, the business may be able to reduce the amount of financial guarantee it needs by also applying for SIVA.

Notice 101 ; De Voil Indirect Tax Service V3.306 (subscription sensitive); Customs Duties (Deferred Payment) Regulations, SI 1976/1223 (subscription sensitive); Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, ss 43(1), 44, 45, 119(1) (subscription sensitive); Notice SIVA 1 

Businesses that are authorised to use the SIVA will not have to guarantee the import VAT they defer and the guarantee will only cover import duties. In order to use SIVA the business will need to be VAT registered and meet certain other conditions (see below). If the business is successful in being approved to use SIVA, the business will need to operate the scheme correctly and continue to meet HMRC’s conditions. If the business gets approval to use SIVA, it will still be required to have a maximum deferment limit each month to cover the total cost of all of the import taxes due. However, the guarantee will only have to cover the amount of duties that will be deferred. As a result, the business will be able to defer the VAT without having to provide any security.


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