V1.227 Directives on, or relevant to, VAT

Part V1 General principles and rates of tax

V1.227 Directives on, or relevant to, VAT

V1.227 Directives on, or relevant to, VAT

The common system of VAT adopted by the EU is given legislative effect by a series of Council Directives addressed to some or all member states. Those directives still relevant to the UK are briefly summarised below. The summary contains only “stand-alone” Directives, ie those Directives which amend existing Directives are excluded.

First Council Directive (67/227/EEC)

This directive was adopted on 11 April 1967. It was addressed to all member states. The directive—


    (1)     defined the common system of VAT;


    (2)     provided that it was to be applied up to and including the retail trade stage; and


    (3)     prohibited member states from maintaining or introducing any measure providing for flat-rate equalisation of turnover taxes on importation or exportation in trade between member states.

This directive was repealed with effect from 1 January 2007 following the recast of the Sixth Directive (see under Directive 2006/112/EC below).

Council Directive 69/169/EEC

This directive was adopted on 28 May 1969. It is addressed to all member states. It provides for relief from turnover taxes and excise duty on non-commercial imports of goods from third countries contained in personal luggage. It has been amended on a number of occasions, most recently by Council Directive 94/4/EEC, which increased the level of allowances for travellers from third countries. It was replaced, with effect from 1 December 2008, by Directive 2007/74/EC.

This directive is currently given effect in the UK by the Travellers Allowances Order 19941.

Council Directive 76/308/EEC

This directive, known as the Mutual Assistance

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