V3.426 Goods imported from a third country
VAT paid or payable by a taxable person on the importation of goods from a third country (ie a country outside the EU member states and the UK, see V1.213) is input tax if the goods are used or to be used for the purpose of any business carried on or to be carried on by him1.
It follows that where a VAT liability is incurred by a warehousekeeper under joint and several liability provisions, the warehousekeeper has no entitlement to input tax recovery (see Associated British Ports2).
The ECJ has held in Veleclair SA3 that the right to deduct import VAT is not conditional on its prior payment to the authorities. However, tax paid or payable is not regarded as input tax if, at the time of import, the goods belong wholly or partly to someone other than the importer and they are to be used for purposes which include the private purposes of the importer, owner or joint owner4. A special claim for repayment may be made if this exclusion from input tax credit gives rise to a double charge to tax. For the repayment of tax in such circumstances, see V5.153.
For imports generally, see Division V3.3. For goods acquired from other member states, see V3.427, and for the manner in which tax payable on imported goods is discharged, see V5.115.
Recovery of import VAT—documentary evidence
Regulations made under VATA 1994, s 24(6) provide that a person claiming deduction of input tax