Commentary

V4.302 Proof of export, time limits and declaration procedures

Part V4 Exemption, zero-rating and reduced rates

V4.302 Proof of export, time limits and declaration procedures

V4.302 Proof of export, time limits and declaration procedures

This paragraph examines obligations around proof of export, time limits and declaration procedures in the context of securing zero-rating for supplies of goods which are exported.

Proof of export

HMRC prescribes that a supplier must obtain commercial or official proof of export which clearly identifies the exporter, the customer, the goods, the export destination, the mode of transport and the route taken1. These requirements are the means by which HMRC is satisfied both that goods have been exported or shipped abroad and that the conditions attached to zero-rating described in V4.301 have been met. To the extent that a value must be shown on a document required to be held as proof of export, the document is invalid if a false value is shown. Consequently the conditions for zero-rating are not met and zero-rating may, subject to the discretion of HMRC, be denied (see the Tribunal decision in Christopher Gibbs Ltd2).

HMRC's requirements for proof of export to obtain zero-rating were upheld in the Court of Appeal in Henry Moss of London Ltd3.

Zero-rating was denied on an export in the absence of HMRC's required proof of export in Stockton Plant & Equipment Ltd4. It was also denied, in A & S Import And Export Trading5, where the Tribunal held as follows:

'[I]t is not a requirement [of Notice 703 para 6.56] that all the necessary evidence of export needs to be contained in a single document in each case. However, the fundamental problem

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