Commentary

V4.311 Zero-rating goods supplied to EU taxable persons (before 1 January 2021)

Part V4 Exemption, zero-rating and reduced rates

V4.311 Zero-rating goods supplied to EU taxable persons (before 1 January 2021)

Goods for removal to an EU member state (before 1 January 2021)

V4.311 Zero-rating goods supplied to EU taxable persons (before 1 January 2021)

With the introduction of the Single Market and the removal of frontier barriers from 1 January 1993, the concepts of 'imports' and 'exports' between EU member states were replaced with 'acquisitions' and supplies involving the removal of goods from the UK to an EU member state, referred to as 'despatches'. However, from the end of the Brexit implementation period (11pm on 31 December 2020), goods moving between Great Britain and the EU member states once again became imports and exports with the concepts of acquisitions and despatches (broadly) being abolished in UK VAT law1.

This paragraph examines the scope of zero-rating for intra-EU supplies which applied across the UK until IP completion day. It does not cover the (very similar) arrangements that continued to apply post IP completion day in respect of Northern Ireland where acquisitions and despatches were not abolished2 owing to its special status under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol. For details of the rules insofar as they relate to Northern Ireland, see V3.360.

Conditions for zero-rating EU movements of goods

EU legislative basis for relief

The UK provisions in respect of the zero-rating of intra-EU supplies of goods were derived from Archived Directive 2006/112/EC, art 138.

Conditions prescribed in regulations

Regulations made under VATA 1994, s 30(8) provided that a supply of goods was zero-rated, subject to such conditions as HMRC may impose, if it

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