Northern Ireland ― moving goods between NI and the rest of the world

Produced by Tolley

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

  • Northern Ireland ― moving goods between NI and the rest of the world
  • Moving goods from outside the UK and EU into Northern Ireland
  • Import One-Stop-Shop (IOSS)
  • Moving goods between Northern Ireland and the EU
  • Acquisitions and dispatches
  • Distance selling and the One Stop Shop (OSS)
  • EU-wide simplifications available in Northern Ireland
  • Reporting requirement (ESLs and Intrastat)
  • XI VAT numbers
  • Practical points ― goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the world

Northern Ireland ― moving goods between NI and the rest of the world

This guidance note looks at movements of goods between Northern Ireland and the rest of the world, including the EU.

For an overview of the VAT status of Northern Ireland generally, see the Northern Ireland ― overview guidance note.

Further in-depth commentary on the law can be found in De Voil Indirect Tax Service V1.301 and V3.360.

Northern Ireland is given special status under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement under the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland as described in the Northern Ireland ― overview guidance note.

Moving goods from outside the UK and EU into Northern Ireland

Imports into Northern Ireland from outside the UK and the EU are in most cases treated the same from a VAT perspective as imports into Great Britain. Imports into Great Britain are covered in the Imports ― overview (rules from 1 January 2021) guidance note.

Postponed accounting is available for these imports in much the same way it will be for goods imported by VAT registered businesses into Great Britain (see the Imports ― postponed accounting for import VAT guidance note).

Special rules for imports in consignments of £135 or less apply to imports from outside the EU and UK into Northern Ireland (where the goods are located outside the UK at the point of sale). These rules are covered for Great Britain in the Imports ― special rules for consignments of £135 or less guidance note). The special rules broadly apply in the same way to imports from outside the EU and UK into Northern Ireland as they do to imports into Great Britain from outside the UK. However, a technical difference is that for sales to customers in Northern Ireland import VAT is charged whilst for sales to Great Britain UK supply VAT is charged.

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