Charities ― importing goods

Produced by Tolley

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

  • Charities ― importing goods
  • Goods that can be imported tax and duty free
  • Goods that are not eligible for relief
  • Qualifying organisations
  • Claiming relief
  • Importing goods in accompanied baggage
  • Importing goods as freight
  • Postal imports
  • Restrictions
  • Belated claims
  • More...

Charities ― importing goods

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marked the end of the Brexit transition / implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time, key transitional arrangements came to an end and significant changes began to take effect across the UK’s VAT and customs regime. This document contains guidance on subjects potentially impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see the Brexit — overview guidance note.

This guidance note provides an overview of the types of goods that can be imported by a charity into the UK without the requirement to pay import VAT and customs duties. This note should be read in conjunction with the Imports ― overview (rules from 1 January 2021), Charities ― overview and Charities ― recovering VAT and VAT reliefs guidance notes. Please also see VCHAR3000.

Goods that can be imported tax and duty free

The following goods are included within the scope of the import VAT and duty relief:

  1. basic necessities that are intended for use by needy people. These include the following types of goods that are intended to meet the immediate needs of the people to whom they are distributed free of charge within the Customs union or overseas:

    1. food

    2. medicines

    3. clothing and blankets

    4. orthopaedic equipment

    5. crutches

  2. goods that will be sold or used at a charity event that is intended to benefit needy people. Any eligible goods can be used or sold for fund raising activities at occasional charity events (an event that is not normally held more than four times a year). The organisation must receive the goods f

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