Exporting goods to non-EU countries

By Tolley

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

  • Exporting goods to non-EU countries
  • What are exports?
  • Types of exports
  • Conditions that need to be satisfied to zero rate exported goods
  • Proof of export
  • Exporting goods after processing or incorporation
  • Time limits for exporting goods
  • Time of supply for exported goods
  • Goods accidentally lost, destroyed or stolen before export
  • Exports where there is no taxable supply
  • Transferring own goods
  • Using an export agent
  • Disclosing exporter information

It is important for businesses selling goods to overseas customers to determine whether the goods will be transported to an EU or non-EU country at the time of the sale. See the EU member states – VAT compliance information guidance note for a full list of the relevant EU member states. This guidance note deals with goods that are exported to non-EU countries. Please see the Supplies of goods within the EU guidance note for information on the VAT treatment of transactions within the EU.

What are exports?

Exports are deliveries of goods to non-EU countries and, providing certain conditions are met, the export will be zero-rated for VAT purposes. As a result, no UK VAT will be due on the exported goods.

Henry Moss of London Ltd v Commissioners of Customs and Excise [1981] STC 139 (subscription sensitive); HMRC Notice 703 ; VATA 1994, s 30(6), (8); 2006/112/EC , Articles 138(1), 146(1)(a), 146(1)(b), 148 (a) (b) and (e); VEXP20400; SI 2013/2241 The Value Added Tax (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2013

An 'exporter' can zero rate the physical export of goods to a non-EU country providing the following conditions are satisfied:

  • the exporter supplies or owns goods and exports, or arranges for them to be exported to a destination outside the EU (direct export)
  • the exporter supplies goods to an overseas person who arranges for the goods to be exported to a destination outside the EU (indirect export). An overseas person or company who is not resident in the UK or has no business establishment in the UK from which taxable supplies are made, or is an overseas authority.

The business can sell to a customer located in another EU member state and this will be treated as an export if the

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