Intrastat returns

Produced by Tolley
Intrastat returns

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

  • Intrastat returns
  • What is Intrastat?
  • What are the Intrastat thresholds?
  • Additional delivery terms threshold
  • What if the threshold is breached because of a one-off transaction?
  • What is the registration process for Intrastat returns?
  • What is the submission process for Intrastat returns?
  • Filing deadlines for submission
  • Understanding the Intrastat data fields
  • What records does a business need to keep for Intrastat purposes?
  • More...

This guidance note looks at Intrastat returns and when these need to be completed.

For importing goods from outside the UK generally, see the Imports ― overview (rules from 1 January 2021) guidance note. For exports, see the Exporting goods from 1 January 2021 ― overview guidance note. For movements of goods and Northern Ireland, see the Northern Ireland ― overview guidance note.

In-depth commentary on the legislation and case law can be found in De Voil Indirect Tax Service V5.276.

It is worth noting that Intrastat obligations continue in some circumstances in the UK after the 31 December 2020 despite the end of the Brexit implementation period.

What is Intrastat?

Intrastat is (broadly) the system that is used to collect statistics on the trading of goods (not services) between countries that are members of the EU. Although the UK is no longer a member state of the EU, Intrastat obligations still continue in certain circumstances (see further below in this guidance note).

Businesses breaching certain thresholds must record physical movements of goods between the UK and the EU on an Intrastat ‘Supplementary Declaration’ (SD). The supply of services is excluded from Intrastat.

What are the Intrastat thresholds?

Where ‘despatches’ of goods to EU member states or ‘arrivals’ of goods from EU member states exceed a legally set threshold then there is a requirement to submit additional information in the form of a Supplementary Declaration.

The thresholds are as set out in the table below:

Type of physical movementThreshold
Arrival£1,500,000
Disptach (EU export)£250,000

However, from 1 January 2021 (the end of the Brexit implementation period), only Supplementary Declarations in respect of the following kinds of movement are required:

  1. goods imported into Great Britain (GB) from the European Union (EU)

  2. goods imported into Northern Ireland (NI) from the EU

  3. goods exported from NI to the EU

SI 1992/2790, reg 3; Intrastat declaration requirements for 2021; Notice 60, paras 2.1, 2.6, 3.2

The requirement to submit Intrastat returns for goods imported

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