Intrastat returns

Produced by Tolley

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...

Intrastat returns

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

For importing goods from outside theUK generally, see theImports ― overview (rules from 1 January 2021) guidance note. For exports, see theExporting goods from 1 January 2021 ― overview guidance note. For movements of goods and Northern Ireland, see theNorthern Ireland ― overview guidance note.

In-depth commentary on thelegislation 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 theUK after the31 December 2020 despite theend of theBrexit implementation period.

What is Intrastat?

Intrastat is (broadly) thesystem that is used to collect statistics on thetrading of goods (not services) between countries that are members of theEU. Although theUK is no longer a member state of theEU, 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 theUK and theEU on an Intrastat ‘Supplementary Declaration’ (SD). The supply of services is excluded from Intrastat.

What are theIntrastat 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 theform of a Supplementary Declaration.

The thresholds are as set out in thetable below:

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

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

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

  2. goods imported into Northern Ireland (NI) from theEU

  3. goods exported from NI to theEU

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

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