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HMRC are writing to VAT registered businesses which they have identified as there being trade between the UK and the EU.


From 1 February the UK will no longer be a member of the EU, and the UK will enter an implementation period that lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time there will be no changes to the terms for trading with the EU or the rest of the world, unless the rules change for the whole of the EU. This means EU rules for customs, VAT and excise will continue to apply to the movement of goods and trade for this limited time. There will be no new customs procedures at present.


From 1 January 2021, the way VAT registered traders trade with the EU will change, and will need to prepare for life outside the EU, including new customs arrangements. For example, for trade between Great Britain (GB) and the EU, they will need to make customs declarations to import and export goods once the UK is outside of the EU's customs territory.

HMRC will provide more information and guidance during the implementation period, and as the negotiations progress.


•    Keep up to date

If VAT registered traders are registered for HMRC to provide them with updates by email, HMRC will use that to contact them in future, otherwise communication will be in the form of a letter.
If traders still want to receive paper letters, they can let HMRC know by updating their registration.
Go to www.gov.uk/hmrc/business-support and select 'Sign up to help and support emails from HMRC'.

•    Make sure you have your Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number

Registered traders will need a UK EORI number that starts with the letters 'GB to be able to submit customs declarations to move goods between GB and the EU after the implementation period ends.
If you already have a UK EORI number starting with 'GB', keep it safe as you will need it when the implementation period ends.
If you do not have a UK EORI number starting with 'GB' you should register for one at www.gov.uk/eori    It's quick and easy to register.

•    Decide how to make customs declarations

Traders will need to make customs declarations to import and export goods between GB and EU countries once we are outside of the EU's customs territory.

If you've only ever traded with the EU, or if you already trade with non-EU countries but need to expand or change your processes to cover your GB-EU imports and exports, you should start to prepare now to make customs declarations, by deciding if you want to use a third party such as a customs agent or make declarations yourself.#

If you decide to use a customs agent, you should start contacting agents now, to find out about the services they provide. You can find guidance by going to:
www.gov.uk/guidance/appoint-someone-to-deal-with-customs-on-your-behalf. If you want to make declarations yourself, HMRC will soon be providing more information and guidance about what will be required. HMRC will be providing more information about customs processes for Northern Ireland soon.


Registration and use of Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) for imports from the EU is currently suspended. You will not need to use TSP between February and December 2020. If you applied for this service, keep your paperwork safe. In addition, postponed VAT accounting is currently not available during the implementation period.

HMRC say they appreciate you may have more queries about what you need to do next. They will provide more information as soon as we can about the future processes for importing and exporting and what you'll need to do.


The current government position is that the UK will leave the European Union on 31st January 2020. This will have an impact on EU VAT refund claims (formerly known as 8th Directive Claims). The latest guidance published on the HMRC Website 18 September 2019 advises that it will not be possible to use HMRC’s VAT online services to claim a VAT refund from an EU member state after 5 pm on 31 January 2020. 

The guidance, which is titled “Claim VAT refunds from EU countries after Brexit”, goes on to advise that after Brexit refund claims will need to be made using the existing processes used by businesses based outside the EU, even where the claim is for expenses incurred before Brexit.  

The deadline is therefore not the deadline by which a claim for which EU VAT incurred in 2019 must be made, but it is the deadline for such a claim to be made via the HMRC Online Portal. The deadline is tight, but If it is possible to do so, the process for claiming via the HMRC Portal is likely to be simpler. 


HMRC Have revised their VAT guide notice 700 on 1 September 2019.  To view the guide click here.


HMRC has issued a last-minute update to its guidance stating that it will not be sending out confirmation emails on receipt of Making Tax Digital for VAT submissions


HMRC have published a new VAT notice about import VAT on parcels imported into the UK in the event of a no deal Brexit.

VAT notice 1003 Import VAT on parcels you sell to UK buyers (14 February 2019) explains how to pay import VAT on goods sold and sent to UK buyers by businesses based outside the UK, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

HMRC have also published two related guides on how to Register for import VAT on parcels you sell to UK buyers and how to Manage your import VAT on parcels.

View the notice at Import VAT on parcels you sell to UK buyers (VAT notice 1003).


Information has been updated in section 14 to reflect changes to the VAT rules for supplies of digital services and the eligibility for non-EU businesses to use the VAT Mini One Stop Shop (VAT MOSS).. To view the new guidance click here.


The VAT road fuel scale charges are amended with effect from 1 May 2018. Businesses must use the new scales from the start of the next prescribed accounting period beginning on or after 1 May 2018. For the new rates click here.


HMRC have released the updated VAT Fuel Scale Charge rates, to apply from 1 May 2017.  To view the updated rate click  here


HMRC have republished the Flat Rate Scheme guidance leaflet 733 on 3 April 2017.  This follows the changes introduced in respect of "Limited Cost Businesses".  See para 4.4.
For the complete guidance leaflet click here.


HMRC Have updated their guidance to correct VAT errors and make adjustments or claims.  To view the updated guidance leaflet 700/45 click here.

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