Intrastat - reporting the value and volume of intra-EU trade

Intrastat - how to deal with complex transactions

While the reporting requirements for Intrastat are simple, there are occasions where the nature of your business may mean your responsibilities are more complex - such as when your VAT accounting periods don't align with calendar months or goods have been returned. Most of these issues can be resolved simply.

Location of goods

It's essential to remember that the movement of your goods is the most important element in completing your Supplementary Declarations (SDs) correctly. For example, if you buy goods from a customer in Spain but the goods are dispatched from Germany, you should record those arrivals as coming from Germany, rather than Spain. This is known as triangulation.

Errors, credit notes and retrospective discounts

Sometimes you will have to issue credit notes or discounts after your SD for the period has been submitted. When this happens, you need to add a balancing entry to your next return covering the credit. To do so using the electronic service, you must use the first digit of the Nature of Transaction Code (NoTC) followed by a '6'. This will indicate to the system that it's a minus value and will balance your records accordingly.

A similar principle is followed if an adjustment needs to be made as a result of a change in trading terms or goods being returned, such as goods shipped and not paid for or the receipt of stage payments. Further information on this can be found in section 7.2 of HMRC Notice 60. Read Notice 60 Intrastat general guide.

However, you must not use NoTCs to amend errors on your SDs. If you find an error, you must supply an additional declaration for that period.

Customs processes

If your goods are entered into customs processes, this will have an impact on your SD reporting.

If your goods move into customs warehouses or Free Zones, you do not record them for Intrastat. If the goods are brought into free circulation and then move to another European Union member state, an Intrastat report will be required. This also applies to goods moved between excise warehouses in different member states. Goods moving between excise warehouses within the UK should not be reported for Intrastat.

For goods going into an excise warehouse in the UK from another member state there are different rules depending on whether the goods are for retail distribution or are to be further processed.

If your goods are covered by Inward Processing (IP) suspension and are moving under Community Transit procedures, you do not include them on your SD. If both you and the company in the other member state are approved by their respective customs authorities to use the simplified procedure for IP suspension goods, the movements should be reported on the SD.

You can find further information about the arrangements for goods in customs processes in sections 17.1 to 17.4 of HMRC's Notice 60.

Other detailed information

The uktradeinfo website has detailed information for other special situations, such as the position for leasing and hire of goods, progress and stage payments and goods on sale or return.