It's important that as a trader you know whether you have to pay import VAT and duty on your goods before they can be cleared for entry into the UK.
What is import duty?
Import duty is a tax charged on the purchase of goods or services from abroad.
Imports may be liable to import duty, depending on the classification of the goods and where they come from. Read more about import declarations.
Your goods might also be liable to additional duties such as anti-dumping duties.
You can pay a reduced or zero rate of import duty on imports of certain goods from some countries, though there may be a limited annual quota. You usually need to provide documentary proof showing where the imports originated from. See rules of origin.
What is import VAT?
Import VAT is the transaction tax levied on all goods imported into the UK from outside the EU.
VAT-registered businesses can reclaim the VAT as input tax in the same way as VAT is paid on UK purchases. You will also have to pay VAT on any import duty.
Import VAT is paid directly to HMRC, whereas domestic VAT is normally paid to a supplier of goods. After an Import VAT payment is made by a UK VAT registered trader, an HMRC form C79 showing the VAT paid will be electronically produced and sent to the business address. You can use this as evidence of the VAT paid on your VAT return.
Goods such as tobacco and alcohol products are subject to excise duty.