Introduction to Intrastat

What is Intrastat and who has to make returns?

Guide

What is Intrastat?

Intrastat is the name given to the system for collecting statistics on the trade in goods between the UK and EU member states.

The requirements of Intrastat are similar in the UK and all EU member states.

Intra-EU trade statistics are compiled from information provided by those businesses required to provide Intrastat declarations and estimations made using information on the VAT Return.

Be aware that:

  • the supply of services is excluded from Intrastat
  • you must not include the supply of services in boxes 8 and 9 of the VAT Return
  • only movements which represent physical trade in goods are covered by Intrastat, although there are some movements that are excluded
  • the close link with the VAT system is an essential feature in complying with Intrastat and also provides a means of checking the information supplied

Who has to submit Intrastat returns?

All VAT registered businesses must complete 2 boxes (8 and 9) on their VAT Return showing the total value of any goods supplied to VAT registered customers in EU member states (known as dispatches) and the total value of any goods acquired from VAT registered suppliers in EU member states (known as arrivals).

In addition to this, larger VAT registered businesses must supply further information each month on their trade in goods with EU member states.

If you dispatch goods to EU member states or receive arrivals of goods from EU member states with a value exceeding a legally set threshold, then you must submit the additional information. To do this you use a form known as an Intrastat Supplementary Declaration (SD), which you need to submit electronically.

The thresholds are reviewed annually, with any change normally announced towards the end of the preceding year. Changes will only apply from the beginning of a calendar year and you must make sure that you operate according to the threshold level currently set.

Businesses not registered for VAT and private individuals who move goods within the UK or EU have no obligations under the Intrastat system.