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We recently had an enquiry from a subscriber to our mailing list looking for information on VAT payments and required documentation, post-Brexit. Their company imports electrical switchgear from the EU and they wanted to know more about when VAT payments would need to be made (i.e. whether at the point of entry or at a later date) and what kinds of documentation would be required after the transition period ends on 1st January 2021.

VAT implications on Imports post-Brexit

Greater clarity has been offered from HM Gov on the VAT issue since we received this enquiry and an article is now available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-when-you-can-account-for-import-vat-on-your-vat-return detailing what happens from 1st January.

The article states;

“From 1 January 2021, if your business is registered for VAT in the UK, you’ll be able to account for import VAT on your VAT Return for goods imported from anywhere in the world.

This means you’ll declare and recover import VAT on the same VAT Return, rather than having to pay it upfront and recover it later.”

However, there are circumstances where VAT will be payable upfront, the article continues;

“You will not be able to account for import VAT on your VAT Return if you are authorised to use simplified declarations for imports and you complete your simplified frontier declaration before 1 January 2021.

This will be the case even if you complete your supplementary declaration after this date.”

Importing from Switzerland

We’ve also been asked about imports from Switzerland post-Brexit and changes that may apply. Director, John Grange said;

“The Swiss movements will come with a T form that will need discharging so will likely need a customs entry of some kind ‘around’ the time of import. There is going to be a lot of sweeping up after the event.

The whole ‘system’ will be stitched together with the new Goods Vehicle Management System – which has yet to be written.”

Still a way to go

We are still waiting for all the detail to be fleshed out on trading with the EU post-Brexit. Updates are being provided fairly regularly by HM Gov and we are keeping this website up to date with all the information we have at hand, as it is released.

Keeping up to date

Keep an eye on our Brexit Resources page for all the latest documentation and articles regarding Brexit.

Another great source of info is our Mailing List where we send a weekly mailer giving the latest news for importers and exporters direct to your inbox.