Here is what you should know about how to export an item to the EU if you are a seller in the UK:
- How you should deal with Import VAT
- Different scenarios of exports to the EU
- What will be requested when you export an item
1. How you should deal with Import VAT
- Import VAT should be collected by you or your shipper:
Shippers and sellers can collect the import VAT.
This means that customs will not call the buyer to ask for import VAT payment to release the item, which offers a terrible experience to buyers and would impact the number of clients purchasing from the EU (which is the last thing we want).
When you or your shipper collects the import VAT, you need to ensure that it is included in the price of the item or in the delivery price (if you did not charge VAT on the item).
- You can include the Import VAT in the price of the item or at delivery:
We will get back to you in the coming weeks if anything changes.
Please note that the VAT rate varies from a country to another (from 17% to 27%) but it is usually around 20% for furniture- similar to the UK.
- Communicate extensively with the buyer:
Vinterior is showing a disclaimer at checkout to tell the buyer that import VAT is applicable.
This does not explain though if the price includes import VAT or who is collecting it (the seller, the shipper or you, the seller).
Your responsibility is to clarify this and ensure that the buyer is aware and understand if the import VAT has already been paid or not.
Please do not dispatch until the buyer understands how much the import VAT is.
- Communicate with your shipper:
Verify with your shipper that they can do exportation and clarify who is collecting VAT.
Please ensure that the customs declaration specifies if the import VAT has already been collected.
You do not want customs to contact the buyer to ask for the import VAT.
List of shippers who are exporting at the moment
2. Different scenarios of exports to the EU
The different scenarios depend on 3 main elements:
1. Are you VAT registered or not?
2. What the sale above or below £135? The £135 apply to the consignment, meaning the price of all the item you sell to a specific buyer in a specific order.
Article about the UK supply VAT (Not applicable for UK sellers).
3. Is the buyer a VAT registered business or a consumer? Not to confuse with Trade buyers: Trade can be VAT registered or not.
For VAT registered sellers:
For Non- VAT registered sellers:
3. What will be requested when you export an item
To export an item, you will need to provide:
HS code of the product.
Proof of origin: A proof of origin statement must be included on the Commercial Invoice. The origin statement on the invoice can be made out by you as an exporter providing you have an GB EORI number, shown in the statement. For items that do not originate from the UK or EU additional documentation may be required, please reach out to your shipper for more information.
Value and description of the item.
Incoterms (International Commercials Terms): This is the shipping agreement between the buyer and seller. For this, please reach out to your shipper to use Duties Deliveries Paid (DDP) shipping services where the shipper and seller are responsible for paying in advance any import VAT or duties on behalf of the buyer. More information on this found below.
Contact details of both exporter and importer: Addresses, contact names, phone number and email.
The purpose of sale: Whether it is a private or commercial shipment (all our orders except with trade buyers fall under private shipment).
The seller must also supply an export declaration which will show that no import duty is to be charged on the item - Shippers are not yet confident on this last point.