Since 1 January 2021, following the ending of the transition period, VAT is now payable on imports coming into the UK from anywhere in the world, including imports from the EU.
There are a number of ways that payment of the import VAT can be managed by businesses. One option introduced by HMRC, which applies to imports from anywhere in the world, is the Postponed Import VAT Accounting Scheme (PIVA). This allows a VAT registered person or business to defer paying import VAT at point of entry, instead enabling them to pay the import VAT due on their VAT return. This VAT paid can then be reclaimed back in the same VAT quarter, bringing the net VAT position on imported goods back to nil, improving cashflow for businesses that are importing goods.
To use PIVA, VAT registered persons must have been allocated an EORI number and be declared the ‘Importer of Record’. To reclaim any import VAT paid, you must download monthly PIVA statements using the Customs Declaration Service and your Government Gateway ID and password.
How to get your Import VAT Statements
First you need to get access to the Customs Declaration Service.
You will need:
- the Government Gateway user ID and password that you use for your business or yourself, if you’re applying as an individual
- your Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number that starts with GB
- Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) – find your UTR if you do not know it
- the address for your business that HMRC hold on our customs records (if you are a business or organisation)
- National Insurance number (if you’re an individual or sole trader)
- the date you started your business
If you do not have a Government Gateway user ID, you can create one when you start. We have a step by step guide on how to create a Government Gateway account.
To get access, visit GOV.UK’s guidance to get access to the customs declaration service, click the green ‘Get Access’ button and input the requested information. You will receive a confirmation email when the application has been successful.
Once you have gained access to the Customs Declaration Service:
Visit GOV.UK’s guidance to get your import VAT and duty adjustment statements and log in using your Government Gateway user ID and password.
Once you have logged in, you will have access to your Import VAT monthly statements.
If you have any queries about using PIVA, or any other Brexit or VAT concerns, please contact Jessica Mason at [email protected].