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VAT on Imports – Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA)

Asset 6

When importing goods into the UK VAT is due on those goods if their value is over £135.

Since 1st January 2021 this also applies to goods imported from the European Union (EU),

Historically, VAT is paid at the time of import, with a form C79 report, and then recovered on the next VAT return. This can give significant impact on cash flow, particularly for businesses importing from the EU which would not previously have had to pay any VAT on the import.

VAT registered businesses will now be able to use Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) when importing goods into the UK. This will allow them to account for and recover import VAT on their VAT return rather than pay in advance and make a later recovery using the C79 certificate. PVA is optional and can be applied on a transaction-by-transaction basis; unless the business has elected to defer the submissions of customs declarations, in which case PVA is mandatory.

If using PVA, businesses will provide their EORI and/or VAT Registration Number on their customs declaration. The declaration generates a Monthly Postponed Import VAT Statement, which is required to account for and recover the import VAT on the next VAT return. A C79 will still be raised where VAT is paid at the time of import.