Guidance

Check how to get your import VAT certificate (C79)

Find out how you can get your import VAT certificates (C79). This will show how much VAT you've paid on imports and recover the VAT as input tax on your VAT Return.

How you get your import VAT certificate depends on how you (or someone acting on your behalf) made the customs declarations for your goods.

If the person making declarations used both the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) service and Customs Declaration Service, you’ll need to combine the amounts to put on your VAT Return.

During the week commencing 4 May 2020 import VAT certificates (C79) for March began to be reissued. This is because some customers were:

  • not issued with a C79 for March
  • issued with data for February 2020, rather than March 2020

You should use the most recent C79 that you received, as this contains the correct information. We apologise to affected customers and for any inconvenience caused.

Declarations made using CHIEF

If the person making declarations used the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) service you’ll get your C79 certificates sent to you in the post.

Declarations made using the Customs Declaration Service

If the person making declarations used the Customs Declaration Service you will need to get the certificate online - which will be available monthly.

You’ll need a Government Gateway user ID and password which is linked to your EORI number. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you get your import VAT certificate.

Get your certificates if you use the Customs Declaration Service.

Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.

Published 13 September 2019
Last updated 9 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. HMRC has clarified which import VAT certificates (C79) to use for March 2020 and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

  2. First published.