Register for import VAT on parcels you sell to UK buyers

If you are outside of the UK and sell goods to UK buyers, you may need to register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to pay import value added tax (VAT).

This guidance was withdrawn on

This page has been withdrawn because it’s out of date. Read the current guidance on tax and customs for goods sent from abroad. You can also read about the transition period.

In a no-deal Brexit, you must pay import VAT on parcels you sell to UK buyers if you:

  • are based outside the UK - this includes the EU, outside of the EU and the Channel Islands
  • sell goods worth £135 or less to UK buyers

How to pay import VAT

You can either:

  • register with HMRC to report and pay the import VAT due yourself
  • pay a parcel operator that offers a service to pay import VAT to HMRC on your behalf

You can check to see if you will need to register with HMRC to pay import VAT.

If you do not follow the new rules you may find your parcels are delayed or stopped from entering the UK, or that your UK buyer may have to pay extra tax and fees.

You can find more information in the Import VAT on parcels you sell to UK buyers (VAT Notice 1003).

Registering for the import VAT on parcels service

If you choose to use the online service to pay the import VAT due, you will need to:

  1. Register for the service.
  2. Choose an accounting period from those available.
  3. Keep a record of the number of parcels worth £135 or less you sell to the UK for each accounting period.
  4. Keep a record of the total value of all the parcels worth under £135 or less you sell to the UK, including shipping and insurance costs in pounds and pence, for each accounting period.
  5. Work out the import VAT for each accounting period.
  6. Tell HMRC how much import VAT you owe for each accounting period.
  7. Pay HMRC the import VAT due for each accounting period.

When to register

You can register with HMRC before you need to start paying import VAT on parcels.

When you register you will be given an import VAT on parcels reference. Keep this safe and use it to accompany any parcels you send to UK buyers in a no-deal Brexit.

What you will need

To register you should:

  • have your business contact details - this includes the contact name, address, telephone number and email address for you or your business
  • know your business accounting periods

How to register

To register you need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you register.

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

This service is currently unavailable.

Published 14 February 2019