Guidance

VAT on goods you move from Ireland to Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal

Importing for UK businesses who move goods from Ireland to Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Overview

The government is committed to the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and to do everything in its power to make sure there is no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Whilst the government’s main objective is to secure a deal with the EU, we continue to make responsible preparations for a no deal outcome. As part of these preparations we have been running events with key stakeholders, to help them understand what systems will be in place at the border if there is no deal. We will continue to work with Northern Ireland businesses and traders over the coming weeks, and have published this guidance, as part of our ongoing engagement plans.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, import VAT will be due on goods you move from Ireland to Northern Ireland at the relevant rate. This includes goods that:

  • end their journey in Northern Ireland
  • move through Northern Ireland on the way to Great Britain

If you move goods into Northern Ireland from any other country, or from Ireland directly to Great Britain, you should follow the relevant customs procedures.

There are different ways to account for import VAT.

If you are registered for VAT

You will need to account for import VAT on goods you move from Ireland to Northern Ireland on your normal periodic VAT return. This is similar to how you account for VAT on such imports now.

More information will be available soon. Sign up for EU Exit email alerts.

If you are not registered for VAT

You will need to account for import VAT on goods you move from Ireland to Northern Ireland.

HMRC is developing a new online service to make this as simple as possible. The online service will enable you to do this on a quarterly import VAT return, rather than for every single crossing. You will need to sign up for this service if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

You will not have to register for VAT or start charging VAT on your sales.

To prepare you should keep records of any goods you move from Ireland to Northern Ireland from 11pm UK time 31 October 2019, including:

  • receipts for goods
  • records of transport costs directly associated with bringing the goods into Northern Ireland
  • records of any excise goods (alcohol, tobacco and certain types of fuel)

More information about importing excise goods and how to use the new service will be available soon. Sign up for EU Exit email alerts.

Importing vehicles from Ireland to Northern Ireland

If you’re importing a vehicle from Ireland to Northern Ireland you will need to tell HMRC and may need to pay import VAT depending on the type of vehicle. You will need to do this within 14 days of the vehicle arriving in Northern Ireland.

You should contact the HMRC VAT helpline to get a Notification of Vehicle Arrival (NOVA1) form, which you should complete and return to HMRC. HMRC will work out the import VAT due and tell you how to pay.

You should not use HMRC’s Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) online service.

More information on how to do this will be available soon.

Published 29 March 2019
Last updated 3 April 2019 + show all updates
  1. Information about importing vehicles from Ireland to Northern Ireland has been added.
  2. First published.