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HMRC internal manual

Import and National Clearance Hub Procedures

Special directions: VAT and Excise


Repayments of VAT (which are made under UK national arrangements - not the Code) are not made to VAT registered traders. Traders reclaim any VAT as input tax on their VAT return.

Where a trader is not registered, or even though registered, either presses for repayment or states that the VAT charged cannot be reclaimed in part or in whole, VAT may be repaid as per VAT Notice 702 paragraph 2.6. Although import VAT can only be deducted as input tax by the importer, amounts that are overpaid as import VAT are repaid to the person who paid that amount to Customs. If it is the agent who has overpaid, then we must ensure that he has not been, and will not be, reimbursed by the importer. As an example, if an agent paid £100 import VAT on behalf of an importer, and it was subsequently found that the amount due was only £75, he can only submit a claim for the £25 overpaid.

See INCHP06050 for action to be taken when an importer’s deferment approval number has been used in error.

Otherwise the duty repayment procedures detailed at INCHP06050 are to be followed.

Excise duties

Although repayments of excise duties are made under UK national arrangements, not the Code, repayments of Customs duty procedures detailed in INCHP06050 are to be followed.

Minimum amounts repayable

The minimum limit for import duty is explained in Notice 199 paragraph 8.9. This should also apply to import VAT. If the combined amount of import duty and import VAT claimed exceeds the minimum, then it can be accepted.