Import entry procedures: goods imported by or on behalf of non-UK traders
In principle, overseas persons making supplies in the UK are liable to registration for VAT subject to current registration limits and may appoint representatives to act for them (V1-28 VAT: Registration and Deregistration). Representatives are required to keep separate VAT accounts and make separate VAT returns in respect of each overseas trader for whom they act. In these circumstances import declarations are to be completed to show the name, address and registration number of the overseas registered taxable person as importer.
As an alternative to the procedure outlined above, persons resident in the UK, who are registered for VAT and who handle goods on behalf of overseas suppliers and who are prepared to account in their own VAT account for the tax due on importation and for the tax on supplies in the UK of the overseas principals’ goods, may be able to act as principals for VAT purposes under the provisions of the VAT Act section 47. In order for section 47 to apply the UK business must act in its own name in relation to the supply.
VTAXPER20000 in Taxable Person provides detailed guidance on establishing whether a trader is acting in his own name. Where these circumstances apply, import declarations are to be completed to show the name, address and registration number of the UK resident trader as importer.