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HMRC internal manual


Onward supply relief (OSR): about onward supply relief (OSR)

VAT registered traders who receive goods from outside the EC in the course of an onward supply by them to a VAT registered customer in another Member State can obtain relief from the payment of import VAT. The relief can apply to principals or to agents who have been appointed by a principal to act as importer. The effect of the relief is that whilst customs duty must still be paid on importation into the UK, no import VAT is paid either here or in the Member State of destination. The UK trader zero- rates the onward intra-EC supply and the customer accounts for VAT on the acquisition under the normal rules.

The EC VAT number can be verified using Europa VIES VAT checker. The website only returns correct results if all characters are entered in uppercase.

‘Notice 702/7 Import VAT relief for goods supplied onward to another country in the European Community’ sets out the criteria/conditions and provides more detailed information on the relief. This Public Notice must be read before OSR is claimed.