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HMRC internal manual

VAT Civil Penalties

Why a penalty arises: What is failure to submit an EC Sales Statement

Since 1 January 1993, traders registered for VAT in the UK who make supplies of goods totraders registered for VAT in other European Community (EC) Member States have beenrequired to submit lists of their EC supplies.

These lists are known as EC Sales Statements or EC Sales Lists (ESLs) and are usually madeon Form VAT 101. Some traders submit details of their supplies via ECSL (online service)or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) .

The majority of traders submit their ESLs on a calendar quarterly basis, others submit onan annual or monthly basis. ESLs must be submitted no later than 42 days after the end ofthe period to which the statement relates. VAT Regulation 1995, Regulation 22 refers.

There is no requirement to submit a nil statement.

VAT Information Exchange System (VIES)

The information submitted on ESLs is used to update the VAT Information Exchange System(VIES) database that forms an effective tool in monitoring movements of goods within theEC and deterring fraud.

You can find detailed guidance about the ESL system in VAT Notice 725: The Single Market.

A civil penalty exists for failure to submit and/or late submission of an ESL. It isapplied on a daily rate basis and the penalty rate increases each time the trader fails tosubmit an ESL.

The Form VAT 411 which enables a UK registered trader to supply a new means of transport,(e.g. car, boat, plane) zero-rated for export to another Member State, is regarded as anEC Sales List (ESL). You can find further information on new means of transport in VATNotice 725 The Single Market.

There are no implications under the Human Rights Act for failure to submit EC Sales Listspenalties, see VCP10160.