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HMRC internal manual

VAT Export and Removal of Goods from the UK

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Introduction: VAT law on exports and removals: EC law

Council VAT Directive 2006/112/EC – known as the Principal VAT Directive

The Principal VAT Directive 2006/112 replaced the EC Sixth Directive 77/388 with effectfrom 1 January 2007. The new Directive does not change EC or UK VAT law.

Article 131 states that member States shall lay down conditions that apply to exemptions (zero-rating in the UK) to ensure the straightforward application of the exemptions and to prevent evasion, avoidance or abuse.

Article 146(1)(a) provides the legal basis for the zero-rating of goods exported by or on behalf of the vendor.

Article 146(1)(b) provides the legal basis for the zero-rating of goods exported by or on behalf of a purchaser not established in the supplier’s country.

Article 148 (a) and (b) provide the legal basis for the zero-rating of goods supplied for use as ships stores.

Article 148(e) provides the legal basis for the zero-rating of goods supplied for use on board aircraft on international routes.

Article 138(1) provides the legal basis for the zero-rating of goods supplied for removal from the UK to a VAT registered customer in another member State.