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HMRC internal manual

VAT Export and Removal of Goods from the UK

HM Revenue & Customs
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Assurance procedures: Aims and objectives of assurance

The principle purpose of VAT checks on a supply of goods for export or removal is to ensure that zero-rating has been correctly applied. The supplier must ensure that the conditions laid down by the Commissioners in regulations and Notice 703 for exports and Notice 725 for removals have been fully satisfied otherwise they will not be entitled to zero-rate their supply. It is not sufficient for the trader to claim that the goods have left the UK. A visiting officer’s checks on an export or removal transaction must aim to confirm that

  • the transaction is genuine and properly valued
  • the goods exist
  • the evidence of export or removal is acceptable and genuine
  • the description, quantities and values shown on commercial documents are correct and linked to the evidence of export or removal
  • the Commissioners’ legal conditions have been fully met
  • the goods have been exported or removed from the UK within the specified time limits and
  • the trader is making the required adjustment in his records to account for the VAT if the conditions have not been met.