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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: Commercial evidence

Commercial evidence describes the physical movement of the goods, for example:

  • authenticated sea waybills
  • authenticated air waybills
  • PIM/PIEX International consignment notes
  • Master air waybills or bills of lading - see VEXP110100 for an example of a Master Air waybill
  • Certificates of shipment, original and authenticated by an official of the issuing company, containing the full details of the consignment and how it left the UK or
  • International Consignment Note/Lettre de Voiture International (CMR) fully completed by the consignor, the haulier and the receiving consignee, or Freight Transport Association (FTA) own account transport documents fully completed and signed by the receiving customer. An uncompleted CMR note merely tells you that the goods have been picked up from the UK supplier and not that they have been delivered to the overseas customer.
  • Certificate of posting for postal exports
  • Authenticated house air waybills - see VEXP110200 for an example of a House Air waybill
  • Authenticated house sea waybills
  • In addition many express industry operators such as Fedex, TNT and the Royal Mail/Parcelforce also have Track and Trace facilities where you can track a parcel through to delivery if you have the appropriate air waybill or equivalent number. This facility can be accessed via the appropriate operator’s web site.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

The European Court of Justice decision in Teleos PLC established that, in certain limited circumstances, a trader retains the right to zero-rate a supply even if evidence he has relied on in good faith turns out to be false. There is more information about the impact of Teleos in VEXP70400.