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HMRC internal manual

VAT Export and Removal of Goods from the UK

Basic principles: Introduction

This section explains the basic conditions for zero rating supplies of goods

  • for export outside the EU or
  • for intra-EU removals to customers registered for VAT in another Member State.

It is essential that only genuine exports and removals are zero rated to prevent losses of VAT revenue and abusers of the system gaining an unfair advantage over their competitors.



Revenue implications of zero-rating exports and removals

Every year over £200 billion of goods are zero rated as exports and removals. This is a significant movement of what are essentially standard-rated goods, and the scope for error and fraud is wide ranging. It is this potential for incorrect zero rating that explains the need for detailed rules on evidence for export or removal. Our approach must be to help business comply and avoid errors, but to be alert to the possibility of diversion and fraud.