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HMRC internal manual

VAT Export and Removal of Goods from the UK

HM Revenue & Customs
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Particular types of export to destinations outside the EC: Postal exports

Royal Mail

Normally packages up to 2 kgs in weight are sent through the Royal Mail. Customers can use a variety of options dependent on cost and when they want the goods delivered. The Post Office will provide a Certificate of Posting on their own form (P326), which serves as proof of export. Multiple consignments can be listed on form C&E 132 which, when stamped by Post Office staff, also serves as proof of export.

Royal Mail customers using their Business Collections Service may produce a Certificate of Posting for International Mail, or a Royal Mail Collection Manifest as evidence of export. These documents are acceptable evidence provided that they can be linked to the trader’s accounting records and the Royal Mail collection driver has signed the certificate.

Parcel Force

Parcel Force is part of the Royal Mail Group and carries packages in excess of 2 kgs (packages under 2 kgs are carried for account customers only). As with Royal Mail a variety of options are available for customers. Currently users of Parcel Force will need to rely on commercial proof of export. Account customers have access to the Parcel Force Worldwide Distribution Manager Online system. This provides Collection Manifests, Track and Trace facilities and an archive record (for the current month and up to the last 6 months depending on the terms of the contract) of the packages sent to Parcel Force. Otherwise the proof of export will be a stamped copy of the Parcel Force Despatch Pack (CP72) showing that the goods have been picked up or delivered to Parcel Force. There is also a Customer Receipt section of the form that can be completed by the customer and returned to the sender.

Further detail about the evidence available for postal exports is in Notice 703 - Export of goods from the United Kingdom.

Tribunal appeal - G.McKenzie & Co (LON/92/2015)

The question of evidence of export for goods sent by post was considered in the case of G McKenzie & Co.The Tribunal considered whether the documentation held by the appellant was sufficient to prove that supplies of silver, gold, palladium and rhodium had been exported using Parcelforce. The goods were described on the Parcelforce receipts as ‘soldering material’ and ‘soldering flux’ at the request of the appellant’s customer, ostensibly to prevent pilfering from taking place at import into Bangladesh. From the appellant’s records, it was impossible to reconcile the weight of the goods exported with the weight of the metals purchased.

We agreed that the appellant had exported something but that there was insufficient evidence to support the zero-rating of invoices purporting to relate to high value exports of precious metals. The Tribunal ruled that the requirement of Notice 703 paragraph 22 [March 1987 edition] that the trader should hold evidence of export which clearly identifies the goods is authorised under EC and UK law, and said

“this is the very type of condition which one would expect”.  

The Tribunal found that the appellant did not hold this evidence and had failed to retain relevant secondary commercial documentation. The evidence of export held should clearly identify each individual supply whereas in this case there was no way of ascertaining the contents of each consignment. The appeal was dismissed.