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HMRC internal manual

VAT Export and Removal of Goods from the UK

Stores for use in ships, aircraft or hovercraft: Supplies of stores to the Royal Navy

Regulations made under section 12 of the Customs and Excise Duties (General Reliefs) Act 1979, allow certain mess and canteen stores to be supplied duty free to the Royal Navy for consumption by their personnel in HM ships or in naval establishments. This relief does not extend to VAT.

Supplies of mess and canteen stores to an HM ship may only be zero rated if the vessel is leaving the UK

  • for service based at a foreign station, i.e. a station outside the UK, or
  • on a voyage to a foreign port, i.e. a port outside the UK, or
  • on a voyage of more than 15 days duration outside UK waters whether or not calling at a foreign port.

Notice 703 Export of goods from the United Kingdom sets out the conditions for zero rating.