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HMRC internal manual

VAT Export and Removal of Goods from the UK

Removals of goods to other Member States - evidential requirements: Tribunal decisions: Dallas Knitwear (Manchester) Ltd

In the case of Dallas Knitwear (Manchester) Ltd - MAN/96/407 - the appellant, a clothing manufacturer, had been unable to produce satisfactory documentary evidence that goods had been removed from the UK. In some cases the customer’s EU VAT registration number had not been obtained or was invalid. Zero rating had therefore been disallowed.

The appellant’s managing director explained that overseas customers did not place written orders but would either place their orders by telephone or in person. He would generally receive a business card which gave a contact number and the customer’s EU VAT registration number. Payment was usually made in cash although sometimes it was by telegraphic transfer or banker’s order. The goods were either loaded into the customers’ own vehicles with no documentation being returned to the appellant or collected from the appellant’s premises in transport arranged by the customer. In these instances the carriers normally sent a certificate of shipment.

The appellant produced evidence of payment and invoices for freight charges relating to some of the supplies. The Tribunal’s view was that the documentation did not show that identifiable goods had been removed from the UK or that this documentation related to any of the invoices in respect of which the assessments had been made.

The Tribunal upheld the assessments in full stating that the Commissioners were entitled to conclude that the appellant had not obtained the relevant evidence of removal within three months of the time of supply and therefore had not satisfied the conditions of zero rating.

The appeal was dismissed.