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HMRC internal manual

VAT Place of Supply (Goods)

Main rules: structure and application


With the exception of natural gas and electricity (see VATPOSG5000) the place of supply of goods is largely based on the physical location of the goods.Therefore, in applying the place of supply rules, you should take care not to be unduly influenced by other factors such as where the goods might be at the time of supply, invoicing routes, payment arrangements and (apart from gas and electricity) where the parties to the supply might belong.

Structure of UK law

Section 7 of the VAT Act 1994 has a hierarchical structure. Consequently, to work out which part of UK legislation applies to a particular supply, you must first consider whether it falls within 7(2). If not you go to 7(3) and so on. The order in which the different categories are covered in VATPOSG3000 reflects this approach. The Summary and Decision Guide at VATPOSG6000 further illustrates the principle.

The terms ‘removed’ and ‘removal’ are used in various places. However, they are not legally defined and so you should interpret them using their normal, everyday meaning: that is the goods are physically moved from one location to another.

In complex transactions involving a number of supplies you should remember that the removal of the goods can only relate to one of the supplies. If you first identify this supply it then becomes much easier to determine the place of supply of each of the other supplies. See for example VATPOSG3820.

EC law

The relevant EC law is reproduced were appropriate to illustrate the link with UK law. However, your decisions should be made and notified by reference only to UK law. You should refer any disputes over whether UK law correctly implements EC requirements to Place & Time of Supply Team.