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HMRC internal manual

VAT Postal Services

HM Revenue & Customs
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Lists of Royal Mail universal and regulated services: list of Royal Mail exempt services

Subject to there being no individual negotiation, the following services remain exempt from VAT from 1 April 2012:

  • all services covered by the Universal Services Obligation (USO, VPOST4250)
  • charges made by Royal Mail to allow access (see VPOST4400) to its postal facilities to private postal operators.

Exemption also applies to:

  • inbound and outbound HM Forces Mail (VPOST4500) services provided by Royal Mail, sent through the British Forces Post Office (BFPO); and
  • EU terminal dues (VPOST4550).

Royal Mail is required to provide the following services under the Universal Service Obligation (the product names for these services are highlighted in bold. The list is not exhaustive):

  • Priority letter services D+1 (the Royal Mail product meeting this is currently called First Class mail single piece)
  • Standard letter services D+3 (for which the Royal Mail products are Second Class mail single piece and Standard Parcels)
  • Certificate of Posting - domestic and international
  • Proof of delivery on application
  • Return to sender service
  • Registered and insured services - domestic and international (including Special Delivery Signed For - though not account, 9am or Saturday guaranteed delivery - and Recorded Signed For)
  • End-to-end international services - inward and outward (for which the Royal Mail products are Airmail and Surface Mail)
  • End-to-end free services - legislative petitions and addresses; services for the blind and partially sighted
  • UK Redirection services
  • Post restante services
  • Retention services (for which the Royal Mail product is Keepsafe)