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HMRC internal manual

VAT Single Market

HM Revenue & Customs
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Supply and acquisition: introduction

A major feature of the Single Market is the special VAT treatment applied to movements of goods between the UK and other Member States. Goods sent from the UK are referred to in this manual as intra-EC supplies whereas goods arriving in the UK can represent acquisitions.

In both cases it is important to remember that these concepts only apply to goods that are physically removed between the UK and another Member State. So, for example, a supply invoiced to a French customer, but delivered to a place elsewhere in the UK, is not an intra-EC supply as the goods do not leave the UK. It remains a domestic supply.

Similarly movements of goods between the UK and places outside the EC are not intra-EC supplies or acquisitions. They are subject to the rules governing imports and exports about which further information can be found in the manuals covering imports and exports (VEXP) of goods from the UK.