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HMRC internal manual

VAT Single Market

HM Revenue & Customs
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Supply and acquisition: acquisition: transportation of the goods

In implementing Article 20 of the Principal VAT Directive (see VATSM3310), section 11(2) of the VAT Act 1993 (VATSM3315) makes it immaterial who removes the goods from the Member State of departure. This can be undertaken by either the vendor or the purchaser, or somebody acting on either’s behalf.

Consequently, a UK customer who collects goods from their supplier in another Member State is liable to account for acquisition VAT in the UK, just as they would if the goods had been delivered by, or on behalf of, the supplier. In other words, despite collecting the goods it remains an intra-EC supply and so may be zero-rated in the Member State of departure, subject to the normal rules. Without this the transaction would become a domestic supply in the Member State of departure, followed by a transfer of own goods (see VATSM4000).