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HMRC internal manual

VAT Small and Medium Enterprises Assurance Manual

Imports and removals from warehouse (Gate tax): introduction

Over one third of the total VAT received by the Exchequer is collected on goods imported and removed from warehouse.

Postponed accounting (PAS) was withdrawn generally from 1 November 1984 and may be used only for postal consignments (not Data post) of a value not exceeding £2,000 and for imports by certain Government Departments. Importers must generally pay VAT on imports or removals from warehouse either outright at the time of importation/removal, or under duty deferment arrangement, whereby payment is made in the month following the month of importation/removal. Importers and agents authorised to use duty deferment are required to provide a bank guarantee cover the full amount of VAT deferred at any one time.

General guidance on VAT on imports and removals from warehouse is contained in Notice 702 VAT - Imports and VAT Imports. The Branches with overall responsibility for VAT on imports (except liability) and for input tax evidence and the monthly VAT certificate are detailed in the Foreword to that guidance.