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HMRC internal manual

VAT Traders’ Records Manual

Particular invoices with special arrangements: Returnable containers: Containers for which no separate charge is made

If containers are not separately charged for, either when they are sent out or subsequently, no separate charge of VAT is required. This applies even if the supplier normally expects the containers to be returned but they are not returned in a particular instance. (But see paragraph 8.2 ofNotice 700about containers that constitute more than ‘normal or necessary’ packaging).