Selling or moving goods between Northern Ireland and the EU

You might have been contacted by HMRC and given an XI VAT number if you’ve already been identified as trading under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

If HMRC have not already contacted you, you must tell them if any of the following apply:

  • your goods are located in Northern Ireland at the time of sale
  • you receive goods in Northern Ireland from VAT-registered EU businesses for business purposes
  • you sell or move goods from Northern Ireland to an EU country

Telling HMRC will help them to identify you as trading under the Northern Ireland Protocol. This will mean that:

  • you’ll be eligible to use VAT simplifications when you trade with the EU
  • your suppliers are able to zero rate goods that they dispatch to you from the EU
  • your trade with the EU will remain as acquisitions and dispatches when accounting for VAT

Tell HMRC

You’ll need:

  • the Government Gateway user ID and password you used when you registered for VAT
  • your VAT registration number
  • the name of your business

Start now

After you tell HMRC

You’ll get an email from HMRC to confirm that you’ve been recorded as operating under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

After you get the email, you’ll need to start using the XI prefix before your usual VAT number - for example, XI 123456789 instead of GB 123456789.

Using your XI VAT number

You must use your XI VAT number on all documentation when communicating with EU customers or suppliers (for example, on invoices).

This is so:

  • you can correctly account for VAT on transactions between Northern Ireland and the EU using rules on intra-EU movements
  • EU businesses can check your VAT status and verify that you are trading under the Northern Ireland Protocol

If you’re selling goods from Northern Ireland to VAT-registered customers in the EU, complete an EC Sales List.

If you do not tell HMRC or use an XI VAT number, it could mean that you pay or charge the wrong VAT on goods.

If you’ve stopped selling or moving goods in Northern Ireland

If you’ve stopped selling goods in Northern Ireland or moving goods between Northern Ireland and the EU, you need to email HMRC.