If you have not imported goods into the UK before, you may be wondering how import VAT and duty works.

How much VAT and duty will I need to pay?

HMRC uses a ‘tariff’ to determine the rate (a percentage) of VAT and duty that needs to be paid on customs clearance.  This means that the rate is dependent upon what your goods are, and their worth.  Take a look here: https://www.gov.uk/trade-tariff.  Our team of freight forwarders will classify your goods when we handle your shipment and/or customs clearance, calculate the amount payable, and handle payments to HMRC (if required).

Who is responsible for paying for the VAT and duty?

You, as the importer, are responsible for settling any VAT and duty payable upon your goods arrival in the UK.  Your goods will not be released from customs until this is settled.  Most of our customers opt to use us to clear their import through customs.  Our standard procedure is to calculate the rate of VAT and duty payable, an invoice is raised for this amount, once funds from our customer has cleared into our account, we forward the payment to HMRC with the necessary release instructions.  Customs clearance is required for both air and sea imports.

Can I claim back VAT and duty?

If you are VAT registered, then you should be able to claim back any import VAT (not duty).  To import into the UK you will require an EORI number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification).  This is a straight forward process of filling in a form, you should receive your EORI number within a week.  We can assist you with this if required.

Give us a call to discuss Mercator Cargo handling your shipment, or UK customs clearance and delivery.  Our team of freight forwarders deal with UK clearance and delivery, and international shipping on a daily basis – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.


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    Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.