VAT and Selling to EU Countries

VAT and Selling to EU Countries

If you are selling, supplying or transferring goods from the UK into another country, it may well be that you have to charge VAT.

If the goods are going to someone else who is registered for VAT in their own country or you are exporting goods to a non EU country, you can zero rate the goods, although you still need to declare them on your VAT Return. If the person is in an EU country, but is not VAT registered, then you charge then normal rate for VAT,

VAT Registered in the EU

If the person you are sending goods to is VAT registered this means that you can zero rate the goods as long as:

  • They are VAT registered.
  • They are in an EU country.
  • You have an invoice with the correct VAT number and the two letter country code.
  • You have Evidence of Removal.
  • The goods are dispatched and the evidence of removal obtained within 3 months.


Evidence of Removal

In order to show that you have transferred or dispatched goods you can obtain the evidence of removal from the following sources:

  • Correspondence with your customer
  • Sales invoices
  • Sales orders
  • Packing lists
  • Paperwork from transport companies
  • Notes to confirm that goods have been received by the purchaser
  • Bank statements


The paperwork must be clear and have the following details:

  • Your business details
  • Customer’s business details
  • Details of the goods and their value
  • The method of transport used for delivery
  • The destination of the goods


All paperwork regarding sales must be kept for a minimum of six years. You can be asked to supply evidence of your sales at any time within this period and if you can’t produce the documentation, you may have to pay the VAT on the goods.

Sale of Goods to Non VAT Registered Persons or Companies

If you sell goods and deliver them to persons or companies in EU countries, that are not VAT registered; you must charge UK VAT rates. However, each EU country has a VAT limit. If you exceed the limit in any 12 month period, you will be liable to register for VAT in that EU country and charge their VAT rates to your customers. You can look at the 2015 thresholds here.

Digital Services

If you are supplying one of the following services in an EU country you must register for VAT even though you don’t reach the VAT threshold.

  • Broadcasting
  • Telecommunications
  • Downloadable music
  • Video on demand
  • E books
  • Games
  • Apps
  • Software


You must either pay VAT in each EU country you supply the service or sign up for the VAT Moss Service. This service ensures that you don’t have to register for VAT in each country you supply, you make your payments in the UK and the HMRC will pay the relevant taxes to member states on your behalf.

If you would like to know more about VAT or you want to register, SQK Accountancy in Manchester can advise you on all your VAT matters. We aim to provide a first class service at an affordable price. Contact us by filling in the form on our contact page or telephone us on 020 8798 0657 today.

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