Import VAT is also payable on the same importation of goods from outside the EU into an EU member state. The rate of VAT due at import will be the same as would apply were the goods supplied within the EU country of import. Import VAT is payable in addition to any customs duty which is due, and is calculated on the customs value of the goods plus customs duty.
So, continuing with our example from above (What is customs duty):
We calculated above that the customs duty would be £6.25.
The import VAT would be 20% (assuming the goods are subject to the UK standard rate of VAT) x (£125 + £6.25) = £26.25.
Import VAT is normally recoverable provided you are registered for VAT in the country where the goods are declared to the customs authorities. This is achieved via your VAT return in accordance with the normal VAT recovery rules in that country.
Under EU rules goods which are imported from outside the EU into an EU member state may be exempted from import VAT where the goods are of a low value. The thresholds under which the goods must fall in order to qualify range from €10 to €22 per commercial good/parcel, depending on the member state into which the goods are being imported. The relevant import value will generally be the transaction value (ie sales price to the customer) plus certain additional cost elements (see example above). Consequently, it is important to note that any such relief does in general not apply to the import of low value goods which have not yet been sold to a customer but are (bulk) imported for subsequent sale to customers in the EU.
In the UK this relief is known as low value consignment relief or . If you think you might qualify for this relief we recommend that you consult with either the applicable tax authority or an independent tax advisor to confirm.