Potential VAT implications of trade with the UK post-Brexit.

Importing from the United Kingdom (UK)

For Value-Added Tax (VAT) purposes, imports are goods arriving into the European Union (EU) VAT area.

In general, VAT is payable at the point of importation into Ireland, unless you have been approved to use the deferred payment system. The deferred payment system allows you to defer payment of certain import charges until the 15th of the month following importation. Import charges include Customs Duty and VAT. Imported goods are liable to VAT at the same rate as applies to similar goods sold in Ireland.

When you import goods from outside of the EU, the VAT due on the goods is calculated on the total cost of the goods. This includes transport costs, insurance costs and any applicable Customs Duty. You will find further information about how to calculate VAT in the Guide to Import Procedures.

If you are a VAT registered trader, you are generally entitled to take credit for VAT paid on goods imported for the purposes of your business. You must claim this credit in your return in the taxable VAT period concerned, subject to the normal restrictions.

The Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Act 2019, provides for a system of postponed accounting for VAT on imports. This system will:

  • provide for postponed accounting for VAT on imports from non-EU countries
  • enable you to account for import VAT on your VAT return
  • allow you to reclaim VAT at the same time as it is declared in a return, subject to normal rules on deductibility.

We expect postponed accounting will commence from the date that the UK becomes a third country for VAT purposes. You will find further information about postponed accounting in eCustoms Notification Ref 006/2019.

Distance selling of goods from businesses in the UK to private consumers in Ireland is very common. Many UK-based companies are registered in Ireland and obliged to charge Irish VAT as a result of exceeding the distance selling threshold. Post-Brexit, these companies will continue to have an obligation to register and pay Irish VAT on their supplies to Irish customers.

In certain circumstances, VAT is not payable on goods that are imported by a VAT registered trader. For example, import VAT is not payable on goods that are imported by a VAT registered trader who:

You will have to declare each importation to Revenue using a customs import declaration. This must be submitted electronically using Revenue’s Automated Entry Processing (AEP) system.

Next: Reclaiming VAT incurred in the United Kingdom (UK)