Packing, shipping and postage

Goods may be supplied packed for sale with no separate charge made for the packages which contain the goods. In such cases, the rate of Value-Added Tax (VAT) chargeable is the rate which applies to the goods.

If containers are charged separately from the goods, the transaction is regarded as consisting of separate sales of goods and of containers. Each such separate sale is chargeable at the appropriate rate.

What if the containers are returnable?

Containers may be returnable with a separate charge in the nature of a deposit, raised for them on an invoice. These containers are regarded as property of the supplier and are not subject to VAT at the time of handing over.

However, VAT at the appropriate rate is payable on the value of containers which are not returned to the supplier. You should account for this VAT when the containers account is being balanced. A charge is raised by the supplier for the value of containers not returned.


If postage is charged separately and paid entirely to An Post, then these charges are not subject to VAT.