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VAT & Selling into the UK via Amazon post Brexit

Do businesses from USA for example now have to register for VAT/import duty

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The products are sold on Amazon and stored in the USA, so they will not be using Amazon warehousing. Although we may look at this later.

We believe at the moment when something is sold into the UK from USA, via Amazon and is under £15.00 there is no VAT/import duty?

And that post-Brexit this will be removed and VAT/import duty will need to be charged, irrespective of the product value? Is this correct?

So registration and submission of VAT returns will need to be completed, irrespective of whether the USA company is above the VAT threshold?

I have read some of the HMRC policy on this, but I am confused as hell!! 

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Jason Croke
By Jason Croke
03rd Nov 2020 14:13

In summary, the low value consignment relief of £15 is no more from January 2021. The same rules will apply across the EU, so this is not Brexit related, it is part of a wider project to close the VAT gap from overseas sellers selling into the EU (and UK) and undercutting domestic businesses who have to charge VAT to consumers.

So instead of the buyer being responsible for paying duty/VAT (and often not paying because it slips through the postal net), the VAT liability shifts to the seller.

The EU rules (link below) involve either registering for VAT in each member state or optionally, the Non-EU business can register for "One Stop Shop" (OSS) which is a single EU registration that covers sales to all EU member states. This doesn't kick in until July 2021 (delayed due to Covid19).

If selling via Amazon, you will find the platform will require you to register for UK VAT else Amazon may bump you off the platform because if they let you sell without a VAT number, the platform is responsible for collecting VAT on your sales, so platform will likely hold back 20% of your sales revenue to pay it to HMRC. Likewise if selling via Amazon France/EU, the platform will collect VAT from your sales revenue.

Thanks (2)
John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
03rd Nov 2020 14:38

Thanks to Jason for coming to the rescue here.

He was too modest to mention, however, that he and Neil Warren are very alert to all the impending complications Brexit will cause for businesses around VAT and customs duties.

To help you prepare for January, they are now publishing a series of "Brace for Brexit" articles on the subject, which you can find here:

Thanks (2)
By wood1e1
13th Nov 2020 10:17


@Jason Croke & John Stokdyk

Many thanks for clearing that up. I will speak to the business, as they are looking now to store products in Amazon UK.

I will get them to check the OSS and get them to strat the process of VAT registration.

Amazon's offer of getting KPMG to register for them @£1500 a pop won't be accepted :)

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