Macro detail of the euro currency, focusing on the UK and Ireland

NI VAT part 1: One Stop Shop opens for Northern Ireland


One Stop Shop (OSS) is an EU scheme that replaces the VAT distance selling regulations. OSS registration is now open via HMRC but only for Northern Ireland businesses.

12th Oct 2021
VAT Director Rayner Essex
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Northern Ireland has a unique VAT position as a result of Brexit businesses that fall under the Northern Ireland protocol are treated as being within the EU for VAT purposes, and are eligible to use all EU VAT simplifications, including One Stop Shop (OSS).

One Stop Shop (OSS)

Last year I outlined the mechanics of OSS but in brief, where goods are stocked in an EU member state, you would require a VAT registration in the EU member state where the stock is held.

Where you sell those goods to EU consumers (B2C) then you charge VAT based on your stock location, up until you have sold €10,000 in total to EU consumers, then you either must register for VAT in the EU consumer’s location or you register for One Stop Shop.

Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) is entirely different to OSS, this article only concerns OSS.

Northern Ireland Protocol

The definition for businesses that operate under the protocol is:

  • your goods are located in Northern Ireland at the time of sale
  • you receive goods in Northern Ireland from VAT-registered EU businesses for business purposes
  • you sell or move goods from Northern Ireland to an EU country

Where the above condition(s) are met, the business can apply for an XI EORI number via this HMRC link.

HMRC issued a batch of XI EORI numbers in the run up to Brexit last year, so some businesses may already have an XI EORI number but may not actually meet the conditions of the NI Protocol. In addition, a business will not need to appoint an EU tax representative, as is the case with IOSS applications. 

Registration for OSS

A GB only based business wanting to register for OSS (because it holds stock somewhere in EU and sells to multiple EU consumer locations) would need to do so in an EU member state which increases compliance costs.

An NI based business or a GB based business that meets the NI Protocol conditions can register for OSS via the HMRC website.

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