VAT Changes For Importers

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, there are key VAT changes for importers of goods into the UK.

  • HMRC currently use Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) to issue C79’s so that companies can reclaim import VAT on their VAT returns. From 22:59 ON 31 October 2019, this will no longer happen.
  • Signing up for the new service is free.
  • If a deal is secured with Brussels, there are no further implications, the service will remain dormant.

Our VAT Director and the entire team at Bracey’s are delighted to have, in the main, avoided the topic of Brexit. In our minds, there are too many uncertainties to start advising firms on what they need to do.

However, we’re keen to keep you informed of what we do know about the process and the steps you can take to protect and future-proof your business operations – like our recent article on completing a business fitness check.

What Are The VAT Changes for Importers?


Currently, if you’re importing from the rest of the world, you will be familiar with C79’s as a method of reclaiming important VAT on your VAT returns. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, though, this will change.

You will need to register for Customs Declaration Service (CDS). This means that VAT will not be paid at the point of importation but instead will be deferred. Essentially, it becomes an entry on your VAT return instead of making payment at the point of importation.

How The New System Will Work

An online monthly statement will be available to download and keep for your records. It will show the total import VAT postponed for the previous month and when you should include it in your VAT return.

You can, and we recommend that you do, register using HMRC’s government gateway or by following this link.

Changes To Your VAT Return

The VAT return will now require the following entries:

Box 2 – Include VAT due in this period on imports accounted for through postponed accounting

Box 4 – Include VAT reclaimed in this period on purchases and other inputs (including imports)

Box 8 – Include the total value of all exports of goods, excluding any VAT

Box 9 – Include the total value of all imports of goods, excluding any VAT

If you would like any further help or advice for your business, contact our VAT team today on 01438 727141 or email

This entry was posted in Brexit