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The benefits of Postponed VAT Accounting

From 1‌‌ ‌January‌‌ ‌2022 you can continue to use Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) on all customs declarations that require you to account for import VAT, including supplementary declarations, except when HMRC have told you otherwise.

PVA has already provided significant cash flow benefits for thousands of importers, and HMRC expects that most businesses will choose to use it. This is because PVA allows UK VAT-registered importers to account for and recover import VAT on their VAT return, rather than paying the import VAT when the goods are imported. You can head to GOV.UK to find out more.

You can use PVA for goods you’re importing from the EU or other countries. And PVA is not a temporary process, so you will be able to continue to use it following the end of staged customs controls.

There isn’t an application process, but you do need to confirm in your customs declaration that you are using PVA, and you’ll need to make sure that the person making your VAT declarations is also prepared.

If you use the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system

On your declaration, enter:

• your EORI number starting with 'GB' which includes your VAT registration number into box 8 (Header Consignee), or, if applicable, your VAT registration number in box 44h (Registered Consignee)

• 'G' (Postponed accounting for VAT approved) as the method of payment in Box 47e.

If you use the Customs Declaration Service (CDS)

On your declaration, enter:

• your VAT registration number at header level in data element 3/40.

Please note that VAT will be recorded against your EORI and will be at declaration level only.

If you use someone else to do your declarations for you, it’s your responsibility to tell them if you want to use PVA

If someone else is doing your customs declarations for you such as a freight forwarder, customs agent, broker or fast parcel operator you need to tell them that you want to use PVA to account for import VAT on the imported goods. They can then complete the customs declaration correctly on your behalf, and you should keep a written record of what is agreed.

Need further support?

  • Chamber Customs - If you need any assistance with completing declarations or require advice on how to submit these declarations, our team is at hand to help. Simply email them at or complete our short online survey and a member of our team will be in touch.

  • How to Complete Customs Declarations Training 25th January - This training will highlight what you need to know to complete customs declarations accurately and efficiently.

Source: HMRC

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