What rate of VAT applies to exports?

Updated on February 8, 2022

Exports

People who pay Value-Added Tax (VAT) think of exports as goods that are sent to a place outside of the European Union VAT area.

There are parts of the EU that are in the EU but don’t have VAT. More information about these countries can be found in the next step.

How To VAT applies to exports?

The zero rate of VAT is for:

All sales of goods that are transported directly by or on behalf of the seller to a destination outside the EU VAT area. All sales of goods that are transported directly by or on behalf of the buyer to a destination outside the EU VAT area.

Evidence of export of goods for VAT

The supplier of goods that are exported must make sure that the goods have left the EU before they can be sold to other people.

The following will be seen as proof that goods have left the EU:

When you use your own vehicles to move goods outside of the EU, this is seen as something you did. In this case, the person who buys the goods takes ownership of them. The export notification message (IE599) sent to the exporter would show that the goods have left the EU.
You should get proof from the shipping company if your goods are being exported by sea. If goods have left the EU, they could show up on a copy of a bill of lading, a certificate of shipping, or shipping advice.
You should get proof from the airline that your goods were sent by air if they were sent by a carrier on your behalf. You might see this proof that goods have been outside the EU in a signed copy of the waybill with flight information added in.
You should get certificates of posting from the post office where the goods were sent. Make sure that the stamps on your post book are correct if you use one.
It is important to make sure the consignee’s full name and address are clear on the package at all times.

Exports to international bodies

Exports are when you sell goods or services to international bodies that are recognised by the government.

The supplies must be within the limits and conditions set by the international conventions that set up the bodies. It may also be set by agreements between the headquarters of those bodies, and the Member State that hosts the headquarters.