Paying Duties & VAT
Whether there is a trade deal or not, between the UK and the EU, import duties and VAT will still apply to imported goods from the UK from January 1st, 2021 onward. Duties may be zero for certain goods, but importers must be aware that they are still responsible for entering correct commodity and duty information on an import declaration.
The importer of the goods is responsible for paying the monies for duties and VAT to revenue. The trader is ultimately responsible for the correct selection of the commodity code used for the imported goods. The importer must also keep a record of their declaration’s history in case of an audit from revenue. An importer must set up a Trader Account Number (TAN) account in order to pay duties, VAT, Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) or excise duty. Even if the duty is at zero on imported goods a trader is obliged to set up a TAN account. This is in case of an audit where monies may have to be paid retrospectively. For information on how to set up a TAN account please contact revenue.
You can also apply for deferred payment to revenue. The deferred payment system (bank direct debit scheme) is an authorisation that allows you to defer payment of certain charges. These charges include Customs Duty, VAT at import, Excise Duty and VRT. You must lodge a guarantee and comply with the conditions of the authorisation. The authorisation allows you, once approved, to pay the duties and taxes due by direct debit in the following month. Excise traders operating from a warehouse must operate on a deferred basis only.
The most convenient way to keep your TAN account topped up is to use revenue’s RevPay. This is a digital service whereby the trader inputs their credit/debit card details into RevPay, and they can make a transfer to their TAN account. This method of top up is an instant transfer of funds to the TAN account.
Traders can also apply to revenue for deferred payment status. This status permits the trader to defer the payment of VAT or duties owing until the middle of the following month. You must also apply to revenue for a comprehensive guarantee.
Having the correct 10-digit commodity code is essential to maintaining customs duties compliance. Importers can get this code from the seller or exporter of the goods. If the importer is importing a new or novel product then they may use the Binding Tariff Information (BTI) from Revenue. This can be a costly and lengthy process and is not designed to replace the importer looking up the commodity code themselves.
Keeping a clear and well documented archive of declarations history is necessary in case of a customs audit. All declarations including information on amounts paid in duties and VAT can be archived on the Custran platform. For further information on duties and VAT see our FAQ here.