UK VAT number checking tool & deferring VAT payment

VAT number checker

HMRC’s VAT-checking tool now does real-time check that a UK VAT no. is valid, and gives name and address of the firm

Don’t assume VAT nos. on Invoices are genuine! Rogue suppliers quote fake VAT nos. to charge an extra 20% which you will not be able to recover through your VAT return.

https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-vat-number

 

Deferred VAT payments

For VAT payments deferred between 20 Mar and 30 Jun 2020, you can:

  • pay the deferred VAT by 31 Mar 2021
  • opt-in to a new deferral payment scheme (available soon), or
  • contact HMRC for more time to pay

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

 

 

 

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UK/ EU trade and cooperation agreement

Road Transport

 

As of 1 January 2021, UK companies will no longer hold an EU licence or be able to perform transport services within the Union as part of the Single Market. 

 The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides for quota-free, point-to-point access for operators transporting goods by road between the EU and the UK. This means UK lorries will be able to reach the EU and return from the EU, including when not loaded. The same rights are conferred on EU hauliers travelling from any point in the EU to the UK, and back from the UK to anywhere in the EU. Without the Agreement, only a very small number of operators holding licences from the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) would have been able to conduct such journeys. 

 UK and EU trucks will also be able to perform up to two additional operations in the other Party's territory, once they have crossed the EU/UK border. This will allow EU hauliers that carry a load to the UK to perform two cabotage operations in the UK, thus limiting the risk of having to travel back to the EU without a load.  For UK hauliers, these additional operations can be composed of two cross-trade operations (i.e. transport operations between two Member States) or one cross-trade and one “cabotage” operation (i.e. a transport operation within two points of a single Member State). Special provisions are made in the case of Ireland, as Northern Irish hauliers will be able to perform two cabotage operations in Ireland. 

 The Agreement also provides for full transit rights across each other's territories (to reach third countries or other parts of their own territory). 

 

 

 

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UK/ EU trade and cooperation agreement

Wine Import Certification

 

Movements of EU wine to UK and UK produced wine to EU and NI

 

The Agreement introduces simplified wine import certification for imports of EU wine into the UK and for the export of UK produced wine to the EU and NI.  Unlike the full VI-1 certificates that would have had to be introduced in the event of a no-deal, the new simplified certificates do not need to include the results of a costly laboratory analysis and can also be self-certified by producers and exporters. The new certification requirements are more akin to the current requirements for completing an eAD when moving wine within the EU. The text also provides the possibility of the certificates being electronic documents rather than paper based.   

 The information required on the new certificate - in addition to standard imports information (details of exporter and importer, net quantity, means of transport etc) - is foreseen as follows:   

  • sale designation, as it appears on the label, i.e. wine/sparkling wine 
  • name of producer
  • wine-growing region
  • name of the country of production (Member State of the EU or UK)
  • name of the GI, if relevant
  • total alcoholic strength by volume, (but no need to have this verified by a lab) 
  • colour of the product (state ‘red’, ‘rosé’, ‘pink’ or ‘white’ only), 
  • Combined Nomenclature code (CN code) 

 

Defra has confirmed that the new certification requirements for EU wine imports into the UK will apply from 1 July 2021.  Movements of UK produced wine to the EU from 1 January 2021 will however require the new certificates to be completed and the self-certified document and guidance can be found here

 

 

Movements of non-EU/non-UK produced wine

 

The rules only apply to the movements of EU-produced wine to UK and for UK produced wine to the EU.  The WSTA has previously advised on the requirements for sending non-EU wine to the UK.  Recently UK Government has confirmed that non-UK wine shipments sent via the UK to the EU or NI will have to meet EU import marketing rules including the requirement for the shipment to be accompanied by a full EU VI-1 import certificate.   

 Defra has published the arrangements for sending non-EU/non-UK wine to the EU and this confirms previous advice WSTA has been given that this will be a relatively light touch regime with exporters and bottlers being able to use a pre-signed pro-forma rather than have to apply for an individually authorised EU VI-1 form for every shipment. This effectively means registered businesses being able to self-certify the EU VI-1 certificates using the information contained in the import certificate that accompanied the goods when they entered the UK - and without the need for further laboratory testing. Once authorised, exporters will be able to use the pre-signed pro-forma any number of times within a specified timeframe subject to maintaining strict records including a unique numbering system for each shipment. 

 In order to apply for a VI-1 pro-forma, exporters must have registered and received an WSB number.  If you do not have a WSB number you need to register with the FSA or FSS by emailing: 

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you’re in England or Wales 
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.if you’re based in Scotland 

You should write ‘VI-1 Exporter registration request’ in the subject line. 

 Once you have your WSB number, exporters must apply for a pro-forma EU VI-1 document. Details can be found here. The application form also confirms products within scope, the need for a original VI-1 or certified copy from the country of origin to be attached to the EU VI-1 and the conditions under which no further laboratory analysis is required.   

 As currently drafted, advice from Government is that EU-produced wine, which is shipped in bulk and bottled in the UK and subsequently returned to the EU will require an EU VI-1 form. But we understand from Government (Defra) that this provision is currently being reviewed so please await confirmation.   

 

 

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