UK Intrastat reporting requirements 2021

HMRC has confirmed that for the first six months of 2021, there is still an obligation to submit Intrastat declarations for goods arriving into the UK from the EU.

This obligation will only apply in case a threshold of GPB 1,500,000 for arrivals of goods is exceeded, which applies to arrivals in both Northern Ireland and ‘the rest of the UK'.

For dispatches from the UK, the Intrastat reporting obligations only apply to goods being ‘exported’ from Northern Ireland to any EU-Member State in case a threshold of GBP 250,000 is exceeded. Movements of goods between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK do not have to be reported in the UK Intrastat declaration.

As from 2022, businesses would no longer be required to report all arrivals of EU goods in the UK. For Northern Ireland, the obligation to report the arrivals and dispatches of goods from and to the EU will continue to be required for the lifetime of the Northern Ireland-protocol (minimum of 4 years).

Movement of Goods

Is UK Intrastat declaration required?

Importing goods INTO GB FROM the EU

Yes, until 31st July 2021

Importing goods INTO NI FROM the EU

Yes, until the end of NI Protocol in 2025

Exporting goods FROM GB INTO NI


Exporting goods FROM NI INTO the EU

Yes, until the end of NI Protocol in 2025

Exporting goods FROM UK INTO the EU



Courier deliveries to HMRC: PO box and BX postcodes

Many non UK businesses will use international courier services to send documents to HMRC but will be unaware that in certain circumstances they should ignore the usual postal address provided and instead use a dedicated service. Please see details below:


Couriers should use this address for all post items being delivered to a:

  • postcode beginning with BX5 or BX9
  • PO box
  • HMRC site that does not accept post

If you need a recipient phone number use 0300 200 3300.

HM Revenue and Customs
Benton Park View
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ
United Kingdom

From 1 July 2021,  B2C sellers dispatching their goods from a single country will no longer be required to register for foreign VAT and complete multiple VAT filings in countries where they are selling. Instead, they may opt to simply complete and file a new OSS filing alongside their regular domestic VAT return that will list all their pan-EU sales. The seller then remits the VAT due to their home VAT authority, which then forwards the taxes to the appropriate countries. Non-EU sellers may also apply to use the OSS regime, and just need to nominate any single EU state to register and file in.

This builds on the successful launch of the single VAT return for B2C digital services in 2015, referred to as the MOSS return.

In addition to distance selling, the B2C service and event organisers may use OSS.

Ending the distance selling threshold rules

The current EU VAT regime ‘place of supply’ rules require sellers to charge the VAT rate of their customer’s country of residence – known as the destination principle. For EU cross-border sales this means sellers have to VAT register in each country where they are selling goods.

Currently, to reduce the burden on small sellers, the EU operates a special VAT registration simplification for e-commerce, known as distance selling thresholds. This is generally only available for sales from a sellers’ domestic stocks. 

EU distance selling thresholds until June 2021:

€100,000 per annum: Germany; the Netherlands; Luxembourg; UK Northern Ireland (which is still in the EU VAT regime) £70,000. 

For all other members of the EU it is €35,000 per annum or local currency equivalent.  

From 1 July 2021, this registration threshold simplification will be withdrawn. Cross-border sellers will have to charge the VAT rate of the customer’s country of residence from their first sale and remit it to the foreign tax authorities. 

Launching the single OSS EU VAT return

At the same time as withdrawing the distance selling thresholds, the EU is extending the single VAT return, OSS, to e-commerce cross-border distance selling of goods. This will replace the obligation to VAT register in every country where sellers are making sales to EU consumers from stocks in a single EU location – typically their home state. The existing obligation to register in all countries is often called out as the principal barrier to cross-border trade in the EU. A single VAT return, listing all pan-EU sales, has already been in place (known as the Mini One-Stop-Shop, MOSS) since 2015 for B2C cross-border sales of digital, telecoms and broadcast services.

NOTE: Sellers holding stock in other EU countries will not benefit from the OSS single return simplification. They must remain VAT registered in each country where they are holding stock. This includes selling using the Amazon FBA program.

Sellers with existing foreign VAT registrations, and selling from stock in their country of residence, may opt to close these non-resident registrations from 1 July 2021 and use the OSS report instead.

Sellers will continue to declare any sales to customers in their own country of residence through their existing domestic VAT return.  OSS may also be used to report: cross-border B2C traditional services; and certain domestic sale facilitated by marketplaces (see next section).

The OSS filing is in addition to the regular domestic VAT return. Firstly, sellers will charge VAT at the rate of their customer’s country of residence. They can use the delivery address of their customer to identify the country of residence. Then determine the correct VAT rate, as well as applying reduced or nil VAT rates, according to the varying rates and goods classifications of each member state of their customers. 

The OSS filing will be a quarterly return. It is intended as a simple listing to declare VAT due by the seller to each EU country apart from the domestic state. The OSS return will be standardised across all the EU member states, and will be structured as follows:

Example OSS return from July 2021

Member state

VAT rate type

VAT rate in member state

Total value of supplies exc VAT

VAT due 














































Other states…













Total VAT due


The amounts should be shown in the seller’s domestic country’s currency. In the case of a foreign currency translation, sellers should be following their domestic country’s guidance on rates to use at the date of the transaction.

Non-EU sellers

UK and other sellers who are non-resident in the EU may also use the OSS simplified filing. They must first register as a ‘non-Union’ taxpayer with the tax authority of any EU member state. They can then file quarterly OSS filings like any EU e-commerce seller. There is a requirement to file a regular domestic VAT return in at least one EU member state. VAT incurred on imports may be declared in the OSS, too. 

Filing OSS

The OSS filing should be submitted on the same date as the regular quarterly VAT return. This is usually done though the tax authority’s online portal. Taxpayers on monthly VAT returns should consult their local tax authority’s website to check the due date. The VAT due should be remitted by the same deadline.

The domestic tax authorities will then be responsible for dividing-up and paying the VAT received from the seller to each country as appropriate.

€10,000 exemption for EU micro-businesses

The EU will grant EU-resident micro-businesses an exemption from the OSS rules. This reflects the experience of the roll-out of the 2015 MOSS return which imposed overly complex customer tracking and VAT calculations on the smallest of sellers.

Any businesses selling less than €10,000 per annum cross-border on B2C goods and services will be exempt from the obligation to complete an OSS return. Instead, they will be able to charge their domestic VAT rate and report the sales below this threshold in their regular domestic VAT return.

This relief is not available to non-EU businesses. The must register immediately.

Brexit – the effect for UK and EU sellers

The UK left the EU VAT regime on 31 December 2020. This means UK sellers are now non-EU sellers at the same time as the introduction of the July 2021 e-commerce reforms. UK resident sellers will have to register in one of the EU states to file a ‘non-Union’ OSS return. UK sellers will still be able to close any EU VAT registrations if they are not holding stock in those states.

UK sellers selling to EU customers now have to consider appointing a VAT fiscal representative in most of the EU countries where they are registered. Once the reforms pass into effect in July 2021, they may then register for the non-union OSS return.

 4 Eyes Ltd has partners in each EU Member State and we will be able to assist your business to meet its EU VAT requirements in a cost effective manner.