VAT and Customs Duty – Controlling Import Costs

Speaker:  Gwen Ryder  |  CPD Hours: 6.0

Price £575 plus VAT

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There is a ‘Tariff Wall’’ around the Member States of the EU. Getting goods through that Tariff Wall from countries outside of it comes at a cost.  The main cost is usually Customs Duty. Unlike VAT, Customs Duty is a ‘sticking tax’ in that it cannot usually be reclaimed. The forward thinking take control of their Customs Duty bill, and take advantage of the savings that can be made. Others ignore Customs Duty planning at their peril as it affects ‘bottom line’ profitability. In addition, a major shakeup of the European legislation has resulted in the Union Customs Code (UCC), effective from 1 May 2016, which has changed some procedures that have been in place for decades. As Brexit unfolds, we may also find another Tariff Wall emerging around the UK.

This detailed course deals with import VAT but concentrates on the Customs Duty implications of importing goods into the UK and other Member States of the EU.  It points out the possible areas for Customs Duty savings and also the potential problem areas for the unaware.


Introduction to importing

  • Procedures, requirements, paying and deferring import VAT and duty
  • Choosing where to pay the import VAT and claiming it back correctly

How to find the correct rate of duty to pay

  • The General Rules of Tariff Classification
  • Reviewing Commodity Codes and reading the Tariff
  • What to do about past over or under declarations
  • Getting rulings from HMRC (Binding Tariff Informations)

How to value goods correctly

  • The six methods in detail
  • Connected party transactions
  • Buying agents and prior sale transactions
  • Specific cost inclusions and deductions
  • Royalties and licence fees

Customs Duty Preferences

  • Duty savings for certain countries and groups
  • Tariff ceilings and quotas
  • The GSP system
  • Proof of origin and contractual protection

Customs duty reliefs, including:

  • Outward Processing
  • Inward Processing
  • Returned Goods Relief
  • Goods not in accordance with contract

Deferring payment of customs duty

  • Customs warehousing the various types including ‘virtual warehouses’


Anyone responsible for controlling the duty costs on imports of goods into the UK from outside the EU.

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