20. November 2020 | Service Update

Changes to UK VAT Treatment from 1st January, 2021

Update (23rd December, 2020)

In response to the post-Brexit customs clearance regulations, starting from 15th December, 2020, all goods sent to EU countries including Northern Ireland will be cleared and forwarded from France (CDG gateway) or the Netherlands (AMS). Goods that will be delivered within the UK will still be processed at the UK gateway. The following statement is a special reminder for the new UK customs clearance regulations:

1) According to the new UK customs clearance regulations in 2021, all B2C and B2B goods under £135 must fill in the seller’s or online marketplace (OMP)’s GB VAT number before they can be shipped. The sender on the bill of lading and invoice must be the seller or the OMP. So as not to cause problems when clearing, please do not fill in as a logistics provider.

2) The declared amount of the goods should be the intrinsic value of the goods, excluding VAT, freight and insurance.

3) Our system will be updated on the 25th of December to be in alignment with the new regulations. VAT number will become a mandatory field for goods sent to the UK before they can be shipped. Please contact our IT department to update the system API.

4) For personal effects, samples, excise goods, reverse charge goods, and high value items etc., please refer to the DPDgroup website for detailed customs clearance regulations.


Update (20th November, 2020)


In response to the various changes brought about by Brexit, the British government has recently made major amendments to its VAT treatment of goods arriving into Great Britain from outside of the UK. This is to prevent UK businesses from being disadvantaged by competition from VAT free imports.


Summary of changes

From 1st January, 2021:

• The import VAT exemption policy for goods of £15 and below will be cancelled.

• Import VAT will no longer be levied on goods of £135 and below. In replacement, Online Marketplaces (OMPs) or overseas sellers will be responsible for collecting and accounting for Supply VAT at the point of sale.

• Goods above 135 pounds will follow the existing policy, and import VAT will be levied.

• Therefore, overseas sellers and OMPs must register for a UK tax number (UK VAT) and collect VAT payment in accordance with the new policy.

• This policy is expected to speed up customs clearance and import of goods with a value of 135 pounds and below.

• Please note that the new rules do not apply to non-commercial transactions between private individuals (C2C).

• As the UK is still negotiating with the EU, the policy is still variable. If there is any change, we will notify you immediately.


How to Respond

E-commerce platforms and sellers outside the UK must register for UK VAT as soon as possible to avoid affecting sale of goods. If you have already registered for UK VAT, you do not need to register again. If you have any questions about application or policy changes, you are welcome to discuss with our sales team and we will try our best to assist.


How to Apply

The UK government has enabled online application for UK VAT. Please click on the link below to apply:



Policy Paper

Click on the link below to view the full article:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-vat-treatment-of-overseas-goods-sold-to-customers-from-1-january-2021/changes-to-vat-treatment- of-overseas-goods-sold-to-customers-from-1-january-2021